“The minister of police, Bheki Cele, is blatantly lying – yet again – in saying the Constitution needs to be changed to allow devolution to provinces,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society.
Cele told residents in Khayelitsha yesterday that police devolution to the provincial level is “a waste of time and energy”. He said devolution would imply an amendment of the Constitution, and there is no telling how long that would take.
“Section 206 of the Constitution provides the assignment of policing functions to the provincial executive through national legislation or the national policing policy, in terms of which provinces could be enabled to exercise policing powers beyond mere monitoring and oversight,” said Cameron. “The national police department fails to combat crime effectively in some of the most dangerous areas in South Africa – as highlighted in the latest crime statistics – because these areas are underresourced. The provincial police can be much more effective if Cele approves devolution.”
The minister yesterday also said that instead of considering devolution, he focuses on making South Africa safe. Yet, this past weekend saw no less than 11 people shot and killed in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape this past weekend. The Western Cape has pushed for devolution for some time.
“Getting rid of Bheki Cele as the minister of police is not the only solution to combatting crime in South Africa, but it is a great start,” said Cameron.
Join Action Society’s petition to sack Cele here.