Police Minister Bheki Cele has been told to include his resignation in his apology after Parliament’s joint ethics committee report recommended that he must apologise in the House for his conduct toward activist Ian Cameron.
COMMUNITY policing activist Ian Cameron says Police Minister Bheki Cele must include a resignation in his apology for breaching the Ethics Code for Members of Parliament.
Cameron said the apology would be highly appreciated if it came with a resignation.
This comes after Parliament’s joint ethics committee’s report recommended that Cele must apologise in the House for his conduct towards Cameron.
This was prompted after Cele shouted at Cameron during a crime imbizo in Gugulethu on the Cape Flats last year.
Cele and Cameron, who is the director of Action Society, got into a heated exchange during which the minister told Cameron to “shut up” and sit down.
Cameron was forced out of the meeting by police officers.
He laid charges of crimen injuria and assault at the Gugulethu police station against Cele and members of the police who forcibly removed him from the meeting.
He also extended the matter to Parliament, where he said Cele did not behave in the calm and dignified manner that the high office he holds requires.
Cameron also alleged that Cele further wagged his finger at him while saying in a threatening tone “Don’t provoke me”. And told him to “shut up, sit down and listen or get out”.
In his response to the committee, Cele said when Cameron addressed him, he felt that it was a vindictive and personal attack. He said the tone in which Cameron addressed him was designed to belittle him, instead of working together to find solutions.
He added that Cameron’s presence at the meeting was disruptive, and that he did not make a positive contribution.
The committee noted that Cele did not specifically address the incident that included the allegation that he shouted “shut up” at Cameron. However, video footage taken on the day, and which was played by the committee, shows that Cele was irate and that he did shout at the Cameron.
The committee found that Cele breached item 10.1.1.3 read with 4.1.5 of the Ethics Code.
“Item 10.1.1.3 states that the member breaches the Code if the member contravened clauses 4.1 (4.1.5). Item 4.1.5 states that the member must maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament and thereby engender the respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament …
“The committee recommended to the House that the member enter an apology in the House for his conduct toward Mr Cameron during the SAPS Imbizo.”
Cameron said he would welcome an apology, but he did not think it would mean anything if Cele does not tender his resignation.
“He owes the whole country an apology. He’s got blood on his hands and he is messing with the SAPS. He owes the country an apology more than me, and it should include his resignation,” Cameron said.
Despite being asked for comment on the matter, Cele’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, said nothing.
On the other hand, the DA said it believed Cele must also apologise personally to Cameron, and in public. The party said this was because Cele insulted Cameron in public and therefore a public apology would be best.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “Since his appointment to the top job in early 2018, the minister has caused irreparable harm to the South African Police Service, and despite growing calls for the Presidency to rid Cabinet of the useless minister, Cele remains ensconced at the Union Buildings.
“President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet stands as a glaring testament to incompetence and disgrace, with ministers who excel at fabricating lies, deploying protectors to assault citizens, master the art of making hollow promises, publicly berate responsible citizens, engage in shameless looting of public funds and appoint cronies and cadres over merit.”
Malatsi said they also and consistently failed to fulfil the basic duties expected of their positions, and actively contributed to the dismantling of the nation.
“It is long overdue for this lamentable assembly to vacate their posts and allow competent leadership to rescue the country from their disastrous reign,” said Malatsi.