Police Minister Bheki Cele has declined to comment as reactions continue coming in following comments he made at a community engagement in Gugulethu.
CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Bheki Cele has declined to comment as reactions continue coming in following comments he made at a community engagement.
In the most recent reaction, the Freedom Front Plus called Cele’s conduct a disgrace.
During a community meeting in Gugulethu, Cele shouted at Action Society’s Ian Cameron to shut up and sit down after he did not answer questions about fulfilling his constitutional mandate to protect South Africans against crime.
“The way in which the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, reacted when Ian Cameron from the organisation Action Society asked him questions relating to crime at a community meeting is unacceptable and an absolute disgrace. It is a clear indication that Cele is not only losing control of himself but also of the police and the broader fight against crime,” said FF+ leader Dr Pieter Groenewald.
He added that Cele, in particular, must always behave in a disciplined manner. Regardless of whether he is confronted by difficult or uncomfortable questions; he is supposed to set a good example of how to act in such situations.
“Minister Cele not only owes the people of Guguletu and Mr Cameron an apology but also all the people of South Africa. I will ensure that the matter is raised and discussed in the parliamentary portfolio committee on police. Such poor conduct by a minister, who clearly lost control in front of an entire community where crime needs urgent attention cannot be tolerated,” said Groenewald.
Meanwhile, Action Society is set to take legal action against Cele and the SAPS after the incident.
“Action Society and I will be laying four charges and complaints against Bheki Cele and the members of the South African Police Service who spinelessly removed me from yesterday’s community meeting held in Gugulethu,” said Cameron, who is the director of community safety at Action Society.
Survivors and families of victims of gender-based violence mandated Action Society to speak on their behalf during the meeting. Police members then forcibly removed Cameron from the meeting.
“Action Society will lodge a complaint with the public protector in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Bill and its Code of Conduct for Bheki Cele’s disgraceful conduct, failure to act in good faith and compromising the credibility and integrity of his office. Secondly, Action Society will submit a complaint with the Office of the Registrar of Members’ Interests at Parliament for Bheki Cele’s breaches of Parliament’s code of conduct in his capacity as a member of the legislator.
“We will lodge a third complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to investigate the misconduct by the members of the SAPS when they forcefully removed me from the meeting and wrongfully deprived me of my right to liberty and bodily integrity,” added Cameron.
“Finally, I will lodge a criminal complaint against Bheki Cele and the SAPS members who physically accosted me.”
Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said: “Minister Cele no comment on the matter.”