Police Minister Bheki Cele has been found guilty of breaching the Ethics Code of Conduct when he shouted at Action Society’s Ian Cameron at a community meeting last year.
POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has been found guilty of breaching Parliament’s Ethics Code of Conduct when he shouted at Action Society’s Ian Cameron at a community meeting last year.
Cele and Cameron were at a meeting between police and residents from the Nyanga and Gugulethu communities to discuss crime and concerns around SA Police Service deployment.
Cameron said they were mandated by survivors and families of gender-based violence victims to speak on their behalf. He said he addressed Cele about patrols in the area.
Cele then responded by telling Cameron to “shut up”.
“I’m not going to take any nonsense of someone who regards me as a garden boy today. Because you regard me as a garden boy. You come here, shut up, shut up, shut up,” Cele shouted at the time.
Cameron then laid a complaint. He went on to state that he was removed from the venue by police officials who are not known to him.
Cameron added that his clothing was damaged in the process, his fundamental rights infringed and he was unlawfully deprived of liberty. Cameron further stated that he did nothing to warrant being assaulted and forcibly removed and restrained.
The ethics committee’s Bekizwe Nkosi said that, following deliberations, the parliamentary committee noted that Cele, in his written representation, did not specifically address the incident where he shouted “shut up”.
“However, the video footage taken on the day, which was played in the committee, shows that the member was irate and that he did shout at the complainant,” Nkosi said.
Nkosi said the committee found that even if Cele was unhappy with the manner in which the complainant addressed the issue at the imbizo, as a Member of Parliament he was required to act in a manner that would maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament and thereby engender the respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament as a representative institution – as a result, the committee found that the that the Member breached item 10.1.1.3 read with 4.1.5 of the Code.
Cameron said that while ordering Cele to apologise is a first and appreciated step, he believed that Cele owes the country an apology.
“Trust in the South African Police Service is at an all-time low and crime at such shocking levels that we landed at number three for the unsafest countries in the world,” Cameron said.
“An honourable person would step out gracefully. But Cele seems too power hungry for that. That is why Action Society will continue to demand that he be removed from his position as minister of police.”