Home South African Police must hunt down criminals like rats – Cele

Police must hunt down criminals like rats – Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele said criminals must be hunted down like rats and swept out of communities. Cele was speaking at the funeral of Warrant Officer Sthembiso Mazibuko, held at the KwaMashu community hall on Sunday.

Slain National Intervention Unit member Sthembiso Mazibuko’s one-year-old son Phuthini Mazibuko kept touching his father’s picture during his funeral service in KwaMashu L Section. Picture: Tumi Pakkies, ANA

DURBAN – Police Minister Bheki Cele said criminals must be hunted down like rats and swept out of communities.

Cele was speaking at the funeral of Warrant Officer Sthembiso Mazibuko, held at the KwaMashu community hall on Sunday.

Mazibuko, 40, a member of the National Intervention Unit (NIU), died during a shootout with suspects at a house in C Section in Ntuzuma last week. The Mazibuko family, police officers and some community members could not hold back their tears as they paid their last tribute to Sthembiso.

Police officers sung emotional songs, one of them, asiphelelanga, meaning ‘one of our own is missing’.

One of the saddest moments was when Sthembiso’s one-year-old son was seen constantly touching his father’s picture that was placed near his coffin during the memorial service.

Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Cele issued a command to the police, saying that criminals must be swept away and the police must be there for the community.

“I am making a call that all these criminals must be squeezed and be hunted down like rats to create peaceful communities. The police must avenge themselves against criminals and criminality.

“After you bury this young man you must go back to find answers. Those who killed him must not find peace … After this funeral go and hunt them down,” said Cele.

He said it was the first time in his nine years of service in the police department that he had had to bury an NIU member who had been killed by criminals.

“I demand that this should be the last time,’’ he said.

Cele also urged the community to work with the police.

SAPS officials carry the casket of National Intervention Unit member Sthembiso Mazibuko during his funeral service in KwaMashu L Section. Picture: Tumi Pakkies, ANA

Speaking on behalf of the Mazibuko family, Jabulani Mazibuko said the family had lost a very brave man.

“We have lost a very brave, good, and hard-working man. It will take us time to heal from this. What also worries us is that criminals do as they please in communities and they are professional, they are not just random criminals,” Jabulani said.

Mazibuko, who was initially a member of the SANDF, served in the police for over 17 years.

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