Police Minister Bheki Cele warned people to cancel their Christmas and New Year’s Eve party plans, saying law enforcement will clamp down on lockdown regulation violations.
THE POLICE have been told to be decisive when protecting and defending citizens over the festive season.
Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Kempton Park on Friday as part of the Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour. Cele visited various parts of Ekurhuleni, including New Tembisa Mall in Ivory Park, a taxi rank on Pretoria Road in Kempton Park, as well as a roadblock on the N12 East.
The police minister did not rule out the use of force in implementing the law.
“Don’t allow the people of South Africa to be humiliated, to be threatened, to be killed by criminals,” Cele told police officers.
He also reminded officers that they are allowed to use force when protecting communities and themselves in the midst of danger.
“It’s not our duty to tell people to keep safe, it is our duty to make them feel safe.
“The crux of the matter at the present moment is that people don’t feel safe, particularly in the Ekurhuleni area.
“There are many people who are disrespecting and breaking the law with their shebeens and making noise till the early hours of the morning. We cannot allow people to disregard the law and disrupt the neighbourhood.”
Cele said police also won’t show any hesitation in shutting down illegal operations during the festive season.
“These regulations are very clear, you need to close at 10pm and at 11pm people need to be home. We call on everybody to be part of South Africa and respect the rules and regulations.”
“We are going to deal with shebeens that are illegal, there will be no negotiations; we will shut them down. Shebeens that are supposed to be legal, but are breaking the law will also be shut down immediately,” said Cele.
He added: “We want to create an environment on the streets where people will feel safe, especially women and children. Women must be able to walk anytime in the day and feel safe without the fear of being abused or raped by silly men.”
Cele also warned people to cancel their Christmas and New Year’s Eve party plans, saying law enforcement will clamp down on lockdown regulation violations.
He called on police officers to intensify their efforts to ensure illegal gatherings and parties are shut down.
“Your job description, mandated by the Constitution of the land, is to prevent, combat, investigate, uphold the law and ensure inhabitants are safe. Nowhere does it say you take bribes,” he said.
“It is your job to protect and prevent. You must remember that as law enforcement, your job is to preserve human life and that you do it with passion and empathy.”