Cele’s joyride comes as no surprise

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 29, 2024


Police Minister Bheki Cele’s grand entrance at the ANC manifesto launch, using an SAPS chopper paid for by the squeezed taxpayer, comes as no surprise if one looks at his track record.

The saga at the weekend also comes at the “wrong” time for the ANC, which wants to project itself as a caring government, in the hope of trying to convince citizens before the crucial May 29 election.

Although the SAPS maintains there was nothing wrong with the stunt, it does not help the ANC’s cause.

The SAPS response that Cele was “conducting his constitutional responsibility as a minister of police where he also advised and guided operations”, makes matters more interesting.

It means Cele “conducts his constitutional responsibility” only when the ANC is involved. He spectacularly failed to fulfil the responsibility when the EFF launched its manifesto at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, the same venue where the ANC event took place, or when the DA launched its manifesto outside the Union Buildings.

The saga confirms what ANC critics have long decried – police resources are not available for South Africans in desperate need of them when a child goes missing during flooding, but the minister can use them to attend an ANC event where there is little to no threat to public safety.

That no one in the ANC has publicly called out such conduct does little to remove the stain the party is grappling with after allowing the Guptas and their guests to land at the Waterkloof Airforce Base to attend a wedding, or when former Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula allowed an ANC delegation on an SANDF plane to attend a political meeting in Zimbabwe.

Readers will recall that Cele was recently pressured to disclose the private company that funded his trip to the Rugby World Cup in France.

Whatever the outcome of the public protector complaint the DA lodged against Cele, the saga once again demonstrates the true character of the calibre of today’s ANC leaders, which Chris Hani warned about when he said: “What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists who drive around in Mercedes-Benzes and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches.”

Cape Times