Police Minister Bheki Cele was on the ground at the Mams Mall in Mamelodi in Gauteng. This is a liquor store that was looted. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)
Police Minister Bheki Cele was on the ground at the Mams Mall in Mamelodi in Gauteng. This is a liquor store that was looted. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Cele hits back at those who refuse to believe they are receiving crime intelligence reports

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jul 14, 2021

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Johannesburg - The police acted timeously on intelligence reports and averted an attack on a Durban Hospital and the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature building in Pietermaritzburg this week, Police Minister Bheki Cele says.

Cele hit back at those who refuse to believe they are receiving crime intelligence reports and acting on them promptly.

He was on the ground at the Mams Mall in Mamelodi in Gauteng on Wednesday morning. The mall was hit by looters and rioters over the past few days.

While conducting a walkabout in the mall, Cele addressed the media, saying that he was aware many did not want to believe the SAPs was acting on crime intelligence.

But, Cele said police in KwaZulu-Natal acted swiftly on intelligence it received and averted an attack on a Durban hospital.

“They wanted to burn a hospital with the patients inside but we averted that.”

He said there were also plans to set the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature building alight in Pietermaritzburg. This building is one of the oldest buildings in the capital city.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, security cluster ministers hit back at claims that the country’s intelligence “failed spectacularly” to move quickly on people who incited violence and started the civil unrest following former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest last week.

The violent and rampant looting and destruction across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng could have been much worse if the government had not acted on intelligence it received before the eruption, said State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo during the briefing.

While at the Mams Mall in Pretoria, Cele reported that one person was killed while 116 people were arrested during the extreme looting.

“There is nothing like hungry people looting and getting something to eat but when you hear people are coming with guns and exchanging fire, then that speaks to organised crime. There is a big element of organised crime here.

“They might be hiding behind the hunger and general social problems in the community but there are organised gangs also at play,” he said.

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Political Bureau

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