Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)
Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)

Cele retracts comments about Jeremy Vearey’s dismissal

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jan 10, 2022

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POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has reportedly requested the acting secretary to Parliament Baby Tyawa to withdraw his written reply, in which he referred to axed Western Cape detective head Jeremy Vearey’s Facebook posts as a “culture of impunity”.

Cele said this in response to a written Parliamentary question by EFF MP Henry Shembeni, who had asked: “What reasons have been given for the dismissal of Vearey?” and “What impact the vacuum in leadership of detectives will have in the fight against gangsterism in the Western Cape?”

In his response, Cele viewed the actions of Vearey on Facebook as “not only irresponsible, reckless, damaging and disrespectful, but also inconsiderate as it showed a culture of impunity on his part”.

He stressed that it was worth mentioning that Vearey had posted messages, comments and images, online, through his Facebook account, eight times.

“This specific fact, points to the state of mind or attitude on the part of the employee, at the time and it, in my view, indicates that the actions of the employee were deliberate,” Cele said.

The written response – which was signed by both Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole – further referred to the posts as “negative” thus putting the SAPS in a “bad light”, as it was seen by Vearey’s Facebook friends. Cele stated that Vearey also failed to show remorse for his deeds and said this demonstrated that Vearey “is not a good candidate for rehabilitation”.

In his letter to Tyawa, Cele noted that Vearey's dismissal has been referred to the Labour Court. He said a full and comprehensive response will be provided on the conclusion of the Labour Court process.

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