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

Cele tells Steenhuisen: You are a disaster

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele expressed his delight that DA interim leader John Steenhuisen was not permanent in his position because more disaster would come his way.

Speaking during the debate on SONA debate on Wednesday, Cele said he was flabbergasted when Steenhuisen had in Tuesday's debate said he wanted police to be a provincial government function.

He said Steenhuisen's comment came against the backdrop of the City Of Cape Town failing to spend an allocated R5 billion meant for infrastructure and refusing to account to the office Auditor General.

Cele charged that most crimes in the city were due to environmental designs that were terrible to a point that you cannot see far beyond a hand at night in areas like Marikana and more deaths in similar areas as opposed to Bishopscourt and other areas.

"They come here and say they obey the law. They can't even respect the AG about R5bn that could have been used to help fight crime," he said.

"I am glad you are an interim leader. I hope you don't become permanent because you are a disaster. There will be a lot of disasters happening," he said.

Steenhuisen took the criticism tongue-in-cheek, asking Cele to repeat the “endorsement”.

"That is the best endorsement I have ever received for my campaign," he said.

But, Cele said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, who he met this week, understood matters better than Steenhuisen.

He told him of the January killing of a SAPS officer by a member of the law enforcement authority from the province which the DA was boasting about.

Cele said the provincial law enforcement structure was formed outside the legislative framework.

He claimed that the newly-introduced provincial law enforcement officers were carrying guns without competency certificates.

"It is just a group of thugs that is unaccountable. They are people to be put in prison together with their leaders. Their leaders do not know there is an animal called law," Cele added.

Earlier, Western Cape Finance MEC David Maynier had boasted about the province having developed a bold Western Cape Safety Plan, which he said would be implemented using the latest technology, and aimed to boost law enforcement capacity in the province. 

"We are partnering with the City of Cape Town and we’ve committed R1.3 billion to train and deploy the first 1 000 law enforcement officers, providing us with more ‘boots on the ground’ to fight crime, especially violent crime, in the Western Cape. 

"The first 500 of these law enforcement officers have already graduated and are on the ground in crime hotspots across the Western Cape receiving further training," Maynier said.

Political Bureau

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