Minister of Bheki Cele. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Police Minister Bheki Cele says politicians must be called to account to residents when there is a protest instead of calling police to rein in violent protesters. 

Cele was speaking on Wednesday at the ongoing Popcru (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union) conference in Durban on Wednesday.

Addressing the union, Cele lamented that fighting crime in some parts of the country, more so in informal settlements, was risky because of unstructured settlements where houses are not correctly numbered.

He made an example of Marikana informal settlement where shacks are not properly numbered and says that makes it hard for police officers to trace criminals in that area.

For this he blamed councillors for "chowing" money meant for developing these settlements and leaving the risks with police officers. As a result of that, Cele said when there is a violent protest, mayors and councillors should be called to account and his police officers "be left out of this."

Speaking at the same congress, Cele deplored how corruption in the SAPS demoralised staff and cripple the working of the organisation.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says corrupt politicians overburden police officers and put their lives at risk. Picture: Sihle Mavuso


Making an example of the shortage of rape kits in police stations around the country which was brought to the public attention by the DA in August this year, Cele said he was surprised that the kits were not there for a long time and when there was an uproar about that, they were immediately made available. 

He alleged this implied that corruption was the cause because the tender was intended for a certain supplier and it was withdrawn when it  could not go to the supplier.

Political Bureau