Bheki Cele confronted by angry Eldorado Park community after Nathaniel Julies’s death
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Johannesburg – Police Minister Bheki Cele was confronted by angry members of the community in Eldorado Park when he visited the family of Nathaniel Julies, 16, who was allegedly shot dead by police.
Cele visited the family around midday on Friday.
When he tried to address members of the public shortly after visiting the family, he was met by an angry crowd who chanted slogans such as “Justice for Nathaniel, enough is enough”, “police are corrupt” and “we want justice now”.
Members of the community also called on Cele to release four community leaders who were arrested and charged with public violence after the protests on Thursday.
One man, who said he was a nephew of one of those arrested, called on Cele and the police to arrest him too.
Cele, who staged a press conference outside the Eldorado Park Police Station, said police were working with the prosecuting team to release those arrested.
He said he had heard the complaints of people expressing a mistrust of the police, and added police management could not abruptly make changes.
“We do listen to the community and when people need to be changed that does happen,” he said.
Cele said the police officers involved in the shooting would remain in the service until they were told otherwise.
Cele said it was unfortunate that Nathaniel died.
“We are waiting for the investigation, we want to make the investigation as independent as possible. That is why even the head of Ipid will be here,” he said.
He said the violence had emanated out of the public order police trying to restore peace after officers and police property was damaged.
“We have to restore the relationship between police and the community because this gives a big gap to the criminals.
“The police are not supposed to shoot community members. There are things that get out of hand but you cannot destroy property, you cannot injure, the people and all of that. We wish the discussions can be better, because the peaceful way is the best,” said Cele.
“There are people that are not innocent that have found an opportunity to drive their businesses and their own things. We have to act on the police where they are wrong,” said Cele.
“People don’t have to have faith in me, have faith in the system. If we find police were responsible on this one, they will go to prison like all other South Africans,” said Cele.