Bheki Cele must apologise to Capetonians for 'false statements' - Plato
Durban - Police minister Bheki Cele lacked an understanding of the law and had displayed disrespect for residents of Cape Town with his recent negative utterances about law enforcement in the city, mayor Dan Plato said on Thursday.
He called on the police minister to retract his assertions and apologise.
Plato termed as "false" Cele saying the city's law enforcement officers were acting "outside legislative structures", did not have the correct documentation, and that they needed to be brought "within the law".
He also called the officers a group of "unaccountable" "thugs" who should be jailed "with their leaders".
Cele made the comments in parliament on Wednesday.
The DA-led Western Cape government and DA-led City of Cape Town have established a safety plan for the city that will see 3000 local officers take to the streets over the next few years to help reduce the crime rate.
Plato said in his statement on Thursday that Cele should apologise to the residents of Cape Town for his "disgraceful utterances".
"I trust president Cyril Ramaphosa will look into minister Cele’s comments and take appropriate action regarding his attempts at obstructing the city and provincial governments’ efforts in trying to bring extra policing where he, as the national minister, has failed," said Plato.
He said Cape Town's law enforcement officers were appointed "100% in line with the Criminal Procedure Act and meet all the requirements set out in the notice issued by the minister of justice".
Officers received all the necessary training and all paperwork was in place and signed off by the relevant authorities, including the South African Police Service (SAPS), said Plato.
City staff who carried firearms were competent and had the required legal authority to do so, he added.
"It is a disgrace that instead of thanking the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government for diverting budget away from other services to do minister Cele’s job such as paying for the recruitment, training and equipping of hundreds of new law enforcement officers, minister Cele refers to them as ‘thugs’ who should be ‘put in prison’."
Plato called on Cele to withdraw his comments and apologise to the law enforcement officers and the residents of the city, who he said were under siege by "gangsters" as a result of the minister's "purposeful" under-resourcing of police in the province.African News Agency