Time to bite the Cele bullet

2011-04-16 10:49

The South African Police Service is ­facing its greatest crisis of legitimacy since the apartheid SAP was transformed into a democratic institution.

This week’s brutal killing of Andries Tatane by members of the police highlighted the dark underbelly of our men and women in blue.

Those police officers who shot and killed Tatane did not act like peace officers who were paid to protect society against criminals.

In scenes reminiscent of the most perverse incidents of apartheid-era police brutality, the officers behaved like a rudderless mob of gangsters with no regard for law and order.

We agree with the South African Institute of Race Relations’ open letter to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa: “What the police are effectively engaged in is no longer a simple matter of law enforcement. Rather your officers are now at the coalface of the political struggle of poor black South Africans to be liberated from poverty.”

At the same time the police’s senior management are fighting off accusations of corruption, maladministration and, in the case of crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, murder.

Our police service is clearly in deep, deep ­trouble and it would not be an exaggeration to call it an organisation in crisis.

President Jacob Zuma and Mthethwa can no longer ignore this dire situation which has led to a complete breakdown of trust in the one institution all South Africans are supposed to trust and support.

Zuma and Mthethwa need no more proof that their head of police, General Bheki Cele, is not fit for office. The blood of Andries Tatane is enough.

It would be naive to think Cele’s militarisation of the police and shoot-to-kill utterings are unrelated to the pain and humiliation Tatane had to endure this week at the hands of men who were supposed to serve and protect.

Any lesser action than the immediate removal from office of a man who clearly regards himself as above the law will be a shameful insult to the citizens of this country, and to the fatherless ­children and family of Meleke Andries Tatane.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.