Cele's statistics 'damning

2012-02-27 00:00

SUSPENDED national police commissioner Bheki Cele’s utterances inspired violent behaviour by police.

This is what the Democratic Alliance’s Dianne Kohler Barnard submitted before a police board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

“His instruction to SAPS in Johannesburg on 7 December 2009 to ‘use deadly force’ is contrary to the spirit of Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act,” she said. It was also contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, she added.

Kohler Barnard released statistics at the weekend that she said show a potential link between Cele’s utterances and an increase in police brutality. Since 2001/02 the number of assault investigations conducted by the police watchdog, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), against members, had trebled from 255 to 920 in 2009/10. Attempted murder cases against the police being investigated by the ICD have gone up over seven times from 43 in 2001/02 to 325 in 2009 /10. The number of fatal shooting investigations by the ICD against the police peaked to 556 in 2008/09 and 524 in 2009/10.

Kohler Barnard said even during Cele’s reign as the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison in KZN, there had been a 173% increase in five years in fatal shootings, from 75 in 2005/06 to 205 in 2009/10. “Given the seminal role of the SAPS in combating rampant incidents of serious crime in South Africa it is imperative that the management, control and accounting of the SAPS be undertaken by a national commissioner who is, beyond question, fit to hold that office.” she said.

“Considering the information and evidence outlined above, the DA believes that Mr Cele is unfit to occupy that office,” she said.

The inquiry is also looking into whether Cele acted corruptly or failed to prevent the contravention of public finance law in the signing of leases for two SAPS buildings.

The two in question were the Middestad building in Pretoria and the Transnet building in Durban.

In her submissions, Kohler Barnard alleged that there had been reckless financial management.

She singled out the acquisition of a R4 million residence and luxury furnishings for Cele, which he signed off, and the increase in irregular expenditure by the SAPS from R2,5 million to R76 million for the 2010 / 2011 financial year.

Kohler Barnard said Cele had avoided proper tendering procedures when he signed off on the two national police days for 2010 and 2011 only weeks before the events. — WR.

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