Violence getting smarter, says Cele

2012-11-09 00:00

FORMER police commissioner Bheki Cele last night said more time was spent in the country blaming one another than finding solutions to the violence that was increasingly becoming “sophisticated”.

“We spend more time blaming one another. Very few of us find solutions,” Cele told a seminar organised by the Xubera Institute for Research and development at Umhlanga, Durban, last night.

“By the way, [violence] is not getting better. Violence in South Africa is getting educated.

“That’s why a judge is even killed in a sophisticated manner,” he said in an apparent reference to the murder of a Western Cape judge, whose wife is standing trial for the crime.

He said the current political violence in KwaZulu-Natal was not like that in the pre-1994 days.

“Let’s be clear: we are far from 1994. Those were tough times. For 37 weekends I was attending funerals. I would choose which ones to go to,” he said.

He added that murders were not the only form of violence, listing instances like police being called to provide security at churches among warring congregants and teachers hitting pupils, knowing they were not supposed to, but to exercise power and as a lesson to others.

“We are wrong in the core, not a certain group of people,” the former police commissioner said.

He said calls for building more prisons were not a solution to the violence.

“We must build more schools and universities,” Cele added.

“If you call for more prisons, you can’t expect a normal society; otherwise you will produce Mexico.”

On the Mangaung ANC congress, he said: “There has been life after every other ANC conference, including this one that is coming.”

He said that SA as a whole was interested because as the ruling party, who the ANC chooses as president will affect who leads the country after 2014.

Meanwhile, an ANC branch general meeting in Lamontville in Durban degenerated into chaos yesterday and by late last night had yet to get off the ground. It was reported that police used teargas.

It had been scheduled to start at 4 pm and by the time of going to press it had yet to convene as members argued about the voters’ roll.

The branch is the one where earlier this month it was reported that Cele had been left off the roll.

About 200 people are said not to be members of the branch, yet their names appeared on the roll.

Also speaking at the seminar, sociologist Mary de Haas said that unlike the political violence of the past orchestrated by the apartheid regime, the current wave of murders of politicians was different and not necessarily all about politics.

“Even if someone is political, it [the killing] may not be a political motive.

“I don’t think all the deaths are linked to politics.

“They tend to boil down to personal … motives,” she said.

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