Cele: A tooth for a tooth
Johannesburg - No "thug" who shoots at police officers will get away with it, national police commissioner General Bheki Cele said on Wednesday.
"Nobody is going to shoot a police officer and go and sleep at home," he told a gathering of police officials at the handing over of 300 new vehicles in Hillbrow.
"I am referring to the Bible, If you take an eye from us, we will take an eye from you...If you take a tooth from us, we will take a tooth from you...There is no New Testament in South African policing.
"A tooth for a tooth ...Let's go work," he said.
He earlier told the police officers that they have no excuse not to be at a crime on time, as they now have resources.
"That famous song that there are 'no cars' (to get to a crime scene), must stop...if there are no cars, there are shoes, you must walk ...even those shoes are state shoes."
This is the third lot of vehicles to be handed to Gauteng, which Cele said contributes to half of South Africa's crime statistics.
When a crime is called in, police must get to the scene quickly, he said.
"What do you expect a human being to do? That is why you are given your equipment ...you must take your car, take your gun and you must go."
‘Not for grocery shopping’
Cele said visibility contributed to policing in a "big way".
"These cars belong to the South African population... (it is) not for your groceries and taking your kids to school."
In September, 200 vehicles were handed to police in the province, and a further 150 at the start of the festive season. Officials will take delivery of 70 more cars later this year.
The cars were bought from a R250m vehicle budget allocated to Gauteng, and their use will be monitored by war rooms.
Wednesday's lot included BMW's, Golf GTI's and other cars which were specialised for rural policing.
The high performance cars were especially assigned to police combating hijackers.
"The cars we are giving you are serious stuff...
"You need to act wherever you are," he urged police, adding that the vehicles must be taken care of -- by highlighting that 22 000 police cars were scrapped in the North West alone, due to crashes.
"(The) cars must be treated like your kids."
Message for criminals
Cele also sent a message to criminals, that they had no place in society.
"South Africa must get smaller everyday for criminals...You must squeeze this space for criminals and make South Africa completely unliveable for them."
He warned that corruption would not be tolerated within the force, but also commended police on their efforts.
"There are those few...who really spoil the work of thousands and thousands of police members...It’s a very minute minority rubbishing our good name.
"Commanders, you must deal with them harshly, make them feel they don't belong in this organisation," he said.
He added that Brazil, the next host of the Fifa World Cup, wanted its police to learn from South African officials.