Cele: I didn't say shoot to kill

2011-10-25 18:32
Mbombela - Suspended national police boss General Bheki Cele has denied telling police officers to "shoot to kill".

Cele, who was at Matsulu outside Mbombela a few hours before President Jacob Zuma announced his suspension on Monday, was speaking with police at the launch of the Festive Season Duty Calls campaign.

"I want to tackle this issue that makes me infamous; I never said police must shoot to kill," said Cele.

"You media must listen to me now. This is what I said: If a member of the police is called to a dangerous situation to protect the public and, in that situation, somebody makes his work of arresting criminals difficult to the extent that somebody must lose his/her life, that must not be a member of the South African police who loses his/her life.

"The police must always win.

"If that is called shoot to kill, I'm sure that I'm not an English speaker. And we have to understand that those criminals are not carrying brooms but carrying serious stuff, and you police must use your serious stuff that we gave you,” said Cele.

The now suspended commissioner said he was tired of burying police officers who were deliberately killed.

"I have seen enough police killings and now I'm saying to you officers, protect the nation, protect one another and mostly protect yourself as an officer,” he said.

Cele dedicated this year's Festive Season Duty Calls campaign to the protection of children.

"As you are going to protect the whole public this festive season, please, I'm asking you as parents to protect children. As for the parents whose children are being raped and killed, please take extra care and protect your children.

"They are young and defenceless and the only thing they have is trust in you as the police, so please don't betray them," said Cele.

He said children were being targeted by criminals.

"I was ashamed by the recent murder and rape of children as young as one. In North West a mother killed her five children just because she had an argument with their father. What happened to parents?

"From what I know is that children have to find safety from their parents and relatives, but now things have changed. Who do you want them to run to?

"Where does it start for an old man to rape a 2-year-old?” said Cele.

Cele also interacted with children from Little Angels pre-school in Matsulu.

Most of the children told General Cele that all they want is for criminals to be arrested.
Cele assured the children that he would pass the message on to the police.

"These children say you must arrest criminals and drug dealers. They also say they want to live in a crime-free environment. So, that is your job this festive and please do it for them,” said Cele.
Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  mbombela

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.