Cop boss enraged over old flag

2009-12-08 22:43

Durban - Bheki Cele, national police chief, became infuriated on Tuesday in reaction to an old South African flag on a desk in a Metrorail office.

Cele and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa were in the city to announce the police's crime-fighting campaign for the holidays.

On his way to a conference hall in the Durban railway station, Mthethwa came to an abrupt stop when he saw the little flag on a desk of a junior Metrorail manager.

He called Cele over immediately. The police chief asked the woman, whose office it is, why the flag was on her desk.

Flag 'is beautiful'

With a large version of the new South African flag taking pride of place on the wall above her, and a Sharks flag in the window, the woman quietly answered that it's something she finds beautiful.

"That's out of order!" Cele called out, and gave the command to have it confiscated.

After the woman said she's very sorry, Bongani Ntanjana, deputy chief of police in KwaZulu-Natal, removed the flag.

According to Dumisani Dube, Metrorail district manager, the head of the finances department, where the woman works, was not aware of the old flag in the office.

"There will be an investigation with the view to corrective action," he said.

Crime-fighting plan

Mthethwa and his deputy, Fikile Mbalula, along with Cele and the provincial police management, were part of a large display of power through the streets of Durban with the message that the government is serious about its "crusade against crime" during the festive season.

After Monnye Ngobeni, KwaZulu-Natal's chief of police, handed a copy of the province's crime-fighting plan to Cele, Mthethwa pointed out murder, robbery and hijackings as special points.

However, very little was divulged about KwaZulu-Natal's plan.

Phindile Radebe, provincial spokesperson, only said that 20 000 police officials would be deployed, policing of beaches would be heightened, and the tactical reaction team will be used to combat robberies and hijackings.