Doctored pic undermined me - Cele
Johannesburg - Suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele said a doctored picture of him holding a gun undermined his job when he was KwaZulu-Natal safety and security MEC, the Sowetan reported on Thursday.
"I was the MEC of safety in KwaZulu-Natal and my duties included engaging with the youth about the usage of firearms," he told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg during a civil case against the newspaper.
"I had also spoken to their parents and asked them not to buy their children toy guns," he said.
Cele is suing the Sowetan for defamation after the picture was published on July 6, 2007.
He got word from home about the picture while at an airport in Hong Kong and looked it up on the internet.
He said he was hurt by Sowetan's "campaign" to undermine him and denied using the words "shoot to kill".
"Sowetan was on a campaign [against] me. Sowetan said I ordered police to shoot, which I never did.
"What I have always said was that some criminals carry high-calibre weapons and not broomsticks. They would kill anyone who stands in their way, including police officers. I was saying police should not die while carrying guns to protect themselves," he said.
The case continues on Thursday.