Use deadly force, Cele tells cops
Johannesburg - National police commissioner Bheki Cele has again told members of the South African Police Service (Saps) to "use deadly force" against criminals.
"If somebody uses a camera to shoot you, smile. But when they use anything else to shoot you, use deadly force before they can do anything - and don't miss," he said at the launch of the police's festive season campaign in Sandton on Monday.
Cele denied ever using the term "shoot-to-kill".
"Criminals are brutal and heartless. They come into your house. They rape the wife and force the husband to watch. You cannot tell me that is a human being," he said.
People who fought for animal rights should include the rights of criminals.
"If somebody goes around raping and killing innocent people, tell me, what right does he have?" Cele asked.
The ideal South Africa was one where a young woman could walk home in the middle of the night without fear of being raped or murdered, he said.
Cele's call for deadly force was supported by the Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula, who said detractors of the policy would not demoralise the government.
"Shoot-to-kill is not a government policy and Section 49 [of the Criminal Procedures Act) is not the alpha and omega," he said.
"The criminals’ graves are coming. Those who are lucky will spend the festive season in orange overalls."
Speaking out about corruption, Cele appealed to businesses not to lead the police into temptation. He reiterated his commitment to getting rid of crime "inside and outside" the police.