Cele’s e.tv crooks complaint rejected

2010-05-28 14:36

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission has shot down a complaint by

national police commissioner Bheki Cele that an e.tv interview with two

self-confessed criminals glamorised crime.

“It is the task of a broadcaster in an open and democratic society

... to bring to the attention of listeners and viewers the harsh reality of

crime in South Africa,” a commission tribunal said in its findings released


Cele’s complaint followed e.tv news bulletins on January 15 which

included interviews with two men who said they intended to rob tourists during

the soccer World Cup.

One of them said that if the police tried to arrest him or used

force against him, he would retaliate with force.

The insert included footage of Cele saying some criminals were

brutal and not human beings, and that police should confront them with lethal


Cele complained to the commission that the insert incited or

glamorised violence, intimidated people, was not balanced, and that he should

have been given an opportunity to reply.

However, the tribunal, headed by commission chairperson Kobus van

Rooyen, said in its ruling that the crooks had been shown to be “the scum of

society” and had in no way been glamorised.

“The interviews, in fact, gave credence to the words of the

national commissioner that such criminals were inhuman.”

Viewers had a constitutional right to be informed of “the reality

of the criminal mind”.

After the broadcast, e.tv journalists were subpoenaed to reveal the

names of the two men, whose identities were concealed in the broadcast


The Hawks said they had arrested one of the two and were searching

for the other.

Cele had since labelled e.tv “a crime kisser”.

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