#BringBackBhekiCele: Ex-top cop says he’s eager to fight crime again

2014-10-28 00:00

BHEKI Cele is ready to put on his policeman’s uniform and resume duties as commissioner of the country’s police service.

“Give me my orders and my uniform and let me solve the problem,” he said in reaction to the #BringBackBhekiCele call trending on Twitter.

Cele, now the deputy minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was fired in 2012 after a board of inquiry into whether he was fit to hold office relating to multi-million rand lease deals that he signed with tycoon Roux Shabangu.

Cele was hailed in police ranks as the officers’ champion for his tough stance on crime, especially against those who attacked police.

He challenged the findings of the board and yesterday — in the wake of the murder of Senzo Meyiwa — decided that he wants his job back.

His spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize said Cele would instruct his attorneys to fight for his reinstatement.

“The case is in the North Gauteng High Court and we are waiting for a trial date. The board has not filed opposing papers and now Cele will tell his lawyers that he wants to be reinstated when the board’s findings are set aside,” he said.

Mkhize said that Cele had expressed his feeling of hopelessness.

“Despite his experience and the pain he went through when he was removed, he would go back to the police force without a doubt. At a personal level there is nothing he hates more than feeling despondent and right now he can identify with the public as victims of crime.

“He told me before he would never again resign from a post in the ANC and lose his political standing. Now he said forget that, give me my orders and my uniform and let me solve this problem like we did before,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said the rampant crime rate had contributed to the public’s loss of faith in a beleaguered police force.

“There was a time in South Africa when the public felt that crime was being responded to by police,” the spokeperson said. “This is the lowest point for public sentiment, Bheki Cele as a citizen feels let down.”

Mkhize said that the removal of senior intelligence officers, a shuffling of police management and the sidelining of Hawks head Johan Booysen had “paralysed the police”.

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