Cele: SAFP 'like disciples'

2011-04-02 00:00

NATIONAL police commissioner General Bheki Cele yesterday compared the police force to Jesus and his 12 disciples, and to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, inspected by God.

Addressing police at a car hand­over ceremony in Johannesburg yesterday, Cele said if God and Jesus had criminals in their small “organisations”, it is only to be expected that the 193 000-strong SAPF will have a few bad apples.

The scores of police at the function greeted Cele’s analogies with hearty laughter.

“Jesus Christ had an organisation of 12 people. Among those 12 was a criminal, who sat with Jesus every day. Even when Jesus rebuked [Judas], he denied that he was the wrongdoer.

“In the Garden of Eden, there were two people. God himself carried out an inspection every morning.

“One day he couldn’t find them. They were hiding, because they had committed a crime,” he said.

“If you find criminals among two people, you will find them in an organisation of 193 000 people.”

Cele said it is “painful” to arrest police members for crimes, but it is the right thing to do. In the last seven months in Gauteng, 254 members have been arrested for crimes including corruption and robbery.

Among them is Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli, national head of Crime Intelligence, who was arres­ted on Thursday for allegedly having a love rival murdered 12 years ago.

Two subordinates, Colonel Nkosasana Ximba, also known as “Killer”, and Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo, handed themselves over, while a fourth member of Crime Intelligence, Lieutenant-Colonel Selelo Mthunzi, was arres­ted yesterday.

Cele said Mdluli’s arrest is no different from that of any other officer. “Whether you are a constable or a general, there’s no difference.

“We would have preferred that it wasn’t a police member being arrested. It was a painful experience, but if there is a warrant for your arrest, the police must arrest you.”

He added: “Someone said to me, at the tempo that police members are being arrested, there won’t be any left by the end of my term in office.

“This person said they didn’t want to stop me, but the pace of the arrests was worrying.

“The pace at which we arrest police is the pace at which they are committing crime,” Cele said.

“I want to impress on police: stay away from crime. You must fight it, not be part of it.”

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