Cele tough on crime

2018-03-15 06:00
New police minister Bheki Cele is talking tough on crime as he addressed residents in Lower Crossroads on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

New police minister Bheki Cele is talking tough on crime as he addressed residents in Lower Crossroads on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on his charges to take over the streets from criminals and not to die with a gun in hand.

Shooting from the hip, Cele said criminals must feel that there is a renewed effort to fight crime.

Cele was speaking to residents and police officers at the Philippi East Community Hall on Tuesday, following a visit to the Gugulethu police station first.

At the meeting, Cele met with the Nyanga cluster management as well as residents and local community police fora representatives.

He was then whisked away to NY108 where he participated in a roadblock, before closing down an illegal shebeen in Thekwane Street in Lower Crossroads.

He later went to the local community hall, meeting local leadership and addressed community members who had been waiting for him with song.

“We have to make sure that as police we push out the criminals on our streets and communities. There isn’t enough space for us and them. I also don’t agree with the fact that police officers are dying with firearms in hand,” he said.

Cele said that he had been engaged in long talks with national management of SAPS to address issues such as the safety of police stations.

He added that in the week when five police officers were gunned down in Engcobo, in the Eastern Cape, the police force had lost 11 police officers in two weeks.

“It shouldn’t be that criminals can enter a police station, kill officers and walk away with 10 firearms. We also cannot treat killers with kid gloves ... We must show them that there is a new effort now,” he said.

At the event local ward councillor Mboniswa Ncitha urged Cele to look into the notorious area called Marikana Informal Settlement regarding the murders that take place there.

“In all my years as a leader I have never seen so much loss of life as in that area. In Marikana we need (street)lights badly, so that we can stop saying that police are not doing their jobs,” he said.

Cele promised to focus on the Western Cape and to deploy more resources.

“We have been meeting and we are working hard to ensure that we don’t just add more personnel but resources as well so that we can turn this area around. The townships in this area are number one in murder.”

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