Mixed feelings over Cele’s appointment as police boss

2018-03-08 06:01
New Police Minister Bheki Cele.PHOTO: sourced

New Police Minister Bheki Cele.PHOTO: sourced

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THE public has had mixed reactions over the appointment of the new Cabinet ministers, particularly over the appointment of Bheki Cele as minister of police.

This came after a massive Cabinet reshuffle on Monday night, February 21.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement that the changes were intended to ensure that national government is better equipped to “implement the mandate of the administration and specifically the tasks identified in the State of the Nation Address.

“In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation. As indicated in the State of the Nation Address, we have begun a review of the configuration, size and number of national ministries and departments,” Ramaphosa said.

A resident from Cornubia, outside Verulam, Sipho Ngcamu said the president should have looked into other cadres of the ANC who have credentials and are fit to lead the police force.

“We are all aware that Bheki Cele was implicated in charges of corruption and was dismissed as a result. For the president to instate him as the police minister was a bad move. I was expecting him to put another cadre of the ANC to hold the office. How can we trust a person who has been involved in corruption and scandals?”

Ngcamu said the appointment of David Mabuza as the new deputy president is an unprecedented move.

“I would have loved to see a woman becoming our deputy president. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and other women in the ANC have the credentials to take this position,” Ngcamu said.

Deputy chairperson of the Tongaat CPF in the south sector, Yunus Ally, said the country needs a powerful police minister who will enforce law and order ... by using vigorous methods.

“Bheki Cele is the right man for the position and we are all happy to welcome him back. He is the one who told the police to defend themselves when they are in the firing line. The shoot-to-kill slogan, I think, played a major role in decreasing crime statistics in our country. It is so sad to see the police dying in the line of duty. What happened in Engcobo is a true reflection of the fact that we tend to give the criminals the upper hand.

“To maintain law and order we need a strict man [to lead the police force]. Police are trained to do their jobs, but it is very sad to see them being killed by criminals,” he said.

Cele, loved by many for his flamboyant stance towards the fight against crime, became famous after he made a shocking statement that police must “shoot to kill” criminals.

Cele was dismissed in June 2012 as the National Police Commissioner for his alleged role in awarding a R1,7 billion contract for the lease of the Middestad building in Pretoria and Transnet property in Durban to serve as headquarters for the SAPS.

He was appointed in July 2009, replacing Jackie Selebi who was suspended in January 2008 for charges of corruption.

Cele was the National Police Commissioner until October 2011, when he was suspended by Jacob Zuma due to allegations of corruption.

Cele now replaces Fikile Mbalula, who will head up the ANC’s party campaigns.


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