Cele: Shoot first

2011-07-31 21:58

Johannesburg - Police chief Bheki Cele has warned officers to "shoot first" to protect themselves against armed criminals amid a wave of violence that has seen more than 50 cops killed so far this year.

Cele made the remarks at the funeral of two officers who were killed in the line of duty last weekend east of Johannesburg, the Sunday Times reported.

"When you see a criminal pointing a firearm at you, do not smile as the gun he is holding is not a camera. Shoot first to protect yourself," Cele said.

"SAPS [the South African Police Service] is not a burial society that buries police every weekend. We need to stand up and fight these criminals and we shall win."

Police say at least 56 officers have been killed since January.

Last week Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa called for more training for South Africa's officers, who deal with some of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.

The country recorded an average of 46 murders a day last year.

  • THE.SRG - 2011-07-31 22:11

    Does that mean we can too?...pls say yes

      THE.SRG - 2011-07-31 22:32

      Cele is an idiot...thats that

      NZdreamer - 2011-07-31 22:38

      So cool, SA will turn out to be like the wild, wild west! Sorry, it is already...... STOP it before it gets to that stage, regarding crime, you NUMB NUTS! Cele, with that comment, we are even happier with our decision to leave SA! Come on you idiot, wake up!!! WHAT A UNEDUCATED thing for him to say.....put your head back in the sand! So many innocent people die like this already, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.....just where in SA will it be the right place to be? Even locked in your homes is no longer safe! Geez, this is insane!

      Joey - 2011-07-31 22:45

      Sure you can! It's your constitutional right to defend your life from death or grievous bodily harm. As long as the attack against you or another person has commenced or is imminent (eg. bunch of friendly guys with guns coming towards you); is against a legally recognised interest (eg. human life!) and is unlawful (eg. they aren't police officers executing an arrest warrant). Also the defensive action taken must be necessary to avert the attack; must be reasonable in terms of the amount of force used; and must be directed against the attacker. Know the law, know your rights and don't hesitate to use deadly force if you must! Officers and citizens alike.

      THE.SRG - 2011-07-31 22:56

      i was under the impression that you had to be shot at not so sure of that now

      NZdreamer - 2011-07-31 23:04

      NZ as you know, only has a population of just over 4 million - and last year - there were 47 murders throughout NZ!! And that is WAY TOO MANY the policing Chief says.... we will have to step in and take control, this is unreal.....47 in an entire year...??? Come on SA authorities - you need to jump in and sort this crap out!!!

      Joey - 2011-07-31 23:16

      @THE.SRG a large portion of our citizens as well as our Police force have this misconception. Ironically erring on the side of caution and not using their weapons people are getting themselves killed!

      cliffarc - 2011-08-01 00:21

      - You mean like Tatane's shooting ? - Hey Cele, you have'nt forgotten about your postponed media briefeing on your thieving charge have you ? WE have'nt. - All this tough talk about criminals aint going to get you off that hook.

      cliffarc - 2011-08-01 00:26

      - @S SRG - WE would, if our guns had'nt been confiscated.

      BoB - 2011-08-01 00:56

      @SRG if you wait to be shot at first, then you`ll be dead before you return fire

      dave_23 - 2011-08-01 09:24

      Joey has it correct, you are within legal rights to shoot an attacker IF it is necessary to stop an attack against you or a loved one (but not in defending property e.g. a car). There has been a lot of misinformation spread to the contrary. Know the law. It is difficult to get a legal firearm in South Africa but it is possible, and it is definitely worth doing so, it just needs some patience. You will be required to do a basic course, which is useful, and covers all the safety rules and correct handling procedures. The course includes training of the laws of when you may and may not shoot. Thereafter it's a good idea to keep training refreshed (i.e. practice regularly), and a course or two in tactical handgun training for self-defense is a good idea too.

      THE.SRG - 2011-08-01 10:59

      jeez guy's...i was just under the impression....i didnt know that it wasnt true

      nic - 2011-08-01 18:38

      Yes, can the farmers who gets killed of at a faster rate than the police also shoot first?

  • Mybra - 2011-07-31 22:11

    How can a police officer "shoot first" when he sees a gun already aimed at him? Police officers cannot be expected to be like the same criminals they are supposed to be fighting. The "shoot first" and""shoot to kill" orders are not to be taken seriously.

      Carl Muller - 2011-08-01 17:15

      So you agree that the officers can be shot and killed.

  • Ian - 2011-07-31 22:12

    just shoot hey, does that mean in the direction of unarmed civilians and at creches too, what a dumb chop

      Eddie V - 2011-08-01 15:39

      Exactly. The killing of unarmed and innocent civillians will rise because every pig out there is going to be trigger happy because Moron Cele said so. Do your f*cking jobs for once and stop hanging out with corrupt criminals that shoot you in the back.

  • Horst - 2011-07-31 22:14

    Yes, fully support him in that. I hope the police complaints directorate also sees the necessity of operating that way.

  • neo_acheron - 2011-07-31 22:28

    Cele should watch Batman Begins... Yeah, I know that sounds stupid, but if you think about it for a while, you might realize what I am trying to say. The more outrageous the crime fighters become, the more outrageous the criminals become. The more violent the police gets, the more violent the thieves become. Although, I have no better suggestion to what they should do. So just ignore this blabbering idiot. I just wish there was an easier way to get to these bastards without making things worse for everyone.

      charlesaduplessis - 2011-08-01 07:53

      So what do you suggest Neo..? Shall we now take a batton to a gun fight? Wake up man.. fight fire with fire, bring back the death penalty and give our Police force the rightfull chance to fight crime with the necesarry means needed.. Show these criminals that if they choose to live by the sword then they will die by the sword, no more waisting our tax money on court cases.. just get rid of them the easy way..

      dave_23 - 2011-08-01 09:19

      Neo, a dead criminal cannot become more outrageous.

      Eddie V - 2011-08-01 15:47

      Ja Charlesa, and before you can say "innocent victim" people like this Peens guy will get the death penalty for spilling his drink on an overrated ape while your family is being murdered and raped, still, by the locals who will get a slap on the wrist when caught. What do you think will happend to white people defending themself, in their own houses, when someone breaks in and puts their famlies in danger, and they end up killing the black attackers in self defence???? The death penalty CANNOT work in a lawless and corrupt country like SA. We will only be doing ourselves in.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-07-31 22:34

    Eish, Mr Cele, please please please please please pretty please you say this to Mr and Mrs Joe Public. You see, eish, more than fifty Mr and Mrs Public's killed by thugs this year,too too much more. Eish, also i want the law to say to me shoot first.

  • OuWitBooi - 2011-07-31 22:40

    It is irresponsible blabberings like this that have led to the situation we have in South africa now where innocent people like Andries Tatane are murdered by the police. Violence has never been the solution to violence. No police force in the civilised world has a "shoot first" policy. If Cele had had a day's training or experience in policing he would know this. As long as top officials earn their positions by brown nosing instead of through displaying competence and knowledge all our governmental institutions will fail to function properly.

  • kpd108 - 2011-07-31 22:41

    We need to see our cops to be in good shape, well trained and capable of protecting the public. Sadly, most of them are unfit with huge protruding bellies. General Cele should set an example.

  • zoid - 2011-07-31 22:50

    What's the purpose of having soldiers in South Africa? To train in Lusaka? They better come to play like the cops here, PERIOD. Day to day operaion.

  • jock - 2011-08-01 02:18

    Cele is a disgrace to the police service and should keep his mad rants to himself

      Grant - 2011-08-01 10:33

      Precisely. Step one should be "Gain the respect of the public". Maybe the public would be more willing to assist the police if the general perception of them was not that they are as bad as the crooks!!

  • Shlin - 2011-08-01 04:57

    Give policemen urban terrorism training. Give em soldiers training. Its obvious that the police are nt equipt to fight these criminals. We are nt dealing with criminals anymore...our democracy is in trouble if this continue. at the police are nt equipt to fight these criminals. We are nt dealing with criminals anymore...our democracy is in trouble if this continue.

  • CTS - 2011-08-01 08:03

    Two words for you, Cele - but you don't want to listen: "DEATH PENALTY"!

      Carl Muller - 2011-08-01 17:17

      That is what he said. Imagine, no prosecution costs. No court appearance. No lawyers. No judges. No jail that we have to pay! No hangman fees. JUST KILL THEM! We will save a lot of money.

  • Crispy_Duck - 2011-08-01 08:32

    ""When you see a criminal pointing a firearm at you, do not smile as the gun he is holding is not a camera. Shoot first to protect yourself," Cele said" That comment has me in hysterics.....I think the most likely scenario is that they think the criminal is offering them some KFC...

  • melchiedek - 2011-08-01 08:40

    Cele i think is time you keep quiet.

  • kseyffert - 2011-08-01 08:57

    hear hear, finally! Our government making some sense! Still, I trust that the station commander will investigate each shooting properly and make sure that he does not have rogue officers shooting up the general public...

  • Gazza69 - 2011-08-01 09:11

    The Police killings are unforgiveable and the death penalty should be mandatory, but thse have become the norm in this barbaric society that has been created by the ANC. I think proper training for Police officials is paramount. I have on occasion had to report incidents of housebreaking etc at various Police stations. Every time i had to write the statements and open the docket myself as the police official could barely write or speak english. My taxes are obviously well spent.The Police Service should hire competent candidates.

  • Shawn - 2011-08-01 09:31

    I agree commissioner. Well done

      G-spotWizard - 2011-08-01 12:01

      I know this comment will be removed by this ANC news site, but I a sorry to say that the ANC is transforming this country into a place where thugs like J.Malema and Cele call the shots and make the rules. How would you know if some one is armed or not unless he shoots first? This call amounts to a licence to shoot first and justify later even if civilian death occur, just sait I was following orders.

  • Greegs - 2011-08-01 09:56

    Back in the day, the SAP were the best around. Ask yourself why they so useless now? Easy as ABC

  • Michelle - 2011-08-01 10:08

    And when we do that to protect our families, we are jailed for murder. Bluthering Idiot!!!!

  • SACitizen004 - 2011-08-01 10:35

    I say Shoot the buggers at least we as tax payers don’t have to pay for their holiday in a orange jumpsuit.

  • amabok - 2011-08-01 11:32

    Why is this fugitive still at large?

  • Wilnetweet - 2011-08-01 12:00

    Please give the farmers the same message to prevent their slaughtering too please...more farmers are being killed than cops. why ist that a crisis??

  • Dayat Atime - 2011-08-01 12:10

    "When you see a criminal pointing a firearm at you, do not smile as the gun he is holding is not a camera. Shoot first to protect yourself," Cele said. *facepalm* Look here officer, say 'cheese' and wait for the flash

  • Cristina - 2011-08-01 14:24

    Shot to Kill!!......wild wild west!!...awwww and what next???

  • B A M - 2011-08-01 14:42

    Idiot, the dickhead hasn't even learnt how disastrous that was for his predecessor, more police will be shot as a result... that was the old wild west mentality. As long as police are seen as incompetent and corrupt by the public the public will just standby while criminals take shots at them, it's starting now, the cops can't rely on jo-public to cover their back anymore. Cele and his ignorant antics have cost police lives!!!

  • donns - 2011-08-01 15:02

    While I feel for the cops families that were killed, what about civilians that get killed daily. What makes cops so special that there is a bid hoo ha when one gets killed.Innocent civilians are being killed daily which is so common it doesnt even make news anymore.

  • Garry - 2011-08-01 15:16

    Cele , if your officers were properly trained, dedicated in fighting crime and had the street smarts of a good cop, they would not be senselessly gunned down. But they are stupid , poorly trained and have absolutely no dedication for law enforcement. Garry

  • Carl Muller - 2011-08-01 17:18

    Support him 100 %!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine, no prosecution costs. No court appearance. No lawyers. No judges. No jail that we have to pay! No hangman fees. JUST KILL THEM! We will save a lot of money.

  • Mtoto - 2011-08-01 17:28

    Super idiot. Promoting police killing in SA.

  • Marius Rossouw - 2011-08-01 21:44

    Do I understand it correctly? Your police officers must shoot first. Do you realize Cele that a substantial percentage of your police force consist of criminals? And when a law abiding citizen is being forced to protect his family and possessions from criminals and use a fire arm in the process, the law abiding citizen just might end up in jail.

  • migail.massimo - 2011-08-01 21:47

    Does that same rule apply for the licenced firearm holders? Cos the constitution clearly states equality and that all South Africans have equal rights.. So wt goes 4 the Saps shud go for all licenced firearm holders ,isnt it ?

  • umhlopo - 2011-08-02 18:58

    i wouldnt employ cele to work in my neighbours garden

  • Cheryl Muir - 2011-09-08 22:05


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