Cele said 'shoot to kill' - journalist

2012-02-13 10:04

Johannesburg - A Sowetan journalist has testified in court that suspended national police commissioner General Bheki Cele used the words "shoot to kill", the newspaper reported on Monday.

Mhlaba Memela testified against Cele, who had denied saying this, in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.

Cele is suing the Sowetan for defamation after a doctored image of him appeared in the newspaper in 2007, showing him holding a rifle.

Memela testified that although some KwaZulu-Natal residents were initially happy with Cele's stance on violent crime, they became worried when people were killed without being taken in for questioning, the newspaper reported.

"The victim's families would ask if their family members had died because of what Cele had said," Memela was quoted as telling the court.

"People called the office to complain about the police's conduct. There had been a change in how they operated."

Last week, Cele told the High Court he could not remember telling police officers to "shoot to kill".

The case was expected to continue in June.

  • Hermann - 2012-02-13 10:10

    Are the chickens of deceit coming home to roost?

      Marthinus - 2012-02-13 12:19

      So What if he said it. I agree kill the bastards who does not give a rats ... about YOU or YOUR FAMILIES lives.

      TJ - 2012-02-13 13:33

      Marthinus, I think the problem with what Cele said is that police are just shooting indiscriminately. Imagine it is a family member of yours that was innocently walking by some place when the police suddenly show up and shoot them. There is a really big chance (especially with the SAPS inefficiency) that the person they shoot is innocent and the real criminal gets away scott free.

      John - 2012-02-13 13:47

      @ Marthinus... This has nothing to do with whether its a good or bad thing. The whole trial goes around whether he said it or not... It proves how trustworthy he is or isn't. He's trying to make a buck out of screwing the press. And I certainly wouldn't like to leave the fate of myself or my family in the hands of an uneducated trigger happy cop, who may not be above board, or have a few prejudices of his own...

  • Thoka - 2012-02-13 10:35

    why is he going back on the words. if that is wrong let me be arrested as well" shoot to kill " but only at the criminal.

      Ja - 2012-02-13 11:22

      Exactly .. crime is out of control and the cops decide to shoot to kill the scumbags .. they have my vote what if he said it ..

  • Elle-Black - 2012-02-13 10:37

    AAAHH,yeah i'm pretty sure he said that on national TV as well,I'll testify.

      Patsy - 2012-02-13 13:11

      I also seem to remember that. It has to be on tape or disc somewhere....?

  • Ashley - 2012-02-13 10:39

    Surely the journalists have recordings of his speech to back up their testimony.

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-13 11:07

      Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

  • rofras - 2012-02-13 10:42

    Shoot to kill criminals...take me to court

      Alastair - 2012-02-13 11:21

      Oh I agree. I'm just a little concerned about trusting one of our well educated, highly trained and quick thinking cops with the split-second decision to decide whether the person on the receiving end of their bullet is, in fact, a criminal. There's always the niggling concern that this person may be me, or you, in the wrong place at the wrong time. A simple, but terminal, misunderstanding. But then again, what the hell, let's dispense with the courts and prisons altogether. Plug em and plant em, I say. We could save a few rain-forests worth of lost dockets, and an awful lot of prison meals, and millions of Supreme-Court mandated condoms for their inmates (good word, that). And if a few (thousand) honest citizens get plugged by less-than-perfect lawmen along the way well, it's probably no more than would have died if the non-uniformed criminals escaped summary justice. Mind you, it occurs to me that a dead criminal doesn't pay bribes, so there's a good reason for our Judge Dredd's not to kill them. Aaargh, this is obviously too complicated for my simple brain - I'll leave it to you, rofras, since you're obviously crystal clear on all the complex issues involved. Here's a thumbs up for you, mate.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-13 14:08

      @Alastair, which cops are you reffering to? Hopefully not all of them...

      Alastair - 2012-02-13 15:16

      @Pointblank - are there any cops out there who would never mistake an innocent person for a criminal? If so, by all means order them to shoot to kill. Only... can they terminate criminals who are not armed, running away, trying to surrender, guilty of stealing a can of baked beans to feed the orphans in their care, under the age of 12 and acting on a dare, politically connected, drunk...? Or do the cops simply have to plant a gun on the corpse and say they were acting in self-defence, in the time-honoured tradition of fascist countries everywhere? And if they don't shoot a criminal, should we conclude that they kept them alive so they can solicit a bribe, in which case the merciful cop will himself be seen as a criminal and, presumably, will be mown down by one of his law-abiding colleagues. No, as I said, I'd rather leave this to clear-thinking individuals like rofras - my world is too full of "but what if" to make important decisions like this one.

  • Brett - 2012-02-13 10:42

    So? Criminals shoot to kill so the cops should as well.

      Patsy - 2012-02-13 13:12

      If they are quite sure who the criminals are. Not always that clearcut.

  • RyanGriffiths420 - 2012-02-13 10:51

    I left SA in 1986 + i thought the police policy was "SHOOT TO KILL" in those days as well, so whats changed !!!

      Allen - 2012-02-13 10:58

      Bleeding Heart liberal & pot smoker - (ascertained from your profile.) Don't throw stones from afar when you have chosen to leave SA. Shut up and keep your eyes on your own plate!

      Silver - 2012-02-13 11:12

      What's changed?!?!? Your kidding right Ryan?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-13 14:10

      @Allen, wtf you on about??

  • Derk - 2012-02-13 10:53

    is this guy still on full pay?

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-13 11:08

      I think he is Derk. If only we could all find jobs that pay without work.

  • Silver - 2012-02-13 11:02

    Just goes to show that in certain cultures it is more then acceptable and indeed common practice to lie even though all the evidence tells the truth. What is more disturbing is that these people expect to get away with it. Even more horrifying is that these are the people in power and there is only one more thing more horrifying then this..... the fact that “The people” put them there.

      Silver - 2012-02-13 11:17

      P.S. I support his 'shoot to kill' criminals comment.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-13 11:14

    Cele like the rest of the ANC bunch has a very selective memory, the man is an embarrassment.

  • Stephen - 2012-02-13 11:15

    Why are we so concerned about the rights of the murderers and rapists? Shoot them if they resist the police! Murderers kill innocent people in SA every day, why isn't anybody talking about those murdered innocents? I hate criminals!

      Patsy - 2012-02-13 13:17

      I hate what criminals do, too, Stephen. However, in a so-called civilized society, no-one has the right to be judge, jury and executioner. Unless, of course, the criminal is caught in the act, then it's the duty of the cops concerned to exterminate them

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-13 14:11

      Patsy, you contridicting yourself... which one is it?

  • Danie - 2012-02-13 11:17

    Cele is the best. All this critisism againts him is nonsense.He will be back! He is the best!

  • Kevin - 2012-02-13 11:55

    He can be so Celly sometimes

  • Louise Higham - 2012-02-13 12:29

    Why not shoot to kill, how many policemen & women have been shot, leave Cele alone he has the right mind set.

      Alexis - 2012-02-13 13:13

      don't forget Cele is the one claiming to not have uttered those words, funny how majority of us are with him on that statement yet he is retracting it.lmga

  • Patsy - 2012-02-13 13:09

    Did anyone honestly think he would REMEMBER saying something like that. You have GOT to be joking....

  • Alexis - 2012-02-13 13:11

    Was n't this former Defense Minister Trevor Lekota's orders as well?he should sit up there with Cele then. What do South African's want????????? maybe, just maybe these criminals will get the message and reduce their bad ways. This would have been less ridiculous if Cele was n't the complainant, does he really not think there were recordings of his statement? as die kop dom is moet die lyf maar ly!

  • Stephen - 2012-02-13 14:19

    I believe that any Policeman, when confronting a criminal who is armed and whose actions may pose a risk to that policeman and or any member of the general public has the right to shoot at the criminal and if such actions result in the criminal dying, well that is life. I do not believe that our police force can act like cowboys. The courts and internal disciplinary structures should at all time give benefit of the doubt to the policeman. Having said this I also believe that just the general public, all policemen must undergo regular weapons training and also be tested as to there mental ability to handle there firearm in a responsible way.

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