Use deadly force to protect yourselves against criminals, Cele tells cops

2019-12-24 12:01
Police Minister Bheki Cele addresses Westbury residents amid violent protests. (Masi Losi, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Police Minister Bheki Cele addresses Westbury residents amid violent protests. (Masi Losi, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged police officers to use deadly force to defend themselves against criminals.

Cele was speaking during the festive season operation in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

According to TimesLive, Cele said: "When you go to Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, it allows you to be decisive in defence of yourself and in defence of the citizens of the republic.

"The law says you use not just maximum force, but deadly force is in the law of SA. Let nobody take your life, let nobody take the lives of innocent SA citizens, which is why we gave you tools."

This is not the first time Cele had called on police to use the maximum force at their disposal.

Safety operations

In 2009, during the police's festive season campaign, the minister told officers: "If somebody uses a camera to shoot you, smile. But when they use anything else to shoot you, use deadly force before they can do anything - and don't miss," News24 reported at the time. 

In February 2018, Cele repeated the same message, saying the law was clear that police should defend themselves whenever they were under attack, City Press reported.  

The minister has already been in several provinces to conduct safety operations. He is expected to visit KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday. 

Last week while he was in Gauteng for the operation, Cele implored male police officers to respect women who report abuse, as News24 reported. 

"Male officers take care of women, respect women as they come to police stations to report the abuse by their partners mostly, these ugly husbands and ugly boyfriends [who] disrespect and abuse women," he said.

He also warned officers against turning victims away to "negotiate with their partners".

Meanwhile, in Limpopo, almost 100 shebeens have been shut down in wake of Cele's festive season visit. 

The operation has netted at least 380 people for liquor-related offences in Limpopo where 98 shebeens have been shut down.

Officers also confiscated large quantities of liquor, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.

- Compiled by Jeanette Chabalala

Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  crime
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