No one must say the police are not important, because they are, Police Commissioner Bheki Cele said at the National Police Day celebrations in Soweto today.
Cele and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa led some 37 000 officers from across the country in the celebrations themed “SAPS Together Squeezing Crime to Zero” held at the Orlando stadium in Orlando East.
“This is a day we say thank you... minister, these are the men and women when everybody is on holiday, they make sure you go on holiday yourself,” Cele said.
In emphasising the importance of police officers, Cele threatened to give all of them off on Christmas Day to prove his point.
“Our duty is to arrest those who do crime and those who are here to shoot to kill members of the SAPS... .”
He reminded the officers that in September they had a day to remember their fallen heroes, and that January 28 was day of “celebration, dancing and drinking” and enjoying themselves.
He further told critics that having 37 000 officers at the stadium for the celebration did not mean they were not working at all, as there were about 200 000 officers in the force.
Cele’s address was followed by an intense aerobics session that saw him put Mthethwa to shame.
The aerobic session was aimed at promoting ongoing good health among police officers.
The celebrations earlier kicked off with the lighting of a torch which was a symbol of unity among various law enforcement agencies.
Mthethwa was expected to address the police officers later.