A right royal mess

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 Police Minister Bheki Cele and President Cyril Ramaphosa have been asked to probe Sitole's fitness to hold office. (Photo: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images)
Police Minister Bheki Cele and President Cyril Ramaphosa have been asked to probe Sitole's fitness to hold office. (Photo: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images)

Welcome to The Weekly, the latest addition to News24's newsletter offering. Here we'll give you, our subscribers, insights and context for the big stories of the week, as well as those that may have slipped your radar.

A story that certainly did not slip any radar this week was the interview given to Oprah by Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In fact, you had to be living under a rock to miss it. If you're like me, you're pretty sick of reading about it by now and wondering why the struggles of a wealthy couple from an institution with questionable legitimacy by most standards should matter to you.

Perhaps it's our colonial past that keeps us reading. Or perhaps it's a twisted fascination with a family that live their lives trapped in (or clinging to) the spotlight and an outdated set of notions of how the world should work. With them or against them, the interest the Windsors' dirty laundry still generates is exactly what keeps them relevant.

The real royal mess of the week however played itself out in Braamfontein, where 35-year-old father of four Mthokozisi Ntumba left a clinic and unknowingly stepped into the street where students were protesting financial exclusion at Wits University and was shot dead by police. The SAPS' gratuitous use of force has long been a point of contention. Who can forget then police commissioner Bheki Cele reportedly telling officers in 2009 to "shoot to kill"? The obvious question now is, why would the police use live ammunition in a student protest? 

Between the police's disastrous handling of the protest, Parliament hearing of a backlog of 172 000 cases that require DNA testing and 8 million pieces of evidence lost due to a dispute over the non-payment of a computer system, Police Minister Cele did not have a good week. Will he be held responsible? If history is anything to go by, don't hold your breath.

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