AfriForum demands Minister of Police, Bheki Cele’s immediate dismissal

The civil rights organisation AfriForum today demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa immediately dismiss the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele. As an organisation, and the over 300 000 members, AfriForum represents, the organisation is deeply concerned about the conduct and failures of Cele.

It has recently come to light that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has lost more than 1 300 detectives in the last two years. In a country where 67 people are murdered daily, it is unacceptable that these personnel have not been replaced.

In another shocking incident at a community policing engagement in Gugulethu, Bheki Cele screamed “shut up!” and “get out!” repeatedly at a civil rights lobby group leader who was levelling criticism at Cele. The leader in question was then forcefully removed from the public meeting by SAPS officers. This disturbing incident was only the latest in a long list of incidents and failures, which AfriForum outlines in their letter, that demonstrate Cele’s unfitness for his position.

Add to this that in 2020 Cele also went on a rant against concerned citizens at a meeting of the farming community in Normadien. In the past few days Cele has also allegedly been implicated in a R47 million 2010 Fifa World Cup accommodation tender scandal.

In 2012 the Public Protector found that Cele, who was police commissioner at the time, was guilty of improper conduct and maladministration regarding a R500 million lease for the Sanlam Middestad Building in Pretoria, and a board of enquiry found Cele unfit for office, which resulted in his suspension. These are only a few of Cele’s long list of failures that keeps growing.

“Bheki Cele has demonstrated multiple times that he lacks the skills and temperament to fill his critical position. Ministers unfit for their positions have failed and indulged in gross misconduct with impunity for long enough,” says Jacques Broodryk, Campaign Manager at AfriForum.

“How are the criminals of this country supposed to fear a Minister of Police that loses his composure so easily and screams at concerned citizens? The people and communities of South Africa deserve much, much better” Broodryk concludes.

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