South Africa

Ramaphosa Throws His Weight Behind Cele As Opposition Parties Call For His Head

President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended police minister Bheki Cele after opposition parties called on the president to axe him.

Cele retained his position after a cabinet reshuffle earlier this week.

During a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly in Cape Town on Thursday, DA leader John Steenhuisen asked Ramaphosa why Cele kept his job.

Steenhuisen said crime was out of control with more than 82 people being killed every day and women and children raped. He said Cele was failing in his task.

“The murder rate has increased by 40% from 56 to 82 each day on average under his [Cele] watch,” said Steenhuisen.

In response, Ramaphosa said Cele was working hard to reduce crime.

“One of the things this minister you want dismissed, it is this minister who raised the issue of a skewed ratio between the police officers and the rise in our population. He raised it in cabinet and you are not in cabinet,” said Ramaphosa.

It was after Cele’s intervention that police hired 10,000 police officers last year and another 10,000 this year.

He said Cele, among other things, called for specialised units to fight gender-based violence and cash-in-transit heists.

“One of the things this minister has insisted on having [is] specialised units. In the past we used to have specialised units and they were disbanded, but now they are being brought back so the police can be more focused, effective and specialised.”

Ramaphosa said he is confident Cele and national police commissioner Fannie Masemola are competent and able to lead the government’s collaborative approach to building a South Africa where all people are and feel safe.

“The department of police, under the leadership of this minister, developed the integrated crime and violence prevention strategy. This strategy complements other interventions that respond to crime and violence, such as victim support, access to justice, improvements to policing and strengthening of the criminal justice system.

“The police also developed a national policing strategy, which was approved in September 2022 and is now being implemented.

“The strategy includes an initiative to increase the number of officers which will improve visibility and capacity. It also involves skilling more specialised units, such as the family violence, child protection and sexual offences units, organised crime units, public order units, tactical response teams and others.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button