Dishonesty and incompetence are the order of the day under the current minister of police
08 September 2022 – 14:50
After the Moloi inquiry into his fitness to hold office (which found him “dishonest and incompetent”) and the debacle around the World Cup Soccer leases for SAPS headquarters, then police commissioner Bheki Cele was dismissed by Jacob Zuma.
There is now a campaign for Cele to be removed from cabinet, where he serves at the pleasure of a president who seems paralysed, or perhaps politically beholden to Cele.
The NDP calls for the urgent demilitarisation of SAPS, as did the Farlam inquiry into the Marikana massacre. Despite these recommendations, nothing has been done to demilitarise, a process that could be achieved at the stroke of Cele’s pen.
The panel of experts on public order policing assembled in the wake of the Farlam commission has written over 100 recommendations, all of which have been ignored by SAPS. Had these recommendations been acted on, there would have been no need to fear “another Marikana” in July 2021, when over 400 people lost their lives. Properly trained police personnel were conspicuously absent during the mayhem in KZN and parts of Gauteng.
There are fewer police personnel in the SAPS now than when Cele took office in 2018 — one officer to 408 people. Dishonesty and incompetence are the order of the day; management is littered with deployed cadres of the national democratic revolution, while the recently released crime statistics reveal that SAPS is losing the war on crime.
All of the above considerations add up to an unanswerable case for Cele’s political demise. He ought to be in the dock of a criminal court facing charges on those leases.
Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now