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National Police Minister must apologise for his false statements<p>​During the reply to the President’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament yesterday, Bheki Cele, the National Minister of Police, through his false statements, showed his complete lack of understanding of the law and utter disrespect for the people of Cape Town.</p><p>Minister Cele should apologise to the people of Cape Town for his disgraceful utterances. I trust President Cyril Ramaphosa will look into Minister Cele’s comments and take appropriate action regarding his attempts at obstructing the City and Provincial governments’ efforts in trying to bring extra policing where he, as the National Minister, has failed.</p><p>Minister Cele, who was fired as National Police Commissioner in 2012, is quoted as saying that the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement officers are operating ‘outside legislative structures,’ and that they do not have the required documentation. This is absolute nonsense and shows the Minister’s complete lack of understanding of the laws of our country.</p><p>The City’s Law Enforcement officers are appointed 100% in line with the Criminal Procedure Act and meet all the requirements set out in the notice issued by the Minister of Justice. Officers receive all the necessary training, and every certificate and piece of paperwork is in place and signed off by the relevant authorities, including the South African Police Service (SAPS). All City staff who carry firearms are fully competent to do so and have the required legal authority.</p><p>This information was provided to the Minister at a meeting attended by Premier Alan Winde, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith and the Executive Director Richard Bosman earlier this week. During the meeting, the Minister raised various issues, each of which were easily answered and which seemed to arise from what appears to be a confusion due to Minister Cele’s poor understanding of procedures and the law. </p><p>It is a disgrace that instead of thanking the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government for diverting budget away from other services to do Minister Cele’s job such as paying for the recruitment, training and equipping of hundreds of new Law Enforcement officers, Minister Cele refers to them as ‘thugs’ who should be ‘put in prison’. </p><p>I challenge the Minister to go to Bonteheuwel, Manenberg and any other community on the Cape Flats and ask them who the thugs are. I can guarantee him they will not be pointing fingers at our Law Enforcement officers who work day and night to protect our communities.</p><p>Alderman JP Smith goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the necessary resources are in place in the City of Cape Town in terms of our safety services. Alderman Smith even met with Minister Cele this week to clear up some of his concerns. Unfortunately, the Minister chose to ignore all the information given to him and instead, once again, politicised the safety of our people. This is simply unacceptable. </p><p>We have a good working relationship with the SAPS in this province and I will not let the disgraceful politics of the national Minister jeopardise this.</p><p>I am calling on Minister Cele to withdraw his comments and apologise to our Law Enforcement officers as well as to the communities of Cape Town, who are under siege by gangsters as a result of his purposeful under-resourcing of the SAPS in this province. Having presided over the loss of around 4500 SAPS officers over the past four years, he is placing his own officers at risk.</p><p>The residents of this country should be very worried when the National Police Minister fails to understand the country’s laws and instead attacks those who are trying to make up for the failures of the SAPS, who are being hamstrung by the lack of resources provided by National Government.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><p><strong></strong><br></p>2020-02-19T22:00:00ZGP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security1

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