Bheki Cele
Bheki Cele. Photo: SA News

If President Ramaphosa does not fire Minister Bheki Cele now, he will be complicit in any disastrous consequences of the police minister’s statements made yesterday in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town, according to DA opinion.

“I believe that Minister Cele’s reckless statement, namely that the police must “shoot first and ask questions later”, is incitement to commit violence. This is a criminal offense. The DA will refer this statement to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for investigation and to take the appropriate action,” Andrew Whitfield – DA Shadow Minister of Police – said in a statement on Wednesday.

Whitfield said it is “very likely” that some police officers will take the Minister’s words literally and “when they in fact kill someone, indiscriminately, it will be murder”, adding “Cele, and by implication President Ramaphosa will be complicit.”

The DA also believes that Minister Cele has violated the Executive Members’ Code of Conduct and will request the Public Protector to investigate a possible breach of this code.

“As a third step, we will write to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to bring to their attention that the Police Minister is encouraging SAPS to murder people. There could very well be an escalation of murders by members of the Police force,” says Whitfield.

Criticising Cele for a “litany of failures”, Whitfield said President Ramaphosa should’ve held him accountable a long time ago. “His failings have cost the lives, dignity and security of countless South Africans. President Ramaphosa must get rid of this shameful minister before more lives are lost,” says Whitfield.