DA launches #CeleMustGo petition

Please find attached soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

The DA has launched a petition calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Police Minister Bheki Cele.

In March this year, the DA tabled a motion of no confidence against Minister Cele and his Cabinet colleagues. We listed a number of reasons why his head should roll, including his sponsorship of the controversial Firearms Control Amendment Bill that seeks to make gun ownership for self-defence illegal; the massive DNA backlog; failure to fully implement the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) 2019 rural safety strategy; and his refusal to sign off on the secret service budget in December 2020 – a key reason for the chaos at Crime Intelligence and their inability to anticipate the July 2021 unrests.

Minister Cele’s attitude towards his mandate to protect and serve South Africans were once again displayed when he was confronted with his many failures. Instead of answering the various concerns of Gugulethu residents, he chose to shout down an activist and had police officers escorting him from the premises.

Despite overwhelming evidence of Minister Cele’s unsuitability to hold office, President Ramaphosa has not so much as reprimanded Cele for his poor performance.

Minister Cele has done nothing to address the critical shortcomings of SAPS which have contributed to increased violent crime with the last quarter crime statistics reporting that 67 people are murdered, 153 people are raped and 364 violent robberies occur every day.

Once Minister Cele has been fired and replaced by a capable, fit-for-purpose Minister, the President must ensure that they prioritise the following:

  • Increase the number of well trained and resourced visible policing boots on the ground;
  • Demilitarise and professionalise the police service. SAPS is filled with top-heavy middle management cadres who do nothing for the protection of the country’s citizens;
  • Eradicate the backlog of DNA samples and ensure the full implementation of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act when it comes into effect;
  • Create Rural Community Policing Units in each rural police station to provide additional protection to these areas so that rural communities can feel safe again.
  • Train and increase the number of police reservists to assist SAPS with reducing crime levels;
  • Devolve policing powers to competent provincial and local governments, so that the failing national government has less control of SAPS;
  • Expand the powers of existing metropolitan and local law enforcement officers;
  • Strengthen community-policing partnerships with neighbourhood watches, community policing forums (CPFs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), churches, private security, local law enforcement and metropolitan police.

The DA is fighting for improved policing for all South Africans and we are going to take this fight to remove Minister Cele straight to the door of President Ramaphosa. We call on all South Africans to join this fight by joining our campaign and signing our petition.