Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday defended the use of “vulgar” language and said the words he used were figurative and meant to encourage police to fight criminals.
Watch Mbalula’s explanation‚ which he posted on Twitter‚ here
Clarity on the “Squeeze balls” questions. pic.twitter.com/NpdP9edhzX
— RSA Police Minister (@MbalulaFikile) October 6, 2017
The South African Police Union warned on Thursday that it would seek legal advice if Mbalula did not stop using vulgar language in his public addresses.
In relaunching the police’s Tactical Response Team in Pretoria last week‚ Mbalula said: “Wherever criminals congest and come together‚ we must unsettle them. If they’ve got balls‚ we must crush them.”
Mbalula also told the police to be hard on criminals and make them “drink their own urine”.
This raised the ire of the police union.
However‚ at a media briefing in Cape Town on Friday‚ Mbalula said he never talked about testicles.
“I said balls. Squeeze the balls it is figurative. It does not mean we must kill people. It means you must make it unbearable for those who practise crime to basically have a space to manoeuvre‚” Mbalula said.
Mbalula maintained that this was a figurative speech.
“If you squeeze the balls … you play with balls‚ you squeeze them because you want to squeeze the ball. There is language that is idioms. I am communicating to say we must be intolerable to criminals who are making our country and citizens not to enjoy their freedom.”
“Our police must not be tolerant to dangerous criminals who kill cops‚ who are rogue in what they do‚ who display everyday ill-gotten wealth. We must never be tolerant to that‚” Mbalula said.