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'There’s no police minister in SA, just a childish impostor': Shivambu weighs in on Cele rant

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu slams police minister Bheki Cele.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu slams police minister Bheki Cele.
Image: MASI LOSI

Several politicians have weighed in on police minister Bheki Cele's heated rant against Action Society’s director of community safety Ian Cameron. 

This week Cele lost his cool during a community meeting in Gugulethu, Western Cape, after Cameron challenged him on the alleged failure of police to combat crime in the area.

Cele spent several minutes defending his struggle credentials.

“That is why I was sent to prison. That is why I was sent to Robben Island. That’s why I lived in the cold water, that is why I ate bad food, because I was fighting for human rights.

“Don’t teach me about human rights. Don’t tell me about the safety of my people. I fought for it, I nearly died for it. I was arrested for it, I was exiled for it,” Cele said, telling Cameron not to “provoke” him.

Weighing in on the rant, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said Cele's behaviour was childish. 

“There’s no police minister in SA, there’s a childish impostor, a charlatan who overreacts to everything because of the so many sins and secrets he’s hiding. How does a public representatives act in such a childish manner at a public engagement?” said Shivambu

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said Cele's struggle credentials had nothing to do with the lived experiences of South Africans. 

“The lived experiences of South Africans is totally different to this tirade by the minister. If the minister went to jail and exile for the people, our country would not be in a mess it is, under his tripartite alliance government over the last 28 years,” he said.

Former deputy leader of the Independent Democrats Simon Grindrod said Cele's rant was an example of how the ANC does not tolerate being held to account.

“The ANC ruling elite do not tolerate being held to account. They collapse under scrutiny. A party that has taken so much, but delivered so little, has nothing else to offer. Utterly pitiful,” he said.   

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane also chimed in, saying Cele and his government have no respect for people. 

“Minister Cele may not have liked what was said to him or how his own words were being received. As a government official that was poor conduct. The manhandling of the citizen was an abuse of power by the police and we should not accept this behaviour,” said Maimane

“While it may have been hard for him to hear these words, these remarks did not warrant the behaviour from the minister of police. Citizens have a right to raise their concerns robustly. This was robust but respectful engagement.”

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille mocked Cele and said at least he “arrested” someone when Cameron was escorted out of the venue by police and security officials. 

“Good for you Ian Cameron. Stand firm! Strangely enough, when Bheki Cele has you arrested, you generally know you are doing the right thing,” she said

The Action Society said it would lay charges and complaints against Cele and members of the police who removed Cameron. 

The lobby group said it will also lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and request it to investigate the alleged misconduct of the police who ejected Cameron from the meeting and deprived him of his right to liberty and bodily integrity.

“Finally, I will lodge a criminal complaint against Bheki Cele and the SAPS members who physically accosted me,” Cameron said.


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