CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it would be laying a complaint against Police Minister Bheki Cele.
During a safe festive season campaign launch in Mitchells Plain this week, Cele instructed officers to shoot first and ask questions later.
The party’s shadow minister of police, Andrew Whitfield, is also calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Cele.
He said that the president would be complicit if there were any disastrous consequences.
Simon Howell, from UCT’s Centre for Criminology, weighed in on this matter.
“The right to life is a constitutional right and therefore is protected and despite the police’s having the authorisation to defend themselves, they may not actively go around and pursue or shoot people needlessly.”
But Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba defended the minister’s comments.
She said that he had on many occasions said that police should not die with guns in their hands as police were constantly under attack from criminals.
She said that the alarming figures of cop deaths speak for themselves and said that Cele was urging police officers to meet fire with fire.
But Western Cape CPF board chairperson, Francine Lukas, said that the police also needed to protect themselves.
Lukas said that the minister’s comments were taken out of context.
“The minister spoke in the context of the police killings that are happening. The members of the police service are meant to protect us as ordinary citizens. So, the protector also needs to protect him or herself.”