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Parliament’s sanctioning over ‘shut up’ outburst laughable, says Cele

Parliament’s sanctioning over ‘shut up’ outburst laughable, says Cele
Minister of Police Bheki Cele. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

Police Minister Bheki Cele says he will challenge a recommendation from Parliament that he apologise for telling anti-crime activist lobbyist Ian Cameron to ‘shut up’.

On Monday, 2 October, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests recommended that Police Minister Bheki Cele apologise to the House for his outburst at a July 2022 police imbizo aimed at anti-crime activist lobbyist Ian Cameron.

However, the committee’s report has not yet been adopted by the House, and it still has to appear before the National Assembly, Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Ethics committee raps Floyd Shivambu on knuckles over VBS payments and tells Bheki Cele to apologise for outburst

At the imbizo, Cele yelled: “I’m not going to take any nonsense from someone who regards me as a garden boy today. Because you regard me as a garden boy. You come here; shut up, shut up, shut up.”

Wagging a finger, Cele said, “Don’t provoke me”, and “Sit down and listen”, before ordering Cameron out of the meeting.

On Tuesday, Cele, with National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola and Western Cape Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, addressed the media in Cape Town about crime in the Western Cape and provided an update on the police’s Operation Shanela

At that briefing, Cele with a smirk on his face, said: “Parliament ethics committee decided there must be an apology. Find me guilty. What is even more laughable is sanctioning what Cele must do. Simply, we are taking this on review; we don’t agree with it. There are steps that can be taken going forward. We absolutely do not agree with the outcome. So the Minister of Police will take this to review.”

Cameron, responding to Cele’s unwillingness to apologise on Wednesday, told Daily Maverick: “When I listened to the video clip where Minister Cele said he is not going to apologise, I had a good laugh.

If I were him, I would just acknowledge and apologise and move on swiftly and get over it.”

Recounting the incident that occurred in July 2022, Cameron said he never interrupted the minister while he was speaking. He interjected after seven individuals had spoken and after the minister indicated that Cameron thought of him as a yard boy.

Cameron said he would not be deterred by Cele’s reluctance to apologise, that he would not be silent and would continue to speak out against issues of injustice.

DA shadow deputy minister of police Okkie Terblanche slammed Cele’s conduct and said the actions of the minister were nothing more than that of a spoiled child who refused to take responsibility.

He said Cele told Parliament in no uncertain terms that he would refuse to obey its decision and apologise to Cameron.

“The minister has refused to simply apologise and will seek to take the decision on review, instead of focusing on crime – a job in which he is already failing miserably. His refusal comes on the back of 130 people murdered in the Western Cape alone in the last week of September.”

Terblanche said that while the minister did have the right to take matters on review, the DA would ensure that no public money was used in unnecessary court proceedings and that the Minister personally accounted for every single rand spent, as it had nothing to do with his duties as police minister.

“South Africa is in the grips of a bloodbath, where more murders occur than in war-torn countries. With the latest crime statistics, 74 people are murdered every day and we cannot have a minister who is more interested in vanity than doing his job,” Terblanche said. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Dan Bowskill says:

    Don’t mess with our tough police minister. Remember his dedication to duty and fearless appearance on a Cape Town beach directing the arrests of people found not wearing masks.

  • Bick Nee says:

    It’s always weird when people refer to themselves in the third person. When a civil servant does so, it indicates disconnectedness and a superiority complex. There is no way such arrogance can ever accept accountability.

  • JP K says:

    Why is this guy the minister? The fact that he’s even in that position means that Cyril is not serious about addressing crime. I guess that must be part of the plan.

  • Koggel Mander says:

    Perhaps it is a foreign concept for him to ever admit guilt, let alone apologise.

  • Kenneth Arundel says:

    Too much protestation, seems there is an insecurity issue with our esteemed garden cop.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    With a cosplay mafia don with delusions of grandeur ‘in charge’ of combatting crime it’s little wonder we are crime stats world beaters. His reflexive playing of the race card when challenged and his use of the third person in reference to himself are real tells.

  • Fuad XXX says:

    I wonder what the head cadre is doing about this blatant disregard of parliament- lawless the police minister!!!

  • Craig King says:

    The more useless the more arrogant. Perhaps his hat gives him a superpower that he uses to bamboozle CR.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      No bamboozling required. Cele’s primary role is to ensure that meaningful law enforcement is impossible so as to clear the way for those deployed from the hive to steal without fear of consequence. Secondary roles include costume design, hassling people on the beach and experimental stand up comedy.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    ‘General’ Bheki Cele, the highest ranking kitskonstabel in South African history, and sleazy lease deals he signed before even – wait for it – Jacob Zuma fired him for corruption! He’s a more useless Police Minister than anyone I can think of, and that includes Nathi Mthethwa and Fix-fokol Mbalula. Eish!

  • jcdville stormers says:

    He is laughable in this role,the man in the hat(apologies to dr zeuss)

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