Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Asmal: Militarisation of police is ‘craziness’

Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula’s idea of militarising the police service is ”craziness” and smacks of ”low-level political decision-making”, former minister Kader Asmal said in Cape Town on Monday.

”The new administration is referring to the militarization of the police,” Asmal told the Cape Town Press Club.

”I have this former head of the youth league [Mbalula] who aspires to be secretary general of the ANC. Ha, really, I hope I won’t be alive,” he said.

”He said we must militarise the police. We spent days and days in 1991 to get away from the idea of a militarised police force. Extraordinary.

”This is a kind of craziness all of us have to take into account. It is part of that low-level political decision-making without reference to the Cabinet.”

Mbalula has said he wants the police service transformed into a paramilitary force, with military ranks and discipline.

It has been reported in the media that he has been canvassing African National Congress offices to elect him as the party’s secretary general in 2012.

Asmal said it was remarkable how the current administration’s ”political memory” had failed, hinting that it was showing signs of re-establishing apartheid-era security organisations such as the Bureau of State Security (Boss).

”So the police service is wrong. According to the president it must be a police force.

”We have a minister of intelligence now called minister of state security. Shew. Bureau of State Security. Boss it was known as. It is remarkable how political memory totally recedes into the background.”

Asmal said the government would have to change the Constitution to ”militarise” the police ranking system.

”If a station commander is made general, what is going to happen to the national commissioner of police?

”He is going to be ‘generalisimo’ or ‘il duce’ or Field Marshall.

”According to the Constitution the president appoints the national commissioner of the police. You have to amend the Constitution and become the laughing stock of the world just to change a name.” — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Family wants clarity on SANDF soldier killed in friendly fire...

Corporal Simanga Khuselo join the peacekeeping mission in the DRC to save money to build his family a home

SA soldiers have been fighting in a distant land for...

Troops were sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2001 as part of the UN peacekeeping mission that became an offensive against rebels

More top stories

Roads decimate West Africa’s chimpanzee population

The species face mounting pressure from roads and infrastructure development in Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone

South Africa gets major investment to treat Covid-19, TB, cancer,...

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the investment, noting that it ‘is a leapfrog to cutting edge technology’

Mining industry vaccinates over 200 000 workers, mandatory vaccination not...

Minerals Council aims to get 80% of its workforce vaccinated by November

Despite inflation risks, the monetary policy committee keeps rates on...

Inflation rose well beyond the Reserve Bank’s midpoint target in August
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×