Cele: SA will not be run by thugs

South Africa will not be run by criminals, said police National Commissioner Bheki Cele on Tuesday at the launch of a KwaZulu-Natal festive season crime-fighting campaign.

“We can’t have a country where women are raped and robbed. That must come to an end. The country must not be run by thugs, we want to make our cities safe for the people,” said Cele, while repeating his call for police to take a hard stance on criminals.

“We mean business; these members are not trained to negotiate.
We are not giving them rubber bullets. No warning shots for criminals,” said Cele of a highly trained technical response team trained to fight crime.

He said they were not going to give criminals a second chance.

The commissioner called on members of the community to help the police in the fight against crime.

“We are asking mothers and girlfriends to tell the police if your boyfriend or son is engaging in criminal activities.”

He said Umlazi and Chatsworth were known as the capitals of hijacking and KwaMashu and eNanda had a high murder rate and that needed to stop.

The campaign was also attended by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, his deputy Fikile Mbalula and the KwaZulu-Natal police Commissioner Monnye Ngobeni.

Mthethwa said police were going to make sure that all townships were safe with “zero crime”.

“We cannot allow criminals to re-brand and rename our townships. We cannot allow crime to contribute to these negative phenomena but must strive to ensure our townships are transformed to the safest townships in South Africa,” said Mthethwa.

He said the festive season operation would spell doom for criminals.

“The operation will deal directly with the reduction in the number of missing children, cash-in-transits, armed robberies, house robberies — substance, women and children abuse,” said Mthethwa.

Police would be visible at taxi ranks and metro rail stations along with high visibility in tourist areas especially in coastal cities.

Mthethwa, Mbalula and Cele went on a rail trip from KwaMashu railway station to Durban railway station to experience firsthand the safety of train passengers.

Cele also called upon the community to stop buying stolen goods and for family members hiding criminals to stop hiding them because the police will find them.

The trio unveiled five police-branded BMWs which would help police chase criminals.—Sapa

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