/ 12 August 2022

Has Bheki Cele been fired yet?

Bheki Cele
Police Minister Bheki Cele. (Michele Spatari/AFP)

Ah, Bheki Cele, the imbecile that is the political head of our failing South African Police Service. The prat in the hat, the man without a plan, the crusading cadre without a cooking clue.

Cele has a big mouth. Each time he opens it, his foot gravitates to that gaping hole, leaving only enough space for the bile to dribble through.

Consider his words about one of the victims of last week’s brutal gang rape allegedly perpetrated by illegal artisanal miners at an abandoned mine outside Krugersdorp.

The woman, just out of her teens, was “lucky, if it is “lucky” he said, to have only been raped by one of the bastards, as opposed to the multiple rapes by multiple bastards experienced by her colleagues.

Oh, that such luck should befall all South African women. One rape in our lifetime, please, instead of multiple ones. If we only have our faces pushed into the dirt once, and a knife held to our throats or a gun to our temples once, as a coward forces his way into our core, it will make our futures so much brighter.

Cele has a standard modus operandi when headline-grabbing crimes take place. He darts to the scene, opens his mouth, inserts his foot, makes promises while still suckling on his toes, and then leaves in what is marketed as accomplishment by his crafty media team. 

Cele has a big say in the hiring and firing of our senior police officers. These are the same men and women who have known for years about the illegal mining activities. They are the same men and women have known for years about the crimes that fester until they burst like boils into headlines reflecting ruined lives.

They are the same men and women — as we document on page three — who are “ignorant” of a 12-year-old law that allows investigators access to the fingerprint database of the department of home affairs, which would significantly aid in efforts to find criminals. These are the same senior police officials who command the officers that are being investigated by the Information Regulator of South Africa for leaking the personal details of the eight women who were gang-raped. 

They are the same men and women who have under their command the police officers accused of working with illegal miners or being involved in cash-in-transit heists or are themselves criminals. 

What we are experiencing today is the result of politically aligned cadres being put in senior police positions, instead of capable officers. 

Ultimately, this all falls at the feet of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC’s national executive committee. The former sways in whatever direction is needed to attain his political goals. The latter are power-hungry incompetents who place the ability to mobilise for the governing party above South Africans. 

We are lucky, if we can call it luck, that 2024 is a mere hop, skip and thousands more rapes away.