The feud between Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole reared its head again at Human Rights Commission (HRC) hearings into the death of more than 300 people during July’s violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.
On Friday, Cele slammed Sitole for being “at the wrong places” and missing in action during the looting and violence.
Cele, who had sent a statement to the commission earlier in the week alleging that Sitole “was nowhere to be seen” during the unrest, rejected the police commissioner’s assertion at the inquiry that those who were looking for him were searching “at the wrong place, where I wasn’t”.
Cele said on Friday: “I’m told that … we were trying to find him in the wrong places. I think, those [who] wanted him in the wrong place, he should have tried to be [at] the right places — not to be [at] the wrong places.
“And the right place is where things were happening; it’s where people were dying; it’s where looting was taking place.”
The HRC hearings sought to establish whether a lack of coherent leadership in the police could have undermined their response to the July violence.