NEWLY appointed police chief Bheki Cele should strike the right balance between toughness and human rights as he leads the fight against crime, Cope parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala said yesterday.
Dandala said in a letter to Cele that South Africa needed a firm police service that showed deep respect for the culture of human rights. "Commissioner, we live in a constitutional democracy where rights of citizens cannot be granted or taken away at will.
"This culture should not be an excuse for allowing criminals to ride roughshod over the rights of the law-abiding citizens of our beloved land. We need a programme that can strike this balance and yet result in a defeat of crime and criminals."
Dandala proposed that communities be involved more in the fight against crime, while whistleblowers should be protected.
The new crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, should be given independence to operate and not suffer from political interference, Dandala said.
He also said Cele "must clamp down on protesters" even if they were ANC allies. - Sapa