All criminals are the same

NATIONAL Police Commissioner Bheki Cele is clearly a man who thrives on controversy. It is a pity because he already has a job that will ensure him some newspaper column space without having to resort to histrionics to get attention.

NATIONAL Police Commissioner Bheki Cele is clearly a man who thrives on controversy. It is a pity because he already has a job that will ensure him some newspaper column space without having to resort to histrionics to get attention.

Cele obviously knew that his statement that "Nigerians living in Sandton" were responsible for all our drugs problems would ensure that he was in the media much longer than the story would have deserved had it been left to another call to shoot to kill.

We are not going to blind ourselves to the reality that court cases and anecdotal evidence has indeed shown that there tends to be a relatively huge preponderance of Nigerian nationals arrested for trading in illicit drugs. We are also aware that he intended sending a message to the drug merchants that they would now be firmly on the police radar screen.

But as the several cases relating to Glenn Agliotti have shown, criminals come in all hues and shapes.

We are concerned though that in the light of rising tides of xenophobic attacks, Cele as a senior government official ought to know better than fuel the potential of violence against foreign nationals.

Ultimately, we could not care about the nationality of the criminal. It is not anymore welcome that those peddling drugs to our children carry the same passports as us. We want them removed from society, sent to jail and the proceeds of their criminal enterprises seized regardless of whence they might hail.

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