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‘Cele must follow suit’: EFF and DA react to Khehla Sitole’s removal

Political parties have called for police minister Bheki Cele to be removed from office. File image.
Political parties have called for police minister Bheki Cele to be removed from office. File image.
Image: Jaco Marais

Opposition parties have weighed in on the removal of national police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole, calling for police minister Bheki Cele to be shown the door.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Friday that he had removed the top cop from his position after “mutual agreement”. The termination takes effect on March 31.

An announcement on the filling of the post is expected in due course.

The EFF said it was unimpressed with the decision and claimed Cele’s head should have been on the chopping board.

“The termination of the employment of Sitole is yet another instance of misfiring by Ramaphosa that is based purely on factional interests,” said the EFF.

“Sitole has become a casualty of Ramaphosa’s cowardice and attempt to please his henchman Cele, who is the central problem in the crisis confronting the police service.”

It called Cele “egotistical” and claimed everyone in the police service is forced to “abide by his desires”.

The EFF said the problem in the police service was not Sitole but Cele.

“There will never be stability or coherence in police service because Cele treats his colleagues like children.

“As long as Cele is minister of police, criminals will run rampant over SA and the security of this country will continue to deteriorate,” said the party.

The DA also called on Ramaphosa to remove Cele

The party said the details of Sitole’s dismissal are scant and the public deserves to know whether a golden handshake was given.

“While Sitole’s removal is welcomed, minister Cele must follow suit if the president is serious about starting the hard work of rebuilding trust and credibility in the police,” said the DA.

“The tit-for-tat political spat between Sitole and Cele has rendered the police service ungovernable. A complete overhaul at the very top is necessary to undo the damage caused by both men.”

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