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READER LETTER | Mashatile shielding hopeless Cele

Deputy President Paul Mashatile.
Deputy President Paul Mashatile.
Image: Alaister Russell

Last week Wednesday, deputy president Paul Mashatile appeared before parliament to answer questions about the criminal justice system. Mashatile was evasive, as usual. When asked if he’s happy with Bheki Cele’s performance as a minister of police, he said he was satisfied. He is saying Cele is doing well in terms of combating crime.

Mashatile  must be living under  a rock. In SA, crime has spiralled out of control. Criminals are doing as they please. Even the police are afraid of them. If this is a good performance  by a police minister, then I don’t know what good performance is. But the truth is, Cele’s performance is lukewarm.

Not long ago, minister of transport Sindisiwe Chikunga was robbed and the guns of her bodyguards were stolen. That’s how bold criminals have become. They are robbing high profile politicians who are heavily guarded. That means ordinary citizens who have no bodyguards are an easy target.

Only last week, I heard about four robberies. One was in Kagiso. The number of robberies could be more. This shows that our country has become lawless and criminals are running the show. Is that an indication of a good performance  by a police minister? Not at all.

Now criminals invade the houses of citizens and rob them. They take their cellphones, laptops and other valuables. However, their main target is the bank apps: they force victims to transfer their hard-earned money to their accounts. A home is regarded as a safe space. However, recently it has become a hot crime spot. People live in fear in their own houses. And the minister of police has no strategy to deal with this kind of crime.

Yet he is said to be a  good performer. It is an open secret that we are not safe in the hands of Cele. The minister of police is like a toothless dog: he talks hard but does not bite. And the criminals are aware of that. So, they ignore what he says and continue with their criminal activities with impunity.

I’m surprised the deputy president says he is satisfied with Cele’s performance. The truth is: the minister of police is underperforming and should have been fired a long time ago. And Mashatile is aware of that. He is shielding him because he is a comrade.

Thabile Mange

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