Bottling Cele's scent may help keep criminals at bay

If only police Minister Bheki Cele could be cloned, we would have less criminals says the writer. / Mduduzi Ndzingi
If only police Minister Bheki Cele could be cloned, we would have less criminals says the writer. / Mduduzi Ndzingi

There's something in the dung of a lion that strikes fear in the other animals. Perhaps it's the whiff of digested relatives in lion manure.

Anyway, a Dutch town overrun by fallow deer has come up with an ingenious solution: the smell of lion dung. Zandvoort has been invaded by thousands of the boisterous buck but one Patrick Steijger has made a dispenser that releases the odour of lion manure.

The smell is known to stimulate a deep-rooted fear in all animals.

A few months before SA hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup, a couple of brazen thieves went on national TV and vowed to sow mayhem and rob foreign football supporters the minute they landed on our shores. The shysters hid their faces and the TV station refused to divulge their identities.

Crime was, and remains, a huge stumbling block to our national harmony and the authorities were eager to assure visitors we were up to the task of hosting the spectacle.

It took the cowboy in a Panama hat, Bheki Cele, to diffuse the threat those two pickpockets posed to the tournament. The then police commissioner went on TV and asked the small-time criminals to hand themselves over if they knew what was good for them.

Within hours, it was reported that one of those thugs had peed in his pants and committed suicide when he heard Ndosi was on the prowl.

History will reflect that the tournament went ahead without a glitch.

Criminals seemed to have taken time off to watch the soccer matches as crime rates dipped. The courts remained open until 11pm to process any crime related to the tourney but were seemingly not busy.

Yes, 2010 was a good year. You could hug a stranger at the corner of Jeppe and Commissioner at night and nobody would lose their wallet. An Argentine supporter passed out got separated from his mates and got lost in Randburg and a local family gave him a bed for the night when he stumbled on their door at night.

No sooner had the tournament ended than we went back to business as usual. The criminals were back on the beat with knives and illegal guns drawn.

Ministers went back to looting state coffers with impunity. Cops stopped patrolling the streets and went back to the stations to certify fake matric certificates or slept in their vans under the pretext of investigating a case.

The government closed the night courts with then justice minister Jeff Radebe decrying a lack of resources to sustain their operation.

The country has since been overrun by criminals. It is now a free-for-all.

The return of Cele as police minister has seen him running around like a headless chicken and chasing gangsters in Mitchells Plain and Westbury, Johannesburg.

He cannot be in two places at the same time so perhaps someone needs to bottle his scent. It just might have foiled the robbery of SAA passengers in midair on a flight to Hong Kong this week as thieves looted their bags as they slept.

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