Criminals have declared war on citizens, warns Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele says criminals have declared war on South Africans.

This after Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her protectors, were robbed on the N3 between Heidelberg and Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg on Monday.

Police say two police service pistols and personal belongings were taken by the suspects.

A manhunt has since been launched for the robbers.

Cele told a Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) conference in Durban that the minister was travelling from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng when the incident happened.

“…Something big nearly happened when they spiked the car of Minister Sindi Chikunga and they ordered everybody in the car, including Minister Chikunga, lala pansi ngesisu [lie on your stomach].”

“That was yesterday (Monday) at 4am when she was driving from here [KwaZulu-Natal], this province, back to Gauteng. They are taking everybody on, these criminals. We nearly lost a minister that would have been shot and killed,” adds Cele.

Cele says 30 000 recruits, being taken in between 2022 and 2024, will not solve the police’s staff shortages, due to an exodus of experienced officers.

“The figure that we’ll have will be [the] 2010 figure amapoyiseni [officers], not 2023. In 2010, you had 195 000 in the whole organisation, now we have 187. South Africans were 50 million then, now they are 62 million. So the ratio has moved from 1 to 222, to 1 to 420.”

VIDEO | Bheki Cele addresses the Popcru conference: