Police officers mandated to fight back criminals: Cele

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Police Minister Bheki Cele says efforts to revitalise the Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS) are yielding results.

This comes as the SAPS apprehended dangerous and armed gangs that have been terrorising communities in recent weeks.

He says measures are being put in place to fight crime in the country, with the help of communities.

Following a shootout with the police where nine suspects were killed in Mariannhill in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this month, Cele says officers have been mandated to fight back against criminals when necessary.

He says, “Police by the way, they are allowed by the law, when the criminals they think they are tough, police can be tough. Of late, I think police have taken that stance because the crime intelligence will say, when we are going those people, they are not coming with broomsticks and yellow duster, they are coming with real stuff and when they exchange fire, police must understand. There is only one language that you speak when the gun goes off, is to fight back. Police are invited, are called upon to act.”

VIDEO: Cele visits Mariannhill after deadly shootout:

Rape kits

Cele says each province has an excess of rape kits.

He was answering a written parliamentary question asked by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, Andrew Whitfield.

In his answer, Cele indicates that kits for adult and paediatric that are in stock far outweigh the numbers required for the proper collection of evidence.

He does say though that distribution is decided on at the provincial level, where distribution is sent to stations centrally located or in close proximity to Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Assault centres.

Cele added that it was found that providing a specific number of kits to all stations can be wasteful, due to demand issues, leading to it reaching its shelf life without being used.

-Additional reporting by Zalene Merrington