Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, believes that criminals have declared war on South Africans after the Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, and her entourage became the victims of an armed robbery on the N3 this week.
However, Ian Cameron, head of community safety for Action Society, says the fact that Cele speaks of declarations of war when another minister is robbed, but does not say a word after six children are shot in the same 24 hours on the Cape Flats, confirms Cele prioritizing politics over public safety.
According to Cameron, at least five children were shot on Sunday evening in Westbank, Cape Town. Two of the children, including a teenage girl, were shot dead during the gang-related incident.
A seven-year-old boy was also shot dead in Mitchells Plain on Tuesday.
Cameron says the police minister has lost touch with reality.
“He simply no longer knows how it is for ordinary South Africans to live. He lives in a safety bubble. He who leads the ‘fight’ against crime is a death sentence for civilians,” says Cameron about Cele.
“I would like to repeat my invitation to him to come and walk with me, as an ordinary citizen, without his VIP protection, in Eastridge in the Cape Flats where a seven-year-old boy was murdered last night. From there we will walk down Malgasstraat in Westbank where Kelly Amber Koopman (12) died and four of her friends were shot in the crossfire of a gang shooting on Monday.
“If a minister with an armed VIP protection team can be ambushed by four robbers, what chance do ordinary people have? At the moment, a manhunt is underway to arrest the suspects who robbed the minister. Where is the search to find little Kelly and the little seven-year-old’s killers?” Cameron wants to know.
“South Africans live in a war zone every day. If Cele does not have the will or skill to develop and implement an anti-crime strategy that ensures the safety of all South Africans, he must stand aside.”