- Bheki Cele criticised the Western Cape government’s call to devolve the powers of the police.
- Cele addressed Cosatu members during the strike action to protest against crime and high fuel prices.
- He said the province should approach the Constitutional Court if they want to devolve powers of the police.
Police Minister Bheki Cele lambasted the Western Cape government over its call to devolve the powers of the police.
The Western Cape government believes such a move will bring down crime levels.
On Thursday, Cele addressed Cosatu members during the strike action to protest against crime and high fuel prices.
Cosatu members marched through the Cape Town CBD to the provincial legislature, Civic Centre and Parliament.
Cele said the Western Cape had the lion’s share of police resources when compared to other provinces.
“For the last 18 months, we sent a select group of officers here, consisting of 200 from other provinces, every three months. This is the only province that has a fully-fledged anti-gang unit,” he said.
Cele said the provincial commissioner moved resources from other police stations to the Western Cape.
“Whenever I am here to collect the dead bodies, I never collected dead bodies in Constantia, Bishops Court, I never collected [bodies] from Camps Bay. All these dead bodies come from the Cape Flats. So we have begun moving police members from the least busy police stations to the busy ones. The situation will be improved in December,” he said.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde previously told News24 that decentralising the police service was a crucial step in decisively tackling the high crime rate in the region.
“The SAPS, under the national government, is not winning the war on crime. This is very clear. By taking over the policing authority, the Western Cape government will increase the budget for the police service and ensure the money is spent on recruiting more officers. This would include re-enlisting former police officials – in good standing – who left the service,” he said.
In recent months, mass shootings and gang violence, as well as murder and gender-based violence cases, sparked widespread outrage.