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Tag: Bheki Cele

Gauteng Highjacking Hotspots – The Most Dangerous Province in SA

The Minister of Police Bheki Cele has published the official crime statistics for Q1 2021/2022, with a steep increase in hijackings reported. The South African Police Service (SAPS) has chosen to compare the crime data to Q1 2019 instead of Q1 2020 to account for the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown.

“We cannot compare the same period of this year and last year, due to the skewed and abnormal crime trends, caused by the different levels of lockdown, if we are to understand this crime picture that we are presenting to you today,” Cele said.

“While we will not sweep the high and unnatural figures under the carpet, we will instead bring to the fore a holistic picture of comparing the 2021/22 Q1 crime figures to a ‘normal period’ two years ago where there was no lockdown.”

The report shows that aggravated robberies such as hijacking increased by 92.2% compared to Q1 2019. By comparison, carjacking increased by 13.1% compared to Q1 2020. A notable trend can be seen in the impact of lockdown levels, as the country moved from a level 5 lockdown at the end of March 2020 (394 hijackings) to a level 3 lockdown in June (1,376 hijackings).

A similar trend was seen in the reverse as the country saw a high number of hijackings during its level 1 lockdown in May 2021 (1,775 hijackings), with this dropping to 1,675 hijackings as the country moved down to a level 3 lockdown in June 2021.

Cele described the level 5 lockdown as a ‘crime holiday’ for South Africa.

“The crime holiday is long gone, and these figures should action us and strengthen our resolve.

“The figures as distorted as they are must also sharpen the SAPS operational responses to make South Africa safer for all who live in it.”

 

Once again, most cases of hijacking were reported in Gauteng (2,704), followed by the KwaZulu-Natal (820) and the Western Cape (589).  Most of these hijackings are reported to take place in townships, followed closely by residential areas.

Vehicle tracking company Tracker, in August published data that shows that the nature of vehicle crime is changing as hijackers become more brazen and desperate. For the past three years, hijacking has been increasing at an alarming rate and is now more prevalent than vehicle theft, said Duma Ngcobo, chief operating officer at Tracker South Africa.

“The slant towards hijacking is most likely an opportunistic tactic, with a noticeable increase in vehicles being targeted for their loads, particularly fast-moving consumable goods.

“Drivers carrying large amounts of cash are also being targeted. South Africans should be wary and remain vigilant, especially when returning home from shopping or when goods bought online are delivered to their homes. Hijackings are often violent, and there are instances where a hostage is taken,” said Ngcobo.

Another popular tactic is criminals impersonating law enforcement officials to commit hijackings, a method otherwise known as blue light robberies, he said.

“Criminals also commit vehicle theft using online selling platforms, where sellers hand over goods on receipt of a fake payment.

“Sometimes, criminals pretend there is something wrong with your vehicle, a method known as flagging down. They also take advantage of drivers stopped on the side of the road or those picking up hitchhikers,” said Ngcobo.

No One Warned Us About Looting – Cele

During the worst unrest crisis to face post-democratic South Africa, factional battles within the ANC have emerged as ministers and the party publicly contradict each other over the mayhem that engulfed parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. The Minister of Police Bheki Cele has made a not so veiled accusation that State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo lied when she claimed that she gave the police adequate intelligence ahead of the looting that unfolded.

Bheki Cele told the Parliament’s portfolio committee on police that he had never seen any intelligence documents warning of the failed insurrection. It was the first time he was questioned on intelligence received by SAPS since the violence broke out.

“That information that we received, that information that we analysed and packaged, was handed over to the police,” said an emphatic Dlodlo last week.

On Tuesday, Cele however said he never saw the intelligence warnings. He referred to it as a product – a commonly used phrase for intelligence gathered.

“It’s you minister, that would have given product to me because the Minister of SSA cannot give product direct to the other DG. It would have to come to via me and I give it to the national commissioner (of police).”

Meanwhile, there is the back and forth within the Security Cluster over who is to blame for the failure to protect the country’s national security. Cele said there should be evidence that he received the information as is alleged.

“I want to repeat here I have never received the product (intelligence). This product, you sign when you receive them. When you receive product of State Security, you sign. You go check my signature there, I want to end there on that one.”

There have been calls for all the Security Cluster ministers to be fired following President Ramaphosa’s frank admission that the country was ill-prepared for the chaos that unfolded.

Earlier Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence, was quoted as saying there was no evidence that what happened in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal was a failed insurrection – directly contradicting President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Minister in the Presidency Khumbuzo Ntshaveni then told the media that Mapisa-Nqakula’s comments were not supported by facts from law enforcement. Maphisa-Nqakula has since told eNCA that it was not her intention to contradict the president.

SAPS Intel Saves Patients in Hospital Targeted for Torching

Police Minister Bheki Cele claimed that intelligence information gathered in advance by South African law-enforcement agencies averted the burning of a hospital full of patients in Durban as the violence and destruction of property continues.

“A lot (of destruction) has happened, but unfortunately we do not talk about that which has not happened. Indeed, the information has been used. I believe though that your clan, the media, doesn’t want to believe there is something that has been saved,” Cele told journalists in Mamelodi.

“For instance in KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) yesterday (on Tuesday), they were planning to burn the hospital. Literally planning to burn the hospital with patients inside. That was averted. They were planning to burn the legislature and things like those in KZN.”

Intelligence services, including the Crime Intelligence Unit of the South African Police Service (SAPS), have come under severe criticism for failing to pick up on information in advance on the widespread unrest, vandalism, and looting which has so far left almost 100 people dead and billions in damages.

“Indeed, we get laughed at, that things and scenarios you see here could not have happened. They have happened. That is why now we are pushing the gear of prevention, that where we are, we don’t go beyond, in terms of destruction,” said Cele.

Gauteng Police Stations Struggle without Vehicles

Police stations in the Vaal and Benoni area been revealed to have the highest number of out-of-service vehicles in Gauteng. This according to data provided by police minister Bheki Cele in a reply to a DA written question in the National Assembly.

Michael Shackleton, MP and DA Gauteng shadow MEC for community safety called on Bheki Cele and the Gauteng MEC for community safety, Faith Mazibuko, to ensure the 2,170 police vehicles in Gauteng that are out-of-service are immediately attended to and brought back to their respective police stations to render essential services to residents.

This is an increase of 763 vehicles out-of-service compared to last year November when 1,407 police vehicles were unavailable.

Gauteng police stations that have the highest number of out-of-service vehicles are:

  • Vereeniging: 100
  • Benoni: 82
  • Springs: 65
  • Protea Glen: 58
  • Silverton: 54
  • Midrand: 53
  • Johannesburg Central: 50

In total, there are 5,967 police vehicles operational in the province.

Cele said that his department has improved command and control in terms of fleet management, and has deployed artisans from various other garages to the problematic garages to adequately address the high number of out-of-service vehicles. The department is also using a global financial authority to purchase stock in bulk.

A situational analysis has been conducted in terms of mechanical transport to compile an operational risk and mitigation strategy to increase the number of operational vehicles available.  The DA has urged Cele to ensure the current mitigation strategy that has been implemented is reviewed on a regular basis to assess whether it is yielding positive results.

Cele: We are under attack

The search for the killers of two on-duty Kraaifontein police officers still continues. The sergeant and a constable were out on patrol in Bloekombos on Sunday, when they were ambushed and killed by unknown assailants.  The deaths of the two officers brings the total number of murdered police in the past two weeks to 6.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele  has reiterated that officers are under siege, even more so in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“There is war here. We must fight that war, for the fact that we have dead bodies here tells us that we are under attack.”

This latest attack in Cape Town on Sunday coincided with the funeral of yet another slain officer in Durban.  Constable Royal Ndlovu was attending to a domestic complaint earlier this month when he was murdered.

Cele, who spoke at Ndlovu’s funeral, implored officers to do whatever it took to safeguard themselves when confronted by criminals.

“We must repel that and make sure that when the dust settles, we are not picking up the dead bodies of the police…we must pick [up] the other body, not the police’s.”

A manhunt is under way for the killers of the Cape Town officers through a 72-hour activation plan.

EFF’s Ndlozi to file criminal charges against Bheki Cele

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Bheki Cele – two controversial politicians from opposing parties – are set for a legal battle in Pretoria, after the EFF Commissar revealed that he would be filing a set of criminal charges against the ANC Minister.

The details were confirmed via a statement issued on Sunday. It follows a turbulent month for the hat-donning politician, who has received criticism for his beach visits and curfew directives. The party communication explains the following…

  • The EFF representative will file charges against Bheki Cele at midday on Monday 11 January.
  • There will be two charges for the police minister to face: Political interference, and defeating the ends of justice.
  • Ndlozi and his entourage are expected to register their complaints at the Sunnyside Police Station in Pretoria.

The reason for these two charges is because Ndlozi and the rest of the EFF’s hierarchy are upset with developments from the Gauteng North High Court. A recent ruling revealed that Bheki Cele ‘tried to halt the suspension’ of a probe into the allegedly fraudulent acquisition of PPE. This, according to the Red Berets, is a gross abuse of power from the minister.

“Following the Gauteng North High Court Ruling which cited Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, as having tried to halt the suspension of Lt-Gen Peter Jacobs’ investigation into the fraudulent acquisition of PPEs in Crime Intelligence, Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi will open a case of political interference and defeating the ends of justice.”

EFF statement on the filing of charges against Bheki Cele, the current serving police minister

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30 Days Level 4 Lockdown – Cele and Zuma

According to BusinessDay, Minister of Police Bheki Cele and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, have made it clear that they believe a return to a level 4 lockdown is merited with the sharp increase in deaths and the persistent high daily increase of infections.

The ministers suggested this in a meeting of the Coronavirus National Command Council on Wednesday.  Although nothing has yet been decided, a stricter lockdown seems more and more likely. Meanwhile many South Africans still refuse to adhere to health and safety protocol.  Even though wearing masks has been made mandatory, many can still be seen not wearing masks.

No time or date for a Presidential Address has been announced.

‘You must be in bed by 21:00 on New Year’s Eve’ – Bheki Cele

On 25 December, we know that Santa Clause comes down the chimney to deliver presents. This year, on December 31, you could well see Bheki Cele burst through the door to forcibly tuck you into bed. The police minister has, yet again, turned heads with his comments about New Year’s Eve, and how celebrations will be affected by Level 3 regulations.

BHEKI CELE ISSUES SOUTH AFRICANS WITH ’21:00 BED-TIME’

On Monday, the country was busted down two lockdown levels after COVID-19 infections soared at an alarming pace. A new variant of the disease is causing chaos, and festive gatherings have exacerbated the problem. Plans for the traditional end of year jols have been scuppered – but the police minister isn’t just content with a curfew.

Addressing SAPS members at a parade in KwaMashu on Wednesday, Bheki Cele boldly announced that there would be ‘no 31 December this year’. He advised citizens against ‘tin hitting’, and even went one step further by telling South Africans that they ‘must be asleep by 21:00’. Unbelievably, a government minister has tried to give us all a bed-time:

“We are experiencing something we’ve never gone through. This time, there is no 31 December. There is no New Year’s Eve. There is no tin-hitting. By 21:00, we want everybody ‘ulele’. Everybody must be in bed by 21:00. It’s important to understand this.”

Bheki Cele

As you’d expect, Twitter users were absolutely scathing when they came across these comments:

 

Serving Wine in Teapots – Cele

Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, said that if anything other than tea is found in teapots, restaurants will lose their trading licences.  The minister warned restaurants against this sneaky practise on Tuesday and said that police was well aware of the tricks employed by some business owners.  Many restaurant owners attempted to flout the alcohol ban during the first and second prohibition but police have adopted a zero tolerance approach.

Wayne Ncube, the deputy director of Lawyers for human rights, on Wednesday said police would not just be loading people up in vans without warning. Ncube said officers would ask you to comply and you’d only be arrested if you refuse to put on a mask.

“Technically speaking, people should not be getting arrested for not having a mask on. It’s the failure to comply when requested that could get someone arrested. On top of that there’s a ministry of justice directive that says people who are arrested on petty crimes should be released on bail and given a court date to come back.”

Eastern Cape Gov Lays Down the Law

The South African Government’s Safer Festive Season initiative proved to be effective last week in the Eastern Cape and resulted in the arrests of over 1 000 people for a variety of crimes. This ahead of Police Minister Bheki Cele’s visit to the province, assessing compliance to the law by residents and businesses.

“Ahead of the annual Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour by the Minister of Police to the Eastern Cape to assess the effectiveness of Safer Festive Season plans put in place to ensure that residents and holiday makers are and feel safe during the holiday season and beyond, 693 rounds of ammunition and 72 firearms (49 revolvers/pistols, 15 rifles and 8 shotguns) were seized while 1 117 suspects were arrested for various crimes from 13 – 21 December 2020,” the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) Colonel  Sibongile Soci said in a statement.

Suspects arrested include 392 handcuffed for contact crimes, 54 for property related crimes, 234 for crimes detected as a result of police action such as drug-related crimes, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs and possession of suspected stolen property while many others were held for several other crimes, Soci also said.

Police have also managed to recover 189 dangerous weapons which includes 172 knives, 13 pangas and four axes. People were also arrested for livestock theft, which is a huge problem in the rural province, particularly during the festive season.

“Furthermore, the stock theft market was dealt a big blow with the recovery of 41 cattle, 22 goats and 19 sheep. 23 suspected stolen vehicles were also confiscated,” police said.

All the suspects have subsequently appeared before various courts while others were issued with summons to pay fines.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga has commended the members for the arrests and confiscations.

“Eastern Cape has already rolled out the festive season operational plans which are directed into tightening the grip on trio crimes, stock theft, violent crime and the proliferation of unlicensed firearms as well as to see the general safety of all inhabitants throughout the Province. The arrests and confiscations are the results of those well-executed operational plans,” Ntshinga said.

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