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.