Cele hands over police vehicles, mobile cop shop

Minister Bheki Cele destroys alcohol confiscated from shebeens across the city.

Police minister Bheki Cele handed over a set of police vehicles, seven bakkies and three sedans, as well as a mobile station to police in Makhaza yesterday.

During his Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour, Mr Cele announced that the Makhaza satellite police station would be manned full time by some of the 50 police officers expected to move to the cop shop.

Mr Cele and his entourage, comprising deputy minister Cassel Mathale, provincial commissioner Thembisile Patekile and Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, stopped by the Belhar liquor depot, where they led the spill down the drain of thousands of litres of liquor confiscated from illegal shebeens from October 15 to December 21.

He also visited the Mew Way bridge on the N2, where more than 40 law enforcement vehicles manned a roadblock that caused heavy traffic that backed up for more than 4km.

The mobile cop shop is mounted on a truck and boasts a holding cell.

Mr Cele said the latest crime statistics show that Cape Town “is greener” than Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KZN in that there are fewer crimes.

He said Makhaza was a poorly lit area and that made it easy for criminals to get away with crime. Mr Cele urged the police to forge close relations with the Makhaza community.

Speaking from the dais, Mr Cele told Mr Fritz that the partnership between his department and the police is starting to yield results.

However, Mr Cele lamented a “skewed” way of sharing resources in the Western Cape police stations.

“You have a place where the affluent areas are having more human resources,” he said.

Mr Cele said police should work towards giving more resources towards crime-ravaged communities.

He said fraud was on the rise across the country and made a reference to the recent arrest of several City of Cape Town employees. Mr Cele offered no further details on this case.

He told the police officers that when a woman visits a police station, police need to drop everything they’re doing to help her and not advise the women “to negotiate” with the perpetrators.

“Don’t commit secondary abuse of the women,” Mr Cele said.

Citing the Criminal Procedure Act 49, Mr Cele said police need to protect people, but if a policeman’s life is under threat they need to be reminded that they’re trained and have “tools” to protect themselves.

“When criminals take chance, be unkind. Be tough and make sure you do everything within the law and that you stay safe and the communities stay safe. When the dust settles, we’re not going to pick up your dead bodies, we must pick up the dead bodies of the criminals,” Mr Cele said.

He said police must be firm when dealing with drunk drivers and drunk beachgoers.

At the handover of the resources, Mr Cele said Delft is the most problematic station in relation to crime in the city.

“I don’t want to claim easy victories. But the crux of the matter is that work has been done here with the community. The community structures in the Western Cape are very active and they don’t give you any peace, and that makes you stand on your toes and do things as fast as you can,” Mr Cele said.

“Western Cape crime is black. You don’t get crimes in Camps Bay. This means we must rearrange the availability of resources.”

Mr Cele commended Mr Fritz for forging a better working relationship with police leadership.

Mr Fritz said he acknowledges that Mr Cele listened when cries for new police resources were made.

Mr Fritz thanked every member of law enforcement for going the extra mile by working while everyone else enjoyed the festive holiday.

He said the new resources will allow police to give criminals a tough time.

A massive roadblock was arranged as part of police minister Bheki Cele’s Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour.

Mr Cele said he was happy with the roadblock as it appeared motorists had been behaving.