Cele reminds SAPS and SANDF members they are not above the law
Bheki Cele condemned acts of criminality by "a small percentage of members" and welcomed the arrest of these officers.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has praised what he described as the good work of law enforcement and the army in keeping South Africa safe during the lockdown.
A calmer Cele reminds officers they must respect the law
Cele, who has come under fire for the tone he has taken in public addresses during lockdown, presented a notably calmer message on Sunday 19 April.
“With us entering another two weeks of the lockdown aptly extended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, I want to encourage the members on deployment to continue the good work of ensuring that our citizens are protected against the killer coronavirus and that they do this within the confines of the law,” Cele said in a statement.
Minister condemns criminality among the SAPS
The police minister condemned acts of criminality by “a small percentage of members” and welcomed the arrest of these officers.
Cele issued another call for South Africans to stay at home against the backdrop of an increasing number of COVID-19 infections among police and emergency services.
“That there are a number of police members who have tested positive for the coronavirus is no anomaly, and it is for this reason that we are appealing to members of the public to do the right thing and stay home to protect our members who are out there on the streets, exposed and vulnerable to infection and spreading of the virus,” he said.
“The SA Police Service’s COVID-19 National Steering Committee is working on prioritising officers’ health, and is making sure that what they need to do is not affected during the lockdown,” Cele said.
Cele honours fallen SAPS officers
Cele paid tribute to two members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) killed in the line of duty during the lockdown.
“Constable Percy Ramalepe, aged 33 and based at Sandton in Johannesburg, was buried in Giyani in Limpopo on Saturday (18 April). He was shot dead while responding to a complaint of domestic violence on 9 April.
“The constable was allegedly killed by the 60-year-old husband of the complainant. The man then turned the gun on himself and died on the scene.
“Sergeant Steven Damoense, also aged 33 and from the Northern Cape SAPS organised crime unit, was also buried on Saturday,” added Cele.
“Damoense was on patrol on 30 March in Rietvale, Modderrivier when he was fatally stabbed by a suspect who has since been arrested.”