NATIONAL NEWS - The Democratic Alliance (DA) called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Bheki Cele as minister of police following his outrageous, and cavalier remarks about a police officer who allegedly raped his wife.
“In addition to this, we call on the minister to publicly apologise to the nation,” DA MP Andrew Whitfield said in a statement on Wednesday.
Whitfield said Cele accused the media of negative reporting on police behaviour during the lockdown, following the Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (IPID) release of statistics detailing police brutality and violence.
“In reference to a case where a member of the police was accused of raping his wife during the lockdown, Minister Cele watered down the gravity of the allegations by stating the report that a member of the police raped a woman during the lockdown is untrue because it was the woman’s husband, who happens to be a police officer, who raped her.
“The minister then went on to question the need for the media to highlight that it was indeed a police officer who committed this heinous act against his wife,” he said.
He said South Africa had an estimated 87,000 cases of gender-based violence (GBV) reported as of 2 April 2020 during the lockdown.
“The scourge of GBV is real, and it is irresponsible that the minister would expect the media to censor themselves by not reporting on cases where those who are responsible for protecting us, are in fact doing us harm,” he said.
Whitfield further went on to claim that Cele was a “rape apologist and he must be held accountable for his careless and insensitive justifications for rape”.
“The DA calls on President to Ramaphosa to remove Bheki Cele from his position, as he has proven, especially during this lockdown period that he is not fit for office.
“The president cannot, in good conscious allow a person who is a rape apologist to continue serving as a minister of police.”