Police officers may soon not be allowed weekends off

Police officers may soon not be allowed weekends off. Police Minister Bheki Cele says this is because most crimes happen over weekends.

He says steps are at an advanced stage to implement the changes. Cele was addressing a stakeholder’s engagement meeting attended by businesses, the Community Police Forum and Neighbourhood Watches in the Gugulethu and Nyanga areas, who were complaining of high criminal incidents in their areas.

“Serious crimes start on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, where you see dead bodies, the abused women and all of that, so most of the police will have to be on the streets and be available to respond to the communities and then on those less criminal days can take their offs,” says Cele.

Cele lashes out during a community engagement in Gugulethu 

An agitated Cele lashed out at a representative of a civic organisation during a community engagement in Gugulethu in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Ian Cameron of Action Society had earlier addressed the meeting accusing the minister of not respecting the human rights of others who have to live with the crime. He also accused Cele of coming to meetings under heavy police escorts not accorded to the rest of the citizens.

Cele had taken to the podium to respond to other community inputs including that of Cameron, when Cameron stood up while Cele was still speaking, seemingly to respond to him.

Cele responded: “Don’t teach me about human rights, don’t come here and tell me about the safety of my people, I fought for it, I was arrested for it, I nearly died for it, and I was exiled and I’m not going to take any nonsense of somebody who regards me as a garden boy today because you regard me as a garden boy today, you come here, shut up…I sat here I listened to you, sit down and listen young man, or get out.”

Cameron explains what happened in an interview on SAfm’s Sunrise programme. The Minister was unavailable for an interview on the same programme:


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