Why SA want police minister axed

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Whilst five men are on trial for the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, it is Police Minister Bheki Cele who faces trial in the court of public opinion – and the verdict is not looking good.

That’s because, after eight years of promising justice to be served for the murder of the soccer star, South Africans have very little trust in the minister and the police at large.

In fact, a recent study by the Human Sciences Research Council has revealed that just 27% of South Africans have confidence in the SAPS.

ALSO READ: Why rapper Nota Baloyi thinks Kelly Khumalo is ‘behind Senzo’s murder’

BHEKI CELE AND SENZO MEYIWA MURDER CASE

Following the cold-blooded murder of Senzo Meyiwa on 26 October 2014, Bheki Cele promised to bring the perpetrators to book.

Cele assumed the role of minister of police in 2018, which was previously held by Nathi Nhleko. He soon became the “go-to” person for queries relating to the unsolved crime.

In a clip seen during the Senzo Meyiwa: Murder of a Soccer Star documentary, Cele revealed how he was constantly bombarded with questions about the latest developments in the case. He said: “I don’t think there is a question I answer in my life more than that one. It will take some time, but the crime will crack”.

In January 2019, Cele vowed to have the case solved “definitely by Christmas…even before Easter”. He said in an interview with eNCA: “I’m putting my head on the block on this. I still maintain that [the] Senzo Meyiwa matter is going to be resolved in the not very distant future. Definitely it will be before Christmas. Even before Easter that matter will have to be resolved”.

A year later in 2020, five suspects were arrested in connection with the murder. They are: Fisokuhle Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa.

Bheki Cele claimed the men were professional hitmen hired to murder Senzo Meyiwa. He also claimed that police had a “watertight” case against the men.

THE WRONG SUSPECTS?

Fast forward to the present and many South Africans, including Senzo’s brother Sifiso, think Bheki Cele has it all wrong.

Sifiso said to the media outside the Boksburg court after the case was postponed in 2021: “In the beginning, the Minister of Police Bheki Cele was at first agreeing with us [on the actual perpetrators] because we know them and he also knows them but now has come out to say it’s these five people.

“I don’t know if the minister is scared now. He is perhaps scared of something, I don’t know. Or maybe he is scared that they will do something against him, I don’t know”.

Sifiso and others believe Senzo was killed by one of seven adults in the Voslooros home of the mother of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. They include: Kelly, her mother Ntombi and sister Zandie, Longwe Twala and Senzo’s two friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala.

TWEEPS CALLS FOR MINISTER TO BE SACKED

Meanwhile, the latest developments in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial have renewed calls from South Africans for Bheki Cele to be fired as minister of police.

This week, Advocate Malesela Teffo, who represents four of the five accused men, was arrested in court. And tweeps think it has everything to do with Bheki Cele.

Teffo sensationally claimed that the minister was behind his arrest amid the murder trial – a claim Cele denies.

According to IOL, Teffo told the court that there was a “high-profile, well-orchestrated campaign” to cover up Meyiwa’s murder because it “involved politicians and senior police officers”.

Here’s what tweeps have to say:

@fanamokoena: “Law Enforcement under Bheki Cele is deteriorating fast. The system is crumbling horribly and in the public eye. And Cele is oblivious as if all is well. It would appear he doesn’t recognise the looming crisis. A crumbling law enforcement is a huge threat to democracy”

@LadyMay_K: “The arrest of Adv Teffo in court today was fraudulent. Bheki Cele is not threading carefully because he’s been put under pressure to close this Senzo Meyiwa case by someone who’s very powerful and this person is being protected by all costs. So messy

@FinalBoss300: “Bheki Cele is colluding with the Khumalos and the Twalas to cover up this case We as a nation we must shut down South Africa until we see an arrest of Kelly Khumalo and Longwe Twala”

@mlodi_lodder: “If Cyril Ramaphosa really values his voters and the fight against crime in South Africa he must fire Bheki Cele ASAP”

@Gobetse_M: “Bheki Cele was born to be a taxi boss, it’s a real shame that y’all made him a government minister, what a banana republic!”

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