DA accuses Cele of political manoeuvring at crime imbizo

The Western Cape Government, led by the DA, has alleged that Police Minister Bheki Cele used a community crime imbizo as a platform to secure votes for the ANC.

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To combat criminal activity in communities and strengthen collaboration between law enforcement and community policing structures, the police ministry and SAPS management organised a ministerial imbizo in Nyanga on Wednesday as part of continuous endeavours.

Representatives from the Dullah Omar region as well as deputy minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Mcebisi Skwatsha, attended the meeting with Cele.

JP Smith, the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, expressed indifference towards not receiving an invitation, stating, ‘nothing is achieved with these imbizos.’

‘Despite not being invited,’ Smith remarked, ‘I hear about them on social media.’

He emphasised his regular engagement with community policing forums (CPF) and neighbourhood watches, along with conducting patrols across different areas in Cape Town.

Smith asserted, ‘I don’t rely on imbizo gatherings to connect with the community and CPF structures because I engage with them consistently.’

‘Imbizos are not a very productive space for those engagements – so, the fact that he doesn’t invite me is no skin off my back,’ he said.

Reagen Allen, the Western Cape’s MEC for police oversight and community safety, highlighted their late invitation to the imbizo, receiving it at 5:52pm on Tuesday. He emphasised the importance of timely notifications to accommodate their busy schedules and avoid disruptions.

Expressing concern over imbizo events being politicised for ANC campaign purposes, Allen stressed the need for tangible outcomes, such as resources and equipment for SAPS officers.

The Western Cape Government advocates for devolving police powers to the province. Meanwhile, at the imbizo, Cele claimed the Western Cape receives more policing resources than other provinces, alleging the politicisation of crime in the region.

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Picture: Jaco Marais / Gallo Images

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