Bheki Cele and Khehla-Sitole

By Themba Khumalo

My heart overflows with inexpressible repugnance when I think about the political pomp and show, in sync with the disgusting self-contradictions, by which we are bombarded almost daily.

Deep down in my heart of hearts, there is indescribable abhorrence for the corrupt and servitude-promoting swindlers who pass themselves off as leaders who are committed to making South Africa a prosperous country.

What they say and do is chalk and cheese. They are hypocrites whose indisputable talent has created fertile ground for women-flogging, cradle-plundering, inequality and suffering. The words of great promises that tumble from their mouths and the illusionary actions they pretend to take are the ultimate climax of the whole shebang of misnomers.

It does not take a genius to realise that, as citizens, we have been placed smack in the middle of the road filled with speeding cars that are loaded with the daring of all frauds, and the grossest of all slander… and the drivers are an audacious bunch of swashbucklingweirdos.

There has never been a perfect case of theft of the robe of liberty to clothe the ever-demanding devil of deceit and greed.

Greed breathes life into factionalism, leaving us with leaders who are all bark but no bite. If they do bite, they do it to those who, just like them, seek access to power and the benefits that accompany it. It is therefore no surprise that our crime levels are frighteningly high and violent.

One is tempted to even say the real surprise here is that violent crime is not worse than it already is. When one takes into account our brutal past, poverty and inequality, which continue to increase because of the resounding failure of the ANC, we are somewhat lucky that we have not reached an apocalypse.

Only a greedy ignoramus is in denial that our country is failing because of crooked, dishonest and kleptomaniacal leaders who have a healthy disrespect for the rule of law. With so much graft that goes unpunished it is little wonder that citizens have lost confidence in the state’s ability to create some smidgeon of safety and security.

The level of deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry in what passes for intelligence service and policing, aids and gives the green light to the commission of crime. Living in a country where the police are stuck at the crossroads enables organised crime to thrive, is depressing.

Rather than being a powerful crime-buster outfit, the SAPS has buckled and collapsed under the pressure of political bickering and hypocrisy. The police service has become a depressingly higgledy-piggledy amphitheatre of squabbling, betrayal and weighed down by a litany of allegations and accusations.

Leaders who are not above using chicanery to stay in power are weakening governance and putting the country’s security at massive risk.

How can we not be at risk when the SAPS, from its top brass down to the constable at the police station, is bedevilled by impropriety and dishonesty?

In February, the country’s first citizen pointed the dismissal gun at the country’s top cop Khehla Sitole and pulled the trigger. In a statement released by the presidency at the time, we were served some fable that President Cyril Ramaphosa and Sitole came to an agreement that the premature end of the commissioner’s contract was in Mzansi’s best interest.

It is a well-known fact that Sitole was at loggerheads with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, who is viewed as one of Ramaphosa’s highly dependable wingman in the ANC.

Sitole has made the list of national police commissioners who prematurely left before the end of their contracts – a clear sign of an office that is extremely politicised.

Hostilities between the two gained momentum during last July’s violent and deadly unrest.

Cele, who has earned an undesirable reputation as a goofy motormouth over slurs, inaccuracies and insults, slashed Sitole, during an inquiry by the South African Human Rights Commission into the July 2021 riots.

This power hungry jester added blundering as part of his fashionable hats and told the inquiry in December Sitole was nowhere to be seen throughout the whole unrest. He lambasted Sitole, saying if he had shown “better leadership”, the police would not have been caught napping.

In essence, he blamed Sitole for the security cluster of our country for being unaware and caught offside by the magnitude of the riots.

Cele’s disingenuity is as a rotten as tomatoes dumped at a landfill. He is part of the system that continues to shackle the fair implementation of the rule of law. The laws of Mzansi are shown the middle finger by the same screwballs whose responsibility is to make and enforce the law. So, any failure by the safety and security of state institutions cannot be put on the shoulders of one person.

I know Cele suffers from two-feet-in-the-mouth disease, but for the love of peace and safety, he must never treat us as numbskulls. I refuse to rush into an unfair conclusion that the man is the sharpest knife in the drawer.
I am sorry, I refuse to insult the man’s character. But then, I assumed that he is itsy-bitsy aware that the internecine conflicts within the governing party have had a dire effect on a number of matters relating to the governance of our bruised and battered republic… and they need to be resolved urgently.

It is my admission that Ndosi cannot be accused of being the brightest crayon in the box. It is easy for him to lose grasp of the fact that if lawmakers are themselves hoodlums who have never had the inkling to respect the rule of law, chances of reducing crime are below zero.

Ok, Ndosi, I know, as many South Africans do, that you like keeping both your feet in your mouth, but please find space for truth somewhere in you… not in your mouth though, your feet have taken over that place.

For a fleeting moment, just stop behaving like the self-righteous pretenders who scream judgements against others to hide the noise of their skeletons prancing around in their closets. You are part of the problem. Your leadership is a blinding beacon of failure. Get your house in order and stop shifting the blame.

I will once again take a dangerous gamble and say your eyes and ears are free to allow you to take in what was said by Caryn Dolley, who has penned numerous books about the plague of crime in South Africa.
One of her books is titled To The Wolves… you can read it if you get a break from running to crime scenes and speak like you know what to do.

On 24 January Dolley told “I would describe South Africa’s police service as fractured or broken. At a leadership level, there are fragmentations and divisions and I think that is where the crux of the problem is. If we had a strong police leadership that would have a trickle-down effect of more efficient resource usage.”

I am under no illusion that you are likely to get the boot for being a rudderless national clown in fancy hats, but I think you have a tiny clue of what Dolley is talking about… remember, you are the top brass. But being the minister of police for you seems to be a side-hustle – all you want is to secure a leading role in a TV thriller about cops and blazing guns.

Does Ndosi ever have even one drop of sweat when a report says: “South Africa’s depleted police force is struggling to get to grips with one of the world’s worst crime scourges and spending its full budget allocation, even as it complains it has inadequate funding.”

I bet you my empty bottle of kindness, Ndosi, just like his boss, will be shocked to learn that our police men and women are poorly trained.

This was aptly described “The perpetuation of police brutality is rooted in the lack of comprehensive training to equip members of the SAPS with skills and strategies in dealing with challenges such as suspects’ lack of compliance and dealing with them in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act No. 51 of 1977, Section 49 (2).

“Police training is lacking in two areas, namely interviewing skills and a legal approach to restraining a suspect.
“The training that the police get does not speak to the challenges that they encounter when executing their duties on the street. The absence of an appropriate approach to certain crime situations has resulted in the adoption of illegal methods of restraining and arresting as well as banned methods of interrogation that are against the law and are a violation of the human rights of suspects.”

Let me apply brakes on my angst with words from Dead Toad Scrolls by Kilroy J. Oldster: “One of the universally despised sins is hypocrisy, falsely pretending to hold beliefs, feelings, standards qualities, opinions, virtues, motivations, or other characteristics that a person does not actually hold. Powerful people tend to be the greatest hypocrites, which accounts for why scandal, false preachers, and mealy-mouthed persons are so prevalent in bastions of reigning political parties.
Hypocrisy occurs because some people are too lazy, weak-willed, or stupid to live up to their professed beliefs. It also occurs because of a propensity of people to engage in self-deception and self-ignorance, reliance upon fabricated (“pseudo evidence”) perceived through a self-serving bias, failure to challenge personal beliefs and behaviour, and refusal to listen to justified criticism.”

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