- Minister of Police Bheki Cele has downplayed claims that there is a rift between him and the National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole
- Several members of parliament reportedly blamed political interference in appointments for instability in the police service
- The police's senior management blamed budget cuts and its dwindling pool of personnel for the instability and not political interference or frosty relations
South Africa's Minister of Police Bheki Cele reiterated that there is no animosity between him and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole following growing reports of instability in the police force.
This came into the spotlight after some members of parliament reportedly blamed political interference in appointments for instability in the police service.
The relationship between Cele and the country's most senior police official also came into focus and is thought to be rocky.
Cele refuted the claims by telling the policing portfolio committee this was not true. He was addressing a sitting of the committee on Thursday, according to a recent TimesLIVE report.
“The national commissioner and I are not friends. We don’t drink coffee together, but let me assure you, we work together. If you want to see our phones, we call one another almost daily and ask questions on matters," said Cele.
"In that work, there are things we do not agree upon, but it is not animosity; we are not fighting. We work together. To say we are chaos and don’t work well together, I do not agree with that."
eNCA carried the report that the police's senior management blamed budget cuts and its dwindling personnel pool for the instability and not political interference or frosty relations.
Mmusi Maimane encourages President Cyril Ramaphosa to look beyond the ANC for next Cabinet reshuffle
ANC MP Princess Faku implored Sitole to ensure officers are skilled for their roles in view of the recent unrest and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which she believes could have been averted.
“We can talk about the issue of budget but if there is dysfunctionality within the police service, no budget is going to assist in making sure things are done correctly."
Fact check: No, the South African Police Service is not planning to protest
In a post shared on Monday morning, SAPS acknowledged that news had been circulating on social media platforms and have refuted all claims of a protest.
SAPS went on to say that they are committed to making sure that South Africa is a safe country for all. There was an additional call for people to cease sharing fake news posts about the protest as they create unnecessary panic.
The post in question said that police are planning a protest for safer work conditions, extra protection and salary issues that have not been addressed.
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