- Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed law enforcement officials today
- Cele said policing during the pandemic has "come at a cost" as over 5 000 SAPS members have contracted the virus
- Cele also said the fight against gender-based violence needs to be a priority
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Minister of Police Bheki Cele addressed members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) on the morning of Friday, 10 July at the Carousel Toll Plaza in Gauteng.
The minister urged the law enforcement officers to continue “guarding against the invisible enemy” and for the public to support the efforts of law enforcement agencies.
"I am addressing you as a police minister who is appreciative of the hard work you have put in over the past three months.
"I am also concerned about your safety and well-being during the Covid-19 [pandemic]. However, I remain encouraged by your resilience."
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The South African reported that Cele also addressed the response of uniformed officers to incidents of gender-based violence (GBV), ordering them to act with empathy and compassion for victims.
The Minister also urged the officers to leave no stone unturned in bringing perpetrators of heinous acts against women and children to justice.
Cele said policing during the pandemic has also been particularly difficult for law enforcement officers, said News24.
To date, the police have carried out more than 14 000 roadblocks, maintained high visibility and patrols on beaches, at taxi ranks, markets, malls, main streets and other areas of potential mass gatherings, to ensure social distancing.
Cele added the over 5 000 SAPS police officers have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, resulting in decontamination of hundreds of police stations across the country.
Cele said sadly, 36 SAPS police officers have succumbed to the virus. He reminded other police officers that they "are not alone."
"Virtual psychological services and support will continue to be available to you as you self-isolate and recover." he said
Cele added that fighting GBV must always remain a priority throughout Covid-19 and beyond.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shamila Batohi said that the lack of resources in law enforcement and justice departments was big problem in the fight against corruption.
Batohi told Parliament's justice committee that the NPA had been engaging the Zondo Commission in terms of being able to take over its IT systems and capabilities.
She said these would be moved to law enforcement broadly, including the NPA's investigative directorate, to be able to investigate and prosecute complex commercial crimes.
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