Graskop: 6 days later and no word from Cele

Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police
12 May 2023 in News

Almost two weeks after the horrendous incident in Graskop where gangs of criminals plundered the small Mpumalanga town, and six days after the desperate community chased away the local commander and locked the police station with a chain, Police Minister Bheki Cele hasn’t said a word.

On 9 May 2023, the DA wrote to the Provincial Police Commissioner of Mpumalanga to demand that action be taken against the Graskop SAPS Stations Commander who had been failing dismally to protect the residents of Graskop from a violent gang who has been terrorizing the town for years. The Commander has been known to allegedly downplay crime statistics in the area which has resulted in a lack of resources being available to fight actual crime.

Despite the DA demanding information on what led to the above event, and whether the Commander has been removed from his post and has been replaced with someone more competent, both the Provincial Commissioner and the Minister of Police, have remained silent.

This is worrying as Bheki Cele is well known to not shy away from the camera or a good photo opportunity – especially when it comes to his personal war on and obsession with alcohol.

Perhaps if the gangs had poured alcohol into the streets, rather than using explosives or firing assault weapons in the streets, the residents would have been better protected, and he would have come out and denounced the actions of this gang and immediately removed the Commander.

With the crime statistics reflecting a South Africa that is more violent and deadly than the War in Ukraine, the Democratic Alliance is fighting for justice of every South African, in every town, from the Western Cape to Limpopo, and everywhere else in between.

The DA will thus personally write to the Minister and Provincial Commissioner (again) and request that they ensure that Graskop is not left without leadership and a new competent Commander is put in place to protect their residents immediately. We look forward to hearing from Minister Cele in this regard.