Bheki Cele’s two-ring police circus
SA’s police service is in crisis. The top-heavy structure of the institution is hampering effective crimefighting, there’s little stability at the highest levels, officers themselves have been implicated in crimes, and the good cops often aren’t placed where they can make the most difference. While the service is tripping over its own oversized feet, critics say ringmaster Bheki Cele is the real obstacle to reform
Police minister Bheki Cele is the master of deflection. His latest monomania to that end is that police officers may not have tattoos — or visible ones, at least — because these are the markings of gangsters, criminals and drug addicts.
Given the magnitude of problems facing the police service, the minister’s fixation on body art speaks volumes: it’s all bombast, carries little substance or thought and has no bearing on the kind of policy interventions that would improve the state of a police force in crisis. ..
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