Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
11 Jun 2021
1:26 pm

Bheki Cele and ‘senseless bills’ must go – Action Society

Citizen Reporter

'It is apparent the minister has no sense of urgency to resolve the ongoing DNA backlog crisis.'

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Rights group organisation Action Society has reiterated its calls that Police Minister Bheki Cele should step down from his ministerial position.

The organisation said on Friday there was no better time for Cele to excuse himself from the police ministry than now.

In a statement on Friday the group said that the DNA backlog and the recently announced controversial Firearms Control Amendment Bill were proof enough that Cele is not the right man to head the police ministry.

“He prefers to spend his time drafting senseless bills, like the Firearms Control Amendment Bill where he aims to disarm law abiding citizens instead of putting more effort into resolving a crisis, that if not resolved urgently, will effectively allow perpetrators of violent crimes to walk away scot free due to the lack of forensic evidence,” Action Society spokesperson Dr Rineé Pretorius said.

The organisation said it was disappointed at Cele’s responses on the DNA backlog during his budget speech in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.

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“It is apparent the minister has no sense of urgency to resolve the ongoing DNA backlog crisis,” Pretorius said.

Although Cele raised his concern about the backlog the organisation said his concern was not going to bring any relief to victims of violent crimes and families waiting for DNA results so they can lay their loved ones to rest.

Among other reasons the organisation is calling for Cele’s head are:

  • Plans to remove citizens’ rights to own a firearm for self defence purposes.
  • The shutdown of the DNA evidence exhibit (PCEM) system without a timely contingency plan.
  • The massive DNA backlog of more than 200,000 cases due to PCEM system being shut down.
  • No progress in the approval of the Convicted Offenders Amendment Bill.
  • Low conviction rates in GBV cases.
  • The shutdown of the police firearm permit system.