Tuesday saw yet another no-holds-barred press briefing hosted by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in Pretoria, where he outlined the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) strategic planning to fight crime in the country.
Mbalula remarked about his public spat with fired Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza, the general physical fitness of the men and women in blue, and he bizarrely endorsed radio personality Tbo Touch’s radio application for citizens to report incidents of crime.
The minister had a stern warning for the former Hawks head and his allies within the police service.
“General [Berning] Ntlemeza and all your rogue elements masquerading as intelligent officers doing rogue things working in safe house to take against the minister of police, I am coming for you!”
“He can say anything about me, he can smear me, do anything about me. It’s got nothing to do with Mbalula; it’s got to do with the court.”
Mbalula said there was no war between him and Ntlemeza, saying he had been patient and respectful towards him.
Here’s what the minister had to say on Monday:
— Virginia Keppler (@VKeppler) April 24, 2017
Physical fitness among police officers
“You can’t be a police man and have a big tummy; that is unacceptable.
“It must be chest out, not be stomach out. Police men and women in blue must be fit; they must be fit to the latter. It starts first with the minister himself to deal with operation no mkhaba [potbelly].”
On criminals and their flashy lifestyles
— Jonisayi W. Maromo (@Jonisayi) April 25, 2017
Touch HD and crime reportage:
“There are many apps. You know there is an app that we download everyday – it’s called Touch HD, it’s a radio station.
“I want you to download that app on your cellphones to fight criminality. So when you enter a zone … it must tell you how many police stations you got and what the dangers you are facing in the area that you are at.
“Use your cellphone to report criminality. That’s what I am about,” the minister said.
On xenophobia allegations:
Mbalula also defended his comments about Zimbabwean criminals after he said last week on Twitter that five Zimbabwean nationals had been arrested in connection with the robbery of a jewellery store at Hyde Park shopping centre in Johannesburg.
He said people should not confuse his statements on Zimbabweans with xenophobia, saying there were many Zimbabweans who came to South Africa to earn an honest living.
“There are highly educated Zimbabweans who are working in our kitchens, but there are ex-soldiers who are criminals … they’re people who cross the line from Zimbabwe who are ex- soldiers promoting criminality running away from Uncle Bob [Robert Mugabe].”
— lizzee (@lizTandwa) April 25, 2017