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By Stephen Tau


AKA’s murder: ‘Cele is one big failure, he has to go’, says expert

Expert calls for Cele's axing in the wake of AKA's murder.

Police minister Bheki Cele should have been fired a long time ago for failing to address issues of violent crime, such as the gruesome murder of Hip Hop sensation AKA.

This is a strong view by criminologist and former policeman Dr Hennie Lochner in response to the death of Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (AKA) and his friend Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane.

The duo were shot dead in a drive-by shooting on Florida road in Durban on Friday night.

ALSO READ: AKA’s parents confirm news of his death

Cele not right man for the job

Reacting further to this incident – and many other gruesome killings that have happened in the country – Lochner said the time has come for Cele to vacate his position.

“It is not only me who is feeling this way but many other South Africans. I mean you can’t make a teacher a minister of police, you won’t just allow any ordinary practitioner to operate on you if you have a heart problem.

We need to appoint the right people.

“Wearing a hat like a cowboy does not necessarily mean you are a cowboy, and this man is not the right man for the job,” Lochner said.

Lack of intelligence

Lochner says while he cannot tell President Cyril Ramaphosa how to reshuffle his Cabinet, he can say Cele is not the answer for the country’s worrying crime situation.

“Look at what’s happening in Gugulethu, the Cape Flats, and in Soweto,” Lochner said.

“Law and order are just non-existent and everyone is doing as they please because at the end of the day, you just take and the root cause of the problem is the lack of intelligence.”

Cele’s Sona controversy

Cele also came under fire this week from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, for defending the forceful removal of EFF MPs from the State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Malema called Cele a “certified fool” for celebrating how police handled the situation on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Bheki Cele is ‘singing for his supper’ ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

AKA’s murder

Also reacting to the latest brutal incident, an independent crime and policing expert Dr Johan Burger said this has the appearance of a hit or targeted attack (assassination), stressing that we can only speculate at this time.

“Part of the problem certainly is the absence of a credible deterrent in the form of an effective and efficient criminal justice system, in particular the police,” Burger said.

“Criminals are increasingly confident of their chances to avoid arrest and prosecution, in other words, they believe the risk of being caught and prosecuted is so low that it is worth it.”

ALSO READ: AKA lived up to his stage name, right to the very end

Criminals more brazen

He said to support this, the police’s annual reports over the last decade show a 43% drop in the detection rate for aggravated robbery and 53% for murder.

“Criminals are becoming more brazen by the day because they have little fear of being identified, arrested, and successfully prosecuted,” he added.

“And of course, our criminal justice system was seriously damaged by state capture and some bad practices, such as in the appointment of senior officials, again, in particular, the police.

“A number of [researchers and academics] have accordingly over the years called for an urgent and fundamental reform of the police service,” he said.

Reform process

“To begin with, there are a number of authoritative reports, such as the 2012 National Development Plan (NDP) and the 2018 Panel of Experts Report which provide excellent guidelines and recommendations to assist with the reform process,” said Burger.

According to Burger, such a reform process cannot be managed by the police themselves or only by them.

“In the interest of transparency and credibility the process should include external experts with a good standing,” Burger said.

Will removing Cele help deal with violent crimes?

Burger said: “I don’t see how removing him will in itself benefit the police.”

“I do, however, believe he should publicly acknowledge the need for the fundamental reform of the police and take the lead to initiate the process,” Burger explained.

Police spokesperson in KZN, Colonel Robert Netshiunda, did not respond to questions sent to him at the time of publishing this article.

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