EFF leaders accuses President of being scared of his Police Minister
- Cyril Ramaphosa told EFF leader Julius Malema that he feared “f****l”.
- During a question session in the National Assembly, Malema asked Ramaphosa why Bheki Cele had not been shown the door.
- Ramaphosa said it remained his prerogative to appoint ministers to the Cabinet.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told Julius Malema he feared “f****l” after the EFF leader claimed he was scared to act against under-fire Police Minister Bheki Cele.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa answered questions in the National Assembly on South Africa’s response to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the economy and crime.
Malema posed a follow-up question to Ramaphosa and cited the recent killings in Khayelitsha and Manenberg.
“They [criminals] are no longer hiding. They are shooting people in broad daylight, in front of cameras. They no longer wear balaclavas. They don’t hide. The reason being there is no police in South Africa, and there is no visible policing in all suburbs and townships,” Malema said.
“The problem is that you have taken a person, who was the commissioner, and made him the minister. He has a competing interest of being a commissioner and the minister. He interferes with the powers of commissioners. I can guarantee you, you can appoint any commissioner, that person will never succeed as long as Bheki Cele is there.
“What is it that you are so scared about Bheki Cele? If you think he possesses a lot of support in KZN, why can’t you redeploy him and appoint a capable minister to fight crime? Crime is a nightmare.”
In response, Ramaphosa said:He (Malema) wants to know, as president, what I am scared of. All I can say is that Honourable Malema, I have heard what you said. I fear f****l.
In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, Ramaphosa promised that resources would be made available to recruit and train 12 000 new police officers.
In Malema’s initial question, he wanted to know why Ramaphosa decided to axe national police commissioner Khehla Sitole, but not Cele.
“The outgoing national commissioner of the police service and I have been in communication for some time about matters that led to the mutual agreement that led to the early termination of his contract. These discussions were, therefore, not related to the crime statistics, but we were instead guided by what would be in the best interests of the country,” Ramaphosa said.
“Honourable Malema knows that, when the president appoints his ministers, he does not consult the public. It is the president’s decision,” Ramaphosa said.
Malema, in response, said: “Any responsible president will know, when you appoint members of the Cabinet, you do so in the best interest of our people. It is not a power that you go around floundering, without exercising it in a rational manner. No one has ever questioned your capacity or your constitutional powers to appoint your Cabinet.”
After a point of order was raised, Ramaphosa had to withdraw the word “f****l”.