I won’t “Shut up”, Cele! – Ian Cameron on “political police” & persecution for speaking truth to power….

Minister of Police Bheki Cele is in no mood to apologise to crime fighter Ian Cameron for shouting at him to “Shut Up” at a police Imbizo in Gugulethu last year. Speaking to BizNews, Cameron says Cele is considering an appeal to the finding of Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests that the Minister should do so in the House. Cameron vows: “…despite or regardless of what the Minister Cele says or doesn’t say, I’m not going to shut up. I’m not going to keep quiet. And I’m certainly not going to stop speaking out against injustice – and I’m definitely not going to stop pointing out and speaking out against the abuse of power by certain politicians.” – Chris Steyn

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 00:26 – What is the latest development regarding the decision of the parliament committee
  • 02:52 – Why did the committee take so long
  • 05:12 – Not only were you verbally abused but you were also manhandled
  • 06:44 – Conclusions

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Highlights from the interview

Minister of Police Bheki Cele is in no mood to apologise to crime fighter Ian Cameron for shouting at him to “Shut Up” at a police Imbizo in Gugulethu last year.

Speaking to BizNews, Cameron says Cele is considering an appeal to the finding of Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests that the Minister should do so in the House.

The committee found that Cele had breached the code of ethical conduct, and more specifically “failed to maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament and thereby engender the respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament as representative institution when he became irate during the IMBIZO and shouted ‘shut up’.”

Says Cameron: “Minister Cele is now saying that they will review and possibly appeal the recommendation by the Ethics Committee. Now you know to me if I was leading a body like the police or the civilian Police Secretariat and have to give strategic direction to the South African Police Service, I wouldn’t be getting involved in appeals or reviews of Ethnic Committee recommendations. I would be on the ground checking what I can do to give strategic direction to change this direction of the sinking ship that we know as the South African Police Service. But now it seems that he would rather get involved in a political side show. 

“If I were him, I would just apologise and move on swiftly and get the job done.”

Meanwhile, Cameron vows: “…despite or regardless of what the Minister Cele says or doesn’t say, I’m not going to shut up. I’m not going to keep quiet. And I’m certainly not going to stop speaking out against injustice – and I’m definitely not going to stop pointing out and speaking out against the abuse of power by certain politicians.”

As it is, Cameron feels that the Minister should be apologising to the “entire country”. 

“His time as Police Minister has been an utter failure. Currently we have 70 murders per day, three per hour…”

Reacting to a news report that said Cele shouted at Cameron after the crime fighter had interrupted him, he says: “You know, I think there’s a general issue too that the right facts aren’t always laid out. And with this specific matter, all I did was mention facts during my opportunity to speak, and when he insinuated something about me that I’m not, namely being racist, I stood up and I said retract your statement. So I think just to give context about the interruption.”

Cameron also recalls how he was violently manhandled that day. “They they did assault me…they tore my jacket. They pushed me around. I don’t know if they were going to arrest me. I saw in the videos afterwards that one of the cops reached for…his handcuffs…So, I’m not 100 per cent sure what they were planning to do. To this day I don’t know what the reason was for the removal. I don’t know who gave the order.

“It’s quite interesting from what I heard that the cop that actually grabbed me first has been promoted since. And remember that the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) also informed us that they wouldn’t prosecute and that it wasn’t assault.

“So it shows you that there’s political favour or political influence in the way SAPS operates. And it’s very frustrating for good career cops because they are the ones that are left in danger and exposed while there are political cops like that Colonel that started the whole thing with me on the day in Gugulethu. 

“And it’s clear that you’ve got political police and then you’ve got normal police. And obviously the first mentioned is very worrying and it sets a very dangerous precedent that if you speak truth to power or if you challenge authority in South Africa, legitimately challenge authority with merit, you still face some kind of persecution.”

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