Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cele should stop the charade and clean up SAPS

Our new top cop got his job cut out. One of his biggest challenges is going to be to stamp out corruption, but also those incompetent and downright, rotten police officers. I'm sure Mr Cele will never run after a thug, in his purple jackets and Italian shoes. He would however leave a legacy if he can run after his own-those rotten, cadres.

Let me tell you what I mean. Whilst, we all loathe those who drag our beloved country with her proud legacy of struggling for equality and justice, down the drain, let's not look too far in some dark corner of our communities. The enemy is closer. On Saturday night after some rugby and 'kuier', one of our close friends left our home in good spirits (and we did not have any 'spirits' al all). Young husband, wife and their beautiful baby daughter, our godchild. After 12 minutes we got a call, they were in an accident. We rushed to the scene, at about ten to ten to find them shocked, struggling to gain composure. Their car is wrecked, which they bought and kept on the road, with a modest income; the car with which they serve their community. This, I suppose one could describe as 'a normal accident' (this description is important), but there's more.

After we made sure our two-year old was okay, we saw the guy who drove in them, almost killing mother and child. He was drunk and tried to drive away, but was stopped by the damage to his own bakkie. Now, stil struggling to stay on his feet, he tried to convince my friend that he should not call the cops. He tried to explain, that we are all human and that he will make everything right for him. By this time my friend called our famous 10111 a few times, and gradually grew more and more frustrated and furious, as there were no signs of our SAPS, as yet. The usual suspects arrived, we call them the 'vultures', ready to tow the cars away, at exorbitant rates (which you only discover afterwards). So, we discovered that they 'overheard' the radio conversations, because one of them (tow truckers) is an off-duty cop. He confronted the drunk, corrupt offender, who also pulled out his police identification card, it turns out, he is an inspector at the Johannesburg police station, and displayed proudly on his cellphone wallpaper, a proud ANC supporter.

To make a long story short- we ended up in the Florida police station, after 12, at night, being told off by the inspector, in charge, that this drunk, corrupt inspector of SAPS, will be out the next day (today) and, most probably, be back on duty (read: on the road again), serving the community. He explained rather, annoyingly, that we need to understand that this rotten cop is actually like all of us. According to 'procedure' the blood tests usually takes from 6-8 weeks to a year to come back and that the court dates, most probably will only be next year June. In fact, the colleagues there, agreed amongst themselves that this is 'a normal accident', the subtext being, nothing will come of this.

I am outraged. I saw it last night at the scene how cynical members of our community remains of the integrity of SAPS. They openly declared that nothing will come of this; that the cops will protect each other and that what happened there is normal. The good people will come nowhere, maintaining their trust in the system. I tried to convince them otherwise, but how can I maintain the lie? How long will I be able to convince people of the integrity of our systems, when they know and have experienced that the powerful, the corrupt will allways win. It's is at this level that Cele, will have to make substantial inroads. If he fails to convince us that his cops are clean, competent professionals, driven by passion and integrity, then all his mafia-type bavado will remain simply that, empty bravado. But, that's not all. More and more people, like the community members on the scene, will start to protect their own, themselves, against the system. They will be left with few choices. This is a scary scenario and one that we certainly would want to prevent. The question is for how long will the people remain victims, for how long will people remain quiet, whilst those who we entrust the responsibility to safeguard our communities, maintain a charade whilst protecting the vile...Its seems there is no question:
Mr Cele, you've got your job cut out: clean up the SAPS !
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