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Bheki Cele must provide assurance that anti-riot units are ready and able to protect lives and property

The FF Plus demanded in a parliamentary question to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, that he must unequivocally assure South Africans that the police’s Public Order (POP) Units are adequately trained and equipped to protect communities against riots.

This was in response to Cele’s reply to a previous parliamentary question in which he stated that he cannot provide any information concerning the state of police members’ equipment due to security reasons.

He claimed that disclosing any information regarding the availability, utilisation and deployment of human and physical resources could compromise police actions and the safety of members.

It is a well-known fact that members of the police are generally poorly equipped, and that members were hastily transferred to POP units to respond to the riots in KwaZulu-Natal last year.

Against this backdrop, the Minister’s apparent attempt to hide behind confidentiality to cover up shortcomings in the police force is unacceptable.

South Africans are entitled to have a properly trained and equipped police force standing by to protect their lives and property.

This is all the more crucial in light of the violent crime and looting of private properties, which often accompany incidents of public unrest.

The FF Plus will continue to call attention to the ANC government’s seemingly indifferent attitude towards South Africans’ safety and the protection of their private property.

South Africans deserve better than the ANC.

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