Africa-Press – South-Africa. Police Minister Bheki Cele has been found guilty of breaching the code of ethical conduct for MPs after he locked horns with an anti-crime activist at a meeting in Gugulethu last year.
A crime imbizo held in July last year in Gugulethu descended into a screaming match between Cele and Ian Cameron, the director of Action Society.
Cameron interrupted Cele during the imbizo and accused the minister of failing to protect citizens and not adequately deploying police to crime hotspots.
More than 30 identified community organisations – including community policing forums from Nyanga and Gugulethu – were in attendance to discuss critical issues of crime, policing concerns, and challenges faced by police during the imbizo.
Things became heated when Cele told Cameron to “shut up”.
“I am a son of the soil. I chose not to speak about politics today. Whatever happens to me, I will be buried in this country,” Cele said.
“I did not join human rights battles yesterday. I will not be called a garden boy. Don’t provoke me. I’ve lived this life. Shut up!”
Police officers then quickly moved in to forcibly remove Cameron from the venue.
Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests said on Monday it wanted Cele to apologise to Cameron in front of members of the National Assembly.
“[T]he video footage taken on the day, which was played in the committee, shows that the member [Cele] was irate and that he did shout at the complainant,” the committee said.
The committee found that even if Cele was unhappy with the manner in which Cameron addressed the issue at the imbizo, Cele, as an MP, was required to act in a manner that would “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 a representative institution”.
Cameron told News24 he welcomed the outcome.
“It’s good that he [Cele] is being held publicly accountable. It’s sad that there has been no prosecution for his actions regarding the assault matter. Whether it’s enough, I’m not sure; I am surprised that the committee has come to a conclusion. It’s been more than a year later,” he said.