'General Ntlemeza, you must know I am coming for you' - Mbalula

Minister of Police says he is 'going to unleash the law' on former Hawks boss

'General Ntlemeza, you must know I am coming for you' - Mbalula

25 April 2017

Pretoria - "General Ntlemeza, you must know I am coming for you. You are working 24-hours to do an illegal operation... I'm going to unleash the law."

This was the fiery warning from Police Minister Fikile Mbalula at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mbalula was briefing the media on his strategic plan to wage war against crime.

But it was questions on former hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza that stirred the minister's anger.

On Monday, Ntlemeza reported for duty, despite a High Court ruling that his appointment was invalid and should be set aside. He left with a state-issued car and cellphone. Mbalula threatened to issue an arrest warrant, and Ntlemeza later returned the car.

On Tuesday, Mbalula told reporters that there were certain Hawks officials meeting in safe houses with Ntlemeza to plot against him.

"I'm aware about operations, working in safe houses to undertake an operation on the minister of police. I'm aware and I'm coming for them," he said.

Rogue Hawks elements

An impassioned Mbalula warned these rogue Hawks elements that he would not allow resources to be invested in illegal operations.

"I am going to act. I'm not going to allow rogueness to happen in this country, willy nilly," he said.

He said Ntlemeza's legal counsels were "voodoo lawyers" who used provocative language to manipulate the media.

"If he thinks he is entitled to come to work, tell him to come now. He will not see me, but he will see me in terms of the law. I'm very clear about it. There is no beef between us... We must respect the law."

Mbalula said he would not allow Ntlemeza to blackmail him, and that only the African National Congress could stop him from exercising his mandate.

"A smart cop acts quietly, not through press conferences... I owe Ntlemeza nothing. He never did me any favours. I've served this country. I've served my organisation to the best of my ability. It's only the ANC that can tell me you are now out of line... I owe no policeman a favour. I'm here to work with them and, if possible, let's play golf."

He said he would wait for the courts before making any decisions against acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, who is under investigation for his lavish lifestyle.

Mbalula, however, said that it was concerning that so much scandal surrounded a high ranking police official.

"The minister will not defend any wrongdoing. Once evidence has been tested and found that there is authenticity, the minister will not defend any wrongdoing by whoever is in the police service. It is worrisome when one of our own at the helm of the police is receiving such accusations. We must follow the law," he said. - News24

Shoot to kill, says 'new sheriff in town'

Shoot to kill was the order given to police by the Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday.

Mbalula said when dealing with criminals, police should do all they can to protect themselves and the country.

"I am very clear that we must be ruthless against armed criminals who kill police, there is no retreat," he said, adding however, that he didn't want police to act recklessly.

"I am saying to them if they shoot you, shoot back. Shoot to kill if that is the case. Don't allow [yourselves] to be killed whilst criminals are ruthless against you. The law protects you to fight back."

He urged citizens to report criminals.

"We will find them, don't worry. There is a new sheriff in town. I need your support to fight criminality."

Corrupt cops

He said he would deal with police who are in the deep pockets of criminals. Mbalula said he was coming for criminals who own Ferraris which were unaccounted for.

He said a new campaign Wanya Tsotsi would be aimed at targeting high level criminals.

"Crime has become the biggest threat to our freedoms and rights… We have come to a conclusion that society is under siege and we must [encourage] communities to fight crime. Our harsh approach is informed by existing material conditions that compromise the safety and security of the country and its citizens."

Mbalula said he meant it when pronouncing that it would be business unusual in the policing sector.

He said he would be engaging with stakeholders to share a perspective and develop a common approach to fight crime.

Since taking office, Mbalula formed a strategic planning session comprising of police and the civilian secretariat of the police.

The planning session was convened with a view to translate its mandate into practice, he said.

Mbalula said instilling fear into criminals would be the police's mantra.

Mbalula intends on signing more policies which are at an advanced planning stage.

These include the policy on improving the functioning of SAPS detective services, investigations into serial rapes; national integrated anti-gang strategy, and a use of force policy.

He said the use of force policy meant that police would meet fire with fire.

"We will shoot to defend the innocent, we will shoot to defend the law, we will shoot to defend ourselves and make sure that criminals do not reign."

Mbalula said under reported crimes are domestic and sexual violence. He said a policy in removing barriers has been developed to curb under reporting of these crimes.

He said following recommendations by the commission of inquiry after the Marikana massacre, demilitarisation of police was identified as one of the priorities.

He added that 57% of police members were in administrative positions and this would need to change.

"It is my intention to move swiftly in the shifting of administrative responsibilities from SAPS."