Police Minister Bheki Cele has climbed down from comments he shared on Wednesday, where he asked South Africans to ‘be asleep by 21:00’. The bizarre request was scoffed at from all corners, leading the EFF to mount a vicious verbal attack against the ANC veteran. But for some people, the retraction has proved to be too little, too late…
While addressing the media on New Year’s Eve, Cele said that even some of his colleagues believed he went ‘too far’ by trying to add his own conditions onto the curfew laws. He admitted that ‘a lot of flack’ was directed his way in the past 24 hours, and the minister urged South Africans to ‘light a candle’ at midnight alongside the president.
“I have received a lot of flack for saying people should be asleep by 21:00. Even my colleagues have said ‘no man’, so OK, you must rather be in your house, be at your premises by 21:00. Nobody will fine you for going to sleep later. Cyril Ramaphosa has asked people to light a candle at midnight, we should invite all South Africans to do that,” he said.
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) December 31, 2020
However, on Thursday, a petition emerged on change.org, calling for President Ramaphosa to remove Bheki Cele from his position as police minister. According to the author, the politician has ‘abused his power’ and faced ‘no consequences’.
“The Minister of Police constantly abuses his power when it comes to every activity that black people engage in. He has no regard for the rule of law, while he is in charge of the whole law enforcement entity. Bheki Cele misinterprets lockdown regulation with no regard to consequences,” Creator of the petition to fire Bheki Cele.