Police minister Bheki Cele’s call for everybody to be in bed by 9 pm on New Year’s Eve has left many doing a double-take.
On Wednesday, Cele got tongues wagging with his claim that there will be no New Year’s Eve celebrations this year under the adjusted level 3 lockdown. Speaking during an SA Police Service (SAPS) parade in KwaMashu, Durban, he declared that this year there will be “no December 31″ and that people should be in bed by 9 pm.
“We are experiencing what we’ve never experienced before. This time, there is no December 31. There is no tin-hitting. By 21:00, everybody ‘ulele’ (sleeping). Everybody must be in bed by 21:00,” said Cele.
The police minister said that there would be consequences for individuals who break curfew or are drunk. “Make sure that you lock them in. Usually, you help them and show them home. This time we will give them a home. Our stations may be full, but we will make room for them,” he said.
On social media, many had a lot to say about Cele’s ” bedtime” for the country, asking whether he thought citizens were “prisoners” or his children who could be told when to have to go to bed.
Others claimed he was being “disrespectful” and should have encouraged the nation instead of using “scare tactics”. Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
My question is”.why must we be told what time to sleep by Bheki Cele?” I mean are we his kids? Now I can’t sit in my own house till midnight. What crazy nonsense is this.
— Mrs N… (@ndess_lebo) December 30, 2020
Excuse me Bheki Cele? “By 21:00 everyone must be sleeping on Dec 31st” 🥴🥴
What does curfew mean kanti? What a mad man
— #TheFitClubZA (@Quela__) December 30, 2020
Encourage people to be in their homes with their families and celebrate 🍾 the new year at midnight without mixing with other people/neighbours…. Don’t tell them to sleep at 21:00 🙄 …
South African need leaders to give them hope, not scare tactics Sir.
— Tebogo Dukes Modukanele (@tebo_dukes) December 31, 2020
We understand the curfew, but ordering us to sleep at 21h00 is disrespectful. We are not Bheki Cele’s children. Voetsek. Abuse of power. #southafricancoronavirus
— #MrShabangu (@lesma_waza) December 30, 2020
Ei, Bheki Cele gets excited about petty things uyaz https://t.co/7Di8JpFiT8
— Superblack (@hostilenativ) December 30, 2020
What I hate the most about Bheki Cele is his language usage. He’s always addressing the black people. He’s not addressing the nation in his rants. He sees a black person as the one who breaks the Covid19 laws.
— Portia Gumede (@portiagumedesa) December 30, 2020
I think Bheki Cele forgot to tell us what time we need to wake up 🤔 pic.twitter.com/SaImoEtxQz
— Tsietsi Matlakala (@TsietsiRubbish) December 30, 2020
Bheki Cele is telling us what time we should be asleep ? Sesyadakelwa straight ke manje .
— umuntu. (@yandamvelase) December 30, 2020