Home News Cele won’t apologise for rape comment

Cele won’t apologise for rape comment

Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday refused to apologise for a controversial statement he made after eight women were raped by illegal miners in Krugersdorp.

Police Minister Bheki Cele refused to apologise for a controversial statement he made after eight women were raped by illegal miners in Krugersdorp. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

During the oral question session in the National Council of Provinces, Cele was asked if he was still of the opinion that the young woman, who was raped once, was lucky and whether he would make a public apology to all women who were raped.

In his response, Cele said he thought that he had responded several times on the matter.

“I will respond again. I am not going to apologise for the things I did not do,” he said.

The minister explained that he gave an interview after meeting some of the rape survivors and their families.

Cele said they were told that some of survivors were raped repeatedly by the several men and that one was raped by one man.

“It is on that score that the women were raped by 10 men and this young woman was lucky, if that was lucky.”

He challenged his critics to go and listen to his statement.

The minister said his statement was taken out of context.

“If a statement is picked out of context, I will not apologise for something moved from the context so that a political party is making a campaign out of that.

“I will not be part of that campaign. I never said the woman is lucky without qualifying what I said,” he said.

Cele dismissed a suggestion that SAPS responded to requests to deal with illegal miners in Krugersdorp and other mining towns because of the rape of the eight women.

“The SAPS did not wait for the incident such as the rape of eight women to respond,” he said.

Cele said the illicit mining activities increased in North West, Limpopo, Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape in 2019.

The minister also said the incidents, including damage to infrastructure, continued to show an increase in 2020-21.

This had prompted the multi-disciplinary approach by establishing integrated task teams and various sub-committees were established at national level to focus on illicit mining.

“Since July 2021 special operations were initiated in the affected provinces.

“SAPS has now established an economic and infrastructure task team that addresses illicit mining and other related crimes, including damage to critical infrastructure in 18 prioritised municipal districts.

“SAPS has also mobilised national specialised policing capacities to Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga,” he said.

He, however, said there were issues raised in the West Rand about illegal miners.

Cele told of operations in the Free State and North West including a clamp down on an illegal mine where machinery was confiscated.

“The special task force went to shut down the mine that was illegally operating with big machines.

“There were arrests of owners of mines in luxury cars.”

Cele said although he had held an imbizo in Kagiso last month, members of the local community have not opened a case of collusion of the officers in corruption with the illegal miners.

“The SAPS anti-corruption unit has been tasked to investigate the alleged collusion of SAPS members with zama-zamas,” he added.

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