Cele: Crime Intelligence squabbles to blame for lack of intel ahead of July unrest

Cele: Crime Intelligence squabbles to blame for lack of intel ahead of July unrest

Police Minister Bheki Cele has told the South African Human Rights Commission's hearings into the July unrest that he only received a report on the unrest in December 2021.

Bheki Cele

Cele returned to the hearings on Monday.

The report, Cele claims, was supposed to have warned the police on possible violence following the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.

He told the commission on Monday that he received the document via email on December 3.

This was after his first appearance at the commission.

Cele told the commission he relied on information from the public and was briefed on the unfolding violence by an unnamed “someone”.

He said he believed that Crime Intelligence deliberately decided not to hand him the early warning report on the violence due to internal squabbles. 

Leading up to the unrest, Cele and Sitole had a disagreement on the removal of former Crime Intelligence boss Peter Jacobs.

Jacobs was eventually removed amid allegations of PPE tender corruption. 

Cele told the commission an Acting Head of intelligence was appointed without his involvement, which was unlawful.

He said because of these matters, a decision was made not to share the information with him.

"There was a little bit of a war rather than working on these things. Clearly there was something coming but the arrest of the former president was one of those things that ignited what you saw happening there.

“One other thing were the preparations because without any form of formal information, intelligence, it was clear something was coming and we could have mitigated what happened," Cele said.


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