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Cele dismisses calls for S Africans to arm themselves in wake of Ngcobo attack

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2018-03-01 Babalo Ndenze
FILE: African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele. © GCIS. FILE: African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has shot down a suggestion that South Africans should arm themselves in the wake of the killing of five police officers in Ngcobo, in the Eastern Cape.

He has also slammed opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) for being too critical of police instead of mourning their deaths.

Cele was reacting to the debate by MPs on his first ministerial statement on the Ngcobo massacre.

He has accused opposition MPs of political point scoring, saying that they should show more sympathy for the family of the deceased.

Cele has dismissed a suggestion from the Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Groenewald for people to arm themselves.

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He says this could lead South Africa down a dangerous path like America, where gun crime is rampant.

“Nobody wants to see the American situation, where children are killed in classrooms because firearms are allowed to be carried like toys. We’ll have to work very hard to make sure that South Africa is disarmed.”

Cele says the Ngcobo Police Station had been identified as a place to source firearms to carry out a bank robbery.

He has pledged that police leadership will return to Ngcobo after the funerals to assess the situation.

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