Cele hoping for ‘better working relationship’ with safety MECS

CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Bheki Cele said he was hopeful of a better working relationship with MECs across the country.

But in the Western Cape, an intergovernmental dispute against Cele still stands.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde confirmed the matter was still valid.

Cele had been in the process of meeting with the nine provincial MECs of community safety.

He has already been in contact with his safety counterpart in the Western Cape.

“I was quite pleased, I was called by the MEC [Albert] Fritz and I hope we’ll be having a better working relationship.”

He says while he is yet to meet the MECs of several other provinces, he remains committed to working all role-players.

“You can’t demarcate criminality, we have to work from one area and make sure we deal with crime, it doesn’t matter if it’s on a national or provincial level.”

The formal dispute was declared during Winde’s tenure as the provincial community safety MEC. It related to the lack of policing resources in the Western Cape.

Winde said the province needed serious interventions as crime was reaching uncontrollable levels.

His dispute with Cele was also part of a legal process to approach the courts over police resources.

“While I’m not going to immediately withdraw the dispute, what I am happy to do is to have a discussion as the premier along with the MEC. I’m prepared to put up the white flag and say let us find a solution,” Winde said.

The Social Justice Coalition also recently submitted proposals to the courts regarding remedial action around the distribution of police resources.

The group took the police minister to court over inefficient resource allocation.

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