Police Minister Bheki Cele says on top of his list of priorities is going back to the basics that helped reduce the crime rate between 2010 and 2011, while he was National Police Commissioner.
He was addressing a media briefing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal where he introduced the new Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant- General Godfrey Lebeya.
The Police Minister has vowed to root out all rotten apples in the SAPS, regardless of their positions.
Cele has vowed that the South African Police will focus on bringing down the rate of crimes such as car hijackings, cash in transit heists, and murder.
He says the police have started filling all strategic positions and the department is in the process of redirecting resources to where they are needed most.
“We can put our head on the block that South Africans will feel safe and will be safe. One thing that we work hard on was the visibility of the SAPS. Our units the specialised units will be revamped, trained; guys will keep their stomach in, chest out, work on their equipment and better cars.”
The Police Minister says it’s worrying that the KwaMashu Hostel north of Durban, seems to have become a hiding place for criminals.
On Friday morning, two suspects linked to Thursday’s attempted hijacking and fatal shooting of a man at Avoca north of Durban, were traced to the hostel.
The two died in an exchange of gunfire with police. Cele says police will put the hostel under scrutiny.
“That’s why we are saying that hostel needs a very serious Hawks eye, because it looks like everybody we chase and everybody we want in this province, whether they killed police in Greytown… we still find them in that hostel… so it is a hostel that we need to look very closely to going forward.”
Cele has urged people in possession of unlicensed firearms to use the window period still to be announced by government to return all illegal firearms.
He also introduced a retired judge who has been contracted to work with the Hawks to monitor their conduct and ensure that they operate within the ambit of the law.