Progress in political killings as Bheki Cele brings in 'project plan'

Minister says in the past two weeks six arrests have been made, with one person out on bail

Progress in political killings as Cele brings in 'project plan'

Minister of Police Bheki Cele has overhauled the task team involved in investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, saying he was unhappy with their progress.

"We were not getting results with the old team. From time to time we have to move them around. Some people do not perform well in certain units," Cele told a contingent of media on Friday.

Cele said he had put together a new "project plan" with a team of 118 members including prosecutors, correctional services officials and detectives who deal specifically with national matters. He has retained eight members from the previous team.

He was speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal police headquarters in Durban where he gave an update on investigations in political killings that have plagued the province for more than five years.

Cele said some members from the previous task team "would not have behaved or performed as expected".

"We will not provide detailed answers on that team until we know all the facts. Only once we know everything can we say okay, this person deviated. If it is found they have deviated, there will be consequences."

He said the eight members he had opted to retain were making good progress on their tasks.

"Some are still working on cases and they have skills that fitted in the part they were [in]. They also had capacity to stay on board."

According to Cele, in the past two weeks six arrests had been made, with one person out on bail.

"We cannot say too much now because we do not want to jeopardise the cases. If we start telling you about case specifics we could compromise links to other cases," he told journalists who were eager to flesh out details on the arrests.

He added that since June, police had arrested 512 people for illegal arms and ammunition and seized 706 illegal guns, semi-automatic rifles, hunting rifles and pistols.

Cele added that KZN will be normalised.

"People cannot just go around doing things with impunity. We are a state and have to make sure the authority of the state is exacted. We will work hard so people of KZN don't live in fear of political killings."