When Police Minister Bheki Cele spoke to irate Kagiso villagers on Sunday, there were undertones of the divisive "shoot to kill" language. Residents once more pressed Cele, who had previously stated that he would not order his men to "shoot to kill," to "win the fight" against illegal miners. The "zama zamas," or illegal miners, are said to be out of control in Kagiso and the surrounding districts, according to locals. Residents of West Village, who claim they live in constant dread, urged Cele once more on Saturday to send out his specialized cops.
On Sunday, Cele addressed a throng and claimed he had heard their cries for him to use all of his forces to bring about peace. "Armed criminals must be dealt with harshly by police. Police must be powerful enough to guarantee public safety, "added said. Cele urged cops to confront highly armed criminals, particularly zama zamas. "We understand your dissatisfaction. We intend to answer. We're going to destroy these mines. We're going to clean up these abandoned mines. Our cops are fully prepared for the duty.
"When I arrive, all I want to see is dust. When the dust settles, I want to count illegal miners rather than cops on the ground. "If they decide to hire you as a cop and you end up going toe-to-toe with criminals, don't back down. When the dust settles, I don't want any police officers on the ground. If that's shoot-to-kill, I'm not a part of it "Cele said. "You must handle each situation as it arises. Armed offenders must be dealt with appropriately by police. Criminals don't carry feather dusters or brooms. They transport robust objects. "Police must treat armed offenders harshly. Police must be powerful enough to guarantee public safety.
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