Deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi on Friday said South Africans complicate the work of police officials by buying stolen property.
"This is the monster we are dealing with here. It is not easy, it is difficult. You know why it is difficult, because you as the people, you support criminals," Mkongi said.
"How can you buy a cell phone from a boy that you know does not own any company of Samsung?"
"If society wants to kill criminality, society must not become criminals too."
Mkongi was speaking at a Youth Day commemoration in Bloemkombos High School in Paarl.
He blamed "educated youth" on assisting criminals defeat the ends of justice.
"When police are sitting on the weekend on the strategic plan to fight crime, they [criminals] are sitting in their own strategic plan," Mkongi said.
"As criminals, they are told by these young men and women who are very clever what the strategy of the police is."
Mkongi said once criminals are convicted they infiltrate medical staff to get out of jail on medical parole.
At the end of his short address, Mkongi called on South African youth to respect the country's national flag, national anthem and Constitution.
"One important thing I want to talk about [is that] the youth must not undermine that flag, this is a flag of our fathers and our mothers. They died for this flag, please don't burn that flag," he said.
"Our national anthem is an expression, it is a spiritual expression of our forefathers and mothers into what we must go to. It is the spiritual expression of the direction we must take as South Africans."
"You must never walk on top of our Constitution. The Constitution of the republic is the building stones of our nation and a programme of action of our people."
"So, if you respect those three... our people will liberate South Africa from crime."
Mkongi was infamously forced to apologise after he angered anti-Zuma campaigners, as well as various political parties, when he called for the #ZumaMustFall banner in Cape Town to be burnt down in January 2016.
He was also reported to Parliament's ethics committee following his statements on Facebook.
"Join the ANC in Cape Town today at 14h00 to burn down the billboard saying 'ZumaMustFall'. The billboard must not be lifted down, but, burnt down," Mkongi said on his Facebook page at the time.
One person commented: "We can't burn it down as it is pasted against an apartment block, people inside the apartment will burn to death. We can remove it though."
Mkongi responded with: "They must burn to death as it is life for them to keep it that way."
He was appointed deputy minister of police in President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle in March. -- News24Suggest a correction