01/03/2018 11:58 SAST | Updated 01/03/2018 11:58 SAST

Police Minister Cele Says Hawks Need To Be Cleaned Up

"We have been having a problem for a long time."

Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Lisa Hnatowicz/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says crime intelligence has been a problematic area in policing for a long time, and more needs to be done to correct this.

"Crime intelligence is a priority. We have been having a problem for a long time. We know that the head has just gone after six years' suspension. It does not have any head, and there are other allegations that it has been used to fight other battles," Cele said in an interview with Bongani Bingwa on Talk Radio 702 on Thursday morning.

He has already scheduled meetings with the Hawks to make sure they "clean all the structures".

"We need to make sure that all who have allegations [against them] – and then those who have been found to have been compromised – they get out of the organisation, and we continue with the work," Cele said.

"You cannot just allow these structures to be used for whatever political outcome."

He denied that he ever told police to "shoot to kill", as was reported during his tenure as police commissioner.

"Recently someone who had a vision that I would be appointed raised that issue – I denied saying shoot to kill; I have never said shoot to kill," Cele said.

He challenged the media: "I have made the invitation to everybody that is in the media world to show me either the written statement or electronic statement that I said so."

The minister says he has "spoken tough" and urged police not to "die with guns in their hands".

He says there is still a mammoth task ahead in handling the Ngcobo massacre, in which five policemen were killed during a robbery at a police station in Eastern Cape.

"The first [thing to] mention is the task we need to do – we need to carry everybody on the shoulders, and that understanding of low morale should be corrected and put everyone on a high note as an organisation and as community [sic]."

Read: Is Bheki Cele The Right Man For The Job?

In the matter of Jacques Pauw, whose home was searched by the Hawks on Wednesday, he says he has not been briefed on the matter, and therefore cannot comment. However, he does agree that it is important for the Hawks to investigate those who are implicated in Pauw's book, "The President's Keepers".

"You cannot just allow these structures to be used for whatever political outcome," he said.