Bheki Cele isn't known for expressing himself in a subtle manner, but the police minister has endured another foot-in-mouth moment on Monday. During a radio interview, Cele made some crass comments about the nature of gender-based violence (GBV) and how it affects women.
What Bheki Cele said about GBV victims
The top cop openly stated that 'most women do not die' when they suffer their first attempt of GBV. The remarks – which were delivered live on air when he appeared on Power FM – have been labelled as 'tone-deaf', and hardly carry the empathy needed to properly tackle the issue.
"Society needs to rise on this one [GBV]. I can assure you most women that die, don't die on the first attempt, they die on the second or third attempt. Even [Tshegofatso] Pule died on the second attempt. So somebody somewhere must ring the bell, a brother, a sister, a friend to say something bad is coming."Bheki Cele
Social media reacts to GBV furore
Twitter users were not happy and vented their frustrations online. Bheki Cele is accused of having a contrasting attitude between the alcohol ban and GBV, treating the former with much more urgency:
Maybe if the police acted when the first attempt is being reported, they wouldn't die.— Ndim iWitch. (@Nomagugu_B) July 27, 2020
I’m appalled by the things Cele says about GBV. That man doesn’t care and continues to show it. Cyril needs to reshuffle the cabinet.— Mamane BabyCakes. (@Bobby_M97) July 27, 2020
The many controversies of Bheki Cele
This wouldn't be the first time Bheki Cele has said something contentious during lockdown. Back in April, the minister caused further outrage when he tried to play down the rape of a woman by a police officer. In June, he was chastised and referred to a Parliamentary Ethics committee for his alleged encouragement of SAPS brutality.
Other recent controversies involving Cele include his bid to force smokers to show police the receipts for their tobacco purchases, and visiting the home of fellow Minister Blade Nzimande during Level 5 of lockdown. Although the 'man in the hat' is never one to keep a low profile, he may have to sit the next few plays out.