- Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Bulelani Qolani, who was evicted from his house while taking a bath earlier this week.
- The minister will launch an investigation into the matter.
- Residents of Khayelitsha don’t want an investigation – instead they want the law enforcement officers arrested.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Bulelani Qolani in Khayelitsha on Saturday morning, and listened to the concerns of residents.
This was after Cape Town law enforcement officers evicted local residents earlier this week, including Qolani, who was evicted while taking a bath.
A video of the incident went viral on social media.
It showed a naked Qolani in a scuffle with authorities as he tried to regain access to his home.
Addressing the community, Cele said he was appalled by the way the City of Cape Town’s officials handled the situation.
“A human being treated like a pig. That is what we saw happening here, and we cannot allow that to happen,” he said.
Cele said he met with Alderman JP Smith and other senior City officials in February to discuss the legitimacy of policing structures in the metro.
“We believe that these structures are illegitimate and the only thing these structures do is cause havoc,” Cele said.
The minister said he has video evidence of a similar incident involving Cape Town law enforcement from 2018. The footage shows the officers pulling a half-naked woman by her hair, as they evicted her from her informal structure. This incident will also form part of the investigation.
Cele was adamant the City of Cape Town cannot investigate the matter, and that the Western Cape police commissioner will be handling the investigation.
“We will be continuing the case and an investigation will be set up,” he said.
But talk of an independent police investigation wasn’t what the community wanted to hear.
Alex Madikane has lost two homes in City demolitions – one in March, and another last week when he was evicted for a second time. The father of five was not impressed by the minister’s address.
“The minister’s visit didn’t have any impact. He didn’t deliver on what I wanted,” Madikane said.
“If there was someone that delivered the eviction order last week, they have to be arrested; not investigated,” he explained.
Madikane said he feels the minister just came to the community to talk, but that he can’t commit to his promises.
Another resident, Nomalugelo, told News24 that what happened earlier in the week was very humiliating.
“Yoh, it was very, very bad what happened to our brother. It really humiliated our people,” she said.
The Khayelitsha resident said authorities didn’t act appropriately.
“The City of Cape Town is not doing well. When the people put up houses, they must not beat the people,” she explained.
“We want the minister to arrest the people that did this,” she added.