Bheki Cele Ayanda Dlodlo

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

Minister Dlodlo suggests Bheki Cele ‘had information’ to prevent riots

SSA chief Ayanda Dlodlo said she ‘did not want to throw Bheki Cele under the bus’ on Tuesday night – but it seems she couldn’t avoid doing so.

Bheki Cele Ayanda Dlodlo

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

The ongoing riots across South Africa may also be responsible for divisions in Cabinet, after State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo defended her department’s response to the crisis. She claims that the SSA gave Bheki Cele all the information they needed to help quell the violent looting – but police did not take action.

Riots latest: Ayanda Dlodlo gives it to us straight…

In a head-turning interview with SABC, Dlodlo repeatedly defended her own ministry, and at times, this came at the expense of Cele and his policing operation. She told The Watchdog that SAPS had ‘all the details needed’ to prevent riots emerging in certain hot-spots, but in some places, the advice was simply not heeded.

“I can never wash my hands of what has happened. That would be foolhardy. But as State Security, we did our job. We analysed and packaged information for the client, we gave it to them. Minister Cele said that intelligence is driving operations. We gave SAPS all the information they needed to plan for these riots.”

“A lot of the time, our recommendations are taken on board by the police, and sometimes they are not. This whole thing morphed into something bigger than Jacob Zuma, it’s a manifestation of a disenfranchised population.” | Ayanda Dlodlo

Bheki Cele under fire for ‘reaction to intelligence’

A slight element of tension between the SSA and Police Ministers could be detected at their morning press briefing yesterday, as efforts to pin the blame on certain departments got underway in earnest. Dlodlo, who said she wanted to avoid ‘throwing Bheki Cele under the bus’, may have inadvertently pushed him into the path of a double-decker.

“At no point did Cele say he didn’t have the information, but there wasn’t enough police and soldiers on the ground… I do not want to be seen to be throwing the Police Minister under the bus, this is a collaborative effort, but information has been flowing from our end. I don’t accept claims that State Security did not do enough to prevent these riots.”