Cele opens ‘old’ police station, gets slammed for electioneering

Police Minister Bheki Cele officially opened a R50 million state-of-the-art police station to serve the communities of Matatiele and Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape near the Lesotho border, 16 April 2019. Picture: Supplied

Police Minister Bheki Cele officially opened a R50 million state-of-the-art police station to serve the communities of Matatiele and Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape near the Lesotho border, 16 April 2019. Picture: Supplied

Cope says the ANC is using crass electioneering and government projects to achieve narrow political ends.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele has been accused of electioneering for the ANC after he officially opened a police station in the Eastern Cape yesterday that was completed two years ago.

The Congress of the People (Cope) chief whip Deidre Carter questioned why the police station, which is between Mount Fletcher and Matatiele, was only opened now, just ahead of the elections.

She also queried whether the station would be functional from now onwards, or if it was just a decoy to boost the ANC’s image.

“We question why the facility has remained vacant and unused and we question the timing of its official opening a few weeks prior to the election.

“We put it down to crass electioneering and the abuse of government projects by the ANC for narrow political ends in the face of failing service delivery,” the chief whip added.

According to the South African Police Service Facebook page, Pholile is 30km from Mount Fletcher and a similar distance from Matatiele along the R56 road. The police department said the new police station would meet the demand that had resulted from population growth and spatial development in Maluti, Mount Fletcher and Matatiele.

A resident of Matatiele, Sakkie Martins, said the police station, which is estimated to have cost about R50 million, was a waste of money because there was already a police station in Matatiele.

“As residents, we are concerned that they only opened the Pholile police station now, when it was completed long ago.

“They should rather build a new one for Matatiele or revamp the old one,” he said.

Neither Cele nor his spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero, were available for comment.

The Cope complaint came a day after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) told the Democratic Alliance (DA) to apologise to Good party leader Patricia de Lille for claiming she was fired as Cape Town mayor when, in fact, she resigned.

According to Eyewitnesses News, DA canvassers were instructed to tell voters De Lille was axed from the party because of corruption in the City of Cape Town.

The IEC has developed an anti-digital misinformation platform in conjunction with the non-governmental organisation, Media Monitoring Africa. The platform provides for the online submission and tracking of complaints relating to inaccurate information put on social media platforms.

“Disinformation is defined as false, inaccurate or misleading information designed to intentionally cause harm.

“Within an election context, this includes false information that is intended to unduly affect participation in and the outcome of elections,” the IEC said in a statement.

ericn@citizen.co.za

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