DA to lay ethics complaint against Bheki Cele over Camps Bay film shoot shutdown
The DA says it will lay an ethics complaint against police minister Bheki Cele for instructing police officers to shut down a film shoot in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Cele shut the film shoot on Camps Bay beach, saying it was operating in breach of new level 1 lockdown regulations announced on Monday by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a video filmed by eNCA, Cele said the filming had to be halted immediately, despite the city of Cape Town granting the crew permission to shoot.
According to DA MP Andrew Whitfield, Cele's instructions were an overreach of his powers as police minister. He claimed Cele was not legally authorised to issue operational instructions to members of the police service.
“In what seems to be a clear attempt by the minister to grandstand in front of the cameras, he completely disregarded his ministerial mandate and the extent of his authority,” said Whitfield.
“Cele appears to be confused about whether he is the minister of police or national police commissioner. This is exactly what happens when politicians are unduly referred to as 'General'."
He said t South Africans were "tired of Cele’s cavalier cowboy antics” and the DA would fight to ensure he is brought to book.
The city's mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the city would go to court to urgently interdict the police from interfering.
“Shutting down the film production without proper cause is an illegal action, and goes against the current national state of disaster regulations which allow the film industry to continue working,” said Smith.
In his defence, Cele said while the production was permitted by the city, upon closer inspection, it was not compliant with what is permitted on beaches, as stipulated in the Covid-19 regulations.
“According to the permit for the production company that was handed to the police, the production would go against the very rules set out by the president, which are clear about what is permitted on beaches, and therefore could not be allowed to continue for now,” said Cele.
According to an IOL report, Cele has not taken Smith's threat lightly and plans to fight any legal action that may arise over the shoot.