PARLIAMENT, October 6 – Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, on Friday said he does not regret using “combat language” when addressing officers who have to take on hardened criminals, insisting it would not lead to increased violence by the police.
Mbalula, who was announcing the appointment of Judge Frans Diale Kgomo as the new watchdog for the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), more commonly known as the Hawks, repeated that police should squeeze the “balls” of criminals, this time explaining what exactly he meant by that.
“The question of balls…if you talk about squeeze, you squeeze the air, you flatten the balls because you don’t want that ball to be at use for anybody to play with balls,” he said.
“I didn’t talk about testicles. I talked about balls and then squeeze the balls, it is figurative. It does not mean we must kill people. It means you must make it unbearable for those who practice crime to basically have a space to manoeuvre…”
Mbalula also reiterated his call for police to make dangerous criminals to drink their own urine.
He described his language as “combative” and said it was not aimed at ordinary police officers in the field, but the specialised units like the tactical response team and national intervention unit who take on heavily armed criminals terrorising South Africans.
“Our police must not be tolerant to dangerous criminals who kill cops, who are rogue in what they do, who display every day ill-gotten wealth.”
Kgomo wisely steered clear of the discussion on balls, saying: “The minister’s language is the minister’s language. My home language is Setswana and If you want I may wish to address you in Setwana.”
However, if members of the Hawks’ overstep, Kgomo would then get involved.
Kgomo said he would do his job without fear or favour, saying he’s fulfilled many roles where his conduct had to be objective.
The judge would also be responsible for probing complaints by Hawks’ members of undue influence or interference, including political pressure.
“When it comes to performing my job, I have absolutely no trepidation. I have dealt with cases of dangerous criminals, I never stood back…I would stand back for nothing,” said Kgomo.
The Hawks has come under fire for the slow pace of its investigations into allegedly corrupt activities at various state-owned enterprises which have benefited a political connected few – a phenomenon known as “state capture” in South Africa.