Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele has responded to his critics, following the backslash he got on social media after his tattoo comments earlier this week.
Cele said that people with tattoos “have gangster tendencies”, adding that the police service did not hire them.
He said this during the deployment of additional security forces in response to a mass shooting at a tavern in Soweto at the weekend.
“When you have a tattoo, we don’t hire you because you have a tendency of being a gangster,” said Cele.
His remarks were met with backlash.
But during a radio interview, Cele maintained his statement was based on the SAPS recruitment policy, reported News24.
If your tattoo is not visible when wearing the SAPS Summer Uniform, you can apply. Applicants should also comply with various other requirements MEhttps://t.co/3JfhfnATzy
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) October 25, 2018
“It has been announced time and again. I think on the [recruitment policy] list of dos and don’ts, I think it is number eight. It is part of the recruitment policy. I don’t know why it is making noise at the present moment,” the minister was quoted as saying.
However SAPS recruitment policy stated that members should “not have a tattoo which will be visible if the person wears a uniform”, the report said.
Sapu spokespersons, Lesiba Thobakgale said there were challenges regarding the police service regulation on tattoos as it discriminated against those who had e tattoos, reported TimesLive.
“A tattoo has nothing to do with someone being a criminal. One can be a gangster without a tattoo. We are challenging the police service regulations on tattoos because it is discriminating against those who have them,” the report quoted Thobakgale as saying.
He said that tattoos had nothing to do with the service rendered by officers.
Western Cape agriculture MEC, Ivan Meyer described Cele’s comment as “ridiculous”.
“I have more respect for people with tattoos than for this malkop minister of crime,” Meyer was quoted as saying.
Picture: Twitter/ @zeus_883
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe