Strong words from Cele at slain cop’s funeral
Mourners applaud hint that fifth suspect should be killed
Police minister Bheki Cele received thunderous applause at the state funeral of slain Port Elizabeth flying squad member Constable Dwane Kemp when he intimated that he would rather the remaining suspect be killed than captured.
He also urged police officers to use their “tools” when defending themselves.
“I am glad you shot four, but I am not satisfied – I want the fifth one,” Cele said.
“At least I will visit that one in prison, but I would love if you don’t give me the opportunity to visit him.”
After stepping off the podium Cele received a heartfelt hug from Kemp’s pregnant young widow, Candice‚ whom he described as a strong and brave woman who gave him hope.
Kemp, 31, was fatally shot on Monday last week while responding to an armed robbery at the Le Bon bakery in Central.
Four of the suspects were shot dead inside the bakery and a fifth escaped.
The state funeral on Saturday was a moving tribute to Kemp, described as a hero by several speakers, including Cele, who said only heroes had their coffins wrapped in the South African flag.
The NG Hoogland Church in Charlo was packed with other high-ranking police officials, family and friends.
On Sunday, police dismissed as untrue a persistent rumour that the fifth robber had been tracked down and shot dead when he refused to surrender.
It is not known where the WhatsApp message containing the false information originated from. In contrast to Cele’s fighting words, a composed Candice moved the mourners to tears as she painted a picture of a man who had loved his family deeply.
Taking a few deep breaths before giving a heartbreaking account of the couple’s time together, she also recited a poem she had written in her husband’s honour.
“Sjoe, it is such an honour to see so many people here ... supporting this legend,” Candice said.
“Four years ago, I was honoured to meet you [Dwane] – I can’t believe I am standing here today to say goodbye.
“I couldn’t have chosen a more loving and dedicated partner.
“I cannot but respect a man like you, raising a child [stepdaughter Jadyn] you did not make and fixing a heart you did not break.
“Our kids will grow up in a [spitting] image of our love.
“I can’t wait to raise our son and see you in him every single day.
“Coltyn Dwane Kemp [their unborn son] will remind me of you every day. I will make sure our son knows what a legend you are.”
Cele, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and navy tie, also promised in his address later that the education of her two children would be paid for by the police.
"This child [Jadyn] must go to school until she finds whatever degree she wants.
“He [the unborn son] must do what he wants to do. The SA police will be paying all the way,” Cele, said.
“Everything must be done to soften the pain and burden this family has to carry.
“It will be a long road, but the SA police will walk this road with you."
Kemp, who married Candice just more than a year ago, was given a hero’s sendoff, with police dressed in their full uniforms marching through the suburb, paying tribute to Kemp with song and drills.
The sound of trumpets, drums and sirens reverberated through the streets as the coffin, wrapped in the flag, made its way to the church in a lengthy procession, which included members of the mounted police unit and flying squad as well as paramedics and metro police officials.
Once the white hearse – carrying the coffin – had made its way to the church entrance, an armed guard of honour was formed and Kemp’s body was wheeled in to the sound of the police marching band.
Meanwhile Cele, speaking to about 30 flying squad members, who he asked to stand up during his address, said as they were the first responders they should not hesitate to use their “tools”.
“I’ve been saying this thing – and I’ve been accused of being a warlord and warmonger – to say we give you tools.
“Doctors we give stethoscopes, teachers we give chalk, and we give you tools.
“Imagine going to a doctor and he doesn’t use his stethoscope, and a teacher refuses to use chalk – don’t refuse to use these things,” Cele said.
He said police officers also had human rights and, as such, should defend themselves with deadly force if it was required.
“There is law in SA. You are policing within the human rights era, but you have human rights too,” Cele said.
“If you defend people because they have human rights, defend yourself because you are human too. And the law [Criminal Procedures Act section 29] allows it if you read the law properly.
“That law is very clear what to do – your job is to protect the innocent citizens in SA.
“It also says if you are under attack you defend yourself and, if needs be, you use deadly force – that is in the law.
“They [criminals] don’t carry brooms or feather dusters for cash heists.
“They carry real stuff, that’s why we give you real stuff and use it to the maximum ... working within the law, we [SAPS] will stand by you.”
Cele said he admired the strength and bravery that Candice had showed in the midst of her grief.
“It is not automatic that when you die you get a flag-wrapped around your coffin, this flag is for those who die for it,” he said.
“There will be lots of loneliness and heartache, but please remember the nation is thinking of you and is grateful for your sacrifice,” he said.
One of Kemp’s close friends, flying squad colleague Constable John Hickman, said: “Kemp family, no words can console the pain, but know that from our side we believe he [Kemp] was at the right place at the right time doing the right thing and for that we salute him.”
A man suspected of gunning down Kemp during the armed robbery has been arrested after a six day manhunt, Hawks say. Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said the 24-year-old suspect was detained by the Hawks’ Serious organised Investigation unit at his parent’s residence in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth. Read more here.