Police minister denounces imposter social media accounts

PRETORIA – The ministry of police is wants to warn all citizens against fake social media accounts purported to belong to general Bheki Cele, the minister of police.

A warning was issued two years ago by this office against such fake social media accounts. Minister Cele does not have a social media account, private or official.

Minister Cele has denounced any social media account in his name as fake and has issued a stern warning to those impostors whose motive for impersonating the minister cannot be for anything else but to draw unsuspecting social media users into their criminal activities.

Investigations by the directorate for priority crime investigation (Hawks) are currently underway to identify and locate these fake account operators and bring them to book.

There are at this stage, more than 160 accounts across Twitter and Facebook bearing as profiles with pictures of minister Cele and his particulars, with some pictures as old as about 10 years from when the minister was still the national commissioner of the South African Police Service. One such account has just under 60 000 followers who wrongfully believe that they are following and interacting with police minister general Bheki Cele.

It is worth noting that a number of crimes have been solved through tip-offs and through confidential information provided telephonically to minister Cele by members of the public. It is on this same principle that some citizens who are active on social media, may want to share similar anonymous tip-offs, only for such information to fall into the wrong hands. This in itself poses a risk on the personal safety and the lives of law abiding citizens whose intention is to work and collaborate with the police on crime prevention and combating.

The ministry of police confirms that minister general Bheki Cele is neither registered as a user, nor active on any social media platform whatsoever and further wish to advise members of the public that all official communication on matters of the ministry of police will be communicated accordingly by this office through official SAPS channels.

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