Police Minister Bheki Cele has once again encouraged police officers to shoot to kill.

“Criminals have declared war. [Police] don’t ask around who started the war.  When you find the war, when you find people raping women, finding people breaking into people’s houses. Don’t ask who started,  join the war shoot and kill”.

Cele said these words during the launch of the Western Cape’s Safer Festive Season campaign in Mitchells Plain on Tuesday.

The last time he made the statement was during his tenure as National Police Commissioner, in 2009.

And the City of Cape Town’s not happy.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has condemned Cele’s remarks.

He says Cele’s instruction to shoot to kill – is not only profoundly irresponsible –  but it’s also an incitement to break the law.

“Minister Cele’s remarks can only be interpreted as the bluster of a failed police minister with no real understanding of how to fight crime. Indeed, a pattern has developed in which national Police Ministers resort to “shoot to kill” exhortations precisely when it is evident they are losing the fight against crime”.