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'Ballsy' Mbalula defends use of language

The Police Minister told the police's tactical response team last week to ‘crush balls’ and make criminals drink urine.

FILE: Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Under fire for using vulgar language and inciting aggression, a spirited Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has defended his choice use of words to describe how police should deal with criminals.

Mbalula told the police's tactical response team last week to “crush balls” and make criminals drink urine.

But the South African Police Union (Sapu) wants the minister in charge of police to show restraint when he talks, claiming his words show little respect for the public or his office.

Mbalula says he was using combative language to inspire a team of police officers who deal with hardened criminals.

LISTEN: Mbalula defends 'balls' comments

“I didn’t talk about testicles. I said balls and then squeeze the balls. It was figurative. It doesn’t mean we must kill people, it means to make it unbearable for those who practice crime.”

He says his message was directed at specific cops.

“If you squeeze the balls… you know you play with balls and you squeeze them. You squeeze them because you want to squeeze the balls. Now the judge can’t judge what I am saying.”

The minister defended his comments at a press conference on Friday where he announced the appointment of Judge Frans Kgomo as the new watchdog for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks.

Kgomo was asked to share his thoughts on the minister's language.

“The minister’s language is the minister’s language. My home language is Setswana. If you wish, you may address me in Setswana. Thank you very much.”

In his new role, Kgomo will investigate complaints against members of the Hawks.

His appointment fills the vacancy left by the death of late Judge Essa Moosa.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)