ANC govt undermines safety of people of WCape – Zakhele Mbhele

DA MP says SAPS do not have the resources they need to provide a professional service

ANC National Government continues to undermine the safety of the people of Western Cape

28 June 2018

Today’s oversight inspection the Mitchells Plain police station to meet with the investigators on the Stacey Adams murder case revealed the sad consequences of the continued under-resourcing of the South African Police Service (SAPS) at station level, owing to its irrationally centralised approach to police resourcing and management.

The fact is the SAPS do not have the much-needed training, equipment, staff and resources they need to provide a professional service to South Africans, responsive to the different needs of various communities and customised to their contexts, in order to bring down the unacceptably high rates of crime in our country.

Last month, a parliamentary reply revealed that over the last three years, at least 2 children are murdered every single day in South Africa. This means that over the same period, more than 2 600 children were murdered, which constitutes 5% of all reported murders.

The reply also revealed that of the 124 500  rape cases reported in the last 3 financial years, children were the victims of shocking 41% of these cases.

FCS units are mandated to investigate cases of sexual assault and domestic abuse affecting children, men and women. The Mitchells Plain FCS Unit covers the Mitchells Plain, Lentegeur and Strandfontein areas. This is a very large area yet there is a shortage of 2 vehicles, 120 rape kits and 80 DNA collection kits.

While the DA appreciates the willingness of the SAPS to meet with us and their commitment under very trying circumstances, SAPS top leadership is utterly failing to do what is needed to fight crime effectively. Most policing resources should be at cluster and station level so that commanders and operational officers at these levels are empowered to establish and implement effective local safety partnerships for crime prevention and combatting.

The DA has consistently called for the professionalisation and localisation of the police service and Minister Cele has a responsibility to address the serious constraints and legacy of mismanagement facing the SAPS and to ensure they are capacitated and empowered to keep our children and South Africa safe.

The people of South Africa, regardless of where they live and their economic circumstances, deserve to be kept safe by properly resourced police stations and a professionalised police service. This kind of change will only happen under a D-led government that ensures the safety of the people and their communities.

Issued by Zakhele Mbhele, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 28 June 2018