Alan Winde, South Africa is not a federal state
18 June 2019
In an interview with The Sunday Times last week, the newly-appointed Premier of the Western Cape Province, Mr Alan Wilde is said to be in ongoing engagements with the minister of police Bheki Cele, whom he accuses of failing to get the South African Police Service (SAPS) to show sufficient action in the fight against violent crime that plagues the province.
He further accuses the anti-gang unit, which was launched in November 2018, of not doing its job; noting that there has been 2202 murders since then.
In his fear-induced delirium, he conveniently places his argument for the decentralisation of policing not only as a pre-condition for combating crime and creating stability in the province, but also to further a well-known aim by his party to have a general system of government in which provinces form a unity but remain independent in their internal affairs; a federal state which would see the Western Cape becoming independent from the manner under which the country is constitutionally governed.
It is worth noting that the SAPS is a national body that operates on a local, provincial and national level, and that the President as the head of the national executive, appoints a national commissioner of police to control and manage the police service in accordance with national policy and under the direction of the Minister of Police.
In terms of Section 205 of the Constitution, the objects of the SAPS are to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law.
Further, in terms of the South African Police Services Act, the functions of the SAPS are as follows:
- ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in the national territory;
- uphold and safeguard the fundamental rights of every person as guaranteed by Chapter 3 of the Constitution;
- ensure co-operation between the Service and the communities it serves in the combating of crime; and
- reflect respect for victims of crime and an understanding of their needs.
In this sense, as Premier, it would be expected that we consider all these avenues in finding ways to improve the security situation within our different areas of residence, especially on the vital cooperation of the police and communities.
It is mind-boggling that Mr Wilde would then opt for such a move, even before raising any constructive criticism that would enlighten our collective effort to confront the challenge faced.
He, instead, would rather have the Western Cape as a separate entity from the laws that govern the South African territory as a convenient means towards addressing these encounters.
This separatist notion is characteristic of what trade union Solidarity and Afriforum are known for, and as far as it’s concerning, Mr Wilde should be classified in the same fold because of the reasons below;
Solidarity recently announced it would be launching a R4,5 billion work network that would be focused on network and training, targeting Afrikaner speaking people, making a change for those who have not considered or cannot afford emigrating as had been the case with most who feel cannot be led by the current government.
This is a good initiative at face value, but its aims are clearly not for the benefit of all in the country, but a limited segment, and therefore separatist as it is not in the spirit of strengthening national unity. Judging from its pre- and post-democratic South African history, this assumption is not far-fetched.
Similarly with Afriforum, their core interests in almost everything they do is about promoting and sustaining the interests of Afrikaners, and have always been against any democratic reforms that would tilt the economic balance of forces towards uplifting the majority who happen to be black.
It represents some of the most regressive stances ever taken in a democratic South Africa, which refuses to recognise that for black people, an historical injustice of over centuries has taken place and needs to be redressed in order to create a balance for a better future for all.
Despite the endless efforts by the democratic government in assuring all South Africans and trying to build unity and cohesion in an unequal society, these measures by these organisations are demonstrative of any form of resistance to equality.
The importance of national unity and integration in our society will accomplish development and help government to understand our needs, while strengthening our nation. Our unity and diversity can play a significant role in maintaining peace and prosperity, but most importantly, the element of our unity is that we all live together peacefully and respect one another in all spheres of life.
This cannot take place when there are those hell-bent on separatist characteristics.
It is equally important that our government speedily deals with the root causes and remnants of corrupt activities that have marred our county, in ensuring that required services are introduced to where they are needed for the improvement and sustenance of our developmental growth path that would see future generations better off that is the current situation.
Richard Mamabolo is Media and Communications Officer, POPCRU.