Maimane's crime march shows how inconvenient facts have become for DA politicking
19 July 2018
ANC has noted the planned crime march by the leader of the opposition, Mmusi Maimane in Cape Town this morning. We have also noted that Maimane will seek to call on National Government to bring in soldiers to gang hotspots in the cape flats with the hope that this will solve the gang problem.
ANC has also observed a worrying trend around Maimane, one of conveniently hiding and burying his heard in the sand when the country is having serious conversations and this may explain his ignorance around this issue of military option on gang hotspots. Without any real hope that Maimane will read this (because that is clearly not his favorite thing), we will will seek to remind him of a few facts and observations made by experts on crime prevention when parliament decided to entertain this conversation.
Most experts agreed, led by professor Theo Neethling from Free State university that 'SANDF is primarily for fighting external enemies'.
As common sense as this is, as ANC we are repearing it because gangs, as much as they terrorize communities, they are members of the community, they belong to families, they look like the community and have blended-in, in communities. Without intelligence and policing skills, to credible identify who of the community is the real gangster, experience in other countries has revealed mass killings of innocent young men because they fit a profile.. young and black male.
The view of the police, which is the correct one, has always been that, to fight crime, you equally need detectives that can blend in and credibly identify and isolate the real gangsters. The military overwhelms the space, pushing everything underground, with only dead bodies falling on surface each morning.
Secondly, there is no evidence, anywhere in the world, that shows that deploying military to fight crime works. In most cases, the longer the military stays, they become part of the problem, with a contest between deaths by gangs and deaths by military.
We want to make it clear therefore to Maimane that fighting crime is a complicated affair that is not simply a matter of 'my gun is bigger than yours', something that clearly eludes Maimane.
Our view as ANC is that the causes of gangsterim and crime will always dictate the solution. By deploying the military, we would be doing what Prof Neethling said is 'putting a plaster on an injury that needs much more attention'.
It remains true to this day that concentrated poverty and income inequality will always be the biggest propellers of crime. Without a real and measurable effort to address these two in townships and cape flats, new gangs will always mashroom to take over from old gangs because conditions that breeds gangsterism have not changes.
This also speaks to the overall approach of the ANC which has informed its decision, from death penalties to reforms in prison laws. Many experts and advisors to government and ANC, who also contributed to this discussion in Parliament told us that 'the country does not need a war of any kind'. We as 'Politicians and state institutions need to humanise the young people of the townships and adopt progressive policies rather than repressive ones'.
The DA has never viewed poor blacks as human beings, whether African or coloured, that is why the DA is ready to go to war with them. The DAs view of blacks determines the kind of service the DA government provides, the level of security, the response time to problems, even the value of their lives.
What this province and city needs is to use the R60 million allocation to fight gang hotspots more genuine and effective and not as yet another contract for DA friends to put frivolous devises that do not stop crime.
The people are the answer and the resources must go to them.
Issued by Faiez Jacobs, Provincial Secretary, ANC Western Cape, 19 July 2018