Gauteng residents are at the mercy of criminals – FF Plus Gauteng

Party says a great cause for concern is the large number of police members with criminal cases pending against them

Gauteng residents are at the mercy of criminals

24 November 2021

It seems that Gauteng residents are at the mercy of criminals, based on the police's latest quarterly report on crime statistics for the period of July to September, which was recently released.

During the announcement of the province's crime statistics, the Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela, was unable to provide a plausible explanation for why he and his new team of generals failed to curb crime in the province.

Gauteng's socio-economic circumstances, with the unemployment rate steadily climbing amid the struggling economy, contribute greatly to the high crime rate, but cannot be used as an excuse for the lack of effective policing.

The murder rate increased with a staggering 21% in the second quarter, in comparison to the corresponding period last year, and it should be a great cause for concern for the Police Commissioner.

Murders were predominantly committed in public places (658), public buildings (47), at businesses selling alcohol (31) and public transport areas, like taxi ranks, bus stops and train stations.

Four police officers were killed during this period, while 15 security and law-enforcement officers also died in the line of duty.

Carjackings decreased with 3,4%, while truck jackings decreased with 2% and so did robberies at businesses and sexual offences.

The FF Plus has already called on Mawela several times to address the serious backlog with DNA and ballistic testing and to ensure that police members are provided with the training and equipment they need to do their jobs effectively.

Police detectives are under a lot of pressure to finalise and complete case dockets, but are, in many cases, unable to do so without DNA and/or ballistic test results. The system is failing hard-working police members.

A great cause for concern is the large number of police members with criminal cases pending against them. Approximately 459 police members have been charged with, among other things, murder, assault, culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving, and obstructing the course of justice. Only four of these have been suspended.

The safety of Gauteng residents is being jeopardised by the rising crime rate and the FF Plus is once again calling on the Police Commissioner to take decisive action against police officers who are guilty of committing offences so as to restore the public's faith in the SAPS.

The FF Plus commends the loyal police members who are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, despite the lack of manpower, equipment and support.

Issued by Kobus Hoffman, FF Plus MPL: Gauteng, 24 November 2021