Bheki Cele's excuses not good enough – IFP

Party says the increase rate of violent crimes in our country is worrying

Minister Cele's excuses not good enough - IFP

12 September 2019

The IFP rejects the notion that the increase in violence and crime can be ascribed to alcohol and drug abuse on weekends.  Reducing South Africans to mere “weekend specials” is inexcusable and SAPS’s together with the Justice and Peace Cluster Ministers continue to sit on their hands while stats rise instead of decline.

The chilling statistics and the increasing rate of violent crimes in our country begs the question if our current tactical‚ strategic and prevention systems are enough to deter criminals from committing these heinous crimes.

In its presentation to Parliament, the SAPS Commissioner together with Minister Bheki Cele merely packaged stats differently this year and had dismally failed to do introspection on what is required from the state to quash crime, social ills in our communities and the desperation of our people who are suffering due to poverty, rising unemployment and an economy near collapse.

It is deplorable that murder has increased by 1.4 % up to 21 022 cases and reported sexual offences increased by 4.6% up to 52 420 cases in the past year and this clearly shows that women are facing war on our streets.

The overall percentage increase in crime from April 2018 to March this year must be condemned but action speaks louder than words. SAPS have failed to acknowledge that it is unable at the moment to deal with crime and violence in our country decisively.

Minister Cele by merely waxing lyrical on how SAPS has improved this year in his briefing to Parliament does not change the actual statistics.

We have seen far too many deployments of the South African National Defence Force aiding SAPS in doing it’s work. This is not good enough nor is it a sustainable solution in fighting crime.

It is imperative that a culture of discipline be inculcated in our police and at our Police stations. Confidence in our men and women in blue serving on the frontline must be restored, but this can only be achieved if bad elements are rooted out of the SAPS.

We must have a police that is non-aligned, that takes policing decisions on policing grounds; a police operating with improved intelligence capabilities and that protects people’s rights under the Constitution. We simply need a police that would do its job.

Furthermore, investor confidence is severely affected due to the rising crime statistics, local and international businesses cannot thrive in an environment which is not conducive to operate in. SAPS inability to protect businesses in our economic hubs must be addressed with urgency.

It does not bode well that SAPS does not have a Register of Cases for Protection Orders issued and reported and by implementing such a Register it would assist the Police in protecting our women and young girls from perpetrators before they strike.

The IFP is of the view that government should stop working in silos and start working together as a collective to address the ills we face in our communities and to provide solutions rather than to maintain the status quo.

Releasing crime statistics yearly is ineffective and should communities and constituencies be empowered with information on a more regular basis such as monthly, communities can do their part too in working together with law enforcement too fight crime.

Our vulnerable citizens face the full brunt of criminal activity on a daily basis. The IFP believes that all South Africans must feel and be safe in every community, on every street and in every home. We need a tough approach to deter criminality.

Issued by Zandile Majozi, 12 September 2019