Unrest: Urgent Police Committee meeting welcomed – Andrew Whitfield

DA MP hops meeting offers a detailed and transparent account of the state’s failure

DA welcomes urgent Police Committee meeting over violent unrest, calls for full transparency from SAPS 

15 July 2021

The DA welcomes the urgent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Police scheduled for tomorrow following days of widespread violence and looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

We trust that the meeting will offer a detailed and transparent account of the state’s failure to anticipate and contain the insurgence of this organized unrest and civil disobedience which has cost South Africa billions of rands and resulted in the loss of life and property. 

We are pleased that Parliament will be given a chance to examine the failure of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Crime Intelligence to guard against threats to our Constitutional order, national stability, as well as failure to safeguard the safety and wellbeing of our people. 

While the unprecedented civil unrest unfolded across South Africa, SAPS along with our crime intelligence units were caught sleeping at the wheel.  

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, must account for the lack of effective visible policing; poor crowd control measures, including the inadequate supply of rubber bullets, lack of water cannons, and teargas; and the apparent collapse of effective crime intelligence. 

Tomorrow’s meeting is critical, in that it presents an opportunity for Parliament to hold Minister Cele accountable for his and the SAPS’s failure to provide an adequate response to the devastating unrest over the past week. 

We will also be calling for an update from SAPS on actions that have been taken against those who have been inciting violence, including the Zuma siblings and Julius Malema whom the DA laid charges against. South Africa is reeling, and our economy has been brought to its knees due to these coordinated attacks, yet the perpetrators remain free to continue their criminality with impunity. 

Issued by Andrew Whitfield, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 15 July 2021