Media Release: Murders Largely Unchanged Despite Anti-Gang Unit
Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde says the Western Cape’s murder rate remains largely unchanged, despite the launch of the ANC national government’s self-lauded Anti-Gang Unit in November 2018.
Between 1 November 2017 and 28 February 2018, 1298 people were murdered in the province. Between 1 November 2018, the day before the anti-gang unit was launched, and 28 February 2019, this figure stood at 1226. This is according to the provincial Health Department’s mortuary statistics.
Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, said: “On average, ten people are still being murdered per day in the Province. This is despite the launch of an Anti-Gang Unit which was heralded by the ANC as the savior of our communities. What it is, is a political sham.”
These statistics are borne out by reports that in February this year alone, 25 people were killed in Mitchells Plain. It is further reported that since the beginning of the year, 18 people have been murdered in Bonteheuwel.
In rural areas, we’ve seen an increase in fatal shootings, from 30 to 42, while during the same time period, fatalities from sharp objects, increased from 197 to 207.
Said Winde: “We’ve seen a growth in attacks in our rural areas, and on our farms. It’s clear that the police’s strategy, if they even have one, isn’t working. I’ll be raising these figures with National Minister Bheki Cele, and demanding as answer as to what they are doing to protect the residents of all our areas. When I hear allegations of ANC collusion with gangsters, gangsters colluding with police, police colluding with the ANC, what I see is a triangle of forces acting together for their own ends, and not the ends of our people”.
In February, following a call from Minister Winde to bring in the army as a peacekeeping service to stabilize communities so that the police can investigate and take down criminals, Minister Cele responded that the SAPS has the situation in hand and that “current interventions are yielding positive results”.
Said Winde: “These figures reveal the truth. As much as the Minister tries to spin it, 10 murders a day is anything but success. We’ve seen ANC mismanagement at Eskom, we’ve seen it as SAA. It won’t be long before the true state of our police service is exposed. The national government’s answer will be to launch yet another enquiry, and yet again, the people of our country and province will be left with more questions than answers, and the responsible politicians will remain in their seats. For families of murdered loved ones, it will be too little, too late”.
The Western Cape Government is doing all that it can do avert crime.
We’ve made R5 million available to reignite the police reservist programme, but Minister Cele refuses to allow it.
We’ve offered our own employees as Commissioners of Oaths, but Minister Cele won’t give us space in his police stations. We’re doing it anyway, from our own kiosks situated outside.
Our pilot project at the Cape Town Central Police station has assisted 2582 persons thus far, doing the job of four officers, who could be relieved this this admin work to do patrols.
We’re soon to launch ramped up support package for our Neighbourhood Watch structures, which are made up of ordinary, unpaid men and women, doing their best to protect their communities.
I have requested an urgent meeting with Minister Cele about the steps he’s taking to resolve the shambles in the Western Cape police service. Although my office received confirmation that the correspondence has been read, we have yet to receive a date for a meeting.
It is my firm belief that, like in most countries around the world, crime will only effectively be addressed by the introduction of a provincial police service. What we need is close lines of accountability, the ability to respond to local conditions more rapidly, and to unbundle the mess that the national Minister has made. We need to decentralize the police service, and take it away from the ANC, to build a #SaferWesternCape.