Media Release: Police Ombudsman to Investigate SAPS in Overstrand Area
We welcome the notice given by the Provincial Police Ombudsman that he will be investigating the South African Police Service (SAPS) operation in the Overstrand area.
It is alleged that the Gansbaai, Hermanus, Kleinmond and Stanford SAPS police Stations are unable to perform their mandate, as prescribed in section 205(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Section 205(3) of the Constitution states that: “[t]he objects of the police service are to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law.”
Policing is a national mandate and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has to ensure that the stations have all the relevant resources that they require. We have received various complaints from residents about the state of the service in the area and how their complaints are not being addressed.
This investigation is being undertaken in terms of the oversight mechanisms the Western Cape Government has put in place to monitor and address national police services. On 27 April we declared an intergovernmental dispute with the ANC-led national government about its failure to address the Province’s Policing Needs and Priorities (PnP). To date, we have still not received a suitable response from Minister Cele, who now has less than a week to revert.
Police under-resourcing remains alarmingly high. The Province has 1 officer for every 509 residents, while Cape Town has it worse at 1:560. The national average is 1:375. This means the Province needs a further 4500 officers to be on par with the national average.
It is despicable that Minister Cele and the national ANC-led government continue to demonstrate their lack of appetite to address the policing crisis in the Province.
We remain committed to doing everything in our constitutional mandate to reduce crime in our province. Only a decentralised police service under a Provincial mandate can build a #SaferWesternCape.