Arrival of New Police Constables
Minister Ramatlakane said in a statement that " This development is in line within the national context , of celebrating 10 years since the 1994 democratic breakthrough:
It is a day when we, as the people who witness this occasion, we proudly say:
" Yes indeed, the South African Police services means business when they say they will serve us "
Today, we gather here at the Good Hope centre to welcome 1650 men and women into the fold of the South African police services.
Your graduation pushes our police contingent to well over 18 000 in this province. Next year this number will reach 20 000- the highest number of police intake ever achieved.
We also have 3000 reservists who are a complimentary addition in the fight against crime in the Province.
It is a worthwhile addition, one that begins to send a message that says, as the South African Police services, we are getting mightier and mightier in our fight against crime.
It is clear message to criminals that says" Watch out - stop your funny tricks or your days are numbered
Ladies and gentlemen, our police men and women in blue, as I welcome you in the fold of beating crime- I want to read to you from an extract from a poem by a Cape Town poet Brian Williams who in his book " One Renaissance, many revolutions ".
I took this extract from a poem called
" Be vigilant, new enemies prowl':
" The bugle of our motherland calls us so that we may take our battle flags to new frontiers, where only the bravest of the brave may venture.
We honour justice and liberty has a duty
To mobilise and arouse our global battalions
To march against the banner of the imperialists
In defence of our country- South Africa
We must slay the enemies of our children
So that a new universe of love and peace can prevail "
Brian Williams' poem speaks volumes to all of us.
With those words I want to welcome you into the South African Police Services as constables and say, that your work has unfortunately been cut out- your services are desperately needed by the people of he Western Cape.
You arrive just as the province and the country is getting ready to wind down the year- it is that time again when our people will be in festive mood.
It is the time that calls for vigilance because new enemies of our children prowl.
And as Brian Williams puts it in his poem: " Our motherland calls us so that we take our battle to new frontiers where only the bravest of the brave may venture.
You arrive just as we have been putting to plan our machinery that will be ensuring that our people, those one million children who are at home during the festive season and the end of the year holidays, are safe.
Our youth therefore have a task to keep a watchful eye on children while parents are still at work trying to get extra cents so that they can buy children gifts and clothing for Christmas and New Year.
Therefore the province will be pinning their hopes on our integrated law enforcement agencies that include the municipal police, traffic officials, the police, the Bambanani Neighbourhood watch volunteers on the trains, on the beach and on the roads - to make sure that once again this province enjoys a safer festive season in 2004/ 5.
I am particularly encouraged and feel empowered by your arrival. You will without a doubt give that extra needed safety to our people.
We made this possible during December 2003. We reduced crime by 18% and murder by 34% with a lesser number of police. We declared then that the 2003 festive season was the safest in a decade. Today we stand a much better chance with your graduation with you on the beat.
With you we want to say to those who think they can commit all sorts of crime in the province, this is the time they should STOP or they WILL BE STOPPED.
We want to say to those who think that during this festive season, they could rob people on trains, they will break the law in the beach or they could kidnap children in the townships- they better stop because now we have men and women who will be posted to add capacity in our townships and city and in every street in our province.
We are proud with your arrival in that, you have come just as our police are now marching on a journey to turn around the tide against crime.
Police have reducing crime through fostering strong partnerships with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, the Bambanani Against crime volunteers- and all other civil society formations- that share a common objective of fighting crime side by side in partnership.
And as Brian Williams put it in his poem, the fight against crime is just another revolution. It is a fight that comprises of new kind of enemies.
These enemies of our people make our work complex because they are part of our communities. We can only say these enemies are our families, our children, fathers and mothers. They look just like all of us.
It is for that reason that I will urge you to be vigilant in your work, because along this fight, you will get many temptations that will try to distract you from doing your work of serving this country with pride and a 'smile'
Many of those who have donned this uniform, have chosen to accept being bribed, others helped the very same criminals that are destroying our people-communities.
Others while sent out on the roads to ensure road safety-they instead accepted bribes.
These practises cannot be allowed. So those who were involved in these activities are now no longer serving police officers. Others are in fact awaiting trial and soon they will be spending time in jail.
By electing to become policemen and women, you have made a resolve of upholding the law. You have chosen to protect the law from not being broken. You have chosen to serve our people- you cannot fail us.
Therefore, the road that you have chosen is one that will start to say you will be at the forefront in the coalface of crime- starting just as you leave here.
You arrive just as the South African Police Services have been making several inroads in the fight against crime.
When last year- on the black Thursday of August- when this Province was listed as the capital of crime, ranging from murder to rape, armed robbery- it was evident that drastic steps had to be taken to correct the situation.
One of the steps taken was the deployment of more personnel on the streets where crime is committed most.
When we listed Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Mitchell's Plain, Guguletu and Kuilsriver as the crime hotspots in the province-we also said resources will be sent to these policing precincts.
This year in September- a different story was told of the province and these five stations- the story said " crime had gone down in the Western Cape and that contact crime such as murder has also gone down"
Thanks to the men and women in blue and also the role-played by our community. All of you made us proud last year.
While we received these news with relief, we however have said, that more should be done to improve on this situation in our province.
The news do not say crime has completely gone down- there is still crime being committed and therefore your arrival bodes well with us now intensifying our resolve in making sure that our people in this province feel safe, we should do so building on last year's festive season achievement.
Just a few weeks ago, the South African police services, working with other agencies- pulled off one of the biggest integrated arrest and seizure operations in the province.
Mr Big (Quintin Marinus) and 14 members of an organised crime syndicate were arrested in this operation. Their assets, which include luxury vehicles, houses in Plattekloof were seized.
This work tells us that, for our people to be safe, our women and children need not to be subjected to being drug carriers for these syndicates.
We cannot sit back and let High Flyers run crime syndicates from luxury houses in Plattekloof and let those in Elsiesriver, Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha, Mannenberg, Hanover Park and Nyanga kill each other.
We will not allow a situation that people who never had legitimate businesses to own assets worth over 10- million rands, without explaining how they acquired this wealth legally.
We cannot allow a group of them to run car hijacking syndicates from the back of their houses- as if we living in a country with no constitution or a law.
Our police will continue to investigate where there is this suspicion and if there is a need for an arrest, they will have to do so legally.
Therefore, to make threats that we stop this kind action against these criminals, will unfortunately not deter us from continuing what we have been mandated to do by the people of this provide.
They said make the Western Cape safe for all of us. We are therefore on that road.
You the new recruits, I want to bring it to your attention that, this is the kind of work- that our police have been called to do.
This kind of work is one that starts to say that, our police are putting their foot down in making sure that this province is not just a Home for all- for criminals or crime syndicates but a Home for All- for those want to live in harmony and peaceful as communities, in communities that work with government in making sure that drug trafficking, gangsterism, corruption by our law enforcement officers- is not allowed and is being exposed at all times.
That is the kind of a Home for All- that we all have a vision about.
In the next few weeks, we will be seeing each other in the trenches of fighting crime protected our children and giving holidaymakers peace of mind.
I therefore on my behalf and on behalf of the Provincial government of the Western Cape, welcome you in this big family that is called the South African Police Services.
I ask you to take off your jackets, but put on your fighting boots, cap and all other crime fighting resources that you will be provided- and join your colleagues on the streets, trains, and on the beaches- as we will be seeking to convey to all the people of the province: NOT TO GIVE ANY SPACE TO CRIMINALS AND GANGSTERS.
To your families and parents, we say " Guide your child to be a crime fighter and not one who commits crime. Guide them to become community role models and NOT gang members.
For your child to get there we are there to help you !
Join us in making this province a true Home for All - this festive season