Media Alert:Minister Bheki Cele Says No to Army Deployment in Gang-Ravaged Areas
Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, says he is disappointed that the national Minister of Police, Bheki Cele has rejected his request for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to gang-ravaged communities, to serve as a peace-keeping force. This move would free up police and provide an environment for them to do investigations and make arrests.
In response to Minister Winde’s request, Minister Cele said: “The crime situation is handled by the South African Police Service. There is no need for the SANDF to be deployed in the Western Cape, the current interventions are yielding positive results.”
Minister Winde said: “Minister Cele would do well to inform residents of the Western Cape where these positive results are being yielded or where SAPS are handling crime, as they ought to. In fact, if Minister Cele is so confident in the results, he should release the quarterly crime statistics, so that everyone can see these positive results, which should also include the conviction rate. These stats are due to us by law, but he refuses to hand them over.
I’d like to advise the Minister to come back from his fantasy world, as the reality in communities is the complete opposite – people are living in constant fear, residents are being held hostage in their homes, scared they might be hit by a stray bullet.
There are reports of 25 murders this month in Mitchells Plain alone, and 17 murders in Bonteheuwel since the beginning of the year. We know there are 10 murders and 10 attempted murders a day in our province; we know that 7 out of the top 10 murder stations are in the Western Cape. If this is not horrific enough to move the Minister to respond to the cry of the people, nothing is.
Minister Cele’s response clearly demonstrates how little the ANC-led National Government cares about the scale of crime in the Province. They have let the situation here to spiral out of control.
It is also surprising that it took Minister Cele just over 48 hours to respond to this request, yet he has not uttered a word about when our police shortage of 4500 officers will be addressed. He has also not responded to the various letters we have been sending since October 2018, in which we’ve offered R5 million to reignite the police reservists programme, and in which we’ve offered volunteer Government employees who can serve as Commissioners of Oaths, so that police officers can be relieved of this administrative duty and go out and patrol our streets.
Minister Cele wants to now walk around the streets of Cape Town pretending to care about the plight of our people, but he has consistently shown that he has no appetite or desire to address crime in the Western Cape.
I will be engaging our legal team to advise me about the steps that can be taken, which includes the option of declaring an intergovernmental dispute, to at a bare minimum, compel Minister Cele to immediately address our under-resourcing in the Province.”