Media Release: Minister Winde to Report SAPS to Provincial Parliament
Media Release: Minister Winde to Report SAPS to Provincial Parliament Following Alleged False Responses
Last night, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, once again showed how out of touch he is with the reality of crime faced by Western Cape Residents.
During a live interview on ENCA, he had the audacity to claim that crime is on the decline, and it is merely the ‘feeling of safety’ that needs to be addressed.
I’m sure 100% of residents would disagree with this patronizing statement.
Since last year, murder in the Western Cape has increased by 12.6%, attempted murder by 9.2%, truck hijacking by 108.6% and sexual assault by 2.4%.
In the same interview, Cele claimed that the Western Cape Government was ‘lying’ about the police-to-population ratio in the province.
In fact, the figures we use, which are that there are 1 officer for every 509 residents in the province, and 1 officer to 560 residents in Cape Town, come directly from a response to a parliamentary question answered by the South African Police Service on 14 December 2018.
In contrast, the national average is 1:375. For the Western Cape to reach this average, we would need a further 4500 officers.
I will be writing to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament Speaker’s Office for this matter to be investigated. The Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004, section 17 (2)(e) clearly states that if a person(s) “wilfully furnishes a House or committees with information, or makes a statement before it, which is false or misleading, commits an offence and is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both the fine and imprisonment.”
Minister Cele’s attempt to mislead the public in yesterday’s interview is alarming. In the police service especially, integrity is of the highest value.
The fact is, Minister Cele and the ANC-led national Government is not up to the job of managing SAPS and taking the fight to crime. Instead, he is an ostrich with his head in the sand, denying the problem.
To this day, we have sought to assist SAPS by offering R5 million to reignite the reservist programme. We’re being ignored. We have offered our Government employees to volunteer as Commissioners of Oaths at police stations. We’re being ignored. Both these offers will ensure that we get our officers away from their desks and onto our streets where their visibility is greatly needed.
Minister Cele further claimed that I am “problematic”. The news I have for the Minister is that I’ll continue being problematic until the problem is fixed. That is what my oversight role is about.
In line with our oversight powers, the provincial cabinet has declared an intergovernmental dispute with Minister Cele and the ANC-led National Government on the policing needs of our province, which have not been met, even though the Constitution compels the Minister to take our recommendations into account. They now have less than 30 days to respond to our declaration.
I only have one aim when it comes to my role, and that is to make this the safest Province in the country and on the Continent.
Minister Cele’s utterances once again confirm that the police service must be decentralised if we are to achieve a #SaferWesternCape.