Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Following the DA’s successful motion in the Mpumalanga legislature to have the fringe group known as the Kommandokorps shut down, the focus must now turn to the real concerns about the safety of rural South Africans.
Racist organisations that preach hate and indoctrinate young minds can never be a substitute for legitimate structures to meet security needs in rural provinces.
The DA will submit a follow-up motion in the legislature calling for the establishment of a Rural Safety and Border Security division of the SAPS.
Since the abolition over a decade ago of the original Commandos, a rural security unit affiliated to the Defence Force, not enough has been done to ensure that rural areas are properly policed.
It must be made clear to all South Africans that Kommandokorps is not the Commandos. It must be equally clear that no evidence currently exists to suggest that the activities of Kommandokorps are in any way related to rural security. Rural security can never be addressed or advanced through blatant racism
The striking prevalence of violent crime in rural towns, villages and on farms testifies to the vulnerability of rural South Africans in the absence of proper, visible and coordinated sector policing.
It also highlights the lack of an effective police reservist programme that results in under-empowered rural communities being neither structured nor trained to protect themselves.
Addressing the safety concerns of rural South Africans will close off the space for racist organisations operating on the fringes of South African society.
The DA will use its standing in the Mpumalanga legislature to pressure the SAPS to investigate any possible criminal activity related to Kommandokorps, run by Mr Franz Jooste.
We will also continue to push for the SAPS to establish a division dedicated to rural safety that not only protects the residents of these areas, but also empowers communities to protect themselves.