Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy: Premier Lucas does not lead by example

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) finds it odd that Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas would feel it appropriate to launch a Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy, whilst she has taken no action against the criminally charged Head of the Transport, Safety & Liaison Department, Stephen Jonkers.

Mr. Jonkers is already before the courts, facing serious charges of corruption, fraud, and violating the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). It has now been over 120 days since his initial arrest, and to date, neither Premier Lucas nor the department’s MEC, Mac Jack, have acted.

The irony of having a Premier’s Office launch a multi-stakeholder Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy, whilst having an HOD in her government who is facing such serious charges, is clearly lost on Premier Lucas. After-all it is the very same criminally charged Mr. Jonkers, who would have been possibly tasked with assisting in formulating such a Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy.

One can only imagine how awkward it may have been for South African Police Services management to have a crime prevention strategy meeting with an HOD whom they are investigating, and in another matter of alleged corruption, had recently had the offices of the department raided by the Hawks.

The DA is of the stern view that this situation is nothing short of a failure of leadership by the Premier. Her dithering and pontificating on the matter of dealing with the criminally charged Safety HOD, has compromised the credibility of the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy.

Once again, it is the people of this province who are failed.

It is not unreasonable to believe that a senior government official, and indeed politicians in government, who are facing serious criminal charges, could possibly have a personal and vested interest in ensuring any crime fighting and anti-corruption measures for the province are weak.

The DA has already written to the Public Service Commission’s Director-General, Prof. Richard Levin, requesting that the PSC investigate the Jonkers matter, and also investigate whether the Premier and MEC’s inaction is a violation of the Constitution, and ultimately public trust. After-all, how is the public meant to trust a Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy launched by a government that does not take action against its own alleged criminals?