Brutal panga attack in Middelburg: We need more police!

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Violent and brutal crime in Mpumalanga is rapidly spiralling out of control, and the DA calls on provincial police commissioner, Lt Gen Thulani Ntobela to recognise that the number of police on patrol is woefully inadequate, and do his utmost to increase their numbers.

The DA expresses is deepest and most sincere sympathies with Mr Deon van der Merwe and Ms Katriena Fourie, who were brutally assaulted with pangas and a hammer after six suspects gained entry to their house at the Pienaar Dam resort in the small hours of Friday morning. The suspects made off with two cell phones and a purse. The couple were hospitalised and are still receiving treatment.

No South African should ever experience such a horrific ordeal in any circumstance, and this incident, like so many others across Mpumalanga this past week, is a clear illustration of a police force spread hopelessly too thin across the province.

This is the fourth such violent incident on people in their homes reported to the DA in just over a week, and we are increasingly concerned over the escalation in violence of the incidents in Badplaas, Belfast and Middelburg – not to mention the many others that occur almost every day, which are not reported to us.

The South African Police Service has a constitutional mandate to protect the citizens of the country, and a concerted effort must be made to increase the numbers of police officials on patrol, their resources and equipment.

So too should police finalise and operationalize its reservist recruitment policy and deployment, as well as increase its cooperation with local security companies and neighbourhood/community watch organisations.

The DA will continue with our fight for increased police on the ground, the implementation of specialised rural safety units, as well as joint public/private efforts to make our communities safer.

While we do so, we call on the public to be extra vigilant while they go about their daily business, and to report any suspicious activity to their local police.