DA to demand KZN SAPS numbers

Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison

The DA is shocked by a recent media report which confirms that SAPS top brass are not prepared to divulge the number of police officers deployed in KZN on the basis that it will “result in attacks on police stations”.

This is utter nonsense. Furthermore, it is a smokescreen to hide the understaffing and poor quality policing within our province that has led to so many communities suffering under the burden of crime.

The figures are critical to establishing oversight and ensuring that there is sufficient manpower to fight crime in KZN.  According to the report, the statistics were requested through a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) by the newspaper itself.

The media has a mandate to provide scrutiny over SAPS and to provide the public with information. The denial of the PAIA application by the SAPS highlights the lengths that the ANC government is prepared to go to in order to hide its inefficiencies. This particular incident is a return to old Apartheid excuses of national security to avoid proper oversight.

The provincial legislature is the oversight body of SAPS within KZN as mandated by the Constitution.  As such, the DA will take up this fight on behalf of KZN’s and will today submit parliamentary questions to provincial Community Safety & Liaison MEC, Willies Mchunu, regarding SAPS staffing allocations in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is a matter of public interest.  It affects every single person in our province. Failure to release this information is an attack on our constitutional democracy.