Premier living in an ivory tower

Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison

The shocking utterances by KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu, at the funeral of Senzo Meyiwa are an insult to the thousands of victims of crime in this province.

During an interview with the BBC he stated that ‘We should not exaggerate the level of crime because it is not like it affects each and every family’.  If ever there was a comment that highlights just how out of touch he and his cabinet are with the majority of communities in our province, then this is it.

The Premier’s statement shows once and for all that he and his executive live in ivory towers with expensive and expansive security in place to protect them and their families.

Rising crime levels do not need to be exaggerated. Nor are they simply invented – they are evident in the government’s own crime statistics. Many thousands of people are directly affected by violent crime on a daily basis with KZN crime levels consistently and unacceptably high.

On a positive note, the DA agrees with the Premier that ‘police [officers] should get out of police stations to fight crime’.  We also commend the scores of hard-working police men and women who strive continuously to keep our communities safe and secure and we most definitely do hear their numerous complaints of lack of support from police leadership.

Disappointingly, the Premier was silent on his own government’s failure to tackle crime levels in the province.   He was also silent about his government’s lack of political leadership on this matter.

With local government elections looming, the Premier should not under-estimate the effect of crime on the people of KZN.  If anything he should be listening to the growing voice of discontent.