By Lennit Max MPP, Western Cape Spokesperson on Transport and Public Works:
The Western Cape has a very concerning murder rate and an amount of violent crimes which are completely unacceptable and crippling our society. The majority of this type of crime can be traced back to our gang problem.
Gangsterism is everyboy’s problem, not that of the residents of Manenberg and surrounding areas only. This is a Western Cape problem, this is a South African problem.
Although partnerships between the police and the community is important, the police as an active partner needs to take the lead in the fight against crime. Therefore, government cannot abdicate its constitutional responsibility to prevent and investigate crime to civil society.
If the police fail to prevent crime it must have the capacity to investigate it effectively to ensure that those who broke the law, account to the law. Therefore, it is of outmost importance that the investigative capacity, detective services, are properly resourced.
In this regard investigations into gang related crimes is equally critical. The reality is that 8 out of 10 murders in the Western Cape don’t result in convictions and this allows the perpertrators of these henious crimes to keep gangsterism alive.
Convictions in respect of gang related murders for the past three years was 4%. The reasons for this state of affairs are obvious:
- Detectives carries on average approximately 150 dockets per person.
- According to an article in the Voice dated 14 May 2014, Col André Els, detective commander at Nyanga police station said, he has only 36 investigators who carried an average of 236 dockets each. But one of his Warrant Officers said that he carried 700 dockets and most of them are serious crime like murders.
- This is a serious downward trajectory. For the police to be more effectively and to regain public respect, they MUST specialise in what they do. Therefore, specialise Units are not negotiable, it is a MUST !!!
In the Western Cape the provincial government did everything possible to ensure service delivery to the vulnarable by strengthening policing oversight in terms of the Constitution. The National ANC-run Governement, opposed the provincial powers, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and by so doing claiming ownership of the police. No government owned the police. The police are owned by the community and by the community alone.
Therefore, the Western Cape DA led government under the leadership of Premier Helen Zille, will do everything legally possible to ensure that the National Government adheres to its constitutional obligations, and in so doing ensuring that the Citizens of the Western Cape enjoy an environment which is free and fair, and an environment which continue to create opportunities for all.