By Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety:
LAST week’s KZN Community Safety Scopa hearing had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour after the department failed to submit its Annual Report on time.
The administrative bungle follows claims earlier this year that the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was in fact was employed by two different provincial departments at the same time. The department currently has an acting CFO.
That this department did not supply financial statements and or an annual report shows contempt for the Legislature and its oversight mechanisms.
The events of last week are indicative of a department in crisis. They also reveal a lack of leadership and political will to keep our communities safe from crime and violence.
KZN’s residents deserve a Community Safety department capable of keeping them safe.
This requires a department that can manage its finances so that community policing structures are properly funded and functional and the South African Police Services are held to account.
More than ever KZN needs the aspects set out in the DA’s Community Safety Bill. Amongst others, this Bill advocates;
- The creation of a police Ombud to investigate inefficiencies and breakdowns in relations between the community and the police
- Mandatory reports from the Provincial Police Commissioner on matters such as: lost and stolen firearms, death of police officials in the execution of their duties, death by police action and in police custody, the allocation of funds and resources, quarterly reports on numbers of arrests, cases referred to court, prosecutions and convictions, complaints regarding police conduct and service delivery
- Improved police response to the safety concerns that exist in our communities
- Directives regarding the establishment of CPFs [Community Policing Forums] and CPF board with a view to depoliticising and strengthening local oversight of this entity
KZN’s people deserve a government which follows the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity for all and which ensures that crime is reduced and communities prosper in a safe environment.
The DA will continue to monitor this department. It must commit to transparency and accountability.