DA Welcomes WC Police Commissioner

By Mireille Wenger MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament:

Following reports that Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula has been appointed as the new Police Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape, the DA in the Western Cape wishes the new commissioner well in this important post.

The new Commissioner will have his work cut out for him and we look forward to engaging with him once he is in office. In my capacity as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, I have written to General Jula to wish him well and to highlight key policing concerns and needs in the Western Cape.

As the 2014/15 crime statistics revealed, the Western Cape is hard hit by crime and violence and gang related violence, with 3186 murders being reported in the province between April 2014 and March 2015.

To combat this gruesome reality, it is critical that Commissioner Jula devote his attention to the following issues that challenge policing in the Western Cape:

  • Gang-related violence;
  • The high murder rate;
  • Vacancies and the shortage of police officers, especially visible policing, detectives as well as the low recruitment rate of reservists;
  • Insufficient police resources, including the faulty call scanners at the 10111 contact centre;
  • Police brutality, and;
  • Fostering good community police relations.

We believe that safety is everyone’s responsibility and we therefore hope that Commissioner Jula will partner and expand police engagement with communities and community safety structures such as Community Policing Forums, Neighbourhood Watches, National and Provincial Government Departments, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations, Business Organisations, Local Ward Councillors, Victim Support Members, Municipal Managers and members of the community.

That being said, policing remains a national competency, with the National Police Commissioner at the helm. We trust that General Jula will lead the Western Cape SAPS to make a real impact on reducing crime and violence, and to protect the law-abiding people of the Western Cape.

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Philippi infanticide – Minister Plato calls for community’s assistance

By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the brutal murder of 7-month-old Inganathi Mnandi. I am calling on anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect to report it to the police.

If anyone with information would like to remain anonymous they can call CrimeLine on 08600 10111

The savage murder of an innocent baby requires all of us to help in making sure the person responsible faces the authorities.

I urge the community of Philippi to support the bereaved mother and family and provide any and all information on the whereabouts of the suspect to the South African Police Service (SAPS), so that an arrest can be made.

I thank the Western Cape Department of Social Development who have already indicated that they will be supporting the family. I will in the days to come visit the family to pay my respects and will, as part of my oversight mandate over policing in the province, monitor the police’s progress on the investigation.

Just more than a month since we observed the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children, we are faced with another tragic violent death of a child. Those who harm the innocent in our communities; who show a total disregard for the safety of children in the province; and who choose violence above all reason, should face the full might of the law.

The person responsible for this heinous act is someone’s child, someone’s neighbour, someone’s friend or acquaintance. Safer communities can only be a reality if we all take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of those around us. If you know of a crime being committed against someone you know, or if you know the criminal responsible, it is your responsibility to report the information to your nearest police station for investigation.

Let 2016 be the year we stand up against the injustices and crimes perpetrated against members of our communities, especially against those who choose to harm the most vulnerable.

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Backlog at Sterkfontein Hospital causes trial delays

By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:

The second postponement of the trial of the man accused of murdering Chumani Nqakula, the son of Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapusa-Nqakula, highlights the problem of long waiting times for evaluations at the Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital.

In November last year, Magistrate Albertus Roux ordered murder suspect Carlos Higuera to be referred to Sterkfontein Hospital for evaluation.

Higuera is 157 on the waiting list for admission, which means that it could take more than a year before he is admitted and evaluated for trial.

The backlog at Sterkfontein has worsened since August last year when I was informed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in an official reply that there were 138 male patients awaiting mental evaluation for trial, which would take between 8 to 12 months.

The problem is that there are high staff vacancies – in August last year there were 39 vacancies, including 13 Professional Nurse posts, 6 Nursing Assistant posts, 3 pharmacist posts and 3 psychologists.

It is unacceptable that trials should be delayed for lengthy periods because of the backlog at Sterkfontein Hospital.

Oscar Pistorius was speedily assessed, and the same should apply in all cases.

Urgent action needs to be taken to increase the capacity of Sterkfontein Hospital to evaluate awaiting trial prisoners.

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DA concerned over Gauteng police commissioner’s removal

By Kate Lorimer MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety:

The DA is deeply concerned by the sudden decision to move Gauteng police commissioner Lt Gen Lesetja Mothiba to the newly formed management intervention unit at national head office.

While the move may be regarded as a step up for Mothiba, the fact that the appointment of his replacement, Major General Eric Nkuna, is on an acting basis, creates the impression that the shift was politically motivated.

Lt Gen Mothiba has dedicated more than 30 years to the SAPS, and is a career policeman who has added value.

Gauteng must again battle through the inevitable upset caused by a change in management which may negatively affect crime fighting in the province.

The DA wishes Lt Gen Mothiba every success in his future endeavours – his loss will be felt by every policing structure in the province.

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DA saddened by fatal stabbing of rev. Clifford Leeuw

By Kevin Mileham, MP, Buffalo City Coastal Constituency Leader:

The Democratic Alliance is deeply saddened by the fatal stabbing at Leaches Bay, which saw rev. Clifford Leeuw pass away on Tuesday night (subs: Tues, Jan 12).

Rev. Leeuw was a stalwart fighter for the rights of all South Africans, and someone who did everything in his power to ensure that our people were represented by the best public representatives, who only have the interests of all South Africans at heart.   He was a good, kind, patriotic and proud South African.   He had unsurpassed dedication to his community, the church he served and anyone who ever required his wisdom, guidance or advice.

Sadly, this incident at Leaches Bay is not unusual.   The area is a notorious crime hotspot.   The DA renews their call on the Buffalo City municipality and the SAPS to increase security and crime prevention measures to address the many challenges facing this part of the city, in order to prevent further senseless and needless tragedies.

We will continue the hard work that rev. Leeuw initiated and lived so passionately for, and will honour his memory through our commitment to ensuring a better South Africa for all.

The DA sends its most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends in this very difficult time.

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DA to present tangible plan to launch metro police

Media Advisory:

Tomorrow, 12 January 2016, the DA will present a tangible, comprehensive plan to launch a metro police force in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Gangsterism and crime keep our people in constant fear with 80% of Nelson Mandela Bay’s residents too afraid to go out at night.

A strong metro police force will greatly improve the fight against gangsterism and crime across Nelson Mandela Bay.

DA Mayoral Candidate for NMB, Athol Trollip, will visit the family of 2 year old Caydene Ruiters, who was shot and killed in gang crossfire late last year.

This will be followed by a presentation of a plan to launch a metro police force.

The event will take place as follows:

Date: 12 January 2016
Time: 10:00
Venue: 212 Sagittarius Street, Barcelona/Gelvandale, Northern Areas

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs

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Murders in Ocean View: SAPS’ swift arrests welcomed

By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:

I welcome the swift action from the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Ocean View area, which has seen arrests made in connection with seven murders that have taken place since 5 December 2015.

The most recent arrests happened yesterday morning in connection with a triple murder which occurred on Saturday, 12 December 2015.

I wish to congratulate the SAPS for their dedication to seeing justice served. Detectives have worked hard to find those allegedly responsible for the heinous crimes committed over the last two weeks. These arrests will go some way to providing the families and friends of the victims with some comfort that the crimes will not go unpunished.

With most of the suspects connected to the various crimes expected to appear in court this Thursday, I trust that the rest of the criminal justice system will ensure that those responsible for the murders undergo swift trials, just convictions and sentencing befitting of the heinous crimes they committed.

I call on the community of Ocean View and the rest of our communities across the province, to support the SAPS in their investigations. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and the sooner criminals can be arrested with credible information and testimonies connecting the suspects to the crimes, the safer our communities will become.

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Minister Grant to get his vehicle tested and urges holiday makers to do the same

Media Advisory:

Tomorrow, Tuesday 15 December 2015, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, will have his official vehicle tested at a local testing station to ensure compliance with vehicle safety standards as is required by law. Such checks are increasingly more important during the festive season, as many take to the roads on long journeys to their various holiday destinations.

Minister Grant will have his vehicle checked, while encouraging all other road users to do the same. These vehicle checks are done in partnership with the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) Organization, who run campaigns every year around vehicle safety and encouraging motorists to have their vehicles tested regularly to ensure safety and compliance.

Vehicle fitness forms part of our festive season enforcement efforts, with various operations to be conducted across the province to check the roadworthiness of vehicles, and to discontinue vehicles that are deemed unsafe to be on our roads. Too often unsafe vehicles, coupled with unsafe drivers, have resulted in deadly collisions on our roads which could have been avoided had the vehicles been checked before embarking on various trips.

Media are invited and welcome to attend. There will be opportunity for photographs and interviews. Please indicate via email if you will be in attendance.

Venue:                       AVTS Culemborg Motor City, Christiaan Barnard Boulevard (formerly Oswald Pirow Street), Foreshore, Cape Town

Date:                          Tuesday, 15th of December 2015

Time:                           11h00 – 12h00

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SAPS clampdown on corrupt cops welcomed

By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:

I welcome the clampdown on corruption and criminality within the South African Police Service’s (SAPS’) ranks following the arrest of a Pinelands police officer who allegedly tampered with blood samples from drunk driving suspects.

This serves as an important warning to both police members and the public that there is no place for corruption, bribery or dodging responsibility for one’s actions this festive season.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility and as much as I encourage members of the public to report any officer they suspect of corruption or wrongdoing, I also support our police and law enforcement officers for their zero tolerance and dedication to help keep everyone in the province safe this festive season.

The Western Cape Government, through its oversight mandate, will support any actions taken by the SAPS management which will see corrupt and criminal cops face the full might of the law they happily choose to ignore.

We cannot allow a couple of bad apples to tarnish the good reputation of the SAPS and breakdown the public trust or relationship between the police and communities.

I urge all to remain vigilant this festive season, to prioritise your own safety, to report any and all criminality and to support all law enforcement agencies working non-stop to help keep everyone safe.

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Community Safety MEDIA ALERT: #16DaysofActivism – Scottsdene, Safety starts in Your Family

This week, in continuing to engage communities as part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, the South African Police Service (SAPS), our safety partners and community members will intensify their campaign to take a public stand against violence and abuse.

Starting this afternoon in Scottsdene, the outreaches will see the safety partners raise awareness by means of a public march together with the community, culminating in a street meeting to inform the community about intervention services as well as to encourage all in our communities to take a stand against abuse.

The breakdown of the week’s activities is as follows:

  • Monday, 7 December 2015 – Scottsdene, 16:00 – 19:00;
  • Tuesday, 8 December 2015 – Lentegeur, 13:00 – 16:00;
  • Wednesday, 9 December 2015 – Du Noon, 16:00 – 19:00;
  • Thursday, 10 December 2015 – Valhalla Park, 16:00 – 19:00;
  • Friday, 11 December 2015 – Retreat, 16:00 – 19:00; and
  • Saturday, 12 December 2015 – closing event in Nyanga, 12:00 – 15:00.

For updated event information and the march starting points, please visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/community-safety/documents/public_info/D/19705

For the duration of the internationally observed 16 Days of Activism Campaign, running between 25 November and 10 December annually, the Department of Community Safety is reaching out to various communities where incidents of abuse, violence and the marginalisation of women and children in our communities places them at risk.

Join us as we take a united stand against violence and abuse under the theme: “Safety starts in Your Family”.

There will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews.

ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND

Details:          Scottsdene #16DaysofActivism violence and abuse awareness drive

Date:              Monday, 7 December 2014

Time:               16:00 – 19:00

Venue:           Meeting point for the march to start at 16:00:

SAPS Kraaifontein, Botfeintein Road / Van Riebeeck Street, Kraaifontein

GPS coordinates: -33.856730, 18.726185

Assembly point for ceremony to follow the march:

Corner Park Avenue and Da Gama Street, Kraaifontein

GPS coordinates: -33.860497, 18.720347

For general information on the campaign and where to seek assistance regarding abuse, please visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/16-days-activism-no-violence-against-women-and-children-2015

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