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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I challenge Supra: Come clean about Police meddling in Fransman case

By Joe McGluwa (MPL), DA NW Leader:

The DA in the North West Province is concerned about allegations that Premier Supra Mahumapelo tried to interfere with the investigation of a sex crime charge against the ANC Western Cape Leader, Marius Fransman.

Premier Mahumapelo’s spokesperson has confirmed that the Premier enquired about the investigation and that “he was satisfied with the information received and the law should take its course”. The Premier has no mandate or legal standing to “satisfy himself” about criminal charges against senior members of his party.

Had Supra not been “satisfied” what would he then have done about the case?

The Premier must come clean on what he intended when contacting the Police Commissioner about the Fransman charges. His conduct sails very close to the wind of political interference in police work.

Therefore, today I will write to North West Speaker Susan Dantjie submitting urgent written questions on what Premier Supra and the Provincial Commissioner spoke about, what they agreed to, whether there was an agenda for the telephonic meeting and to request access to the minutes of the meeting.

If the Premier was “satisfied”, he clearly was given details of the case and the criminal charges against Fransman, and this must have been minuted for the meeting to have been above board.

Marius Fransman’s continued occupation of high office in the ANC is undermining the fight against sexual and domestic abuse in South Africa.

The DA Western Cape Leader Patricia de Lille has called for Fransman to be immediately suspended by the ANC, and I join her in this call.

We also call upon the SAPS to boldly investigate this case, not to allow politicians to interfere and to see justice done.

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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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Letter to the Editor – A fish rots from the head

By Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison:

LAST week, during a KZN Legislature Sitting, the DA called for Provincial SAPS Commissioner, General Mmammonye Ngobeni to be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of an independent investigation into her fitness for office.

This follows a long history of allegations of abuse of power by General Ngobeni and certain other senior police officials.  It includes recent media reports of alleged backhanders from businessman Thoshan Panday in lieu of favourable tenders and exemptions from criminal investigation.

A fish rots from the head.

While dedicated police officers are being murdered by criminals, KZN’s police leadership and management are engaging in enriching themselves and protecting alleged criminality.

Our province’s many hardworking and dedicated police officers and our communities deserve a Provincial Commissioner and senior police management that is morally beyond reproach and who themselves are dedicated towards keeping KZN residents safe.

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Active SAPS Reservists: 66% decrease

By Mireille Wenger, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety:

~tempemailAttachments27998_5436_Decline in Police reservists

The number of active police reservists has sharply declined by 66% since 2008. The decimation of the active reservist service is cause for concern and I will be requesting Police Management to appear before the Western Cape Provincial Parliament to explain.

Replies to Parliamentary Questions reveal that in 2008, the Western Cape had 5059 active reservists. This number has dwindled to a paltry 1700, which is a 66% decline in the number of active reservists serving police and communities.  In 2008, 22 159 reservists were called up on duty with pay and by this year (2015/16) the number of reservists called up with pay has fallen to zero.

This is unsurprising as not a single police reservist has been recruited in the Western Cape in the last three years, and only one reservist was re-recruited.

Year Number of Reservists Recruited Number of  Reservists Re-Recruited
2013/14 0 0
2014/15 0 0
2015/16 0 1
Total 0 1

The Western Cape is the most under-resourced province with 85% of our stations being under-staffed. Our Province has approximately 2392 vacancies with 588 less detectives than we should have and 2249 less visible policing officers patrolling our communities than we ought to have. Given the critical manpower shortages, reservists play an important role in assisting the police and serving as a force multiplier, it beggars belief that not a single reservist has been recruited in the last three years in our Province and that the number of reservists has actually declined.

I will now be asking Provincial Police Management to appear before Parliament to explain these devastating numbers.

Police is a national government function and the DA in the Western Cape will continue to do its best to ensure proper oversight over the police so that the people of this province receive an adequate policing service, as they are entitled to.

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SAPS must work WITH community to fight crime

By Pule Thole MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Transport, Safety & Liaison:

The DA will write to MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Martha Bartlett, requesting that government works hand in hand with communities and not against them to fight the crime scourge in the Northern Cape. This comes against the backdrop that Galeshewe’s crime-fighting organisation, Wanya Tsotsi, has allegedly been told by the SAPS to disband.

People are tired of crime. They want to live in a safe environment and be able to bring their children up in a safe environment. They have every right to do this and they have every right to get involved in fighting crime.

In this regard, the DA is dismayed to learn that SAPS appears reluctant to work with community run crime fighting organizations, like Wanya Tsotsi.

Crime is out of control. SAPS have been soldiering on in the fight against crime for years, and we appreciate their efforts, but they are not adequately resourced to stem the tide of crime on their own. The daily reports of theft, robbery, rape and murder in the Northern Cape are testament to this.

If SAPS really wants to bring down the crime rate, then they have to start doing things differently.

A whole-of-society approach towards crime fighting must be adopted.

In this regard, the Department of Safety needs to harness the passion of community crime fighting organizations, like Wanya Tsotsi, who are volunteering of their own time and resources to fight crime.

The department urgently needs to review its current crime fighting structures, such as Community Policing Forums (CPF’s) and its Community Safety Networks, to see how best it can incorporate crime fighting organisations into its crime prevention initiatives.

The festive season is upon us and we know that this means a rise in crime. Now, more than ever, we need all crime fighters to band together in a law-abiding manner to protect the people of the Northern Cape and their possessions.

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SAPS Reservists Shocker: 0 new reservists recruited

By Mireille Wenger, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson:

In the past three years, the SAPS in the Western Cape have not recruited a single police reservist and have only re-recruited one. This is despite the fact that reservists are an important force multiplier and the Western Cape has a critical shortage of police officers.

A moratorium on the recruitment of reservists was in place during 2009 which was then lifted, however reservists could not be recruited until the Reservists Policy had been completed.  At the time, the then Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that he had “no intention to place a further moratorium and reservists will be enlisted in terms of the new criteria once the new policy has been finalised and implemented”. The reservist policy was completed and approved by the Minister in 2013.

Yet, a reply to my Parliamentary Question reveals that not a single police reservist has been recruited in the Western Cape in the last three years, and only one reservist was re-recruited.

Year Number of Reservists Recruited Number of  Reservists Re-Recruited
2013/14 0 0
2014/15 0 0
2015/16 0 1
Total 0 1

It is concerning that the number of active reservists over the same time period has more than halved from 3565 to 1700. The Western Cape is the most under-resourced province with 85% of our stations being under-staffed. Our Province has approximately 2392 vacancies with 588 less detectives than we should have and 2249 less visible policing officers patrolling our communities than we ought to have. Given the critical manpower shortages, reservists play an important role in assisting the police and serving as a force multiplier, it beggars belief that not a single reservist has been recruited in the last three years in our Province.

The reasons for this may lie in the fact that the policy is highly restrictive and possibly unconstitutional. I am now writing to the Civilian Secretariat for Police, responsible for the drafting of the policy, to request a review of the policy so that reservists can be recruited without delay to assist officers in our communities.

Despite these challenges, the DA in the Western Cape will continue to do its best to ensure proper oversight over the police so that the people of this province receive an adequate policing service, as they are entitled to.

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Cold-blooded execution of Khulekani Mpanza a disgrace

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

I am sickened by the footage of alleged robber, Khulekani Mpanza, being executed by police.

Mpanza had already been shot and was lying on the pavement.  He was not resisting.

He was then kicked by another policeman and shot dead by the constable who walked away smiling.

There is no excuse for these actions. Police members who believe they are judge, jury and executioner must be harshly dealt with.

The Gauteng Police Commissioner must tell us whether the police members involved have been arrested and charged and if not in jail, why not.

Two weeks have gone by and it is unacceptable that this killer is only “on leave.”

He and his colleagues who made no move to stop him killing Mpanza should be behind bars.

The footage is quite clear and a number of witnesses are shown.  For these criminal police to be walking free after this incident was caught so clearly on camera is a disgrace.

They should have been arrested as soon as the footage came to light.

Their criminal behaviour severely damages the reputation of the SAPS which already suffers from accusations of poor management and a lack of professionalism.

If the SAPS does not make an example of these cops there will be more and more instances of murder by policemen.

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Brutal attacks in Mpumalanga demand specialised SAPS units

By Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Community Safety and Security:

The DA condemns the spate of brutal attacks recently in Mpumalanga.  These criminals must be stopped and must be brought to book. But the SAPS must also refrain from using excessive force – we need specialised units that deal with specialised training to rebuild trust between communities and police.

A disturbing video posted on Youtube last week, shows police opening fire on protesters in Vosman Ext 1 which led to the death of a young man.

The incident happened on Sunday allegedly after the protesters tried to stop the police from arresting foreign nationals. In the video, gun shots can be heard and two police vans are seen speeding-off from the scene where a young man is left lying dead on the road.

In another incident a 20-year old pregnant girl from Bushbuckridge was kidnapped and murdered by a group of five last week.
Two further incidents include farm attacks between Lydenburg and Machadodorp and a robbery close to Pilgrims Rest last Friday. Both these incidents were very brutal and should be of great concern for the SAPS.

The country would be far safer with a competent, highly equipped police force that can turn the tide against crime. We also need an effective justice system.

The DA calls on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate the Vosman incident and to root out criminal cops.

MEC for Safety and Security, Vusi Shongwe must engage the Minister of police, Nathi Nhleko, to bring back specialised units into SAPS, like the introduction of Rural Safety Units and anti-gang and drug units.

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Police officers charged with crimes must be suspended

By Katlego Suzan Phala (MPL), DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Safety ,Security and Liaison:

The DA has written to the Limpopo Police Commissioner, Lt.Gen. Fanie Masemola , to urgently suspend two Police officers based at Seshego Police Station after they were charged on allegations of defeating the ends of justice.

The duo are reported to have orchestrated the disappearance of a docket against their colleague accused of raping one of his church members during a prayer session two years ago. It is alleged that the accused paid the duo working at the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit an amount of R1 500 as a bribe to get rid of the docket.

These cops are alleged to have arranged a meeting with the victim to bribe her with R50 000 to drop the charges but the victim refused. The DA welcomes the swift action taken by the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) to charge them and remove them from their unit. The DA is deeply concerned that the duo are still in service despite their case not being finalised.

We urge Lt. Gen Masemola to suspended the duo, and to remove their firearms, until their case is finalised as they might tamper and interfere with the ongoing investigations against them.

The DA will also submit written questions in National Parliament to the Minister of Police on the reasons why these cops were not suspended and remained in service despite the criminal allegations against them.

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