National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says the police mandate has become overstretched. He appeared before Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee, before which commanders of the five police stations with the highest crime rate were also called to appear.

The stations are Hillbrow, Johannesburg Central, Kagiso in Gauteng as well as Mitchells Plain and Nyanga on the Cape Flats.

During the previous financial year, more than 300 murders were committed in the area serviced by the Nyanga Police Station.

Sitole says police just cannot keep up. “Due to the collapse of the national crime prevention strategy, the SAPS became an all-purpose agency with an overstretched mandate it is impossible to fulfill. I want to repeat the SAPS mandate is over stretched an impossible to fill.”

Sitole also says they want to implement a multi- pronged strategy to stabilise these five police stations.

“If we could have a master project plan for all of them, a master plan and we can then look at getting all stakeholders so we run multi-disciplinary projects to address the holistic root causes for these stations to come to this particular point.”