Political parties urge police ministry to act decisively in combating crime

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Police must send out a much stronger message that criminality will not be tolerated. That is according to Congress of the People (COPE) spokesperson, Dennis Bloem. He was reacting to the latest crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele, in Pretoria on Friday.

Releasing the latest quarterly statistics, Cele notes that crimes such as murder and rape remain high in uMlazi, south of Durban, and Plesseslaer in Pietermaritzburg.

The figures cover the period 1 April to the end of June this year. During this time, 6 424 people were killed and more than 9 000 raped.

Bloem says until police deal harsher with criminals, the situation will not improve.

“Nobody is safe in this country, as long as criminals are treated with kit gloves crime will never stop. We must put criminals behind bars for a very long time to make an example that crime will never be tolerated in this country.”

‘A war zone for women, children’ 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says South Africa is a war zone for women and children. DA MP Andrew Whitfield says statistics show that crime against the most vulnerable in society continues to increase.

“Last year, murders of women increased by 53%, attempted murder up 31%, assault GBH up 54%, most horrific crime stats are those against our most vulnerable citizens, our children – where murder is up 46% and attempted murder up almost 30% and assault up nearly 60% year on year.“

Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) leader, Mzanele Nyhontso, says the police minister has run out of ideas on how to fight crime. Nyhontso says police must deal more decisively with criminals.

“These stats are shocking. We hear the same thing every year. An increase in murders shows that police have no capacity to deal with crime, those with capacity don’t have resources. We need to hire more police and deal decisively with criminals. We need to wage war against criminals, need police who are dedicated, not the police who are friends with criminals.”

In the video below, Minister Bheki Cele releases the latest crime statistics: 

‘Violent crime out of control’

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says it is clear that violent crime in the country is out of control. Groenewald says the murder rate is alarming.

“Violent crime in SA is out of control. This makes SA a dangerous place to live in especially for women and children. The reason is the minister wants to be both the minister and the commissioner of police. He interferes with matters, which is unlawful. Besides murder increase, 11.5% increase quarter on quarter compared to last year, its second quarter this year that there is an increase of 5%.”

Police visibility

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in KwaZulu-Natal has called for police visibility to curb crime before it happens. The labour federation protested outside the South African Police Service’s headquarters in Durban.

Cosatu Chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal Phumlani Duma says police must be seen by and in communities.

“These are mothers and sisters of the nation. We strongly believe in them being protected. Children will grow up in families where there is a mother and a father and we also believe that men actually need to protect women and we have said we concur with the President of the Republic to say, if you remain silent when you witness abuse of a woman in the vicinity, you are also committing a crime and must be held accountable in terms of the law processes.”