HON MB GWALA MPL KZN LEGISLATURE
The IFP wants to state categorically that the issue of crime is still a serious concern in this province although the MEC is always promising to fight this scourge. We have heard of Operation Fiela (to sweep) to fight crime. Fancy names do not solve the problem. If you want to sweep clean, you must have the broom and the people who know how to sweep. The IFP would like to urge the MEC and his Department to ensure that the commitment to fight crime is not an empty one.
I would like to assure the citizens of KZN that the IFP will continue to push and lobby to ensure that the MEC comes up with relevant strategies to fight crime.
From the outset as the IFP we call on the Hon MEC to expedite the issue of the appointment of a permanent KZN Police Commissioner. He must liaise with the National Police Commissioner, Major General Khehla Sithole to facilitate this process.
The IFP is concerned about the lack the equipment and resources in the SAPS which they need to fight against crime. Police officers must be provided with necessary resources in order for them to perform their duties.
Without the proper equipment and resources at their disposal, we cannot expect members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to perform their duties at anything like an optimal level. It is irresponsible and unfair to expect police officers to go on duty without sufficient bullet proof vests, vehicles weapons or radios.
Rural and farming communities need special attention from the SAPS. As these communities are situated far from national and provincial government authorities, corporate businesses, and other non-governmental resources, they are exposed to greater crime and safety risks.
CORRUPTION IN THE SAPS
The IFP is gravely concerned about criminality within the Police Service. The state of our Police Service is disheartening and many communities in our country have lost faith in the ability of the police to protect them. Officers continually arrest their own members who have been colluding with criminals, or who may be criminals themselves. Trusting the police to do their jobs is a difficult thing to do, because not even dockets are safe in some police stations.
The SAPS brand has been irreparably damaged, for me. The trust is gone, and now I look at the police and the criminals and wonder if there is any difference. Apart, that is, from the fact that some of them happen to wear a uniform.
The MEC must know that there are heroes in the SAPS, members who will put their lives on the line for us members of the public on a daily basis. But, equally, there are those who use the position to rob and rape and that the balance between the good and the bad has begun to tilt towards the bad. The MEC must ensure that corruption in the SAPS is eradicated. Corrupt police officers must be rooted out from the SAPS.
We demand that lifestyle audit for SAPS members must be conducted.
PROMOTION IN THE SAPS
We urge the MEC to consider promoting police officers who deserve to be promoted. I am calling on the MEC and the Police Commissioner to treat this matter with urgency it deserves; our officers are out there giving their all-in service to this nation and if a man deserves the promotion, he must get it; if he doesn’t deserve it, he must not get it.
Thousands of dedicated police officers are frustrated at the slow pace at which they get promotions. There is no reasonable workplace that should take between 10 and 15 years or longer to promote a person, or not promote them at all. Furthermore, their salary must be increased including those of 10111 operators.
ABUSE OF STATE RESOURCES
The IFP demands that anyone found to be abusing state resources must be held accountable including the police officers. Sometimes you will find police officers using state vehicles to do shopping or cars parked in the shebeens while police officers are on duty.
We are concerned about the false or hoax reports of crime being done by community members. There is an increasing number of false posts on social media about missing‚ kidnapped and abducted girls and women. The hoaxes‚ fake news and the dissemination of false information which we have experienced of late not only sow panic among our communities but also waste the police’s time and resources.
The IFP is not convince in a manner in which the department is failing to eradicate illegal guns in our society. We are concerned about the prevalence of illegal guns that are used to kill people and politicians.
We challenge the MEC to deal decisively with the issue of illegal guns used during violence. Issues such as taxi warlords who continue to order the killings and who are involved in other criminal activity, disputes over routes and government response towards the need of the taxi industry should form part of the investigation.
ILLETERACY IN THE SAPS
As the IFP we were very concerned when the senior management at SAPS reported to Parliament earlier this year that some of their members lack basic literacy skills. We are calling for a skills audit to determine how many men and women in uniform are unable to record incidents, write statements or record information at crime scenes in their “pocketbooks” in KwaZulu-Natal.
KILLING OF POLICE OFFICERS
We are extremely concerned by the spate of killings of our policemen and women and call on our communities to mobilise against this scourge. It should be taken into cognisance that South Africans, through their taxes, pay a lot of money to train our policemen and women. Therefore, as society, we must ask ourselves why we should keep quiet in the face of a concerted, destructive campaign waged against our policemen and women. We urge people to protect our police officers.
SATELITE POLICE STATIONS
We are concerned about the lack of safety in some satellite police stations around the province. Two satellite police stations in Umlazi have no fencing and police officers are vulnerable and at risk of being attacked by criminals. This matter deserves an urgent attention from the MEC. He must do away with dilapidated satellite police stations. We would like to seek answers from the MEC on when the Ingwavuma police station will be built?
Policing is undoubtedly a highly stressful occupation, and suicides are a sad result. If police officer suicide is strongly linked to the cumulative experience of traumatic events, lower-level stresses and the manner in which officers experiencing distress and trauma are treated by organisations, then mitigation strategies have to acknowledge all of these factors. While this is important, police also need to take account of the effects of recurrent exposure of staff to poor management and cultural stresses, and the stigma attached to mental illness within the force.
The IFP is concerned about police brutality. What really concerns us is that over and over, we see these videos on television, read about them on the newspapers and we can’t help but ask — wasn’t there a better way that the police could have handled this? The loss of life that has occurred at the hands of the police has escalated to where unarmed individuals are being fired upon and killed.
Weeks and months go by with no explanation for these shootings by the SAPS or IPID. The mechanism that have been put in place have all failed and the escalation of police brutality is evidence of that failure. This must come to an end.
I thank you