Today’s release of the National Crime Statistics for the Third Quarter of the 2021/22 financial year (October – December 2021) by the Minister of Police, Hon. Bheki Cele, reflects the ongoing crisis of leadership within our police service.
Despite the minor gains made in reducing sexual assault crimes, contact crimes and crimes against businesses, the number of people senselessly killed due to poor policing and inaction remains worryingly high in our country’s Metros. The statistics reveal an 8.9% increase in murders, and of the 6 859 people killed, 902 were women, and 352 were children.
Further, South Africans are tired and can no longer stand the ongoing public spat between the Minister of Police and the National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole.
How are we supposed to instil discipline within the SAPS when the entire top tier internally at the SAPS and politically at the Department of Police are in total disarray?
We, therefore, urge the Minister to take the country and the SAPS into his confidence and request that President Cyril Ramaphosa finalise his decision on the Commissioner’s fitness to hold office, following the inquiry into his leadership capabilities.
South Africans continue to live and work in fear for their lives as there is little confidence in the police and their ability to fight crime.
Indeed, if we are serious about growing the economy and bolstering business confidence in the country, SAPS needs to get its house in order.
Although the Minister reported a 9% decrease in reported sexual offenses, there were still 11 315 rapes reported between October and December 2021.
This is 11 315 too many people who have been subjected to unimaginable abuse and violence. Further, rape and sexual assault remain under-reported, especially when many feel a sense of shame and fear stigmatisation.
We are encouraged to hear that there are now dedicated GBV desks at 381 police stations – but must also point out that this is less than half of the country’s 1 155 police stations. More must be done.
The IFP encourages all communities to support victims of gender-based violence. When reporting or witnessing crimes, we ask that communities work closely with their Community Policing Fora and the Community Neighbourhood Watches to ensure a safe environment for all.
Zandile Majozi, MP
IFP Spokesperson on Police
073 052 9556