The IFP in the KZN Legislature calls upon the KZN MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, and KZN Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, to provide answers about the whereabouts of the Royal Reserve Police Service for rural KZN, which was launched in 2020 with much fanfare.
KwaZulu-Natal has become a slaughterhouse, with people being victimised daily by criminals. In the past, we have been led to believe that programmes such as the Royal Reserve Police Service and the Community-Based Mounted Unit would work in unison with traditional leaders to fight crime and protect the farming community. They were also meant to build better working relationships between the police and rural communities.
As Members of the Portfolio Committee for Community Safety and Liaison in the KZN Legislature, we have been kept in the dark since this programme was launched in 2020, and have not heard in our Meetings whether it is still operational, or not. Even the KZN MEC for Community Safety, Sipho Hlomuka, said nothing about the programmes in the past two years’ Budget Speeches.
During the launch, former National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khehla Sithole, said that the programme “was part of a turnaround strategy by the police to build better working relationships between the police and rural communities… We are professionalizing the policing of the royalty and restructuring it, thus the launch of this Royal Reserve Police Service. These police officers have been trained to ensure safety in all places led by royalty”.
It was reported that 100 Royal Reservists had been trained at a SAPS Academy and would immediately commence with their policing functions on a voluntary basis.
Where are those 100 Royal Reservists? Where are they stationed? How much has been spent on them so far if they are still active?
We need answers from the KZN MEC for Community Safety and the KZN Police Commissioner as public funds have been spent on what appears to be a futile exercise. Crime is rampant in our society and criminals are running KwaZulu-Natal with impunity. They are not afraid of the police or the laws of the country.
The IFP reiterates its call that the police must work towards eradicating crime to ensure that our Province is freed from ruthless criminals. The ongoing murders in KZN are indicative of the movement of illegal guns and firearms. It is the duty of the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into arms’ syndicates: whether guns used by criminals to kill are either smuggled into the province, or if criminals collude with gun sellers to buy illegal guns. We further call on the police to increase police patrols and intelligence surveillance along our porous borders, as well as in community residential areas across the province.
Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison
078 290 5842