DA will defeat Bheki Cele’s plan to hijack Cape Town law enforcement

Please find attached a soundbite by Geordin Hill-Lewis

The DA today held a mass protest in Mitchell’s Plain against Police Minister Bheki Cele’s plan to hijack local law enforcement in Cape Town. In a memorandum handed over to the Lentegeur police station, the people of Mitchell’s Plain together with the DA made it clear that we reject the ongoing efforts by Cele and the ANC to capture Cape Town’s local law enforcement powers.

As the national police service has continued to collapse under Cele’s misrule in recent years, DA-led Cape Town has stepped up by significantly expanding our city’s own law enforcement capacity, including through the flagship R1.7 billion Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP).

While SAPS cut the number of police officers deployed in Cape Town by 511 since 2018, the LEAP project is on track to an additional 1 100 law enforcers to crime hotspots throughout Cape Town by next month. Thanks to LEAP, spending on law enforcement has increased by 55% since 2016, and the arrest rate in Cape Town has tripled.

Our local law enforcement officers are Cape Town’s very own heroes in blue, because they have stepped up to fix what Cele and the national government has broken. In other parts of the country where the DA is not in government, policing has all but collapsed. We cannot allow the same to happen in Cape Town.

Cele’s plan to hijack Cape Town’s law enforcers

Instead of supporting the DA’s efforts to make Cape Town safer, Police Minister Bheki Cele and his colleagues in national government have ratcheted up their plans to hijack and destroy Cape Town’s local law enforcement capabilities. We simply cannot allow this plan to succeed, because it will leave the people of Cape Town solely at the mercy of SAPS and put thousands of lives at risk.

Just think about what will happen in Cape Town if the ANC succeeded in removing our local law enforcers from the streets. Instead of calling on competent and well-trained officers who report to the well-run City of Cape Town in their hour of need, residents will be left at the mercy of incompetent loudmouth Bheki Cele, who has already punished the people of Cape Town with the lowest police-to-citizen ratio in the entire country.

The full plan to hijack local law enforcement is articulated in two ANC schemes: the so-called Single Police Service, and the District Development Model (DDM). This Single Police Service would absorb the Cape Town Metro Police Department into SAPS, limit the powers of peace officers, move the command-and-control structure away from the city and into SAPS, and take away Cape Town’s power to set its own local policing priorities. This scheme will have disastrous consequences for Capetonians, who will lose the ability to have a second option to call on to solve their problems and will make them subject to decisions made 1 500 kilometres away in Pretoria.

In turn, the DDM would complete the planned hijacking of local policing powers by giving ANC cadres in national government the power to unconstitutionally interfere with the functions of municipalities. The DDM is premised on the idea of “one plan” and “one budget,” whereby cities like Cape Town would lose our power to set our own policing priorities and provide funding to our own law enforcement heroes.

Cele personally deployed to capture Cape Town

But perhaps the single most telling sign that the DDM is nothing but a ploy for Cele to capture and corrupt DA-led Cape Town is the fact that, under the DDM, Cele has been personally deployed as the ANC’s “DDM Champion” in Cape Town. It is patently obvious that the ANC is using the DDM as an excuse to “deploy” Cele to personally launch his assault on Cape Town law enforcement.

The DA will defeat Cele’s plan to hijack Cape Town law enforcement

The DA will fight tooth-and-nail against the Single Police Service and the DDM’s plan to hijack and capture Cape Town’s law enforcement powers. For years, Cele and the national government have failed to keep the people of Cape Town safe, so the people of Cape Town – in partnership with the DA – have started to keep ourselves safe.

While the ANC is so desperate for total control over policing that they are prepared to put the lives of Capetonians at risk, the DA has a clear plan to take even more power away from SAPS and empower our communities. The DA will:

  1. Train and deploy hundreds of additional law enforcement officers;
  2. Fight to expand municipal policing powers;
  3. Oppose the ANC’s Single Police Service plan to hijack Cape Town’s local law enforcers;
  4. Expand the capabilities of neighbourhood watches and community policing; and
  5. Fully exploit technology to fight crime, including through computer-aided dispatching, gunfire detection, more cameras and crime data analysis.

On 1 November, the people of Cape Town will face a simple question: who do they trust more to help them in their hour of greatest need, the DA or Bheki Cele? As the people of Cape Town have done so many times before, 1 November will be the time for us to reject Bheki Cele and the ANC to make sure they keep their corrupt hands off Cape Town’s local law enforcement heroes.

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