ANC is failing us: DA would build SAPS station in Bonteheuwel

The failing ANC is causing suffering in the Western Cape. They are killing policing, they are killing the rail system and they are killing the lights.

That’s why the DA is calling on the ANC to give the Western Cape Government the authority to run the police in the province, the rail system and to let independent power producers supply us with the electricity we need to keep the lights on.

If the ANC national government does the right thing and gives the authority to the Provincial Government to run the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape, we will build a police station here in Bonteheuwel, to fight crime. Bonteheuwel’s 85 000 residents need their own station. Bishop Lavis which serves this area only has 1 police officer to serve 442 residents. This is not enough to stop the gang violence and not enough to stop the killing. I am writing to the Police Minister to demand a police station for this area.

Right now, mothers in this community are afraid of letting their children play outside because a stray bullet might kill them.

For 2017/18, the Western Cape had the highest number of gang-related murders – 808. The next highest province is the Eastern Cape with 87 gang related murders.

Nyanga still has the highest murder rate in the country with 308 murders last year. This is because the national government refuses to send more police officers and resources to that police station.

We don’t want a ‘Nyanga murder capital’ in this province. That’s why the ANC government must devolve policing to the DA provincial government, so we can fix this deadly problem. We want the Western Cape to be the safest province.

The ANC government has also failed at rail. These days, 73% of trains are late and 43% of trains on the central line are cancelled. We have only half the number of trains that we need. How does the ANC expect our commuters to get to their jobs on time?

Right now, 250 000 passengers have stopped using trains, that is why our taxis, buses and roads are so over-crowded and people are spending three to four hours on the road each day!

Chronic ANC failure is killing policing and it’s killing the rail system in our province. The ANC has been far too busy selling off our country in its state capture project to care about delivering on safety and rail transport.

As the DA government, we are doing our best to help the situation, but we need control of SAPS and the rail system, so we can fix them.

So far, we have set up the only provincial police Ombudsman to monitor policing. We have set up 291 neighbourhood watches with 14 000 vetted members to help fight crime. 109 School Resource Officers were deployed to 53 schools in areas where crime is high.

DA governments have contributed 100 safety officials to the Rail Enforcement Unit to help make our trains safer. So far, 36 people were arrested on charges of assault, possession of drugs and stolen property as well as malicious damage to property.

But we want to do more, we want to save our communities from ANC failures.

Only the DA will fight for you. Only the DA can deliver on safety and on rail transport.

You can download the pictures here, here and here

57 members of FCS unit, trusted to help victims of family violence, are convicted criminals

The DA is deeply disturbed by a reply to our parliamentary question which reveals that 57 South African Police Service (SAPS) members working at Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses (FCS) units have criminal records themselves.
We call on Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to urgently brief Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee on how he intends to root out these members whose crimes include at least 3 cases of culpable homicide, 7 of common assault, 2 of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and 1 instance of pointing a firearm.
Other crimes include driving under the influence, reckless or negligent driving, fraud, loss of firearms and defeating the ends of justice and theft.
These are patently not the kind of people who should be working with children or the victims of domestic or sexual violence.
It is quite clear from the questionable conduct of these members that they cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of addressing the extremely high levels of violence against women and children.
This is an indictment on both the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula and the entire SAPS leadership.
It is totally unacceptable that the FCS units has compromised members.
The DA will hold Minister Mbalula to account to root out these officers and to replace them with untainted individuals who will diligently bring justice to the victims and survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Hawks must now prioritise an investigation into the Guptas R70 million tax refund

The DA notes the move by the Hawks and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) on arresting nine suspects linked to a VAT scam that has cost the economy R90 million.

We are encouraged by this move and hopeful that more similar arrests will take place soon.

The Hawks must do everything that is within their power in order to investigate and prosecute with equal diligence the Gupta proceeds, implicating them in a suspicious R70 million tax pay-out from SARS last year.

This includes obtaining the necessary court orders to gain access to information that is with SARS.

The DA urges Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to ensure that the Hawks have all the necessary support that they need in this regard.

SARS paid this money into the bank account of Oakbay Investments. Normally, pay-outs are only paid into the account of the taxpayer and not into the account of the third party or proxy.

This was after South Africa’s major banks closed Gupta-linked accounts.

The DA finds the personal involvement by SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, in intervening and securing the payment into the Gupta account far from regular.

SARS cannot be used to advance certain agendas for politicians and those who are politically connected such as the Gupta family.

The extent of corruption and State Capture by the Guptas has collapsed institutions and State-Owned-Enterprises, which has adversely impacted on the country’s economy and jobs.

That is why the Guptas must fully account for every cent that they have unduly benefitted by stealing the fruits of the hard labour of innocent South Africans.

Mbalula must show decisive leadership and offer both the Hawks and SARS all the necessary support needed to establish and expedite the investigation into R70 million Gupta tax refund.

DA welcomes Public Service Commission’s investigation into Mdluli

The DA welcomes the decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate our complaint about the delay in the finalisation of the disciplinary process against suspended Head of Crime Intelligence, Richard Mdluli, and the reasons for the continued precautionary suspension.
Mduli’s suspension has been drawn out for more than six years now and Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has not provided any meaningful updates on the progress of the disciplinary process to date. This is completely unacceptable and the decision by the PSC to investigate the DA’s complaint is therefore all the more imperative.
Worse yet, it was just last week that a reply to a DA Parliamentary Question revealed that ‘couch potato’ Mdluli netted R8.3 million between 8 May 2011 and 30 April 2017 for being homebound while on suspension and thus while in no way helping combat crime in South Africa. It is unconscionable that this lucrative amount included a “service bonus” of more than R400 000.
Mdluli’s disciplinary proceedings have dragged on for way too long and do not represent an efficient public service administration. The DA hopes the PSC investigation will assist the South African Police Service (SAPS) in urgently speeding up and finalising its disciplinary process so that no more public money is flagrantly squandered.
Ordinary police officers face a chronic lack of resources to fight crime on a daily basis yet millions of rands of the public purse have been wasted on paying one highly connected individual, who was not fit for his job from the outset, to do absolutely nothing. This is simply not good enough.
The DA looks forward to being kept abreast of developments by the PSC regarding its investigation into the matter.

Under-staffing and under-resourcing of Satellite Police Stations requires Parliamentary oversight

The DA conducted oversight on the state of Durban satellite police stations on Friday and we were deeply concerned with the serious issues we encountered, including under-resourcing and under-staffing.
I will therefore write to the Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Francois Beukman, asking that Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and Public Works Minister, Nathi Nhleko, brief the Committee on the shocking state of these police stations, their buildings, and facilities, and to update the Committee on how under-resourcing and under-staffing will be remedied.
Parliament must now exercise oversight of these two ministers as their departments continue to fail in this area.
A proposal made by local business to develop a cluster office that will bring with it a 24-hour policing service in the area must also be considered by Minister Mbalula.
I will also submit Parliamentary Questions to ascertain the past and future police staffing and vehicle allocations to the Durban North precinct.
During the oversight visit, it was clear that the station’s staff capacity and patrol vehicles are severely under-resourced and that the crime rate in the area, particularly business robberies in malls and house break-ins, has remained exceptionally high. At the end of the 2015/16 financial year, robberies at non-residential premises had increased by 50% from the year before, and was it its highest level since the 2009/10 financial year.
Crime increases in the country are a consequence of the shoddy state of the police service at station level which is best characterised by the “four U’s” (under-resourced, under-trained, under-equipped and under-staffed) as well as poor leadership.
Due to the under-staffing at station-level across the country, the capacity of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is shrinking and it will soon not have enough capacity to adequately prevent, combat and investigate crime. Police officers, and especially detectives, are already constrained and overburdened by under-capacity, which further restricts their ability to fight crime.
The appropriate resourcing of the SAPS is a national competency and the ANC government has directly failed to protect the most vulnerable in our society. As highlighted by the Durban satellite police stations, it is clear that where the SAPS are most under-resourced, crime is highest.
It is high time that Mbalula and Nhleko put the country first by urgently delivering a plan to Parliament for how the under-resourcing, under-training, under-equipping and under-staffing of the police services will be addressed and how they will ensure that the scarce resources at their disposal are efficiently used for the reduction of crime.
The DA urges Mbalula to take seriously the need to fix the police service and ensure safe homes and safe streets for all our people, rather than tweeting himself into trouble.

Police fail to serve 1 in 4 protection orders in under two months

Today, a presentation by the Civilian Secretariat for Police on compliance with the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) revealed that the police fail to serve 1 in 4 protection orders in under two months.
This is simply unacceptable especially considering the unacceptably high level of violence against women in our country. The DA believes that under the ANC, National Government has directly failed in the protection of victims of domestic violence.
For an abused partner or relative, anything more than a few days can literally mean the difference between life and death, making two months of neglect a horrendous finding.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has claimed that he will reduce the shockingly high levels of violence in our society, yet this astonishing fact goes to show just how little is being done to ensure the safety of those threatened with violence.
I will therefore write to Minister Mbalula to demand that he release the list of the worst performing stations and that he and the station commanders be summoned to account to the Police Portfolio Committee.
A protection order, issued in terms of the DVA, should be served as soon as is possible and provides for immediate remedies in crisis situations. Any delay may place the life and safety of the person seeking protection at risk.
These remedies include prohibiting a person from entering a shared house, entering the complainant’s house and entering the complainant’s work place. The court may also issue an order to seize any arm or dangerous weapon in the possession or under the control of the respondent and order the respondent to pay emergency monetary relief.
The whole reason for these critical remedies is defeated if the police only perform the interdicting order on the abuser more than two months later. It also places victims of domestic abuse in danger of not being adequately protected by the justice system.
It is high time that Minister Mbalula put his money where his mouth is and answer why these unacceptably high delays exist in the serving of protection orders.

DA requests debate of national importance on violence against women

The DA has today written to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, requesting a debate of national public importance on violence against women in terms of National Assembly Rule 130.
A recent string of utterly shocking cases has brought to light the scourge of violence against women which is plaguing our country:
• In March 2017, 11-year old Stasha Arendse was kidnapped, raped and killed;
• On 4 April 2017, a Grade 2 girl was raped by Grade 7 boys at her school. On 28 April 2017, 22-year old Karabo Mokoena was reported missing and on 29 April 2017, her body was recovered, having been necklaced and thrown in a ditch; and
• In the last 17 days, 15-year old Nombuyiselo was burned to death; 3-year old Courtney Pieters was allegedly raped twice by a 40-year old man and then murdered; a 2-year old girl was allegedly raped and killed by her father; and Popi Qwabe, Bongeka Phungula, Lerato Moloi and an unidentified woman were all found dead in Soweto.
While this scourge has rightly received increased attention in the past days, the sad truth is that this is not a new occurrence. Women in South Africa are routinely subjected to these most horrific incidents, and they occur without the same media attention.
When this debate is scheduled we will demand that Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, Women Minister, Susan Shabangu, and Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, partake in this debate because they have been quiet on the issue and have had no solutions to make South Africa a safer place for women, for too long.
The ANC government has completely failed in its duty to make our society safer for all members, and specifically for women, by not tackling issues of patriarchy and gender violence, further compounded by ineffective policing and often police indifference to serious cases.
The DA, therefore, believes that it is absolutely crucial for the issue to be debated by Parliament. We will require clear plans from the implicated Ministers, and we will hold them to account.
Mbalula, Shabangu and Masutha need to account to the National Assembly and indeed to the nation on why their departments have failed to date on this issue and what will be done going forward to bring this suffering to an end.
As a nation we need to stand up, men and women alike, in defence of women and say that enough is enough.

Mbalula must suspend Phahlane today

In light of the damning answering affidavit by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the DA reiterates our call for Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, to be immediately suspended given the multiple disturbing allegations that he has interfered in the investigation against him.
Reports today and the affidavit specifically states that “There is a high probability that Phahlane is using his office and authority to undermine the investigation.” Phahlane has also already made contact with two of the potential witnesses against him, and has also gained access to a case file listing intended witnesses.
The fact that he has the names and details of these witnesses combined with his prior use of intimidation and refusal to co-operate with the IPID investigation is more than enough grounds for the Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to immediately suspend him.
These allegations are extremely serious.
It is clear that Phahlane will continue to do everything in his power to frustrate the IPID investigation, which must be allowed to continue so that IPID can come to a conclusion as soon as possible.
It is high time that the South African Police Services (SAPS) be led by someone who is fit and proper so that our police service can focus on their mandate of bringing down the unacceptably high crime rate in the country.
Phahlane is simply not beyond reproach and needs to go. Mbalula needs to do the right thing and suspend Phahlane today.

“Razzmatazz” Mbalula’s disturbing comments threaten the safety of South Africans

Comments made by the new Minister of Police, Fikile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula, that police must “fight fire with fire”, “shoot back, don’t retreat” and that he “does not want another Marikana” in reference to the constitutionally enshrined right to protest are deeply troubling and only confirms that he is not fit for office.
These disturbing comments, made at a parade held by the South African Police Service (SAPS) earlier this morning, are reckless and could result in loss of life, including the lives of police members and innocent bystanders.
The DA is of the belief that both Mbalula, and his Deputy, Bongani Mkongi, are unfit to head the Department of Police, as both have expressed troubling views on the use of violence, and how the people of South Africa can and should be treated.
Mbalula, while he was Deputy Minister of Police for a few short months between 2009 and 2010, suggested that it was inevitable that innocent civilians will die in crossfire in the fight against criminals, and urged police to shoot to kill “anybody who is endangering the lives of the people”.
In 2016, Mkongi suggested that a Cape Town apartment building – to which a giant “Zuma Must Fall” billboard had been attached – should be burned down, irrespective of the occupants inside.
It is unacceptable that these men, who can so glibly utter such thoughtless and dangerous statements, can be trusted with the safety and security of millions of South Africans.
Yet, it is obvious that Mbalula and Mkongi represent the interests of Jacob Zuma who consistently rewards those who are ineffective, yet compliant. Their concern is not the ordinary South Africans who suffer from violence and crime on a daily basis.
Mbalula and Mkongi would rather revel in pomp and ceremony at a parade to honour their egos than get down to the very serious business of ensuring that SAPS members have the equipment, training and resources they need to make South Africa safe.
It is apparent that Mbalula is willing to prioritise pomp and ceremony over the needs of the SAPS and the safety of the people of South Africa.
The DA will submit parliamentary questions to find out exactly how much was funnelled from the SAPS to pay for this parade.
The DA will not stand by while money that should be spent on equipping the SAPS and making South Africans safe is wasted on feeding Mbalula’s ego.

Nhleko must respect court ruling and remove Ntlemeza immediately

The DA demands that the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, respects Judge Peter Mabuso’s ruling that Berning Ntlemeza’s appointment as Head of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (“Hawks”) be set aside, as his appointment was unlawful. Ntlemeza must be removed immediately.
The DA is deeply concerned that Nhleko is yet again wastefully spending public money on defending an unlawful appointment. This is money that could be spent on fighting crime, and establishing or strengthening specialised units.
The DA will again submit parliamentary questions to ascertain the real cost of these cases. South Africans must know how their money is being used to defend the indefensible.
On Thursday, the High Court ruled that Ntlemeza’s appointment as Head of the Hawks is to be set aside.
This was a welcome decision by the court, who in a previous ruling described Ntlemeza as “dishonest” and “lacking integrity.”
The DA has long held that the appointment of Ntlemeza had been procedurally flawed, irrational and unlawful, and furthermore that he is unfit to hold office.
Ntlemeza in the past few months alone has overstepped his bounds and demonstrated his incompetence by trying to bully the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, to not drop charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Members of his unit were also involved in the Vlok Symington “hostage drama” at the offices of the South African Revenue Services.
The ruling against Ntlemeza is an indictment against Nhleko who disregarded proper procedure when irrationally appointing Ntlemeza, and then ignored calls for his suspension for months.
According to reports this morning, Nhleko is applying for leave to appeal the judgment of the High Court in part because he feels that Ntlemeza has not had an opportunity to respond to the charges being levelled against him.
Ntlemeza was, however, a party to the proceedings and has had ample time to state his case, as had Nhleko.
The DA believes that Nhleko is only delaying the inevitable by appealing the judgment, wasting millions of the taxpayers’ rands in an effort to prop up a Hawks Head who had been appointed unlawfully and who is eminently unsuitable for occupying the position.
It is now high time that Nhleko is removed. President Zuma should fire him as he is clearly incapable of carrying out the mandate of his office.
South Africans deserve to feel safe in the knowledge that the leadership of their police services are competent.
We will keep pushing to ensure that those mandated to lead our police services are beyond reproach.