Mbalula has the power to bar Ntlemeza from entering the Hawks HQ on Monday

The DA will write to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, urging him to exercise the power that he has in terms of section 17DA of the South African Police Services (SAPS) Act to suspend former Hawks head, Berning Ntlemeza, from the SAPS.
This suspension is imperative if Ntlemeza goes ahead and lodges an appeal against the High Court order that determined the setting aside of his appointment with immediate effect.
When Mbalula fired Ntlemeza last week as Head of the Hawks, he was simply enacting the North Gauteng High Court order. If Ntlemeza’s appeal has the effect of suspending that order, then Mbalula need not sit idly by. In terms of the SAPS Act, Ntlemeza can still be removed by Mbalula through a suspension from the SAPS.
Mbalula can provisionally suspend Ntlemeza pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office in terms of section 17DA(2) of the SAPS Act.
Therefore, Mbalula has the power to keep Ntlemeza away from the Hawks regardless of the fact that he is appealing.
Having been previously found by the North Gauteng High Court to have acted in bad faith, that he was dishonest and acted without integrity, the DA have long held that Ntlemeza is not beyond reproach and cannot be given the huge responsibility to lead our country’s crime fighting unit.
The Hawks requires stability amongst its senior leadership which Ntlemeza is a threat to. Mbalula should accordingly not allow Ntlemeza to enter the Hawks building on Monday.

Over 8 000 police vehicles out of service

The DA will submit follow-up questions after a reply to a Parliamentary Question by the DA’s Vusumzi Magwebu MP has revealed that over 8000 police vehicles are currently in repair shops.
More than 2 000 vehicles in Gauteng and over 1 500 vehicles in the Eastern Cape are currently out of service and some police stations have only four vehicles to serve eight sectors.
According to another NCOP reply, there are 48 247 police vehicles nationally. This means that a shocking 16.6% of all police vehicles are currently out of service and waiting for repairs and maintenance. Because of this, there is currently only one vehicle for every 5 South African Police Services (SAPS) members.
A report received by the Gauteng legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety on Thursday furthermore revealed that there are serious challenges at the auxiliary garage, where police vehicles languish for up to three months. The report also noted a relationship between policing performance and resourcing in all eight sampled police stations.
It is all too common for police members to lack the basic equipment they need to carry out their mandate of keeping South Africans safe.
Without vehicles, the police are not able to respond timeously to crimes taking place and therefore, the under equipping of the SAPS directly threatens the safety of ordinary citizens.
The DA will establish the true extent of the crisis with follow-up questions and find out what the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, and the SAPS command is doing about it.
It is unacceptable for the police to be incapacitated because of something as simple as a failure to accurately keep track of vehicle repairs, collect vehicles on time and run functioning vehicle repair shops.
The DA cannot stand by while crime thrives as a result of not giving police members the equipment they need to make South Africa a safer place for all.

Crime stats: Nhleko must pressure Nxesi over rural safety improvement

Given that Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, today expressed concern about the great distances between police stations in rural areas, the DA believes that he needs to engage with the Minister of Public Works, Minister Thulas Nxesi, to pressure him to consider initiating a strategic project to improve rural policing facilities and infrastructure.
Minister Nhleko must also engage the Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha, about better co-ordination if there are court-related challenges.
Today’s presentation on the crime statistics for the first three-quarters of the 2016/17 financial year revealed that 46 people were killed on small holdings and farms during this period.
This is compared to 50 persons killed in the entire four quarters of the previous financial year.
Acting National Police Commissioner, Kgomotso Phahlane, further revealed that between October and December last year, there were 27 incidents of attempted murder, 73 incidents of attempted house robberies, 8 attempted rapes and 10 cases of common assault on small holdings and farms.
In the first three-quarters of this financial year, contact crimes decreased by 1.9% compared to the previous financial year but murder only decreased by 0.1%.
The DA’s own analysis of the ten-year trend in murder between 2006/7 and 2015/16 show that it is clear that murder is on the rise at an alarming pace in rural areas.
This analysis shows that in the North West province, the five police stations showing the highest increase in murder, between 200% and 700%, over this 10 year period – Setlagole, Mooinooi, Mothutlung, Mooifontein and Kgomotso – are overwhelmingly rural.
The same holds true for the five worst performing towns in Mpumalanga where the murder rate increased by between 133% and 200%; as well as in Limpopo (between 200% and 400%); KwaZulu-Natal (between 150% and 700%); the Free State (233% and 800%); the Eastern Cape (220% and 400%) and the Northern Cape (200% and 600%).
Today’s presentation also revealed that stock theft increased by 2% (438 cases) between the first 9 months of the 2015/16 financial year and the first 9 months of the 2016/17 financial year.
The data presented today in conjunction with the DA’s analysis show an urgent need for the establishment of rural safety units, which the DA has repeatedly called for.
The DA will not rest until the safeguarding of the lives and properties of our vulnerable people who live in rural areas are prioritised.