Lesufi’s Crime Wardens are not above the law

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands answers from Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, regarding the haphazard, and lawless way his nearly R500 million Crime Wardens are conducting themselves.

This follows after the emergence of reports that Crime Prevention Wardens (CPW) are conducting illegal search and seizures, physically assaulting residents, and acting in contravention of the law. The DA is therefore demanding that Premier Lesufi is held to account.

There has been significant worry and pushback since the inception of the CPW programme. We have, amongst other things, raised worries that the expanded budget for these 6000 poorly trained will be a waste of money. These fears have now realised in examples of them acting in contravention of the law.

It is unacceptable that individuals who are meant to keep citizens in the province safe, are contributing to their fear. Residents already fear the South African Police Service (SAPS), as they so often act with brutality, they do not need to fear the additional so-called “Crime Prevention Wardens” Panyaza put together.

The most worrying, however, is that when residents report these wardens’ wrongdoing, they are treated with the disregard saved for those who get in the way of the political ideals the Premier holds dear.

It has now been established that these wardens do not fall under SAPS, nor do they fall under the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). So, if their wrongdoings are to be reported directly to the Gauteng Province, where Lesufi is the Premier – will anything come of these allegations?

In the spirit of transparency, and bearing the safety of the province’s residents in mind we demand that Premier Lesufi be held to account for the failings of his costly, and poorly thought-out plans.

We demand he answers for the following:

  1. What exactly do these people do?
  2. What legal standing do they have?
  3. Under which law do they operate?
  4. Who will be held responsible for the lawsuits that follow their illegal operations?

Gauteng cannot become a place where those who have been elevated to artificial levels of importance do as they please, to the detriment of our residents. We will not allow it, and we will not stop until the Premier intervenes, and provides clarity. Surely a glorified civilian cannot walk into my house without a warrant and search it? Gauteng’s residents deserve answers.