Premier Lesufi must intervene to ensure that Westbury, Riverlea, and Dieploot SAPS are well-resourced to fight gun violence

The residents of Westbury, Riverlea and Diepsloot are living in fear for their lives due to ongoing gun violence, yet the police are not doing enough to protect them and fight crime due to severe shortages of resources.

In Westbury, pastors are now being targeted by gangsters because they are taking a stand to protect their community. In one of the churches, there are posters in front of the church gate allegedly from the gang members threatening to shoot the church leader.

See picture here

In the last three months, more than 40 people have been killed in rogue shooting incidents due to gangsterism in these areas.

The safety of all Gauteng residents is of utmost importance to the DA, hence we demand that the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, must urgently engage with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to ensure that police stations servicing Westbury, Riverlea and Diepsloot are adequately equipped with resources to fight crime and ensure the safety of the residents.

The police stations in these three areas are facing a severe shortage of human resources, vehicles, and equipment.

It is concerning that despite several reports of the deadly gang shootings in these areas not much has been done to curb the senseless killing of innocent lives.

In a recent, Ministerial Briefing on police resources in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the DA requested an update on the letter we wrote to the Minister of Police regarding the daily gun violence and killings occurring in these three areas.

We have since only received a mere acknowledgement and there is no indication as to what resources will be allocated to address the challenges of the lack of resources in these communities. The response was: “The department will try to retrieve the letter and investigate the matter”. This comes more than a month later since the letter was sent.

It is also disappointing that Minister Cele has not yet visited these areas to engage with communities and police officers. This is a clear indication that the ongoing murders in these communities are not important to Minister Cele.

How many more lives need to be lost before Minister Cele prioritises Westbury, Riverlea and Diepsloot to ensure that there are adequate resources to fight crime?

The DA insists that Minister Cele, Premier Lesufi and Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, must visit these communities to assess the situation and provide much-needed resources to fight daily murders and gangsterism.

Inadequate maintenance of infrastructure and lack of resources affect police service delivery at Kliptown SAPS

The lack of resources such as telephone lines, police vehicles and infrastructural challenges is severely affecting the delivery of police services and staff morale at the Kliptown Police Station.

This has been made worse by a slow response time from the Public Works Department to fix infrastructure issues at the station. The telephone lines have not been operational for the past 11 months, and the cameras used to profile victims have not been operational for almost two years.

This information was discovered during the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) oversight inspection at the Kliptown police station. We were shocked to discover that the police officers are using their own personal cellphones to take photos of the suspects to be uploaded onto the system. This is not only a security breach but also an invasion of the privacy of a suspect.

Furthermore, the security cameras and systems have been vandalised, further impacting on the safety of both police officers and complainants.

Kliptown SAPS is in dire need of additional vehicles for visible policing, detective services, and patrols. Most of the stations’ departments have a 25% shortage of police vehicles. In the detective services unit, 7 of the 20 vehicles are in the process of being written off as well as 11 of the 26 vehicles at the visible policing unit.

Despite several complaints and reports, the Department of Public Works, and the SAPS provincial Head Office are slow in responding to basic maintenance of ablution facilities and adhering to the replacement of equipment like benches for complainants in the charge office. The staff, GBV victims and community members use the same ablution facility which is not maintained.

In addition, only two out of six holding cells are being used because of the lack of maintenance and detainees are either transferred to another station or housed in inhumane conditions.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko must urgently liaise with her national counterparts Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and Minister of Public Works, Patricia De Lille, to intervene and fix infrastructure challenges at Kliptown police station.

The DA will also continue to push for the inclusion of the DA’s Community Safety Bill which is the only solution to improving police service delivery and ensure that all our police stations are well-equipped and monitored to deliver adequate services to the communities they serve.

Lesufi’s promises to Eldorado Park community to curb crime is just hot air

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the fact that Premier Panyaza Lesufi took the time to address the community of Eldorado Park regarding their concerns about safety in the community. However, these are many empty promises that will never materialise as the current government has failed to address increasing crime in the province.

The DA wrote letters to the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele regarding the escalating crime in the area and our concerns fell on deaf ears.

During his engagement with the community, Premier Lesufi made a slew of promises. He promised the community that they will get helicopters and drones to ramp up efforts to increase police visibility and clamp down on crime.

However, it is still unclear where the money for these new crime-fighting initiatives will come from. Furthermore, there was no indication of whether the South African Police Service (SAPS) have the necessary skills in their workforce to enforce this new strategy.

The only way in which we can address the rampant crime in the area is by getting basic right. The DA, therefore, demands that Premier Lesufi along with MEC Mazibuko do the following:
• Cut the red tape and provide support to the police stations, Community Police Forum (CPF) and neighbourhood watches
• The reservist programme needs to be restarted as a matter of urgency
• Outline exactly where the money for helicopters and drone pilots will come from
• Ensure that all police stations have sufficient vehicles and adequate personnel

The promises that were made to the community this week look good on paper and look like they will address the crime situation but does nothing in the interim to prevent people from being killed.

Crime is increasing across the province, and instead of sounding clever in the heat of the moment, an advisory committee consisting of experts as stipulated in the DA’s Community Safety Oversight bill should be implemented.

Under-resourced Eldorado Park SAPS is unable to ensure residents’ safety as gang shootings intensify

The safety of Eldorado residents is in danger due to the ongoing protests and gang shootings, yet the under-resourced Eldorado Park SAPS is unable to ensure the safety of the residents.

Like many other police stations across the province, this station is highly under-resourced and overburdened with crime incidents. This has affected its ability to swiftly curb crime, particularly the current gang shootings in the area.

The DA conducted an oversight inspection at the station as part of its 100-day #GautengPoliceWatch campaign.

Eldorado Park police officers have managed to keep the station in good condition, and their dedication has resulted in multiple arrests of suspects involved in gang shootings.

The DA demands that the Gauteng SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, must deploy more manpower and provide adequate resources at this station to ensure there is no hindrance to police service delivery.

Lieutenant General Elias Mawela must also intervene immediately to curb the gang shootings in the area.

The DA maintains that vigilantism and gangsterism require specialised resources to ensure that crime is addressed as a matter of urgency.

This can only happen if the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, considers the DA’s Community Safety Oversight Bill, which will assist in improving police intelligence to be able to investigate and curb crime. The Bill will also give effect to an integrated approach to curb crime.

The DA also pleads with the community to remain calm and urges the Community Police Forums (CPF) and street patrollers to work with the SAPS in reporting any incidents of crime in the area.

When the DA takes over Gauteng, it will prioritise the training and employment of more policemen and women and ensure that more resources are provided to the law authorities so that they are able to do their job adequately and bring a sense of safety to our residents.

DA petitions Pretoria North SAPS over poor police service delivery

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is petitioning the Pretoria North Police Station regarding the poor service that our residents in the area are receiving from the station.

Residents are tired of being intimidated and turned away by the police when trying to report incidents of crime at this station.

Earlier this week, DA councillor, Yolanda Duvenage, tried to engage with the Pretoria North SAPS regarding the illegal street vendors in the area but was instead verbally abused by the police.

This is extremely concerning as this is not the service that our residents deserve from those who are tasked to serve and protect the community.

Furthermore, the DA has received numerous complaints from members of the public who claims that they have been turned away when trying to report incidents of crime and received no assistance from the police at Pretoria North SAPS.

We have also received reports that members of the public are intimidated by the police, and there is no follow-up on the cases reported to this police station.

This is worrying as our residents are trying to assist the SAPS with keeping the area safe by reporting suspicious activity, but they are not assisted as they should be.

The DA will be conducting an oversight inspection at Pretoria North Police Station to ascertain why the residents are complaining about poor police service delivery and provide alternative solutions to improve the relationship between the SAPS and the community.

This is not the level of service we expect to receive from our police. Our residents deserve a professionalised police service that is committed to serving and protecting the communities they serve.

Come 2024, our residents will once again have an opportunity to change this by using their vote to ensure that they get the police service they rightfully deserve.

Please sign our petition here

Public Works breaks the law and leaves Ga-Rankuwa SAPS in the dark

The National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) must account for the power outages that lasted almost 12 months at Ga-Rankuwa Police Station which has been hindering police service delivery to the residents. 

It has come to light that the DPWI removed circuit breakers from an Eskom substation that supplied electricity to both the pathology department and the Ga-Rankuwa police station due to an apparent devolvement of the station. 

Ga-Rankuwa Police Station has since been handed over to the SAPS which is now responsible for its maintenance. 

This information was revealed to the DA during the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s (GPL) Community Safety Portfolio Committee oversight visit at Ga-Rankuwa Police Station this week. 

The fact that the substation remains the property of Eskom and the station will still be getting electricity supply directly from Eskom, means that Eskom must be responsible for all maintenance repairs and upgrades to the substation. 

According to the report presented during the oversight visit, the DPWI removed the circuit breakers without the involvement of Eskom and without notifying the police. 

This is illegal tampering with state infrastructure, a criminal act and completely unacceptable, which has left the Ga-Rankuwa SAPS in the dark for almost a year and hampered the safety of residents.

It is a relief that power has been restored at the police station, but it’s only an interim measure and according to this report, SAPS will have to procure a new mini substation to ensure that there is a stable electricity supply at the station which can only be done in the next financial year. 

The police station remains vulnerable because this is only an interim solution and could at any point be disconnected yet again. 

The DA believes that there is sufficient provision within the financial regulations to procure the mini substation as an irregular expense within the current financial year at an estimated cost of R500 000 to solve the problem permanently without taking any risks of future electricity failures or further delays. 

The DA believes in the rule of law and demands that an urgent investigation must be done to ascertain whether DPWI did tamper with the substation. Should it be found that these allegations are true, DPWI must be held accountable and face severe consequences for their actions. We will use all the mechanisms at our disposal to ensure that there is accountability so that such incidents never happen again.

Electricity supply is an essential service required for a police station to ensure its safety and to provide police services to the communities.


No holding cells at Lyttelton SAPS: suspects kept inside a truck for hours

More than fifty suspects have been kept at the back of a police truck since this morning because of a lack of holding cells at Lyttelton Police Station in Centurion.

This is unacceptable and violates the rights of the suspects as they were kept in a truck without food, water, sufficient ventilation, and access to ablution facilities.

These suspects were supposed to have appeared in court this morning but were turned away due to an alleged outage at the court due to a sub-station that was flooded by heavy rains. The police officers on duty were struggling to find available cells at the nearby police stations to hold the suspects until their next scheduled appearance tomorrow, as other stations had no available capacity at their cells.

This police station has been without holding cells for the past seven years now and has been using Sunnyside SAPS’ cells to keep suspects which is approximately 20 km away. This is costing the station more money in terms of fuel costs in transporting the suspects and hampers police service delivery as they must escort the suspects instead of conducting visible policing. In addition, there is an increased risk of suspects escaping from lawful custody while being transported to Sunnyside SAPS.

The DA conducted an oversight inspection in March and again today to see for ourselves what the current situation is with regards to the holding cells at Lyttleton SAPS. Please see the video here.

We also wrote to the MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to ascertain when the new holding cells will be built at Lyttelton SAPS.

In her reply, MEC Mazibuko states that at this stage they cannot confirm when the holding cells will be built. The matter is being prioritised by the SAPS and has been reported to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

The building of holding cells at this police station can no longer be delayed without a proper action plan. The DA demands that MEC Mazibuko urgently engages the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to prioritize the building of the holding cells at Lyttleton Police Station to ensure that police service delivery continues without any further interruptions.

Two small solar lights are the only source of lighting at Ga-Rankuwa SAPS putting the safety of the community and police officers at risk

This evening, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng joined over 100 members of the Ga-Rankuwa community at a picket outside the police station, where officers continue to be forced to work in the dark. This police station has had no power since October last year and this is having a negative impact on the services offered by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

See pictures here here here and here

I, together with the Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga, DA Constituency Head for Thaba Mogale, Adriana Randall, and DA PR Councillor, Ofentse Madzebatela witnessed first-hand today the conditions in which our police officers are forced to work. The police station only has two small solar lamps which do not provide sufficient light for the entire police station.

While this police station does have a generator, it is not feasible for the generator to run 24/7 seven days a week. This is because it is too costly and often police officers must dig into their own pockets to buy fuel for the generator.

Furthermore, when the generator is being run for a few hours a day it is used to only power the charge office and the courtyard.

This is a very disturbing situation as this not only puts the lives of our residents in danger but also that of the police officers. The police station does not have a reliable supply of electricity, and the gates to the station are locked as soon as it becomes dark, which makes reporting any incidents of crime difficult.

We will be working with our colleagues in Parliament, who will be submitting a petition directly to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the Minister of Public Works, Patricia De Lille demanding that they remedy the situation at this police station within 72 hours.

Fourth Quarter Crime Stats paint a bleak picture for Gauteng residents

The 4th quarter report of the 2021/2022 Crime Stats indicates that the safety and security of the Gauteng residents remain at risk, and they have a bleak future ahead of them.

Gauteng SAPS Stations are dominating in the top 30 of all crime stats across the country, with a severe increase in crimes like hijackings, murder, and sexual offences.

From January 2022 to March 2022, the following cases have been reported; 1403 murder cases, 2936 hijackings and 2267 cases of sexual offences.

This is devasting and shows that the lives and livelihoods are in danger, hence the DA’s sponsored Community Oversight Bill is going to play a crucial role in monitoring the performance of Gauteng SAPS stations across the province. This Bill will intensify the fight against crimes such as rape and farm murders.

Without a progressive plan by the Gauteng MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, of implementing 24-hour police visibility in the province, criminals have seen the gap and will continue to take advantage of innocent residents in Gauteng. This is due to the lack of SAPS resources like vehicles, and human resources that should be prioritised by both MEC Mazibuko and Minister of Police Bheki Cele.

Residents of this province are living in constant fear of being the next victim of crime. These statistics are nothing but a trigger of fear and leave residents without any hope in the police services.

The DA has done oversight inspections in several police stations in Gauteng over the last few months and we can confirm that our police stations are not well equipped or maintained when it comes to basic infrastructure and technological requirements, such as electricity, sanitation, and internet. This is the reason why Gauteng is in the top 30 of every crime reported on the crime stats.

This impacts the functionality and performance of the police stations and has a serious negative impact on visible policing and crime prevention.

Community Safety should not just check on constitutional compliance but also look into the functionality of our police stations.

MEC Mazibuko must take action and ensure that residents no longer suffer from being turned away from stations. She must ensure that police respond swiftly to crimes and do a thorough investigation.

Minister Cele should not only present the crime stats in Gauteng, but embark on proper oversight with the MEC Mazibuko to address these issues. If he cannot provide the stations with the support and solutions to address the constant rise in crime figures, he should resign as a matter of urgency.

The lack of resources at Boschkop SAPS is negatively impacting police visibility

Note to Editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Crezane Bosch here.

The lack of human and physical resources at the Boschkop Police Station in Tshwane has greatly impacted its ability to provide visible policing that will protect residents and prevent crime.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently conducted an oversight inspection at this police station and engaged with the management of the station and the CPF to discuss the challenges they are facing that are impacting negatively on the functionality of the station.

This station has jurisdiction of approximately 300 square km and 50 000 residents, yet it only has one single vehicle and two motorbikes for visible policing and only 86 of the 106 allocated members. This leaves this station with a 20% vacancy rate.

Two days ago, another farm murder occurred, adding to the high spike of farm attacks in the area which begs the question as to how the police are expected to be visible with just one vehicle.

Boschkop consists of mostly informal settlements and farms, and it is not practical for police officers to have only one vehicle for visibility in those areas. Without the necessary resources, the station is unable to do visible policing within this rural and farming community.

Moreover, the cells in the station have been closed after a suspect escaped and have not yet been repaired or maintained. There is no space or holding cells for any suspects who get arrested. The detainees are now being transported and charged at Garsfontein station which is a further 20kms away.
This shows that this police station is in dire straits and unable to implement its core mandate.

The DA has identified numerous challenges affecting police service delivery at Boschkop Police Station. We will be submitting a range of questions in this regard to the MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to probe why there is a delay in the filling of vacancies at the station, repairing of the broken vehicles and a lack of support from the provincial and national police departments.

The safety of our residents is of utmost importance hence the DA will continue to put pressure on the current government to ensure that all our police stations are well equipped with the necessary resource to fight crime.