by Michele Clarke MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety
It is very disappointing that the Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane is defending the police’s actions of violence that injured many residents during the Eersterus service delivery protest.
The MEC was responding to my oral questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature yesterday, when she sarcastically labelled the protestors as ‘peaceful’.
According to the MEC Nkosi-Malobane the protestors were violent, having barricaded the roads thereby blocking all entrances to and from Eersterus. Protesters were also physically attacking people and damaging their cars and properties. They broke into the Eersterus police station, disarmed the police at the Client Service Centre, damaged SAPS property and stole items. The protestors also looted the shops around the area.
We dispute the MEC’s claims as the Democratic Alliance has been reliably informed that the protest was indeed peaceful until the police fired rubber bullets and teargas at the protestors. The protestors retaliated by throwing stones at the police.
There were about 129 police officers and 40 public order police officers deployed during the protest.
This raises questions about the adequacy of training that the police receive as the MEC indicated that all police officers are trained in public order policing, and yet appeared to be ill-equipped to deal with the Eersterus protesters in non-violent manner.
So far 16 of the protesters have been arrested for possession of stolen property and drugs.
While we strongly condemn any violence and criminality by protesters, it is essential that our police officers are capacitated to maintain order during any public gathering in a peaceful and effective manner.
The DA calls on the MEC to investigate the conduct of the police during this protest. If it’s found that the police did not follow the correct public order procedures, then swift action needs to be taken against these individuals.
by Ashor Sarupen MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
In response to oral questions in the Gauteng Legislature, Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane confirmed that SAPS used live ammunition on children at Thuto-Kitso Technical School in Fochville on the 16th of May 2018.
According to the MEC’s responses, the SAPS was not authorised to use live ammunition, and the situation only escalated when SAPS called in back-up, at which point learners were aggravated and some SAPS officers from the K-9 unit used live ammunition on protesting learners for throwing stones in their direction.
One learner was shot with live ammunition and hospitalized, but survived the ordeal.
The learners were protesting due to a lack of technical teachers at the school since the beginning of the year, as well as a reduction in the number of teachers in the school. The school continued to offer subjects for which they did not have teachers, and a lack of communication from the district meant these learners were without teachers up to their midyear exams.
The learners resorted to a protest after consistently being ignored by callous officials at the Department of Education.
It is ironic that the ANC condemns the abuse of children in society while denying children their right to education and then shooting them for demanding their rights. The use of live ammunition in this case was unwarranted, unacceptable and had the potential to descend into another Marikana situation.
The MEC has indicated that an investigation and discliplinary action are under way. The DA will be following this process closely and tabling follow up questions to fight for the rights of learners to quality education
by Michele Clarke MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety
The DA is shocked to learn that the Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has been accused of interfering with the work of the police and threatening a police officer to not arrest her son.
It is alleged that Williams Okpara Junior (25) opened a case of common assault and intimidation against the MEC’s son and his ex-girlfriend.
The female police officer investigating the case, who went to arrest the MEC’s son, was allegedly threatened with physical violence by the MEC if her son was arrested.
It has also been alleged that the MEC insulted the police officer.
This is shameful and disgusting behaviour displayed by the MEC who is a political leader in this Department. It is ironic that the MEC whose mandate it is to ensure that perpetrators of crimes are brought to book is now preventing this from happening.
The DA strongly condemns the alleged abuse of power by the MEC for her own personal gain. This cannot be tolerated as no one is above the law.
We demand that the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura urgently investigate these serious allegations. If the MEC is found guilty of abusing her power, she must be held accountable.
by Ashor Sarupen MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
The DA calls on both MECs for Education and Community Safety, Panyaza Lesufi and Sizakele Nkosi- Malobane to urgently investigate the allegations of the use of live ammunition by police against the protesting learners at Thuto-Kitso Technical School in Fochville this week.
The DA strongly condemns these allegations and if the MECs fail to investigate, the DA will call on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to do so.
The learners were protesting due to a lack of technical teachers at the school since the beginning of the year.
For far too long, the learners have been complaining to the department demanding that technical teachers must be recruited, however their plea received no response.
The learners resorted to a protest as they believed that this was the only way to ensure that their voices were heard.
It is disturbing to learn that the district official called the police to the school to assist and that the police used both live ammunition and rubber bullets against the protesting learners.
It is alleged that one learner was injured during the protest and was immediately rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
Learners have the right to education which includes access to teachers in all subjects. The Gauteng Department of Education is denying our learners their basic right to education by failing to recruit technical teachers at this school.
The DA will also be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain why the Department has not yet recruited technical teachers for this school and when will they be recruiting.
Come 2019, learners across the province will experience Change; the DA will ensure safe learning environments which prioritize a learner’s right to education.
by Kate Lorimer MPL – DA Shadow MEC for Community Safety
I am shocked to learn that only one police station in the whole of Gauteng has a drug testing kit.
This was revealed by the MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane in a written reply to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
The MEC indicated that currently only the Krugersdorp police station has a drug testing kit.
These drug testing kits are important as they help police identify suspects under the influence of narcotics.
Substance abuse, especially the use of drugs by our young people, is a serious problem in our communities.
I will be tabling questions to the MEC for Community Safety to ascertain the following:
- How many police stations have requested drug testing kits;
- How long will it take for these drug testing kits to be delivered;
- How many drug testing kits are made available to each police station that have requested the kits;
- Where stations have been issued with drug testing kits, what impact has this had on substance abuse in the community?
- Where members of the community have tested positive for drugs, what assistance has been offered to help these community members?
Communities cannot be held to ransom because police lack the resources that are needed to fight the ongoing battle against drugs.
As the DA we believe that we can only win the fight against drug abuse if we use every tool available at our disposal. Poorly resourced police stations cannot be used as an excuse for why drug dealers still roam our streets.
The DA is appalled by the latest report of the racial abuse of a farm worker by his employer in Springs, Ekurhuleni.
It is reported that the farm worker was forced to drink two litres of water contaminated with faeces and then locked away in a sewer for thirty minutes.
After managing to escape from the farm the next day, the farm worker went to the Springs Police Station to report the incident, only to be turned away.
Not only was this individual the victim of inhumane abuse by his employers, but he was treated with disdain by SAPS officers who failed in their duty to actively deal with this heinous crime, and treat the victim with dignity.
The evil of racial abuse in our society must be stamped out decisively. Those who perpetuate the mentality of racial superiority and the subjugation of others must be called out and subjected to the laws befitting their crimes.
Ours is a nation that abides by the Constitution which espouses equality for all. We cannot build a society where we negatively defined and divided by race.
The DA will ensure that the farm worker involved in this case is afforded the opportunity to make a submission before the Human Rights Commission, and encourages those that have been similarly abused at this farm to come forward to be afforded the same opportunity.
We will also follow up with Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to ensure that action is taken against the officers at the Springs Police Station who initially failed into take this individual’s statement and assist in opening a case.
The ongoing war between metered taxi drivers and Uber and Taxify drivers is concerning as the lives of both drivers and passengers are put at risk on a daily basis.
This follows the recent fatal attack on a Taxify driver in Yeoville.
The DA strongly condemns the latest attack, which took place despite the fact that Gauteng Premier, David Makhura had established a task team to look into the ongoing war between metered taxi drivers and e-hailing taxi operators.
It is clear that the Uber task team established by the Premier is not doing enough to curb the ongoing violence.
The lack of communication about the work of this special committee shows that the ANC-led government cares little about the safety of Uber and Taxify drivers who have a legal right to be on the road.
While the formation of the task team is a step in the right direction, we still have no clarity on how long the investigation into the conflict will be and who exactly is part of the task team.
The DA once again calls on Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi and Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to urgently set up a stakeholder meeting with the metered taxi companies and e-hailing taxi operators to find an amicable solution between these rivals.
An urgent update on the work of the Uber task team must be provided as well as the proposed steps outlining what action will be taken to curb the attacks and ensure the safety of passengers.
The DA believes that a safe and reliable mode of transport is a prerequisite for economic growth, hence it is imperative that Gauteng which is the economic hub of the country has an efficient and affordable transport system.
The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, to ensure the 2031 SAPS members in Gauteng without firearm compliance certificates, undergo competency testing. We would also like to know from the MEC when all members of the SAPS in Gauteng will be fit to carry fire arms?
According to the MEC’s response to a DA question in the Gauteng Legislature, there are currently 2031 SAPS members patrolling Gauteng’s streets without firearm compliance certificates.
Of the 2031 members that are active without a firearm compliance certificate, 627 officers are stationed in Tshwane. Ekurhuleni has 351, and Johannesburg has 196. The worst affected stations are Evaton with 45 and Sebokeng with 49 uncertified members. This means that these members should not be deployed outside the confines of the station as the risk and liability are enormous.
Since April this year, 14 members without valid compliance certificates discharged their firearms and I will be asking further questions of the MEC to establish the circumstances in which this occurred.
These members are not only a danger to themselves, but to the public whom they are sworn to protect.
When it comes to rank, 1034 of these members hold the rank of Captain within the SAPS.
Given the high number of incidents in Gauteng involving police brutality, it is imperative that these officers are taken off the streets and confined to office duty until they have passed their compliance tests.
Having so many police members not able to competently conduct their duties leaves the residents of Gauteng in the precarious position of being badly under-resourced and under-protected.
This is an unacceptable situation that should be urgently remedied.
Today I, together with the Gauteng Community Safety MEC and ANC’s Alexandra Constituency Head, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, conducted an oversight visit to the Home Affairs district offices in Alexandra.
My visit followed an incident on Friday 28 July where, as the office was nearing closing time, officials improperly rushed members of the public away and refused to assist them.
I was there trying to obtain a diplomatic passport and tried to amicably resolve the situation with a senior official who subsequently accosted me in front of my family and all other patrons.
This behavior of the staff, and especially the senior official, was unacceptable, to say the least. It flies in the face of the Batho Pele (“people first”) principles which all public servants must adhere to.
During our oversight visit, issues of quality service, ICT and queueing were addressed. I received an apology from the staff and a commitment that things will change at this office.
The community of Alexandra is predominantly poor and there is no justification for treating anyone badly or passing any judgement. Better quality service is a right, not a privilege.
The DA will closely monitor the progress or lack thereof at this particular Home Affairs branch.
In a reply to written DA questions, Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane revealed that the expenditure incurred from “KFC” take-away food for prisoners at Leeuwkop Prison was in fact R126 000 and not R60 000 as was reported last month to the media.
This was clearly a desperate attempt to buy prisoners’ votes with KFC at the Leeuwkop Prison.
According to the department’s response, all procurement procedures were followed and the expenditure incurred came from the budget of the Office of the MEC.
Why would the department mislead the public and the media in saying it cost just over R60 000, when in fact it had been signed off from the Office Budget for over double the amount?
Furthermore, MEC Nkosi-Malobane, tried to justify this expenditure in saying prisoners were out of their usual environment and would’ve missed their “prison food”.
Indeed, convicted criminals deserve to have their human rights upheld, however, by transgressing the laws of the country, engagements with criminals certainly do not warrant a dish-out of take-away chicken.
The DA will submit further questions to obtain the alleged three service provider quotations and all supply chain procurement documentation. We will continue to haul the MEC over the coals and grill her for her decision in dishing out finger-licking food.
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8299
DA Social Cluster Manager
076 721 8613
[Image Source: http://bit.ly/2nzGfPG]