Calls grow louder for Ramaphosa to show Cele the door

Political parties have accused Police Minister Bheki Cele of failing to execute his duties following the release of fourth-quarter crime statistics on Tuesday.

The DA came out guns blazing and said despite Cele being at the helm of the police department, he was presiding over an “impotent police service” that has resulted in 6 289 people being violently murdered.

This after the figures showed, among others, that 164 206 people across the country were the victims of contact crimes between January and end of March.

DA spokesperson on policing Andrew Whitfield said: “Criminals have declared war on the people of South Africa. Crime is spiraling out of control while minister Cele and the SAPS [SA Police Service] have not demonstrated any ability to take the fight to violent criminals and reverse the upward trend in the crime statistics.

“Criminals are now brazenly killing police officers and attacking police stations while the minister sits on his hands.

“In these 90 days of violence, a shocking 146 people a day were also sexually assaulted, which equates to six people every hour, or one person every 10 minutes that is subjected to the trauma of sexual assault in South Africa.”

Action Society director of community safety Ian Cameron said: “They can read off crime statistics as much as they want; the problem is that the system is broken. There are real people behind the statistics [of people] who are murdered, raped and assaulted.

“More than 27 000 people were murdered this past year, and the police solve only one out of every 10 murders. That is something to be ashamed of.”

Xiluva president Bongani Baloyi said his organisation has noted the crime statistics with great concern, noting that South Africa continues to be unsafe and dangerous.

“The crime statistics show an increase of crime of 4% compared to the same period last year, which is a serious concern. Our view is that the SAPS doesn’t have the sufficient capacity and political will to deal with crime, leaving citizens to fend for themselves,” said Baloyi, who formed his party a few months ago.

With a total number of 6 289 murders committed in the first three months of 2023, and rape crime hitting 10 512, Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie said most crimes are being committed by illegal foreigners.

“Our crime stats are abnormal. Mass deportation will solve the majority of our crime problems. Most crimes are drug-related and the Nigerians are our biggest problems,” McKenzie said.

“The army was brought in for South Africans after the looting, it’s time to bring the army in for illegal foreign nationals.”

For Mmusi Maimane, the leader of Build One South Africa, the country runs the high risk of becoming a mafia state.

“I propose as part of our plan to introduce a localised policing unit that uses the skills of metro and SAPS and bring intelligence on the ground so we can arrest and prosecute the criminals,” said Maimane.

“The introduction of a voluntary police service for youth will also assist a lot in order to have more visibility of law enforcement on the ground. If we make no reforms, crime will continue to rise.”

Meanwhile, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said crime is turning South Africa into a gangsters’ paradise.

“The crime statistics released by minister Bheki Cele paint a grim picture of how the current approach by police has simply been unable to turn around the criminal situation in the country, and how communities have been left to their own defence,” said Mashaba.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s refusal to recognise how abysmal Cele’s reign has been is further evidence that he is incapable of making the right decisions to fix SA.

“The truth is, president Ramaphosa should have fired the police minister years ago, and definitely should do so today.

“Cele has now been minister of police for five years and ActionSA believes that South Africa requires a comprehensive overhaul of its police service to restore trust in it, fight crime and restore safety to communities.”

Zandile Majozi, IFP spokesperson on police affairs, also voiced her party’s concern with the high rate of crime, saying the IFP believes “the decentralizing of the police ministry will help reduce crime”.


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