IFP urges urgent action to curb gun violence in KwaZulu-Natal

The IFP has called on law-enforcement agencies to spare no effort in apprehending criminals responsible for the illegal ammunition-manufacturing machine recently seized from KwaMashu hostel.

According to Blessed Gwala, IFP provincial spokesperson for community safety and liaison, the rampant gun violence in KwaZulu-Natal necessitates urgent legal reforms to address the issue of lax regulations on ammunition.

He indicated that the recent seizure has brought to light the alarming ease of access to ammunition and ammunition accessories, exacerbating the epidemic of gun violence in the region.

Gwala highlighted that the IFP’s concerns are substantiated by startling statistics provided by the MEC for community safety and liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, in response to the party’s written parliamentary questions about crime in KwaMashu hostel.

In the past three years alone, Gwala noted, 748 people have been injured, robbed, or killed in the area.

Shockingly, 179 individuals arrested for their involvement in criminal activities had their cases provisionally withdrawn due to intimidation and death threats against witnesses, hindering justice and perpetuating a culture of impunity.

“559 cases were set for trial or appeared before the court/s. 252 police officers were stationed in KwaMashu police station. Forty-one vehicles were provided to KwaMashu police station.

“As the IFP, we feel vindicated by the KZN MEC for community safety and liaison’s confession that the number of the police officers and vehicles in KwaMashu police station are not sufficient to fight crime,” he said.

The KwaMashu police station’s inadequate resources and shortage of personnel have been highlighted as a major hurdle in the fight against crime in the township, according to Gwala.

With only 252 police officers and 41 vehicles available, swift and effective responses to crime scenes become challenging, leading to growing dissatisfaction among communities.

“During the 2022 KZN legislature’s police stations’ functionality monitoring programme, the shocking state of police stations were revealed. Some SAPS stations in KZN do not have any vehicles or police officers to respond to crime.

“Such issues deserve urgent attention from the relevant authorities. Government must ensure that police receive fully operational vehicles, as well as establish means of intervention to address challenges, such as police vehicles taking longer than expected in police garages for repairs,” said Gwala.

The IFP is advocating for stricter laws and harsh punishments for criminals to create a strong deterrent against committing crimes.

The party has expressed its belief that the government must display the same level of commitment and determination it demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic to eradicate crime, which poses an equally significant threat to society.

He added: “Our laws must provide for harsh punishments for all crimes.

“People must know that if they commit crimes, they will be dealt with severely. We need to send a strong message that crime is not tolerated.

“Also, human cost of SA’s gun violence epidemic is visible not just in the overwhelming number of firearm fatalities, but also in the horribly altered lives of shooting survivors.”

“Government was able to respond to a life-threatening crisis [Covid-19] with speed. This is another such crisis.”


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