Maimane promises to do away with VIP protection vehicles for politicians

DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has assured the police that when the DA is elected into power, the party will do away with VIP protection vehicles.

Speaking to law-enforcement officials at Dobsonville police station in Soweto on Wednesday, Maimane said he had been receiving complaints that there aren’t enough vehicles to respond speedily to crimes.

“We are going to cut VIP protection. VIP protection must be something we must cut first," said Maimane.

"The vehicle allocation [for] police is not enough and therefore reporting to crime scenes becomes a mission. The residents are getting frustrated and sure the police are also getting frustrated. So our call is that we give proper resources. Those who fight crime should be moved up the rank so that we can respond much more effectively.”

The Dobsonville-born opposition leader said there were many police officers looking after politicians than those that look after the communities, adding that the politicians are the ones who get driven around with fancy vehicles while the police, who have a far greater responsibility on their shoulders, are left with worst cars.

“You can’t chase and combat serious crimes with poor vehicles. I don’t understand why politicians must get the best vehicles. I think they must be given to the police [who in turn] must work for residents.”

A month after DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga was elected into the executive mayoral position after forming a coalition government after the 2016 local government elections, he announced an immediate stop to all purchases or leasing of luxury cars. Msimanga further said at the time no luxury car would be bought or leased for politicians and if vehicles owned by the City of Tshwane needed to be replaced, sensible and low-cost vehicles would be procured.

A report by the Institute of Race Relations last year alleged that the budget allocated to VIP Protection Services exploded from R353m in 2008/2009 to R1.5bn in 2018/2019.

The report, titled SA’s Secret Police: Inside the multibillion-rand clandestine VIP Protection Services, further states that the budget for VIP protective services is set to increase to R1.738bn in the 2020/2021 financial year.

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