We will support CPFs in the fight against crime if police are unable to do so, says DA

A suspect who was wanted for killing a police officer was shot dead in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal. The area is one of the hot spots for crime in the country.
A suspect who was wanted for killing a police officer was shot dead in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal. The area is one of the hot spots for crime in the country.
Image: Supplied

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal is calling for more community and civic society involvement in the fight against crime in the province.

The party launched its anti-crime campaign in Ntuzuma, north of Durban, on Wednesday.

The campaign is aimed at finding ways to address the “rampant” criminality in KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial leader Francois Rodgers said 17 murders and 21 rapes a day in the province, as revealed by recent crime statistics, and Inanda and Umlazi leading the country in these two metrics, were a daily reminder of how “overwhelming” crime was in the province.

“Not only are crime, extortion, murder, rape, gender-based violence, hijackings, truck arson and political assassinations posing a threat to KZN’s people, they are robbing our province of valuable and much-needed investment.

“Businesses, investors and citizens are thinking twice about living and working in KZN,” Rodgers said.

He said SAPS members were also involved in crime and due to the police's failure to deal with the issue it had been left to community organisations to tackle criminality.

“According to a senior member of SAPS in the province, the figure (of police involved in crime) is estimated to be half of all police members in the province.

“Meanwhile, SAPS and metro police’s lacklustre performance has left community-based initiatives, including CPFs, at the forefront in trying to protect our citizens.”

Rodgers said the ANC government, police minister Bheki Cele, premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and provincial cabinet members had failed to deliver on promises they had made.

He said the SAPS were yet to get the “body-worn cameras” promised since 2019 while only 98 of the 500 CCTV cameras in the eThekwini metro were functional.

He referred to the escalation in political killings, the projects halted by construction mafias and truck burnings and carnage on KwaZulu-Natal roads.

“If these do not galvanise government to act, then nothing ever will. In KZN, it is clear that we can no longer wait for this Taliban faction ANC-run government to save our province — and its people — from this never-ending onslaught. Crime is out of control and has the ability to devastate our province.”

The DA has proposed a “whole-of-society” approach with its Crime Prevention and Social Justice policy.

Rodgers said they have been engaging CPFs throughout the province to establish what challenges they are facing and discuss possible solutions.

“KZN’s department of community safety has failed to ensure effective CPFs throughout the province, which it is mandated to do. It has not given the necessary resources and support to CFP structures and our communities continue to suffer as a result.

“The role of keeping communities safe belongs to SAPS. Yet it is the people of KZN who have been left with no alternative but to shoulder this responsibility themselves. Communities remain unsafe and CPF structures comprising of civilians — who are not geared up or trained to deal with issues of crime — are now risking their lives daily.”

He said the DA has also engaged civil society structures and written to other political parties in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to strategise on a way to implement security measures in communities and fight political killings.

“The DA in KZN will now look to formalise a programme that offers support to CPFs and will meet existing structures soon to discuss the way forward. Our intention is to build a strong pact to ensure that CPFs and SAPS are given the tools to do their jobs and begin to establish the relationship that is critical to success.


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