The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) report for the 2021/22 financial year, reveals that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has lost control of the South African Police Service (SAPS). This report indicates alleged contraventions by SAPS officers across the country.
In the Western Cape, IPID reported that allegedly 11 people died as a result of police action, 7 people died in police custody, 9 people were raped by a police officer, and 10 people were tortured.
These horrendous statistics, affirm the reasons South African citizens have lost faith in the minister of police who is not taking effective action to make our country a safer place for all.
Instead of building a police service South Africans can trust, Minister Cele is spending time grandstanding at high profile crime cases and public meetings, while crimes are being committed in his own backyard. Instead of sweeping the mess before his own door he has attempted to deflect attention at the comparatively very few incidents relating to local government enforcement services.
Worse yet, the minister is presiding over the reduction in policing resources by an estimated 26 000 officers, at a time when the crime experienced by the most vulnerable communities is increasing quarter by quarter, requiring the City and Provincial government to step in with additional resources.
When is Minister Cele going to do the right thing? It is time that he steps down as police minister, and it is time that policing powers be devolved to the Western Cape. If SAPS were managed by a competent entity, such as the Western Cape Government or the City of Cape Town, incidents such as these reported by IPID would lead to culprits being dealt with sooner and all efforts would have been made to restore faith in the police.
The DA-governed Western Cape can run a police service that is effective and efficient. One where the leadership will be held accountable for their actions, and one that will make the province a safer place for all.