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Minister of Police: Fikile Mbalula Debate On Crime

31 October 2017

Speaker,
Before I get into the specifics of what honourable members have said in this debate this afternoon, I want to first remind our nation of who we are and where we come from.

South Africa until 1994 April 27 was an obscene crime scene from its shores in the Cape to its northern lines. The state instituted crimes within its borders and on the frontline states. It transposed criminality and war crimes on sovereign states of Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and far afield as Sweden, US and the UK and so forth.

Our appreciation of our very recent history is clearly not COMMON as South Africans but, going forward there is a need for a COMMON PURPOSE to be established.

The lawlessness, racist insurgency by hood rat racists who highjacked a serious civic topic for a racist political insurgency agenda was open for all to see.

Rural Safety is a very important matter and crime levels in rural towns and farmlands is indeed a serious security issue that is being attended to with organized farmers whom I have met.

Speaker,
The truth is the poor are often the victims of crime be it in farms, villages, towns or cities. I want to draw the attention of Mayors to Top 20 list murder areas in South Africa, these are Nyanga, Inanda, Umlazi, Delft, Khayelitsha, Harare, Phillippi East, Kraaifontein, Gugulethu, KwaMashu E Section, Plessislaer, Mthatha, Mfuleni, Ivory Park, Bethelsdorp, Lusikisiki, Kwazakhele, Mitchells Plain, Kagiso and Bishop Lavis others like RavensMead, Manenberg and Ivory Park also have alarming numbers. The theme on these areas is that they are of poor and very poor South Africans often not
adequately serviced by their municipalities.

Our COMMON PURPOSE should be about bringing dignity to our people.

Last year we had NINETEEN-THOUSAND-AND-SIXTEEN MURDERS of which SEVENTY-FOUR were in rural/farm areas. That SEVENTY-FOUR includes black farm workers and passer-by's in those farm areas. All murders matter where COMMON PURPOSE lives.

ALL MURDERS MATTER.
A total of 19 000 murders occurred in South Africa of which 74 were farm related murders some of which are committed by some of those black shirts who strangely have ignited shameful "Trumplike" supporters in this chamber who also wore black shirts. I did not see the COMMON PURPOSE we seek and plead for within the black shirts insurgency and their friends.

Farmers must stop employing illegal immigrants who subsequently turn on them after the abuse on the farms.

The short-circuiting of labour laws of this country brings about criminality we cannot arrest due to perpetrators being foreign and undocumented. ALL MURDERS MATTER.

South Africa was and remains a class divided country with the majority of its people subjected to continued economic oppression whose roots can be traced back to 1652 when Jan Van Reibeeck moored in the Cape. There was clearly no COMMON PURPOSE at
this time.

Our people's social dignity was removed through lynching, slavery, theft of their property including land, murder and rape. The law was made to assist in committing these crimes.

National Security is a National Interest. A COMMON PURPOSE. President Nelson Mandela said; "out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud."

Apartheid disaster left deep scars within the socio-economic landscapes of this republic, IT LEFT NO NATIONAL INTEREST OR SHARED NATIONAL SECURITY, and yesterday we saw the social trauma running along racial and class lines.

The racial superiority protest we experienced yesterday betrays the reconciliatory hand of the majority of our people. The black shirts insurgency betrays South Africa.

The questions of poverty and inequality need priority attention and we did not need Thomas Piketty to educate us about the life we live.

Speaker,
National interest in this chamber is in deficit. We have toxic politics.

Security and Foreign Policy ought to be regarded as specific sociopolitical areas where we converge and forge a united voice so that we could indeed make this a nation. This unity is crucial for our survival as a people under one flag.

I stand here to make an appeal to all political parties represented here and all our social counterparts and stakeholders to join hands with me in the fight against crime in this country. Let us not fight over what we should be uniting against and confronting as a strong united voice.

I ask you to join me in the redesigning of a new national crime fighting strategy against crime and restore national security to all our people in a COMMON PURPOSE.

A COMMON PURPOSE means we should be agreed that crime is essentially a social phenomenon in our country and is also rooted
in;

  • Negative developments in the socio-economic sphere
  • rapid population growth
  • influx of economic refugees into South Africa
  • accelerated urbanisation of South Africa
  • an increasingly younger and restless population at risk
  • indeed, insufficient economic participation and inequality
  • Technological industrialization, which is exploited by criminals with new means to commit crime like the growing threat of cybercrimes.
  • Also very importantly crime in South Africa is driven by constant themes - alcohol abuse, illicit drugs and guns. These contribute heavily on the reported cases.

Honourable members, to which political party do we cast the blame for alcoholism in our nation? COMMON PURPOSE would insist that we stop blaming each other and confront that which is the enemy.

Minister Motsoaledi informs me that South Africa is the 10th most drunkard nation in the world. The Minister also informs me that billions of rands go towards attending to injuries sustained from drunken fights between our people.

The Minister of Transport, Honourable Maswanganyi confirms that his biggest issue is alcohol abuse and drug abuse on the roads, which causes many fatalities.

Minister Dlamini gets most of her challenges from the abuse of alcohol and drugs. The murder of children and rapes are often associated with drug abuse.

Our national interest is on combining our forces to eradicate these naked threats to our national security.

Speaker,
In the National Crime Statistics released two weeks ago, I emphasized that contact crime figures which generally reflected a fairly consistent decrease during the first half of the ten-year period increased over the preceding three financial years.

In the last financial year a reversal is observed and a decrease was recorded. But this is not enough.

Despite the 1.8% decrease in levels of crime in the 2016/2017
financial year, some of the individual categories such as murder and
robbery with aggravating circumstances have over the past four
financial years tended to reflect an upward trend.

We must have COMMON PURPOSE to deal with the high levels of crime in the country and support several practical initiatives such as Operation Festive Season, Operation Paseka, Rural Safety Priority Committee, Operation Fiela and Operation Coastal Dragon.
The statistics told me that we need to build specialized police units and not dismantle them.

The successes of FCS and TRT amongst others, show that a focused and specialized police service is essential.
A professionalized police service in return expresses itself with care for victims of crime and protect them - keeping them at the forefront.

Speaker,
Honourable members,
This past August, months into this job I introduced a Policy on Reducing Barriers to Reporting of Gender Based Violence Cases. We know that most battered women do not report their abuse, we know more and more of rape victims do not report the dehumanity that visits them. COMMON PURPOSE is about removing the barriers of reporting these crimes and creating Victim Friendly Rooms in each of our police stations.

These Victim Friendly Rooms would take care of our children and women or the LGBTQ communities and other vulnerable groups.
We need a COMMON PURPOSE.

The LGBTQ community says over 80% of the cases of abuse against them go unreported because of police and social treatment.
I have directed that police must treat each victim of gender-based violence as a genuine victim; this is the premise we have adopted.
Each woman that comes to our police stations must be treated as a genuine victim and not be second-guessed or counselled by police.
The Victim Friendly Rooms are a private space with trained officers and representatives of Social Development who together would offer counselling and walk with the victim throughout the process up to meeting the prosecutor for trial preparation. These victims must not be re-victimized.

Speaker,
This talks to our multi-sectorial approach in dealing with crime. The COMMON PURPOSE here is to be a caring people, a caring society and government.

Speaker,
Honourable members,
WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE TIME as substance abuse ravages our country. We need a COMMON PURPOSE to confront this problem before it devours our children and wipe out our nation.

The burden of our Treasury that alcohol and drugs brings far outstrips any commercial gains from alcohol enterprises in multifolds.

So those on the right side of the chamber should find a COMMON PURPOSE with us in that Treasury could easily balance its books should we deal decisively with the abuse of alcohol.
Our COMMON PURPOSE would mean tax on alcohol becomes a biting tax and not the so-called sin-tax. We also need to be tougher in regulating operating hours for beer-halls, regulating liquor licenses especially within our communities including the advertisement of liquor as the best thing in life. It is not, liquor ruins many lives and drives criminality in this nation.

We must do our part in making sure that we silence the guns of crime in our country.
We must be bold and start disarming South Africa. There are just too many guns in our country.
Guns and abuse of alcohol and drugs are the toxic triplets of our democracy, they challenge peace and stability. These are at the front of why we are battling to deal and control crime. We must find a COMMON PURPOSE against these.

We are travelling on parallel lines and we owe it to our people and future generations to combine efforts on that which is of national interest. We need to recognize and realize our COMMON PURPOSE.

At SAPS I am moving faster to fill critical vacancies that exist. The key top positions will also be filled in weeks where there is legal green light to do so.

Where there are legal contestations by incumbents fighting against their removal through courts, we are duty bound to await such court processes to unfold and show us the way.

SAPS is a complex and dynamic institution, the biggest and most professional in the African continent and has a history that is older than a century.
We recognize that SAPS top management must be people who have the drive for professionalization of the organization; they must be change agents, transformation agents with superior strategic management capacity.
We will embark on a complex process of reviewing the necessity of a top-heavy management structure. My contention is this: In places such as Nyanga, why is it so hard to deploy a seasoned Lieutenant
General to lead the local fight against the daily rapes, murders and mayhem there? Nyanga is a battlefield. There are 30 other policing areas like that in South Africa.

We need policing that is localized, that is focused on hot spots and crime weighing areas. A focus on 30 of these areas would dramatically give expression to feelings of safety as we round up these criminals who often export their criminality to other areas.

AN INTELLIGENCE DRIVEN APPROACH is gaining momentum as a backbone on the duty to detect and deter crime. We are also working harder on enhancing our coordination which the NPA and Correctional Services to maintain a better handle on court ready docket and management of coordinated bail opposition for violent criminals. Correctional Services also has to work with us to know whether a criminal being released is in any way on our system over new matters not already processed. Crime is usually committed by repeating offenders.

Honourable members, WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE TIME. We must forge a COMMON PURPOSE with municipalities, metros and provinces. We must forge a COMMON PURPOSE with traditional authorities and institute a SINGLE POLICE SERVICE to coordinate our efforts effectively.

We must forge a COMMON PURPOSE with our neighbouring states to curb the inflow of illegal migrants from the East, as far as Bangladesh and Pakistan and as close as Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, DRC and many other continental nationals who park themselves at our borders awaiting human traffickers to bring them inward the republic illegally.
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Let us debate not what idioms and sayings the Minister of Police uses. When the Women of 1956 chanted; "WATHINTA ABAFAZI WATHINTA IMBOKODO, YOU WILL BE CRUSHED", we did not shout at them about the words they were expressing against the apartheid criminal network, we instead joined them in the chant.
Criminality will be crushed. Those who visit mayhem on our people must be told in no uncertain terms that ZIZOLIMA ZIYE ETSHENI BAZOWUCHAMA BAWUPHUZE - Let me assist the literal translators here; CRIMINALS WILL MEET THE ROCK AND WILL BE REVISITED WITH A PROPOTIONAL RESPONSE! That should be our COMMON ground.
Finally Speaker, allow me to re-emphasize this point. Without economic transformation, real open economic access and radical economic transformation they will always be radical criminality.

I thank you!

     
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