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Speech by Francois Beukman, Anc Mp and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Debate: "The Scourge of Murders Affecting All South Africans Daily."

TUESDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2017

House Chairperson,
Hon. members,
Fellow South Africans

Die ANC wil by die aanvang van die debat dit beklemtoon dat die veiligheid van alle Suid-Afrikaners die prioriteit van die ANC en die Regering is. +

Die ANC wil graag sy simpatie uitspreek met die families, vriende en naasbestaandes van alle persone wat as gevolg van misdaad gedurende die jaar gesterf het. Of dit die Mudau-familie van Makhado, die Daniels-familie van Grassy Park; die Msimango-familie van Draaihoek, KZN, die Hendricks-familie van Ravensmead; die Mkonki-familie van Khayelitsha en die Joubert-familie van Klapmuts; waar ookal in Suid-Afrika - ons treur saam met hulle.

Hierdie moorde moet die staat, gemeenskap en alle individue aanspoor om beter planne en oplossings te kry vir die aanspreek van gewelddadige misdaad wat die morele kompas van die Suid-Afrikaanse nasie verwater.

The right to life is enshrined in Section 11 of our Bill of Rights. Personal safety is a human right. When communities do not feel safe and live in fear, the country's economic development and the people's well being are affected.

The increase in the murder rate is totally unacceptable and we must find ways to deal with it head-on.

The responsibility to deal with this scourge lies with the SA Government, the community and individuals.

If we critically analyse the Crime Statistics that was presented last week by the Minister of Police and the SAPS management the motives for murder arise in the first instance from social and secondly from criminal behaviour.

Arguments or misunderstanding and domestic violence is still a major contributor to the murder statistics. In many instances there was no intention to kill, but the offenders acted on the spur of the moment without foreseeing the outcome of their actions.

For example in the Wellington police area 89.5 % of the murders resulted from incidents of domestic violence and arguments.

A docket analyses in the Western Cape during the period April to September 2016 revealed that 30 percent of all murders resulted from one or other argument or misunderstanding. An analysis of 50 percent of murder cases reported during the 2016/17 financial year in KwaZulu Natal revealed similar trends than the Western Cape. Sixteen percent of murders was linked to fights and arguments, 12 percent to revenge and 6 percent to domestic violence. In the Northern Cape 50 percent of all murders originated from arguments and in Mpumalanga the percentage is 28 percent.

House Chairperson, there is a clearly a huge responsible on all individuals, families and communities to alter lifestyle, behaviour and social pattens that may escalate to the killing of individuals.

In this regard I want to quote from a speech delivered by President Nelson Mandela exactly 23 years ago on 15 October 1994 at the National Day of Safety and Security:

"Let us take responsibility for freeing our communities of crime and violence. There is much that we can do now to end crime and violence. And it is essential that we do so together without delay. The solutions will not be found simply in our rules of criminal procedure or laws regulating immigration. The roots of the problem lie much deeper: in a partnership among all social structures to build a better life for ourselves and co-operation with our neighbours. To deal with crime and violence, a partnership between police and communities is central".

In Gauteng 15 percent of the murders is robbery releated; KZN 13.9 percent; Northern Cape 7.9 % and the Western Cape 7.7 percent. The Eastern Cape reported that 84 murders in that province resulted from rapes and robberies.

About 19.3 percent of murders in the Western Cape is related to gangs. An analysis of the top ten gang related murder stations in the Western Cape revealed that 79 percent of murders in Steenberg is from gang violence; 78.5 percent at Elsies Rivier and 72 percent at Ravensmead. A direct link further exist between gang-related activities and the illegal possession of fire-arms.

ILLEGAL MINING AND TAXI-VIOLENCE

Illegal mining has been identified as a further cause of murder in Limpopo, the Free State, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Taxi violence according to the SAPS report claimed the lives of 82 individuals in Gauteng.

It is 23 years into the new democratic state and 82 lives are lost in our economic hub due to taxi violence. As South Africans we can never accept such a statistic.

In the past year 83 members of the South African Police Service have died as a result of criminality. The majority of members killed were attached to visible policing and 18 percent were attached to detectives. A total of 79.5 % of the members killed succumbed to gun shot wounds.

Illegal fire-arms is a major driver of murders in South Africa, and should be a major focus of our law enforcement agencies. Loss and theft of legal guns which leak into the illegal pool is a major factor. An example is of the former police colonel Prinsloo who sold 2400 fire-arms confiscated by the SAPS to Western Cape crime syndicates. A total of 1066 of these guns have been linked to crime in the Western Cape province.

Alcohol and drug abuse was found to be an important generator of murder cases. In 34 percent of the cases the offender used alcohol and 3,9 percent drugs of those could be identified and arrested.

In the 2016/17 financial year, 3478 women and children were murdered, of whom 2639 were women, 574 boys and 265 girls. In relation to women fire-arms were used in 44.7 percent and knives and sharp objects in 31 percent of cases.

In the case of children in 36 percent of the cases were firerams used and knives and sharp objects in 34 percent of the murders.

Again fire-arms, mostly illegal and dangerous weapons like knives were the instruments to be used to commit the murders.

Our focus in this debate should be on policeable crime where pro-active police action could foster deterrence and prevention.

AGGRAVATED ROBBERY INCREASED OVERALL BY 6.4 PERCENT COUNTRYWIDE. TRIO CRIMES FALL UNDER ROBBERY AGGRAVATED:

  • Carjacking increased by 14.5 percent
  • Robbery at residential premises increased by 7.3 percent; and
  • Robbery at non-residential premises increased by 5 percent.

The degree of organisation involved in trio crimes play a crucial factor in its policeability, as it determined the scope for crime intelligence tools. The increase in trio crime and aggravated robbery countrywide needs the urgent attention of the Crime Intelligence Division.

The SAPS should focus on the main police functions - crime prevention, detection and crime intelligence - that will contribute to the reduction of the murder rate.

Most murder occur over-weekends; late at night and in the early morning hours; in open spaces and on the road and residences of victims.

FROM THE SIDE OF THE ANC OUR MESSAGE IS VERY CLEAR:

1. Professionalise the police and strenghten the national leadership of the SAPS - appoint a new permanent National Commissioner as soon as possible;
3. Fill the positions of the Head of Crime Intelligence and Deputy National Commissioner : Detectice services to give direction to the units responsible for detecting and investigating serious and violent crime i.e murder;
3. The turn-around of the currrent performance of the detective services and crime intelligence will be key in bringing the policeable crime down;
4. The new specialising unit of the DPCI focussing on illegal fire-arms should make a major headway in dealing with the illegal pool of fire-arms that are instrumental in murders and other violent crime;
5. Cluster and station commanders of the SAPS should from a tactical perspective deploy visible policing and crime intelligence assets in such a way that house robberies, car-jacking incidents and business robberies are dealt with in pro-active manner.
6. More projects and networks operations from Crime Intelligence should be launched in priority areas i.e. informal settlements, rural settings and highly densed population areas.
7. Technology is key to respond to emerging crime patterns and identify syndicates and gangs who are the main perpetrators of violent and gun crime in the society.
8. Deal with the corrupt SAPS members at all levels and introduce effective vetting procedures in all high risk police stations and units as a matter of priority;
9. Table the Fire-Arms Amendment Act as soon as possible and revamp the Fire-Arms Registry management system to ensure better administrative and management control over fire-arms.

IN CLOSING:

1. The importance of lifestyle education and the promotion of conflict resolution skills at inter-personal, family, community and local level should be at the top of our agenda.
2. The role of the head of the family, churches, community leaders, traditional leaders, government departments, schools and educational institutions and civil society organisations is pivotal to this process.
3. The moral regeneration of our society is at the core of any pro-active effort to change the hearts and minds of South Africa Incorporated and its members. Moral regeneration and the focus on the sanctity of lives of all South Africans who live in it, should be our clarion call.
4. The SA Police Service must implement the recommendations of the NDP to strengthen the criminal justice system, make the police service professional and increase community participation in safety.
5. Only an integrated approach will make safety and security for all South Africans possible.

I thank you.

     
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