Mashaba Demands Gauteng Police Fight Criminals, Not Residents

Today, ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, together with communities from across Gauteng, handed over a memorandum to the office of Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, demanding police fight criminals instead of communities.

Residents across Gauteng have been let down by police officers’ failure to address crime in communities across Gauteng.

Since October of 2020, ActionSA has consistently engaged the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Gauteng residents’ fears regarding the lack of adequate policing in their communities. Every day, the good, law-abiding, and peace-loving residents of Gauteng are besieged by crime, while criminal syndicates act with impunity.

Indeed, on several occasions, ActionSA has compelled the SAPS to act on incidents of crime where police officers simply refused to investigate reported cases. In Temba, Hammanskraal, police have refused to deal with a criminal gang terrorising the community through targeted hijackings and land invasions. Cases have been opened with no investigations. In a recent incident, it is alleged that a member of the same gang was involved in a speeding vehicle accident which resulted in the destruction of a house in Temba, Unit 2. The accident also resulted in the injury of two people, one of whom is a pregnant woman. When called on the scene, police did nothing.

Here in the Johannesburg inner city, once a thriving hub, is now in a state of runaway decay. Criminals have become so emboldened that crimes such as – drug trafficking, robbery, and the hijacking of vehicles and buildings – are committed in broad daylight. In 2020, ActionSA handed a memorandum, highlighting all these concerns to SAPS representatives. Despite what we believed was a productive engagement, SAPS has failed to respond to these community concerns.

Throughout the province, our communities are denied adequate visible policing, receive no meaningful engagement on their safety concerns, and hardly ever see reported crime investigated by the SAPS.

It is both dumbfounding and disappointing to note in Police Minister, Bheki Cele’s recent Budget Speech, government put forward an overall budget cut of R11.8 billion to SAPS while increased the allocation to VIP Protection by R1.7 billion. The impact of this is less money for visible policing and the protection of law-abiding citizens across the country. The misguided allocation of resources is at the heart of our crime-ridden society.

We need SAPS to make clear that they will work with communities to address crime and fight for the allocation of resources in order to fulfil their mandate.

We, therefore, demand that the SAPS respond to the following within 10 days:

  1. Provides details on what steps are to be taken to improve engagements between communities and SAPS officials, ensure visible policing throughout Gauteng, and compel officers to investigate crime.
  2. Provides a progress report on our memorandum of 31 October 2020, delivered at Hillbrow Police Station, and provide a report on our complaint lodged on 12 May 2021 at Temba Police Station – both of which address officer’s refusal to address crime in communities.

ActionSA will continue to fight for the right of every law-abiding citizen to feel safe in their homes and their communities.

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