The Democratic Alliance has once again attacked the Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, saying the minister is prioritising his twitter handle over his job in safeguarding the lives and properties of South Africans.
The Democratic Alliance took a swipe at the Police minister after visiting some of the police stations, particularly the Boitekong and Phokeng police stations in the North West province.
The party said the Boitekong police station, like the one in Phokeng, operates in an area with a very high murder rate and insufficient rural safety, and is increasingly struggling to police the precinct in the context of growing informal settlements and extreme poverty.
It shows a reflection of the common picture of “severe under-resourcing that exists at station level around South Africa in general and the Boitekong station in particular” says Zakhele Mbhele MP, DA’s shadow minister of Police.
Zakhele Mbhele further detailed his observations as he visits the Boitekong police. They include:
- That the police station is clearly overdue for expansion and upgrade, having been upgraded from a satellite station to a fully-fledged station in 1992;
- That there is abundant use of prefabricated units and containers as extra office and storage space;
- That the Boitekong police is an ‘urban-rural mix’ station that has not fully implemented the South African Police Service (SAPS) Rural Safety Strategy as has been claimed by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, especially in staffing terms.
“With as many as 66 people murdered during the last year, there was an average of one person murdered every week in this community of 80 000. The highest murder rate in the North West is experienced in the area serviced by the under-resourced Boitekong police station” Mbhele said.
“The under-training, under-staffing, under-resourcing and under-equipping (the 4 U’s) of the SAPS at station level has exacerbated the difficulty faced by the police to bring down the murder rate.”
“This crisis has been deepened by inadequate support from Crime Intelligence in addressing the organised crime elements of the high crime levels.”
The party urged Minister Mbalula to reduce his constant visit to his twitter handle and concentrate more on fixing the state police because him alone has the power to fix the resource allocation in the police portfolio so that we can address the 4 U’s at station level.
“Mbalula must urgently redirect his efforts from his Twitter universe and ministerial overreach in operational matters of the National Police Commissioner to adequately training, staffing, resourcing and equipping the SAPS.”
Meanwhile, a picture photograph has emerged of Police Minister Fikile Mbalula posing among several men who are claimed to be Crime Intelligence officers who have been assigned specifically to work for him.
In the photograph, five men stand to one side of a smiling Mbalula, while three stands on the other. The group of eight were allegedly Crime Intelligence operatives who have been assigned to Mbalula to travel everywhere with him.
The release of the edited photograph comes amid claims by Eyewitness news that the minister is interfering in the strategic unit by issuing instruction directly to its divisional commissioner.