DA has very little to offer in solving crime - ANC WCape

Lennit Max affirms long-held belief that opposition spends more time and effort politicising crime than actually solving it

Response to the allegations of dereliction of duty and care in terms of Section 206 of the Constitution, in ensuring effective crime combating strategies

3 July 2018

We have convened this Press Conference in the aftermath of the disturbing and shocking revelations by former DA MPL Lennit Max in a media statement issued yesterday.

Firstly, on behalf of the ANC we welcome the appointment of Lennit Max as Special Advisor to Minister Bheki Cele. We believe his appointment will bolster the ANC government’s crime fighting initiatives, nationally and specifically in the Western Cape. The statement by Lennit Max affirms our government’s commitment for all South Africans to contribute to the spirit of Thuma Mina (Send Me).

The appointment by Lennit Max also affirms the seriousness of Minister Bheki Cele’s interventions in bring the right expertise in key departments that have a dire bearing on the quality of life of all our people, especially the poor.

But we have convened this press conference to comment on the statements made by Lennit Max against the DA government in the Western Cape and the leadership of the DA under Mmusi Maimane.

The statement by Lennit Max affirms our long held belief that the DA has very little to offer in solving crime, but spends more time, effort and resources in politicizing crime in the province, than actually solving it.

The Constitution of the RSA in terms of Section 206, grants all Provincial Governments powers, responsibilities and mandates to give effect to - effective crime prevention strategies that bolster the police and also affords communities to act in the role of force multiplier to compliment police in operations against gangsterism, protecting children and other violent crimes.

It we look at the DA’s track record on crime in the Western Cape over the past decade, since it assumed government and the Premiership under Zille, all we have witnessed is a lesser government involvement in the fight against crime. The DA has continuously sung the song of policing as a national competency and that as a provincial government they cannot do anything to prevent crime. Zille and her cabinet believe their sole mandate in the fight against crime is oversight agents, nothing more.

This approach was a far cry from our role in government as the ANC (1999-2009) in the Western Cape. The ANC Western Cape Provincial Government took Section 206 to the limits of its constitutionality. We mobilized and funded communities across this province to back our police in all initiatives to fight crime.

Our BAMBANANIS against crime project at their peak in 2005 employed over 8000 community volunteers from the most poorest of communities to compliment our police. The volunteers worked day and night, resulting in:

·      Thousands of young volunteers patrolling schools and providing safer schools in the most vulnerable of communities, during teaching hours and protecting school property after hours;

·      Thousands of young volunteers on Metro Rail trains to provide safety for passengers on our trains;

·      Thousands of young volunteers in rural communities to beef up rural safety plans for both farm owners and farm workers;  

But most importantly we took the political policy decision in co-operation with the National Minister of Police to shift policing resources to the communities that needed it the most.

These are some of the groundbreaking crime prevention programmes the ANC Government in the Western Cape initiated under Section 206 of the Constitution.

In other more complex crime fighting project, the ANC started the High-Flyers project, focusing on the Western Cape’s top 200 criminal bosses, a project managed by the SAPS, SARS and NPA. These interventions saw millions of rands of assets being attached, several forfeiture orders granted by our courts and many kingpins on trial.

What was the net results of this ANC intervention in terms of Section 206 on contact crime during the Festive Seasons:

In the 2003/2004 – contact crime was reduced by 18%

In the 2004/2005 - contact crime was reduced by 2%

In the 2005/2006 - contact crime was reduced by 27%

These are some of the stats of our era in government. The principle of governance model was always where communities have a vested interest and partner with government, and successes are inevitable.

Over the years the DA dismantled all these initiatives, putting thousands of young volunteers on the streets, without providing these communities with alternative crime combating strategies. The DA government has made sure that legally recognized structures like (CPF) community policing forum are rendered irrelevant.

Communities have been demobilized under the DA administration and this has to bite them in series of public protests against their policies in the province.

The latest Education Amendment Bill of the Western Cape is another example where the DA puts its personal vested invest above that of communities. The potential of selling alcohol at schools under this bill is shameful and the ANC will challenge this Bill in courts. In a province that suffers from alcohol related crimes, Zille’s DA proposes more alcohol.

All the DA has continued to say is that fighting crime is a National Government responsibility. The consequences of their inaction destroyed any notion that Section 206 was their responsibility, they abrogated their constitutional responsibility at the expense of the citizens of this province, causing a crises of legitimacy of their leadership of the DA in this province under Premier Helen Zille.

Here we have a former Police Commissioner with decades of police experience offering his help, almost pleading for his government to do something to fight crime, and their response is - our narrative of politicizing crime suits our agenda of fear and helplessness for the people of the Western Cape.

This in our view is a crime and an indictment on Zille and her Cabinet.

To this end the ANC in the Western Cape will be writing to the Public Protector, calling on her office to investigate the conduct of the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet which we believe is in violation of Section 195 (“Basic Values & Principles Governing Public Administration”) of the Constitution, in failing to afford the citizens of this province the right to basic human safety and security as captured in Section 206 of the Constitution.

The ANC will further mobilize its members across the province to agitate for Premier Zille and her Cabinet to resign, for failure to safeguard the people of the Western Cape.

We call on all DA members holding public office to voice their disgust at the conduct of the Premier in the manner in which she has managed our province and its fight against crime.

The people of the Western Cape deserve better, than a Premier hell bent of blaming everybody but herself and who is intolerant to any opposition with her party and government.

Issued by Khaya Magaxa, Acting Chairperson, ANC Western Cape, 3 July 2018