DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Saturday exhorted Cosatu “to do the right thing” and put pressure on the ANC and the South African Police Service to stop under-resourcing policing in Cape Town’s crime-ridden areas as punishment for not choosing an ANC government.
Kicking off the DA’s 2019 election campaign in the Western Cape‚ Maimane noted that Cosatu had joined the efforts to shut down the Western Cape in protest against crime and gangs.
“But we see you‚ Cosatu. We know what you’re doing here.
“You are deliberately trying to sow confusion around crime in the province by pinning the shortcomings of SAPS and the ANC on the DA and hoping the people fall for it‚” the DA leader charged.
He added: “Stop playing politics with people’s lives‚ Cosatu. If you truly are concerned about the effects of crime here – and I hope you are – then raise it with your own alliance partner‚ the ANC. Because that’s where the problem lies‚ and you know it.
“For once‚ do the right thing and put pressure on the ANC and SAPS to stop under-resourcing these Cape Town areas as punishment for not choosing an ANC government.”
Maimane said it was the ANC national government that had the power and the responsibility to resource police precincts throughout the province.
“It is the ANC national government that decides how many SAPS officers get stationed at which police stations.
“It is the ANC national government that chose‚ years ago‚ to disband the specialised gang and drugs units.
“It is the ANC government that releases crime stats every year that show just how badly neglected many of Cape Town’s communities are‚ and still they refuse to come to their rescue.”
Maimane said the national average of police per population was one officer for every 369 residents‚ but that in the Western Cape there was only one officer for every 509 residents. The City of Cape Town had only one officer for every 560 residents.
“An area like Nyanga‚ with the highest murder rate in the country‚ should have more police officers than elsewhere‚ and yet it has way below the national average. This is not an oversight. This is the ANC playing politics with people’s lives‚” Maimane asserted.
He added that Police Minister Bheki Cele had been making noises about bringing back the specialised units‚ but said these noises were nothing new.
“His predecessor‚ Fikile Mbalula‚ made the same noises. Jacob Zuma promised the same thing.
“Enough empty talk‚ minister. Just do it‚” Maimane said.