Arendse makes cheap politics out of death of three boys
EVERY few days when I see yet another letter from Colin Arendse, I wonder if as an ANC employee he is paid by the letter he writes. At least it helps put food on his table after his humiliating failure in Wynberg during the previous elections where the community resoundingly rejected his attempt to stand for a seat in the City Council.
The cheap politics of Arendse and his party around the tragic deaths of three boys in Langa is nothing short of disgraceful. The City of Cape Town has confined itself to only a cautious statement warning that allocating blame before the release of the toxicology report would be premature and the publications and journalists who attributed blame to the informal trader may expose themselves to legal action by her.
Let us be clear that there was no “slur” from the City about the deaths of the children. The City’s Environmental Health Department relayed the exact information they had been given by Langa SAPS. The fact that the information had not come through their official spokespersons is irrelevant. SAPS indicated the City did not need to proceed with a food poisoning investigation as other “substances” appeared to have contaminated the food. If an apology is due, it will have to come from the minister of Police.
It is also enlightening to hear Arendse admit the City has limited policing resources and powers relative to SAPS: “City council has a minor metro police component which acts in a supporting role to the national SAPS. None of the metro cops have an investigative mandate.”
Only last week he was blaming the City for the recently published study which showed that Cape Town had remained burdened with some of the highest violent crime rates in South Africa. It is good to see he admits it is the ANC government who is responsible for policing and the failure thereof.
This week the Safety and Social Services Portfolio Committee was presented with the latest research on SAPS deployment figures. The horrible truth exposed by the new research is that the police stations have police deployment levels much lower than leafy suburbs and safer parts of the city, with as little as half the ratio of police. What a disgraceful legacy the ANC national government preside over.
The national ANC government budgets show they will be reducing the policing numbers over the next two years by 3 000 officers and Arendse should hang his head in shame they have betrayed the people of South Africa in general, but more specifically the families of victims of crime in Langa, Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Delft, Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Nyanga and Philippi who have fewer police per resident than areas with a fraction of the crime.
The City mourns the loss of the children in Langa, but we are responsible enough to point out that we should wait for the toxicology reports and we would never dishonour their memory by the cheapest of politics as Arendse and the ANC do here. Alderman JP Smith Mayoral Committee Member for Social Services & Safety and Security