Deploy SANDF to fight crime
Anarchy may result if drastic measures are not implemented
The Minister of Police
I WRITE to you as an extremely concerned citizen and I believe my views are shared by every decent, law-abiding citizen, including you.
You have the unenviable task of heading a ministry that is directly involved in protecting the citizens of South Africa every day and in every corner of our land.
There has been much criticism of the SAPS over the years, more often than not well founded, but this letter is not about criticism. That crime is rampant cannot be overstated. Many at some point have been victims of this scourge or have had close family and friends who were hapless victims.
Many innocent lives have been unduly and callously lost. Families have been devastated – some to the point of no return.
What should be routine and normal lives of every citizen have become a nightmare with fear so pervasive. Even the mightiest walls have been no match for the despicable, fearless criminals who have wreaked havoc and continue to do so with impunity.
This country, once the jewel of the world, languishes in a disconsolate state of uncertainty, not so much because there is no will and spirit to succeed, but because of the lack of desire of our leadership to be bold in combating crime effectively.
I would be remiss in my duty if I painted the entire law enforcement agencies as ne’er-do-anythings. There are many instances of a “good story” to tell – sometimes faith-reviving stories – where faith in the SAPS could not be questioned.
But these stories pale into insignificance when lives are lost at a rate of almost 50 a day. Every time there is a cold-blooded murder, rape, a cash-in-transit heist, house invasion or hijacking, there is an outcry for justice and retribution.
Promises are made to bring to book those who perpetrate these heinous crimes. Then all subsides until the next atrocity is committed.
You impressed us once with a gung-ho attitude towards criminals. The human rights pundits and the legal minds rushed to warn you about your belligerence, pontificating at length on the unconstitutionality of your utterances.
They may have had merit to an extent, but the time has come when we, as a country, need to balance the urgency of combating crime against the rights of those criminals who snuff out innocent lives at will and without mercy.
The recent murder of nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj in Durban as a result of a botched hijacking resounds ominously, as noted by the protests of a fairly docile community who are slowly but surely rising in anger.
It’s ridiculous to try to quell legitimate protests when the greater problem is what actually led to the protests in the first place.
Such protests will rise as crime does not abate – sadly, with more far-reaching consequences and devastation.
Previously docile communities are beginning to vent and while I disapprove of vigilantism, this could soon become common. Sir, the daunting task that awaits you is compounded by a dissatisfied citizenry, but I dare say this dissatisfaction is going to become a potent catalyst for anarchical behaviour should drastic measures not be implemented with haste.
While you have discarded the use of our Defence Force in combating crime, I urge you to reconsider. It would be a brave act for you as police minister, in the interest of all our safety, to engage the Defence Force in patrolling our streets. It may well be a trump card of some heroism and I doubt anyone would not welcome the move.
It would add to deterrence, driving criminals into their caves but, more importantly, help save the lives of people who probably unwittingly have death warrants signed on them by the vermin we seek to eradicate.
Your pressure on central government to increase funding and thus resources would help.
Do not be afraid of your colleagues – remember that the people will back
ACTION NEEDED: While Police Minister Bheki Cele, wearing the hat, has discarded the use of the Defence Force to fight crime, it would be a brave act in the interest of safety, says the writer. Such a step would be a trump card of some heroism and it is...