Zuma im­paired the po­lice ser­vice and it’s time to rem­edy it

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YOUR front-page lead story “Chatsworth Mourns” which ap­peared in dated May 30-June 3, 2018, refers.

The death of 9-year-old Sa­dia Sukhraj and blame for the crim­i­nal­ity that is tak­ing place in KwaZulu-Natal, es­pe­cially in eThekwini, should be laid squarely at the foot of for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Zuma – in or­der to pro­tect him­self and the net­work that sur­rounded him – en­gi­neered the weak­en­ing, un­der­min­ing and de­struc­tion of in­sti­tu­tions such as Par­lia­ment, the po­lice, the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity, giv­ing crim­i­nals free rein to wreak havoc.

Crim­i­nals have shown many times they do not fear the po­lice or the pub­lic.

Our se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment spent the past decade try­ing its best not to see the crime be­ing com­mit­ted against the South African state and its peo­ple.

The Zuma regime shred­ded the po­lice and the jus­tice depart­ment of some of its finest brains. Many top in­ves­ti­ga­tors and those who were right for pro­mo­tions were ei­ther prod­ded to take early re­tire­ment or were booted out. They were re­placed by a bunch of in­com­pe­tents. Does the name Shaun Abra­hams ring a bell?

Dur­ing Zuma’s ten­ure, the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fects of slap-dash in­ves­ti­ga­tions and the dev­il­may-care at­ti­tude in the po­lice force brought this coun­try to the verge of an­ar­chy.

To ex­ac­er­bate this sit­u­a­tion, the wheels of jus­tice wob­ble along and take an in­or­di­nately long time to be­gin the trial and mete out jus­tice to guilty par­ties. Ev­ery at­tempt is made to find ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances to blunt the edge of swift and re­tribu­tive jus­tice.

We are not go­ing to de­ter crim­i­nals if we sub­ject them to kid gloves treat­ment. If pun­ish­ment has to be harsh, so be it.

It must also be noted – crim­i­nals who hi­jack ve­hi­cles are only the foot soldiers. The real vil­lains are crime syn­di­cates.

Since our in­tel­li­gence ser­vices are dys­func­tional, the crime syn­di­cates are op­er­at­ing with im­punity know­ing that the chances of be­ing caught are vir­tu­ally zero.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele and na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Khehla Si­tole have a tough and en­vi­ous task of bring­ing the state se­cu­rity agen­cies back to nor­mal­ity. But we are con­fi­dent they will rise to the oc­ca­sion.

In the mean­time, the po­lice and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity need to do their job with­out fear or favour and to tar­get their in­ves­ti­ga­tions not just on those who pull the trig­ger, but also the king­pins.

Un­less this is done, crime syn­di­cates will turn our coun­try into killing fields.

JAYRAJ BACHU Clare Estate

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