2007-07-04 : Resign, says opposition

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2007-07-04 : Resign, says opposition

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-07-27 16:12

Resign, says opposition
•Wed, 4 Jul 2007



By Sue Segar



Minister must take responsibility for crime stats that make a
mockery of assurances



The crime figures released by the South African Police Services
(SAPS) drew widespread condemnation from opposition parties
yesterday, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) saying they make a
“mockery” of the assurances given by Safety and Security
Minister Charles Nqakula to foreign business.


The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said the statistics paint a
“bleak picture”, while the civil rights initiative Solidarity
called on Nqakula to resign.


DA spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard acknowledged that there
have been some reported decreases such as attempted murder
(three percent), rape (5,2%) and indecent assault (5,5%), but
said that, because the absolute figures are not yet available,
the DA cannot compare actual performance to previous years.


“At least one third of crimes are not reported, and these
unreported crimes are most likely to be the personally
devastating crimes such as rape and indecent assault,” Kohler-
Barnard said .


IFP spokesman Velaphi Ndlovu condemned the sharp increase in
crimes against property.


“The IFP welcomes the move towards releasing stats more
regularly, but the crime stats released today are painting a
bleak picture,” Ndlovu said in a statement.


The IFP spokesman voiced alarm at the increase in murder, the
118% increase in bank robberies, the 52,5% increase in robberies
at business premises, the 21,9% increase in cash-in-transit
heists and the sharp increase in robberies at residential
premises.


“The IFP believes it highlights again the need for increased
visible policing at banks, business premises, shopping malls and
within residential areas.


“ … with the increase of robberies at residential premises, it
is vital for police to start working closer with neighbourhood
policing groups if we want to turn the tide against property
crimes and make our communities safer,” Ndlovu said.


AfriForum, the civil rights initiative established by the trade
union Solidarity, said Nqakula should accept responsibility and
resign.


AfriForum’s deputy CEO Alana Bailey said crimes such as murder,
robbery, cash-in-transit heists and hijackings are “the very
categories of crime which result in all South Africans being
caught up in a culture of fear and which hold back business
activities, encourage emigration and cause a deteriorating
quality of life in the country”.


“AfriForum states that the shocking increase in these statistics
proves that crime in South Africa is still spiralling out of
control in spite of the crime plan announced by Minister Nqakula
in August 2006,” Bailey said.


The Freedom Front Plus said the crime statistics confirm the
public’s view that crime is increasing and is getting out of
control.


“These statistics make South Africa an unsafe country to live
in,” FF Plus spokesman Pieter Groenewald said.


“The increase in robberies at residential properties, which have
increased by 25,4%; murder, which has increased by 2,4%;
robberies with aggravated circumstances, which have increased by
5,7%; and carjackings, which have increased by six percent, is
especially upsetting. These crimes are all violent crimes, which
make South Africa a violent country.


“From April 2001 until April 2007, 119 322 people have been
murdered in South Africa and there have been more than three
million victims just of assault [3 070 672]. The world average
for murder is five per 100 000 of the population, but in South
Africa it is 40,5 per 100 000, i.e. eight times the world
average.


“In spite of this, Nqakula says that crime is under control and
the outlook appears to be rosy. As long as the minister stays in
this state of denial, crime will not be properly combated,”
Groenewald said.


Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille described the
statistics as disappointing.


“While the ID recognises that statistics are important for
budgeting and planning, what is far more important is that we
feel safe in our homes, schools, churches, shopping centres,
communities and streets,” De Lille said. “Instead, we do not
feel safe anywhere in our country.”


De Lille reiterated her year-long call for a crime summit.


Published: 4 July 2007
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GOSA
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