SAPS accused of neglecting duties - 6Apr06<br>

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SAPS accused of neglecting duties - 6Apr06

Postby Rudi » Thu, 2006-04-06 17:44

SAPS accused of neglecting duties
Reesha Chibba | Johannesburg, South Africa
06 April 2006 05:25 ... _national/

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has been accused of neglecting its constitutional duties because the service is "no longer capable of protecting and safeguarding" South Africans and their property, said Freedom Front Safety and Security spokesperson, Pieter Groenewald, on Thursday.

In a statement to the media, he said: "This incapacity is proven by the findings of the Institute for Race Relations that there are three times more private security officers than police officers. If the police service had crime under control, there would have been more police officers than security officers.

"Section 205(3) of the Constitution determines that the police service has to protect and safeguard the citizens of South Africa and their property. The police simply cannot do it any longer. It is disconcerting that private security companies have to be obtained at exorbitant rates to solve murders.

"It is regularly reported that the police do not even go to the trouble to pay a visit to a property where a burglary had taken place. There is a constitutional obligation on the police, but taxpayers must foot the bill for security companies to protect and safeguard their property. The public pays taxes to ensure an effective police service, but does not get that. The least that the government could do is to give tax relief to residents who have to make use of security companies", said Groenewald.

According to statistics published by the South African Institute for Race Relations' annual South African Survey, the number of security officers has increased by 150% since 1997.

In the same period, the number of police officers has decreased by 2,2%, despite expenditure on criminal prosecutions increasing by 170%.

National spokesperson for the SAPS Director Phuti Setati told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday evening that he cannot respond to the South African Institute for Race Relations' survey or the accusations of the Freedom Front Plus because he hasn't seen it.

"All I can say is that we have an efficient police service that is always striving for better service delivery. It's unfair to compare the SAPS to other security companies. Our mandates are different. We should rather be compared with other police agencies in other countries," he said.
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