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20 Feb 2016
5:52 pm

DA calls for SAPS specialised units deadline


DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said latest crime stats showed drug-related crime had increased by 2.4 percent.

FILE PICTURE: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Specialised police units are crucial to fight crime and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko needs to provide a time frame for their reintroduction, the Democratic Alliance said on Saturday.

President Jacob Zuma announced in Parliament this week that specialised policing units would be reintroduced. Two units, the SA Narcotics Enforcement Bureau and the National Bureau for Illegal Firearms Control and Priority Violent Crime, would be introduced.

DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said on Saturday the latest crime statistics had confirmed that drug-related crime had increased by 2.4 percent since last year and an astronomical 182 percent since 2004/05.

This was most likely because of the disastrous decision to disband specialised crime units such as the Narcotics Bureau in 2006, when Jackie Selebi was national police commissioner.

“These units are crucial if we are to win the war on serious and organised crime and are in line with international best practice,” Mbhele said.

The announcement was a step in the right direction to ensure the SA Police Service (SAPS) operated with the right priorities and was free of the current problems of being under-resourced, under-staffed, and under-equipped. It would go a long way towards reducing crime and ensuring a safer South Africa for citizens.

“Only through these interventions will we see a South Africa that is safe, where families are not ripped apart. The DA’s vision is one in which employment opportunities are easily accessible and our people don’t have to resort to crime.

“A society where our SAPS is well-trained, resourced, and has the trust of the people they took an oath to serve and protect. This is a society that South Africans so desperately need and deserve. This society as envisioned by the DA is the only one that South Africans can value,” Mbhele said.