“Why is it that we can never find out where the guns are coming from? Why can’t the military and the police intelligence apply themselves and find this out?” asked Plato.
Members of the Western Cape provincial parliament were debating the ability of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province to prevent, combat, and investigate crime, particularly the gang problem, in the province.
Plato said allegations of Gauteng police giving guns to be used in the Western Cape needed to be investigated.
He added that questions should also be posed to national government as to why “the Western Cape never receives its fair share” of resources.
Plato also said that efforts such as the joint national Operation Fiela would be more effective if it were more frequently implemented.
“Gangsters are rattled by the joint force of the South African Police Service, South African National Defence Force, and the Metro Police,” said Plato.
“But it is a short-term solution. We need long-term solutions that deal with the issues that contribute to gangsterism.”
Plato congratulated SAPS on its efforts to fight crime, taking its “most difficult circumstances into consideration”.
He emphasised that successes by the police were to the entire unit’s credit and not just the work of the likes of SAPS’ Major-General Jeremy Vearey and Brigadier Andre Lincoln.
This was in response to the African National Congress’s Richard Dyantyi’s comment that the Democratic Alliance-led Western Cape was ungrateful about work done by Vearey and Operation Combat, the police’s anti-gang strategy unit.
DA Chief Whip Mark Wiley wrapped up saying he found the ANC’s strategy to promote Umkhonto we Sizwe “operators” such as Vearey “interesting”.
The debate, heated throughout, continued for a short while after without the DA and the ANC agreeing on a way forward in empowering the SAPS to be more effective.