The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called out Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, for snubbing killings in Walmer Township to campaign in Korsten, SurgeZirc SA reports.
In a statement made available to SurgeZirc SA on Friday, the DA said it condemns the action of the police minister.
According to the statement, earlier this week in Walmer Township, killings of about 9 people were recorded with 5 injured in a killing spree that took place over 48 hours, while in Korsten violence broke out allegedly involving the taxi industry and business owners in the area.
It was gathered that both incidents were extremely fatal and required a swift and strong response from the South African Police Service (SAPS).
“Instead of visiting Walmer Township, where the SAPS satellite police station has been closed since 2017 leading to an increase in violent crime, Minister Cele instead targeted many law-abiding business owners through what appears to have been an unlawful search and seizure operation yielding little to no result.
“Earlier this year the Nelson Mandela Bay economy was held to ransom by protesting taxis and who shut the city down for almost a week but Minister Cele was nowhere to be seen.
“On Wednesday this week, Executive Mayor Nqaba Bhanga went to Walmer Township to address the issue of the killings and assess the status of the SAPS satellite police station. The DA has been campaigning since 2017 to have this satellite police station reopened and on Thursday the Mayor wrote to Minister Cele requesting, yet again, that the station be reopened,” the statement reads.
The DA, however, reiterated that Cele’s visit to Nelson Mandela Bay was blatant electioneering on a highly sensitive and volatile issue while he ignored SAPS’ blatant failure over many years to keep other communities, such as Walmer Township, safe.
“It costs the SAPS more than R8 million to protect one VIP when that money could be given to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to employ 22 more metro police officers or roll out four more sites with our gunshot detection technology known as ‘Shotspotter’.
“This technology is already in use in parts of Nelson Mandela Bay’s Northern Areas where it has led to a 90% reduction in gunshots. The Executive Mayor, Nqaba Bhanga, yesterday announced that Walmer Township has been prioritized for the next phase of our Shotspotter rollout.
The DA however urged the SAPS to move swiftly and equally to bring those responsible for killings to book.
“The Minister must now show that he is serious about crime in all communities by prioritizing the reopening of the Walmer Township satellite police station and ensuring that SAPS acts decisively to root out the criminal syndicate which is holding that community ransom.”