Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zille declares war on crime

Zille and the DA or any of the opposition parties declaring ‘war on crime’ is like me saying my house cat will bring down a buffalo. Meaningless shit.

The crime problem is out of control and the people entrusted to curtail it, the ANC are too busy filling their fat bellies and playing musical chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

The ANC has shown itself unwilling and incapable of sorting out the problem and we need a change of government. That's all there is to it

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Launching her party's anti-crime campaign in Bloemfontein, Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance, said: "Today we say: enough is enough. Today is the day that we declare war on crime."

Crime, she said, has left more people dead than the war in Iraq.

Zille, who is mayor of Cape Town, which contains one of the alleged murder capitals of the world, the suburb of Nyanga, said citizens need to ask why they live in fear at a time in the country's history when they should have such hope.

"The simple answer is that criminals know that they can get away with it," she said.

"They rely on the police's inability to find and arrest them; on police dockets that simply disappear; on evidence that goes missing or does not stand up in court; on cases that drag on and on until they are dismissed.

"They assume that at every step of the arrest and conviction process, there will be an official who can be bribed to make the case collapse."

Zille, however, saluted the police as "the unsung heroes of this war".

She said: "They are the brave men and women ... who stand on the front line. They are the police officers that have sacrificed their lives to fight crime. "These are the troops, who have been deserted by those in government who should be leading the charge.

They have been left ill-equipped and under-resourced for the battle they must wage.

"When DA MPs visit police stations, they find the same problems at every one. There are not enough personnel; staff members are inadequately trained; there are not enough weapons; there are not enough vehicles; and -- most shocking of all -- there are not enough life-saving bullet-proof vests."

She complained in the course of her remarks -- which were published as her online letter to her supporters -- that the ANC is in no shape to tackle the "tsunami" of crime. "[It] has become a haven for convicted and suspected criminals."

She said the ANC has dismantled every specialised unit in the police force, with disastrous consequences.

"Since the government disbanded the South African Narcotics Bureau in 2004, drug-related crimes have increased by a staggering 30%," she said. "Since the child-protection units were closed down, crimes against children have increased. Last year saw the number of children murdered rise by 22% from the previous year.

"Since the closure of the commando units, violence in rural areas has skyrocketed. Last year, farm attacks across the country increased by 25%."

Now, she said, the ANC wants to disband the Scorpions in order to protect the criminals in its own ranks. "It is obvious to all that the real reason for shutting down the Scorpions is that they were too successful in exposing corruption in high places," Zille said.

Nevertheless, the DA leader believes that with the right policies, the right attitude and the right leadership, the war on crime can be won. "We can do it if we start with the basics," she said.

"We must ensure that our police force is competent and incorruptible, provide the police with the resources, equipment and training they need to fulfil their duties, ensure that those who break the law are detected, arrested, prosecuted and punished and empower communities to protect themselves from criminals."

She said that her party will be taking up the fight in communities all over South Africa, staging marches, holding public meetings, visiting police stations, delivering leaflets and talking to victims. "We will also launch our national crime policy," she said.

"We will show people that the war against crime is not a lost cause. We will show that crime is not something we have to accept as a fact of life, like the weather or taxes."

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