Perhaps the DA MPL Michael Shackleton said it best on Tuesday: Upon learning just how many police stations have been robbed in Gauteng over the past five years, he openly wondered how SAPS can be mandated to oversee the safety of South Africans, when they are ‘unable to safeguard their own premises’.
Gauteng police stations ‘being robbed routinely’
Figures shared bythe MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, make for a darkly comical – but ultimately despairing – bit of reading. Scores of break-ins and robberies have severely hampered SAPS operations in Gauteng, with over R1.5 million’s worth of goods getting nicked in the process. Sadly, less than 10 of linked arrests have led to a sentencing.
- There are 29 police stations in Gauteng that have been affected.
- There have been 136 break-ins at these locations since 2016.
- Items worth more than R1.6 million had been stolen in that time.
- Evaton and Vosloorus police stations have recorded the highest number ofrobberies – 16 each.
- Pretoria Central has registered 13 cases, with Dobsonville notching up 10.
- Only 41 arrests have been made in connection with these crimes. Just FOUR have resulted in convictions.
SAPS shocker: DA demand improvements
Shackleton has a firm footing on the warpath today, and issued a statement on the matter earlier. He has slammed the ‘unacceptable conviction rate’, and warned his opposite number Mazibuko to immediately clamp down on these crimes.
“The low conviction rate is totally unacceptable, and clearly indicates either a failure of the justice system, or the failure of the police to properly investigate these cases. It compromises the ability of police officers to conduct their business of ensuring the safety of residents, through regular patrolling, opening of cases, and response to emergencies.”
“We are appalled that SAPS are unable to safeguard its own premises, yet are mandated to oversee to the safety of our residents. Police stations are regarded by communities as a safe place where police officers prevent, combat, and investigate crime, while protecting and ensuring the safety of all residents.” | Michael Shackleton