Tackle poverty to fight crime - Mthethwa

2013-11-15 07:46
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. (GCIS, Sapa)

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. (GCIS, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The fight against crime could not be separated from the war on want, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.

Speaking at Business Against Crime SA's gala dinner in Sandton, the minister said contact crimes such as murder, rape and assault occurred in environments which did not allow for a decent social and family life.

"This speaks to the challenge of addressing the three resilient fault lines, which are unemployment, poverty and inequality," Mthethwa said.

He said that with recent crimes against toddlers, teenagers, and the elderly, police had been blamed fairly and unfairly for not doing enough to protect citizens against such crimes.

"Various independent voices have expressed what should be done and we have listened and engaged them," he said.

Parents must protect children too

Mthethwa urged parents to work hand in hand with police in protecting their children, as it was their responsibility as much as it was the police's to guarantee their well-being.

"Violence against women, children and the elderly is still prevalent in our society," he said.

"This phenomenon militates against our national effort of creating a caring and humane society, underpinned by values of human solidarity, justice, peace and development."

Measures were being taken and strengthened to stop crimes committed against women, children and the elderly.

Mthethwa called on business to play a more prominent role in the battle against such crimes.

"We want to urge you as the business sector to play a prominent role on such matters," the minister said.

"We need to hear your voice because the majority of victims of such crimes are employees who contribute to our country’s economic growth."


Another major challenge facing the safety and security cluster was lawlessness during public protests.

"The... negative impact is that the policing of public protests draws the police away from their normal policing activities and forces the police to redirect resources," he said.

"This can lead to gaps in normal policing which are sharpened when the police personnel deployed to the policing of such events are drawn from local police stations."

The business sector had also been affected by this problem.

"To demonstrate this strain around policing, since the start of this financial year the police have managed 6 028 peaceful protests and 974 unrest incidents," the minister said.

"A total of 1 499 persons were apprehended during this period."

Government appreciated the efforts undertaken by the business sector against crime because the sector could have adopted a stance of sitting on the sidelines.

Government had worked with Business Against Crime for over 17 years and a new memorandum of understanding between the two was being finalised, said Mthethwa.

Read more on:    police  |  nathi mthethwa  |  poverty

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