Zille, Phiyega face off over gangs

2013-08-27 19:22
National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega (Picture: Sapa)

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega faced off on Tuesday over the policing of gangs on the Cape Flats.

Zille, who sat in on a provincial legislature briefing by Phiyega, confronted her about her repeated request for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to intervene in gang violence.

Zille said using the army to keep the peace would allow an already strained police force to gather evidence and do its job.

"Doesn't it make sense to support a peacekeeping force of the army to come in?" she asked Phiyega.

Phiyega replied that the solution was not that simple.

"The issues you are raising, premier, we must talk about sustainable solutions," she said.

"Until we get to the point where we start talking about sustainable intervention to look at the root causes of the problems... we will continue in the process we are continuing.

"The issue of drugs and gangs is not just a policing matter, it is a socio-economic matter. It requires that we all intervene."

Phiyega said the police were up to the task of protecting drug and gang affected areas.

She said it was because of the police that children had been able to return to 12 Manenberg schools, which were recently closed for two days because of gang violence.

"Our jails are full because police are doing their work. Large sentences are being passed because police are doing their work."

Addressing the problem

Mark Wiley, chairperson of the standing committee on community safety, corrected Phiyega about her jail comment, and said prisons were overflowing, especially Pollsmoor Prison, because of a backlog in awaiting trial detainees.

Zille said she agreed with Phiyega that various bodies were responsible for addressing the root causes.

The Western Cape government had spent R84m on addressing substance addiction and abuse, she said.

However, she disagreed about the Manenberg schools issue, and said children had been able to return only after the provincial government took R6m from the education budget and diverted 71 metro police officers.

"That wouldn't have been necessary had SANDF helped with peacekeeping patrols," Zille said.

She questioned whether the commissioner's reason for not deploying the army was based on research.

Phiyega said parties should be careful to not politicise or personalise the issue at hand.

"As the police, our duty is to serve the nation and we use all information and data around us to design our service. We are not politicians, we are pure service providers for the nation," she said.

Read more on:    sandf  |  helen zille  |  riah phiyega  |  cape town  |  gang violence

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.