Battle of egos won’t help us fight crime

2015-03-29 15:00

Who stands to win the battle of the egos between the top brass of the police and their counterparts at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)?

Clearly, this conflict is not going to help South Africans win the war against criminals. As it is, crime is on the increase and those tasked with ensuring the safety of South Africans are at each others’ throats – all for the sake of their egos.

The police service is in disarray. Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, acting crime intelligence head Chris Ngcobo and Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride are on suspension for various reasons. Their matters are being heard in different courts.

The prosecution service has its own problems. NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana is facing an inquiry into his fitness to hold office, while his deputy, Nomgcobo Jiba, is facing a criminal investigation. Reports this week that she was to be served with a summons to appear in court are not helping.

Police commissioner General Riah Phiyega allegedly interfered in the issuing of the summons and called Nxasana twice about the matter.

While this circus routine is playing out at these institutions, the impact it has had at the lower levels of police stations and courtrooms is immense. Police have no one to look up to for any direction in dealing with sophisticated crime syndicates. Prosecutors in district and regional courts are left on their own to tackle fraud, corruption and organised crime.

South Africa is vulnerable and the criminals are having a field day. We deserve much more from those who are employed to remove criminals from the streets and put them in prison.

Instead of allowing these important agencies to become platforms for factional battles, our political leaders have to come up with a strategy to clean them up.

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