Police call Solidarity stunt ‘fruitless’

2010-02-18 11:00

TRADE union Solidarity’s delivering of 23 000 letters about crime

to the presidency on Tuesday was a “fruitless public relations exercise”, the

Police Ministry said.

Carting three wheelbarrows filled with letters to the steps of

Parliament “demerits” (sic) successes in the fight against crime, spokesman

Zweli Mnisi said in a statement yesterday.

The union did so out of protest at President Jacob Zuma spending

more time welcoming guests than talking about crime in his state-of-the-nation

speech last Thursday.

Mnisi dismissed the campaign as a publicity stunt.

“So, the Sona by President Zuma last week should have been

rebranded ‘State of the Crime Situation in South Africa’, if the recent public

relations exercise by one of the ‘concerned groups’ in the country is anything

to go by.

“Was this group disappointed because the President did not quote

from William Shakespeare satires or quote from various fluffy theories? Or

perhaps were the President’s crime remarks not flowery enough for their liking?”

Mnisi said.

Zuma was talking to a nation tired of crime.

“By virtue of the vastness of this audience, the message around

crime needed to be forthright and not dilly-dallying around this crucial issue,”

he said.

A comprehensive articulation of how the government planned to deal

with crime was the job of the justice, crime prevention and security


The government was fully aware of the kind of pain crime left on


“Why go through a series of rhetoric phrases, merely to grace media

headlines? The message to the nation and to the police was clear: ‘We are

working hard to ensure that everyone in South Africa feels safe and is


Mnisi said Solidarity would have embarked on a similar exercise had

Zuma spent five hours talking about crime.

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