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Zahid Jadwat
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An open letter to Police Minister Cele

13 March 2018, 14:30

It is with a great sense of insecurity that I find myself writing to you on behalf of my fellow South Africans, local and abroad, on this day which marks two weeks since your appointment as the Minister of Police in President Ramaphosa's new-dawn cabinet.

Indeed, your appointment blew a breeze of hope for a safer country, and we welcomed it with great relief.

We believe that, with your previous experience in this strategic post, you are more than the right man to do the job.

I would like to present to you the grievances of more than 50 million people who lived under threat and were surrounded by a constant feeling of danger; with full confidence that you will address them with dedication and vigour in due coarse.

Policing is not meant to be a job, it is a duty

Too sad is it to note that, unfortunately, most members of the SAPS may be joining the force in order to earn an income, thereby relegating and neglecting their important duty, viz protecting the people.

Please get rid of all such people and replace them with people who are more competent and dedicated.

Police vehicles are NOT officers' private vehicles

They say everything comes with a price, and we believe that Police vehicles are no exception. It is really frustrating to see that Police employees abuse their access to Police vehicles by using for their personal purposes, such as to go shopping, taking family out, running errands et cetera.

The direct result of this is that many do not get a swift response at the time of a crime being perpetrated against them when they call for help only to hear 'Sorry ma'am/sir, we do not have a vehicle to despatch'. 

Poor management

It is a sad reality that most cases remain unsolved for years with absolutely no closure. This may mainly be due to mismanagement by officers who very often lose or misplace important documents. Also note that there is little to no care about whether or not a case is solved as long as officers get paid.

Civilians are often 'used to get Police work done'

I've personally experienced this and it does not stay in the house of the Police, it is accross all government institutions.
When opening a case, victims are sent to collect and drop-off documents while officers chit-chat and laugh over a snack (some times even proper meals) during working hours.

Police are often the biggest thieves

You may say that I am being stereotypical in this regard, but the harsh fact is that it is true and that innocent dedicated SAPS staff are overshadowed by the rotten ones. 

Civilians are increasingly falling prey to bogus Police, and more especially real officers themselves who take advantage of the civilians at their mercy. 


Yes, one word can also be a grievance and there is no word more suitable for this one other than 'bribery'.

Officers blatantly take advantage of the situation when guilty perpetrators of criminal offences are pushed into the corner. They must either pay, or go behind those steel and metal bars. 

It is supposed to be a no-choice fate, but now these people have two options, thanks to a greedy bunch of officers trying to secure money for the next snack or party.

Spike in abduction cases

Anybody can go on and on writing chapters of cases where businessmen are abducted and held by criminals for ridiculous amounts of ransom. 

This is a real-life 'do-or-die' situation that looks like it was pulled straight from a movie scene.

The list just goes on and on, activists calls and families' loud cries fall on deaf ears. The demands just get bigger while nothing is known about what actually happens to the victims during their disappearances. 

Do we really have this much time to waste?

And last of all is our call for visible policing in all areas, affluent or shabby.

It is obvious that crime is prevalent where there is a lack of policing. The best way to eradicate crime from our communities is visible policing by a dedicated team.

Unfortunately, civilians have had to tackle crime themselves if they want to make their communities safer at the expense of their own time, effort, resources and risk.

As I wish to end this letter, I call upon you to please show total commitment from your side and from the side of your team. 

I can go on writing paragraphs and books on this topic with no end, but theirs a world of duties facing myself and my fellow South Africans. We've got to ensure that our safety is secured using private security companies which we need to work to pay for. 

Let this country, our South Africa, be an intolerant place to criminals... a place which none of them would risk roaming. 

Let's reduce crime to create a more warm society.

Let's see our dedicated Police officers securing our safety in their numbers.

Let's be proud of our Police.

Let's see a great reduction in crime stats.

Let's destroy crime once and for all.

I hold my breath until I can freely roam South Africa unarmed at 02:30 in the morning.

Good luck, minister.

A citizen currently feeling insecure.

Follow Zahid Jadwat on Twitter: @zahidjadwat

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


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