'Criminals' shouldn't have right to ask for search warrants - Mbalula

2017-05-05 18:54
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula addresses Elsie's River community leaders on the action police will take to address gangsterism in the area. (James de Villiers, News24)

Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula addresses Elsie's River community leaders on the action police will take to address gangsterism in the area. (James de Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday said he would speak with the justice department about changing the laws around search warrants, saying police should have the right to search properties as they see fit.

"A criminal cannot ask us about the warrant, when he says the warrant, we must say, here is the warrant," Mbalula said.

"We [the police] must have a right to search criminals anytime we want."

Mbalula said, once arrested, criminals should not leave the judicial system scot-free.

"The law in this country cannot reward criminals, it must be totally unfair when it comes to criminals," he said.

"Criminals must not use the Constitution and human rights to terrorise our people. We’ve got to look at that as lawmakers, how do we make the laws to bite, to make criminals run."

Mbalula was addressing the media after the launch of the Blue Downs police control centre. The briefing marked his fifth day of touring police stations in the Western Cape.

'Needs urgent attention'

Acting police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane explained that the centre would co-ordinate the response of different police teams in the area. It is the second centre to be launched in the country, after a similar one was launched in Port Elizabeth.

Following the introduction of the centre on Thursday, there had been 180 arrests for a range of crimes, including sexual violence and assault, Phahlane said.

"Some reasons why we are launching here, this cluster… has got the highest number of stations that are not performing that well," he said.

"Crime levels are [also] high [here], therefore it needs urgent attention from our side."

READ: Gangsters think they are the government - Mbalula

Asked whether specialised units would be reintroduced into the police, Mbalula said he could not comment on that yet.

During his State of the Nation Address in February, President Jacob Zuma promised the reintroduction of specialised units.

Youth camps

In 2012, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille called on Zuma to deploy the military to fight gangsterism on the Cape Flats.

Mbalula said the military might be deployed in the future.  

"First, before we jump to the army, the question that would arise is, 'have you done everything at your disposal that your supposed to do as police before you call on the army'," he said.

Mbalula said he was aggrieved at the sight of children during his visit to the Cape Flats.

"You ask yourself a question, at 12 O'clock they [the children] are not at school, they are unemployed. What do they do? They then become transporters of drugs, and then they are vulnerable to criminals who actually want to run them down, and it becomes child soldiers actually of criminals," he said.

"Those kids I saw there, who call themselves generals, those are kids, but their lives are completely doomed."

Mbalula said he plans to run youth camps to take young people off the streets.

"[Other countries] got huge programmes on national youth service to address the problem of disengaged youth, skilling them and give them activity," he said.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  cape town  |  crime

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