Mashaba asks Ramaphosa for more powers to fight crime

2018-11-16 17:32

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba is calling on national government to give his municipality powers to have its own courts and prisons.

Mashaba was speaking on Friday during the release of the Johannesburg Metro Police monthly statistics in the municipal chambers.

He said he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask that powers be delegated to him to prosecute transgressors within the jurisdiction of the municipality.

Mashaba complained that many municipal officials on suspension had not been prosecuted because the process had not got under way with the National Prosecuting Authority.

READ: We cannot allow criminals to threaten delivery - Mashaba condemns City Power robbery

He said, in one instance, charges against ANC councillor Dan Bovu, accused of allegedly selling council land, had been withdrawn.

According to the mayor, the matter was withdrawn because there were no witnesses willing to testify against him.

"What makes it worse, is that councillor Dan Bovu, attends council meetings and continues to earn a salary from the city. We are at the mercy of the NPA and the police to act on our cases," he said.

No prosecution

Mashaba cited another instance where two City Power employees had been suspended for alleged corruption, but their matter had not been in court.

"The NPA saw it fit not to prosecute them. In fact, financial statements were handed to them. We call on our government that will take over in 2019, to allow municipalities like this to have powers to prosecute. We want to have our own courts and prisons. Safety remains a key concern to many of our residents."

Mashaba said they were releasing the crime statistics for the month of October, so that the public could hold them accountable.

JMPD chief David Tembe said last month that officers had arrested 691 drunk drivers, 62 undocumented persons, 26 for drugs, 22 for reckless and negligence driving, and 14 for common robbery such as smash-and-grabs.

He applauded the 300 officers deployed in the city centre for assisting in the decrease in smash-and-grabs incidents.

The JMPD was going to deploy an extra 100 traffic wardens in the city centre, Tembe said.

Officers had recovered 58 stolen and hijacked vehicles, 486g of drugs, and six firearms.

Crime prevention

Tembe said there had been 666 Operation Nightlife operations between Thursdays and Sundays, targeting those leaving drinking areas. There have also been 65 crime prevention roadblocks, where 1 514 vehicles had been stopped.

READ: JHB crime stats: Drunk driving continues to be highest offence in Joburg

"We have raided six bad buildings, and 21 people were arrested for property hijackings, and we arrested 33 undocumented persons during those raids. We have impounded 519 vehicles and recovered 764kg of copper at the Zandspruit informal settlement.

"I have written to the national commissioner of the police (Khehla Sitole), requesting more powers to deal with cable theft," he said.

Seven officers were arrested for corruption, four municipal employees were nabbed for negligence, six for misusing council vehicles, four for misconduct, two others for assault, and one for damaging council property.

He applauded officers who quickly responded and arrested a taxi driver who was filmed while driving on the wrong side of the road. The driver has been convicted and will be sentenced on November 22.

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Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  crime
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