Mbalula's call for help from the army means cops are failing - union

2017-10-13 18:05
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (File photo: GCIS)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (File photo: GCIS)

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Cape Town - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's call for the army to be deployed in the Western Cape and Gauteng to help crack down on violent crimes means cops are failing in these provinces, the SA Police Union (SAPU) said on Friday.

Its general secretary Oscar Skommere also said President Jacob Zuma should "rescue" Mbalula by appointing a permanent national police commissioner.

On Tuesday Mbalula announced that he had asked the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to help tackle crime in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

READ: Mbalula asks army to help quell violence in WC and Gauteng

But on Friday Skommere said this just showed that police were not coping in these provinces.

"The call by the minister for the deployment of the army in the Western Cape and Gauteng is an acknowledgement of the failure of the police to curb organised crime in these provinces," he said.

'Cops have lost the crime battle'

"This is an indictment that the police have lost the battle against organised crime in the Western Cape and Gauteng."

Skommere said the union was not against the deployment of the army in volatile situations.

"However, the reality [is that] soldiers are to a larger extent trained to kill. They work excellently in war situations," he said.

READ: Army necessary to stop gang-fuelled 'genocide' in Cape Town - residents

"The organised crime situation in the Western Cape and Gauteng has not reached a level that is beyond police control. The unfortunate reality is the police has no leadership at all... The police are under auto pilot now."

Skommere said the police union felt problems faced by the country's police stemmed from management level.

'Recipe for disaster'

"The lack of permanent leadership in the police in critical components, like there is no permanent national police commissioner, there is no permanent divisional commissioner of the crime intelligence, is a recipe for disaster," he said.

In June this year former national police commissioner Riah Phiyega's contract ended.

Skommere said the union had hoped that Zuma would have then appointed a permanent national commissioner. This had not happened.

"It is clear to us now that we will have to accept this situation of acting heads until at least the political direction of the country is clear in December," he said.

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Read more on:    saps  |  sandf  |  fikile mbalula  |  jacob zuma  |  gauteng  |  cape town  |  crime

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