The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is aware that it has been several weeks since the deployment of the soldiers in some of the gang war areas in the Western Cape and the sad part is that the killings or the number of people being killed brutally in the area has not gone down.
This in a way compels one to perhaps reflect on whether deployment was bad idea or not and one can easily say it was, due to the fact that the ruthless killings are still happening and the number of people being murdered especially during the weekend keeps on going up despite the deployment.
The UDM believes that the deployment was not a bad thing to be done, the error done was perhaps in how it was done. One of the questions that keeps coming up, around different areas is whether leaders in these different communities were consulted with regards to the deployment.
This is a very important step in ensuring that the deployment is not in vain as these leaders know the ins and outs of their communities and therefore could assist in dealing with the different areas as the dynamics are not the same.
Another issue is that different stakeholders must be involved in the fight against crime as the South African Police Services and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) cannot do such alone. A lot of investment ought to be made in research especially in understanding townships where the crime rate is very high. One of the contributing factors of crime in the townships is the contestation around resources and space. This now speaks to the fact that the Ministry of Police and of Defence cannot win the battle alone, there must also be a lot co-operation between the different government departments and also spheres of government such as the legislature, executive and the judiciary. These must keep one another accountable at all times to ensure better service delivery for the people as ‘service delivery’ is a contributing factor to the crime rates in the country.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) should work conjointly with SANDF to make sure no stone is left unturned in curbing the high rate of violent crimes in Western Cape.
In closing the deployment of the soldiers in the different areas in the Western Cape does not mean that SAPS is to abdicate from its duty to protect and defend vulnerable law-abiding citizens, police officers must continue performing their tasks.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General