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ANC, DA MPLs play the blame game over WC crime

Members of the provincial legislature on Tuesday went head-to-head in a debate on Premier Helen Zille's Sopa.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance (DA) and African National Congress (ANC) MPLs in the Western Cape Legislature are blaming each other for an escalation in crime in some Cape Town suburbs.

Members of the provincial legislature on Tuesday went head-to-head in a debate on Premier Helen Zille's State of the Province Address (Sopa).

ANC caucus leader Khaya Magaxa says the premier failed to address how the provincial government is tackling crime.

“Our people live in extremely dangerous conditions as the Cape ranks among the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world. Crime in the Western Cape remains high under the premier’s watchful eye.”

During her address last week, Zille made remarks about the president's visit to Nyanga police station, and crime.

"What is remarkable about the president’s inquiry is that he has been making promises for several years now about re-introducing specialised units to combat drugs, guns and gangs. He promised this step in his 2016 Sona, and this year simply repeated it without any progress update."

She said, "He should have been there to tell the police officers in Nyanga when they can expect the specialised drug units supporting them with more boots on the ground. He should tell them why the SAPS, which falls under his national mandate, has not prioritised a second police station in Nyanga, nor to our knowledge made any request for a property to build one."

The premier said that the lack of policing resources was a major contributing factor to crime rates.

"Police detectives are profoundly over-burdened, making it difficult to secure convictions. Far too often, perpetrators are back on the streets, causing confidence in the criminal justice system to wane, encouraging people to take the law into their own hands."

She added that the provinces court Watching Briefs Unit had been expanded to over 25 courts this year.

"In the past year alone, we examined 662 criminal cases that would otherwise have fallen out of the broken pipeline, between police, prosecutors and the courts. Many of these cases are back on the court rolls due to the intervention of the unit."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)