Mmusi Maimane. Picture: REUTERS
Mmusi Maimane. Picture: REUTERS

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on the SA Police Service (SAPS) to share intelligence on the xenophobic attacks seen in parts of Gauteng with the provincial and local governments.

Maimane said that the attacks are not only criminal, but also xenophobic.

The issue of intelligence has surfaced in numerous conversations since the outbreak of the violence, with many analysts, non-governmental organisations and politicians bemoaning its absence before and during the protests.

Violence has been engulfing parts of Gauteng for more than a week as lootings and attacks flared up in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane. 

The DA runs the Western Cape provincial government and governs Johannesburg and Tshwane via a minority coalition. 

Maimane made the call outside the Johannesburg central police station on Tuesday after he appealed to police minister Bheki Cele to provide an emergency budget to deal with outbreak of xenophobic violence in Gauteng.

He said better co-operation between the different spheres of government is needed, and that this is not the time  for power games and obstructiveness. 

The co-operation between the Johannesburg metro police and the provincial SAPS has yielded good results, but “because they are so underresourced, their impact will always be limited”.

“We need this same co-operation to extend to [the] national government, through [the] SAPS.

“If there is crime intelligence that they are not sharing, we urge them to do so right away. If they have no such crime intelligence to share, then this is a major concern, as it means they are not doing their job.

“Either way, they need to take the provincial and local law enforcement into their confidence so that we can root out this violence together,” Maimane said.

He was flanked by Michael Sun, Johannesburg mayoral committee member of public safety, who said they have been receiving information on a “need to know basis”.

Sun said they are called in when a situation has already developed, and that this had to change. They are not receiving “intelligence”, but merely information. 

The city’s metro police officers are deployed as part of law enforcement with the police. 

“For us it’s not an issue of nationality, it’s an issue of criminality,” Sun said.

He called on the national authorities to share information so that looming situations can be dealt with pro-actively.