LETTER: Tom Eaton got it right on politicians and crime in SA
The police service should be ashamed of itself for allowing gang violence to escalate
Tom Eaton hit the nail on the head when he pointed out in his column (Politicians Pick Selfish Battles While Citizens Live in Terror, July 9) that it has almost become unfashionable to talk about SA’s outrageous crime levels.
For those living near Cape Flats communities, including Philippi where five women were gunned down on a single night last weekend, it is heart-wrenching to know that the people we see with smiles on their faces every day working in the still relatively safe suburbs, duck bullets from gangs when they return to their families at night.
One can only hope that the DA government in the Western Cape, which has reportedly declared an intergovernmental dispute with the SA Police Service at a national level, succeeds in eventually gaining control of policing in the province. It is vital that the necessary authority be given to police station commanders at individual police stations, and officers in charge of visible policing, to act according to the immediate situation at hand, instead of the current centralised, top-down system used by the SAPS at a national level.
The DA also wants to increase the number of police officers in the province, so at least it has a plan, which is more than can be said for police minister Bheki Cele after all these years.
The biggest disgrace is that crime — especially gang violence — has been allowed to escalate to the current levels on the Cape Flats. The SAPS and entire national government should be ashamed of itself, but clearly, there is no 2010 Fifa World Cup to prompt window dressing for the world to see.
It is mostly the poor and marginalised who live and go to schools in the worst affected areas, not headline-catching politicians, as Eaton correctly points out.