Port St Johns fatal shooting: army should train in EC ghost towns created by ANC

DA provincial leader Athol Trollip will be in Port St Johns tomorrow (Saturday, 5 April 2014), as part of his campaign tour in the Eastern Cape.

We cannot accept that soldiers are allowed to walk around the centre of a populated regional town with live ammunition while they are undergoing training. Why should our people be subjected to panic and fear by the people who were employed by the government to protect us?

The execution-style shooting on 12 March in Port St Johns of security guard Vusi Mbhele by members of the SANDF during a training exercise was a callous act that rings the warning bells of the levels of disdain for human life by the agents of the State. Mbhele was shot 37 times. This is yet another example of the effect that the uncaring ANC government of Jacob Zuma is having on the moral fibre of this country.

There is no excuse for what happened in Port St Johns and serious questions must be asked about the level and quality of training of members of the SANDF. What is of further terrifying concern is the alleged cover-up about this incident, which only came to light after an investigation by the media.

The Eastern Cape is littered with “industrial ghost towns” such as Dimbaza and the industrial area of Butterworth that have been abandoned by private companies due to the insecure investment and policy environment under the ANC-government in the Eastern Cape. Such places would be much better venues for “urban training” for the SANDF.

The DA calls for an independent investigation into the Port St Johns shooting by a judicial commission of enquiry to ensure that the guilty parties are brought to justice. We cannot tolerate the brutality of our security forces that have been on public display of late.

Voters have the opportunity to show the current ANC administration that they will no longer tolerate a government that is uncaring, fraught with corruption and where no-one in authority is held to account.

Voters must cast away their fears and vote for the DA and for the values that we have come to represent in government. Vote for change. Vote for jobs.