On Thursday last week, I moved a motion in the Provincial Legislature on the latest Eastern Cape crime statistics.
The motion directs that the Provincial Commissioner should annually brief the Legislature on the yearly crime statistics.
This practice has successfully been adopted in the Western Cape. In September I attended a sitting of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, where the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner presented the statistics and was questioned by the portfolio committee.
This practice needs to be adopted in the Eastern Cape in order to hold the SAPS accountable for reducing crime in the province, as well as for them to be questioned on what steps they are taking to deal with the situation.
This approach is what one would expect from an honest and professional police service that serves the interests of all South Africans.
Currently, only the chairperson of the committee and the MEC of Safety and Liaison are invited to SAPS head Office for a presentation. This amounts to a sweetheart exercise, as not all members of the committee are present to interrogate the statistics presented.
The Democratic Alliance believes that the SAPS should be fully accountable to the Provincial Legislature and that the Legislature should exercise its powers in terms of Section 206 (9) and 207 (5) of the Constitution, which provides for the Provincial Commissioner to appear before the Provincial Legislature and its committees.
The Eastern Cape is experiencing high levels of crime and the DA believes that an open and transparent police service is a critical first step in providing the answers needed to guarantee the safety and security of citizens.