Members statement relating to Provincial Community Policing Forum Board

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL

Madam Speaker, Hon Premier.
All protocols observed.

Madam Speaker, during his recent state of the province address the Premier said, and I quote:

“Building the Eastern Cape we want, also entails ensuring that our Province is characterized by social cohesion and safe communities.”

Madam Speaker, how can we build safe communities and encourage social cohesion, when the very instrument designed to do that is in shambles!

I am speaking of Community Police Forums, which are the only recognised consultative forum designed to permit communities to make their policing concerns known to the police.

Madam Speaker, the CPF is a platform where community members, organizations, other relevant stakeholders and the police meet to discuss local crime prevention initiatives.

Unfortunately, in the Eastern Cape, these forums are in a state of disarray. Many cluster CPF boards have not been established, and many of those that do exist, have representation who are serving without mandate.

Our provincial CPF board has become a haven of politically connected individuals.

These cadres are serving their own interests, dictating on police priorities, with no right to do so.

Worse, our Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana Gxothiwe, refuses to take action, even though she has legal opinion clearly stating that the provincial CPF board is illegal and must be dissolved.

How can the Premier declare in his SOPA response that the law must help us, if his own Executive will not enforce the law? His own MEC refuses to uphold the law, because she chooses to put cadres before the people of this province.

Madam Speaker, the legal advice is sound. The Provincial CPF board is illegally constituted and must be dissolved. I challenge the Premier to uphold the law, If the MEC will not act, then he is obligated to.