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New Minister of Police Senzo Mchunu vows to combat violent crime in SA

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The newly-appointed Minister of Police, Senzo Mchunu, has expressed his determination to address serious and violent crimes in the country, including murder, rape, housebreaking and hijackings.

The newly-appointed Minister of Police, Senzo Mchunu. File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo, Independent Newspapers

By Simon Majadibodu

THE NEWLY-appointed Minister of Police, Senzo Mchunu, has expressed his determination to address serious and violent crimes in the country, including murder, rape, housebreaking and hijackings.

Mchunu said this ahead of his swearing-in as the Minister of Police, which was presided over by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at a ceremony in Cape Town.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an expanded national executive on Sunday night, with 32 Cabinet ministers and 42 deputy ministers to lead the seventh administration of South Africa.

In an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika on Wednesday, Mchunu acknowledged the concerns of South Africans regarding issues such as murder, rape, housebreakings and car hijackings.

“These four, from where I sit, I think that I have been seeing (them) all the time, and, therefore, in that longer session I will be getting their take (the police) and how they are fighting on this front,” he told the broadcaster.

Mchunu conveyed his expectation that the men and women in blue “fight” when they go to the streets to prevent and combat crime.

“I would be expecting the officers to use the word fight, fight, fight throughout, because when you fight, of course, you fight. And, I would be wanting to hear that, so that we can relieve people’s fear and the concern and anxiety about their own lives.

“Because the issue about this is that it pertains to your own life, (and) your own existence which can either end in a bad accident or crime. So, it’s a very critical matter,” Mchunu said.

Meanwhile, it was reported on Tuesday that the South African Policing Union (Sapu) has issued a stern warning to Mchunu to “stay in his lane” and not to try to interfere with the operational matters of the police.

“Sapu calls upon Minister Mchunu to walk in his lane and not interfere with the operational business of the police, as that responsibility constitutionally lies with the national police commissioner. We do not want a police minister who behaves like he or she is the national commissioner,” Sapu acting national spokesperson Jabu Mabena said.

On Monday, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) had called on Mchunu to tackle the issue of police killings.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo has voiced concern about police killings, emphasising their expectation for Mchunu to implement measures to address this issue.

“Law enforcement officers have become targeted victims of the worst crime, with attacks and killings escalating in the country,” Mamabolo said.

He called on the government to take a stern stance by classifying police killings as treason.

“The Criminal Procedure Act must be amended to classify killing of police officers as treason. We need to improve the compensation of police officers killed on duty to sustain a better life for their dependants,” he added.

Mamabolo said they were also concerned about the police to population ratio, which stood at 1:450; which still falls far short of the UN ratio of 1:220.

He also said the SAPS salary structure needed reviewing and the implementation of two distinct streams had to take place.

“One being for Police Act members and the other for Public Service Act appointees, that will allow them to be grade-progressed and promoted up to salary level 15.

“The promotion of Public Service Act appointees will ensure we have more boots on the ground.”

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