“Action Society will not sit down and shut up while crime in South Africa is out of control”, said Ian Cameron, director of community safety, after being forcefully removed by the SAPS from a community meeting between the Police Ministry and residents of Nyanga and Gugulethu in Cape Town.
Survivors and families of victims of gender-based violence mandated Action Society to speak on their behalf during the meeting.
During his turn to speak, Cameron invited the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to do patrols with the women from the area. He also took on the minister about his political anti-devolution statements about residents taking their safety into their own hands. Cele replied by going into a political tirade about freedom fighting and told Cameron to shut up and sit down. After Cameron refused, the SAPS forcefully removed him from the hall and escorted him to his car.
“Cele is once again abusing the police force for political gain and holding authority over ordinary citizens,” says Cameron. “The SAPS will never succeed in fighting crime if Cele stays in his position. Action Society will, however, continue to be a voice for the voiceless where the police neglect their duty.”
Action Society suggests the following solutions to crime in South Africa:
- Do a skills audit in the SAPS to determine the merit of appointments and sack members not appointed on merit.
- Polygraph all members – starting with leadership – to determine whether they have been involved in any corrupt activities; if so, sack them.
- Restore crime intelligence capabilities.
- Reinstate specialised units that can effectively deal with serious violent crime without living in the community where they work.
- Crime kingpins, including those with state connections, must be targeted and taken out of operation.
- Restore reservist capabilities, specifically to support specialised units. It is of utmost importance that these reservists do not come from the said communities for intimidation to be limited.
- Pay police members properly.
- Implement police devolution in the Western Cape as a proof of concept.
Cameron is considering laying a charge at Ipid – the police watchdog – and a charge of assault at the police.
Follow this link to join Action Society’s running campaign to get Cele sacked.
Watch the video of Ian Cameron’s forceful removal here