Friday, October 27, 2006

SA Cabinet vows to counter crime

The South African Cabinet renewed its pledge on Thursday to counter rampant crime around the country, saying "tremendous progress" is being made, but more community involvement was necessary.
"Government is and will continue to take the fight to the criminals who must be made to feel that crime does not pay," government communications (GCIS) head Themba Maseko told a media briefing at Parliament following Wednesday's fortnightly Cabinet meeting.
The police service were making progress, particularly against organised crime, and there was ample evidence of this. The police had recently been reporting regular breakthroughs, such as the many arrests among those responsible for cash in transit heists, he said.
"Measures continue to be put in place to increase the capacity of the police to fight crime."
These included strengthening crime intelligence capabilities, expanding police numbers, and transforming the justice system.
The government accepted that fighting crime was the primary responsibility of the police services, and that all that ordinary citizens could do was to support the police.
However, the police's efforts would not succeed without community involvement and all sectors of society.
"The police cannot win this war alone. Participation in and strengthening of community policing forums must become second nature to all of us," Maseko said.
The Cabinet had also noted with deep concern the recent incidents of violence in schools, which had led to injury and death among pupils.
"These incidents, coupled with the violent crimes that are being committed by bloodthirsty criminals in our streets, are totally unacceptable and highlight the need for a collective effort by all South Africans to declare war on crime."
The tragic killing of an infant during an armed robbery in Johannesburg last week clearly showed that these criminals did not value life.
While expressing condolences to the bereaved, the best tribute "we can pay to those who have lost their lives, and their loved ones, is to intensify the fight against crime", Maseko said.
The Cabinet had also given its full support to the steps announced by Education Minister Naledi Pandor and her education ministers' council to address violence in schools.
These included guidelines for random drug testing, safety committees, and increased school security. Once again, school violence could not be left to the educators and police alone, said Maseko.
Parents and communities had to work with teachers and school-governing bodies to ensure not only the violent incidents were attended to, but also the causes and circumstances leading to pupils resorting to violence to resolve conflict, he said. - Sapa

Thanks for nothing! Why can't the President himself announce this, instead of relegating it to a junior spokesman to handle. Why is it such a trivial matter? I guess he's surrounded by criminals in his cabinet and doesn't want to alienate them.

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