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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

‘Campaign strategy’ − EFF slams Lesufi’s wardens amid crime stats

It comes amid reports the amapanyaza are being implemented unlawfully".

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng have reacted to the release of the province’s crime stats this week, claiming Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s crime prevention plans have failed.

Gauteng police commissioner Elias Mawela presented the data from 1 April to 30 June on Tuesday, with overall crime increasing by more than 4%.

The province contributed nearly 28% of the nation’s overall crime stats over the period.

As commentators and citizens weighed in on the stats, the EFF alleged Lesufi’s Crime Prevention Wardens programme implemented in May had been exposed as “just a campaign strategy with no real intention and tangible plan to combat crime in the province”.

ALSO READ: Gauteng contributes 27.9% to SA’s overall crime stats

“Instead of investing in strengthening the internal capacity and reinforcing control measures within the police force, the ANC government has misdirected all the resources to these verbally-trained wardens who at times also contribute to the crimes in society,” the party claimed.

It said citizens had lost faith in police and were often on their own.

“Even when cases are reported, the police have neither the capacity nor resources to resolve cases and victims are always to blame for crimes meted against them”.

Daily Maverick this week claimed the programme “is being implemented unlawfully”.

It said while Lesufi‘s office claimed the wardens were appointed as “Peace Officers in line with Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act No 51 of 1977)”, the justice minister said it needed to be done with a formal request to and approval from the minister of justice and discussions with the police minister.

It said crime and policing experts had raised concerns the wardens are inexperienced and not equipped to deal with law enforcement.

Who trained the wardens?

The programme also came under fire, amid allegations that drills performed at the launch were not practised by any law enforcement in the country.

Gauteng Community Safety spokesperson Lebogang Lukhele said at the time the wardens were trained by the South African law enforcement agencies and the eSwatini Police Service.

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