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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Crime stats: Police union demands Ramaphosa fires police commissioner

The South African Policing Union also said police commissioner Fannie Masemola should “fall on his sword”.

The South African Policing Union (Sapu) has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola over his “inability to fight the high levels of crime” in South Africa.

‘Crime out of control’

This comes after the latest crime statistics were released this week. The stats, for the period of January to March 2023, showed that 6 289 people were murdered. This is a 3.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Sapu said the stats prove that “crime is out of control”.

ALSO READ: Crime Stats 2023: South Africa’s murder hotspots revealed

It wants Ramaphosa to take action and dismiss Masemola.

“We are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to assess the national commissioner and that has not happened, we are now calling on the President not to politicise or normalise crime, because being a victim of crime is a painful experience,” said Sapu national spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale.

“We cannot have a national commissioner of police who is too silent when innocent lives are being lost in this manner.”

Specialised police units

Sapu wants specialised units within the police force to be re-established.

Thobakgale said Sapu has asked for this since Police Minister Bheki Cele served as police commissioner and repeated the call when General Khehla Sitole took over.

“It was agreed upon during 2020 when we agreed on restructuring on the principle that specialised units will be re-established. In the current tenure of Masemola, we made this call and further proposals on the re-establishment. Unfortunately, he does not want to listen yet he is failing,” said Thobakgale.

Sapu wants the following units established:

  • Murder and robbery unit
  • Drug unit (SANAB)
  • Diamond, gold, and precious stones unit
  • Stock theft unit
  • Family violence, child abuse and sexual unit
  • Public order policing units
  • Crime Intelligence unit
  • Initial investigation unit (former uniform investigation unit)

‘Police not acting on crime stats’

Sapu said the crime stats should be used by the police to assess themselves.

“We are tired of the publicity stunt that is being done by the Minister of Police Bheki Cele through releasing crime statistics, because after that there is no action taken.”

“We are not being personal with Masemola but we are on a principle that we gave him support since his appointment, and also gave proposals that will assist him to fight crime. Yet, it is evident Masemola has no political will to act on our proposals for the benefit of the service and of the country as everything we propose falls on deaf ears,” said Thobakgale.

The union also called on Masemola to resign.

“We are calling on General Masemola to spare himself the embarrassment and save the country the waste of time and resources through the establishment of a board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office. We are calling on General Masemola to fall into his sword and go home,” it said.

ALSO READ: SA’s police commissioner Fannie Masemola has no security clearance – report

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