DA’s march against crime met with criticism from Cele and Twitter

The DA wants the military to help stop crime in the Western Cape, but some on Twitter trashed their attempts, and Cele thinks they're doing more harm than good.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane led thousands of Capetonians in a march from Manenberg police station to the Nyanga police station against crime today.

The party is calling on the government to deploy the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support the police in crime-ridden communities in the province.

The DA posted a statement on its social platforms Wednesday morning: “The police are under-resourced, under-trained & unable to protect us. Nationally, the police to person ratio is one police officer to every 369 residents. In the Western Cape, it’s worse: one to 560. In Nyanga, it’s worse: one to 628. If the SAPS can’t protect us send the army now.

“In 2016/17, Nyanga police station logged the highest number of murders, sexual offences, assaults, car-jackings and attempted sexual offences in the entire country.”

Some on social media were critical of the march, accusing the DA of ‘renting a crowd’ of mainly black people.


Others, who do believe that the organisation enjoys huge black support in the Western Cape, criticised the fact that the party’s top leadership does not reflect their demographics “on the ground.”

The Citizen reported earlier today that at a media briefing in Cape Town today meant to detail the successes of Operation Thunder, an initiative launched in May to deal with crime in the Western Cape, Minister of Police Bheki Cele criticised the march.
Cele warned that crime should not be made a political issue, and that people should instead try and come up with solutions.
He added that with the DA’s repeated calls for army deployment to combat gangs in Cape Flats‚ the party is “stirring trouble.”

“The people of the Western Cape don’t want the army‚ they want safety‚” said Cele. “If you give them visibility of the police and better safety‚ they will take that.”

“The police are trained to be softer when large numbers of people are in danger‚” he said. “They are the only ones (who) have that training.”

Picture: Twitter.

Cele feels the DA’s efforts are harming the polices’s efforts to fight crime. “I hope they are not putting more fire on the problem of violence in the African townships.”

He added that he feels the police are not losing the fight against crime in province.
According to Cele, he agreed to meet with Maimane to discuss the matter of the march and was surprised to learn that it was going ahead today.
At the briefing, Cele said that Operation Thunder, active in 9 policing precints in the Western Cape, had been a success so far, and claimed that it had led to the arrest of 5 111 alleged criminals.

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