The Democratic Alliance is calling for a devolution of the South African Police Sercices (Saps) after its National Commissioner Khehla Sitole admitted before the Portfolio Committee on Thursday that the force will be handicapped in fulfilling its mandate following organisational restructuring.
The Saps force is currently undergoing restructuring to trim its personnel to meet budget requirements.
The party said that Sitole’s concession was clearly evident in the recent civil unrests that engulfed KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng (GP) that left 33O people dead and scores of businesses and workers in limbo while police seemed unable and sometimes unwilling to intervene.
The DA said that the recent events were evident that Saps was poorly managed resulting to its failure to carry its mandate to protect and serve the public.
“Not only has Saps suffered from budget cuts, but also years of mismanagement by career politicians who have never had boots on the ground,” said DA’s Shadow Minister of Police Okkie Terblanche.
He said that the only way to bring back the police force to its full capability was a devolution.
“As it stands, allowing Saps’ power to sit with provinces and municipalities will ensure that needs of local communities are much better met and will allow local crime rate to plummet,” said Terblanche.
“It is not just the unrest in KZN and Gauteng that shows the decline of Saps. Their actions since the start of the extended Covid-19 lockdown shows a service that is wholly incapable of combatting real crime and thus forced to persecute law-abiding citizens in order to satisfy a tyrant bent on “skop, skiet and donner,” said Terblanche.