MEC Vusi Shongwe's remarks during the event of media briefing on Provincial Crime Statistics
28 Sep 2012
The HOD for the Department, Mr Thulani Sibuyi
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General, Thulani Phahla
General Manager, Mr Sibandiso Nkuna
Senior Personnel from South African Police Service (SAPS) and Department of
Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL)
Community Police Forum Board Chairperson, Mr Kevin Pillay
Members of the media from the different media houses
Ladies and gentlemen.
I greet you all.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to welcome you all in this media briefing to present before you, the crime overview of the Province of Mpumalanga.
In its manifesto of 18 May 2009 National and Provincial Elections, the African National Congress (ANC) prioritised five areas of service delivery and one of them was to “fight against crime and corruption."
The people of South Africa, in their numbers, voted for the ANC and our province under the leadership of DD Mabuza received a huge vote of confidence that we had the capacity to deliver on the promises as captured in the Manifesto. The people of Mpumalanga spoke and more than 80% of the electorate placed their cross next to the ANC.
Our manifesto was translated into a program of action by government and the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison was tasked to lead outcome number 3 which is “All people in South Africa are and feel safe”.
According to the manifesto, this outcome should be addressed through the following outputs:
- Reducing the levels of overall contact crime by 4 to 7 % per annum and intensify efforts of fighting crimes against women and children and the trio crimes (high jacking, business and house robberies)
- Mobilisation of the communities in the fight against crime
- Enabling an effective and integrated criminal justice system, manage crime perceptions and
- Strengthening border security.
Ladies and gentlemen, as a department, working closely with the police in the province under the leadership of Lieutenant General Thulani Ntobela, have been hard at work to give meaning to the program of government and to make the people of Mpumalanga feel safe.
In his State of the Province Address, the Premier, Honourable DD Mabuza further made our intentions clear as a province with regards to fighting crime and corruption when he said, “We committed ourselves to reduce crime and corruption to the extent where all South Africans can walk the streets any time of the day free and fearless; sleep in their homes without all sorts of security measures; drive their cars anytime and anywhere without fear of being hi-jacked and grow their children without any fear of drug lords and rapists.”
The Premier issued these marching orders early this year and today we have called you to discuss crime statistics for the province.
When I joined the department I said that I want a crime free Mpumalanga, where there will be no need for us to come here and present statistics because crime will have been reduced to zero.
Ladies and gentlemen allow me to present the crime statistics for the period between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012.
Programme Director please allow me to share with you the excitement and pride I have to be a South African and a political leader in the Criminal Justice Cluster. It is not by coincidence that we release the provincial statistics during the celebration of the heritage month, and a month immediately after we celebrated women’s month.
Every one of us here has a heritage and is a son or a daughter of a woman. This means that women play an immeasurable contribution towards our lives and will continue to do so – because of their caring nature. Women of yester-years contributed significantly towards our liberation struggle; Women of today continue to fight selflessly for the safety of our communities; and I am confident that women of tomorrow will continue fearlessly, on the footsteps of their predecessors.
This is the human nature of women – they are care-givers, and would even move mountains, if needs be, just to ensure that the interests of future generations are preserved. As care-givers and protectors, we believe that if the responsibility of squeezing crime to zero could be given to women, they would do just wonders.
If being a selfless care-giver is equated to being powerful and fearless, then women are more powerful and fearless than men. We salute you!
Ladies and gentlemen, when we endorsed our country’s new Constitution in 1996, we collectively agreed with chapter two (2) that “Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right-not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause; not to be detained without trial; to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; not to be tortured in any way and not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.”
We therefore believe that the existence and success of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province is depended on the efforts of the community members and all our social security agencies.
Ladies and gentlemen we cannot underestimate the positive contribution made by our security agencies in assisting us to fight crime in our area. Our community members also play a role in giving us tip-offs about the where about of criminals. We want to say to them that, indeed we appreciate your efforts, and together we can do more to squeeze these criminals to nothing.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we have an opportunity to discuss the Mpumalanga crime statistics for the financial year ended 31 March 2012; which is from 1 April 2011. As the Minister of Police, Honourable Nathi Mthethwa has said in the release of the national crime statistics, “the crime statistics that we are sharing with the nation, indicate a mixed bag with marginal downward trends in some of the crime categories. Where government succeeds, we will continue to draw from the lessons and replicate in other areas.
Where government is not pleased, we will re-commit ourselves to creating a safer South Africa. When it comes to our commitment in fighting crime – we remain unshaken.”
Contact crimes (Crimes against a person)
Seven categories of serious crimes are grouped together as contact crimes which include murder, attempted murder, sexual offenses, assault with an intention to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), assault common, aggravated robbery and common robbery. In the financial year under review, we recorded a total decrease of 7.0%. We have witnessed a major decrease in assault common at (10.4%); assault GBH at (9.1%); sexual offences at (7.9%); common robbery, attempted included at (4.7%); and attempted murder at (5.7%).
We are however concerned about the increase of murder and robbery aggravated. We assure you that we will not rest until we drastically reduce this crime in our province. We will mobilise all our resources and engage our communities, all social security agencies, and all our stakeholders to work together to squeeze this contact crimes to zero. Murder and robbery aggravated, ladies and gentlemen have increased by 1.0% and 3.1% respectively.
Contact related crimes
Two categories of crimes are grouped together as contact related crimes which refers to malicious damage to property, and arson. In the financial year under review, we recorded a total decrease of 9.0%. We have witnessed a major decrease in the two crimes at (8.5% and 17.3%) respectively.
Property Related Crimes (Attempts Included)
Five categories of property related crimes are grouped together which refers to burglary business, burglary residential, theft of motor vehicle and motor cycles, theft out of or from motor vehicles, and stock theft.
We regret to announce to you that we were unable to record a decrease in this category in the financial year under review. As a result, we recorded an increase of 3.2%. We have recorded an increase in burglary business at (4.9%); burglary residential at (0.7%); theft out of or from motor vehicles at (11.7%); and stock theft at (0.2%).
We did, however manage to secure a decrease in theft of motor vehicles and motor cycles at (0.8%) in the year under review.
Other serious crimes (Attempts Included)
Three categories of crimes are grouped together which includes shoplifting, other thefts, and commercial crimes. In the financial year under review, we recorded a total decrease of 1.1%. We have recorded a decrease in shoplifting, and other thefts at (11.8% and 3.8%) respectively whilst an increase of (21.1%) recorded for commercial crimes.
Crimes heavily dependent on police action for detection
This category of crime clearly shows how our men and women in blue are committed in ensuring the safety of our communities. It is through their hard work and dedication, their selfless effort in rooting out crime and its related activities. Three categories of crimes are grouped together which includes illegal possession of fire arm and ammunition, drug related crime, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
We recorded a total massive increase of 34.2%. We have witnessed a major increase in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition at (29.6%); drug related crimes at (30.7%); and driving under the influence of alcohol at (39.3%).
Ladies and gentlemen, once more allow me to share with you other good news regarding to the decrease in crime we have recorded in the financial year 2011/12. We have recorded the following decreases: carjacking (13.6%); Truck hijacking (8.6%); street robbery (6.7%).
It is however regrettable that we also recorded the following increases: business robbery (25.6%); house robbery (13.8%); and robbery of cash in transit (42.9%).
In terms of bank robbery, we have remained in the same place as we have neither increased nor decreased. Thus we are at zero %.
Our records indicate that, in terms of the regional contribution to serious crimes in the province, Nkangala region is leading with (40%) followed by Ehlanzeni and Gert-Sibande regions with (34% and 26%) respectively.
We have taken a resolution as Mpumalanga province to focus on the 25 identified police stations which contribute immensely in our crime statistics. We hope this strategy will help us in fighting crime in our beautiful province of the raising sun. We have also committed our self to provide necessary support to our dedicated members in rendering their duties effectively.
As I close, I urge you to always remember that crime takes place within our communities and as members of the public we are aware of that. I therefore encourage every one of us, including the media to be whistle-blowers against crime and report crime at all times.
As communities, we should refrain from creating a market for stolen goods in our areas. We must report every one who try to sell us “idulas”.
In fighting crime, we must do more and talk less. Let us be inspired by one Jose' Marti, a Cuban revolutionary, poet and lawyer, who said, quote: ‘Other famous men, those of much talk and few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness. Like stones rolling down hills, fair ideas reach their objectives despite all obstacles and barriers. It may be possible to speed or to hinder them, but impossible to stop them.’
I therefore thank the Members of the Criminal Justice Cluster for their participation in crime prevention and combating in the province, and the role played by the police under the leadership of Lieutenant General Thulani Ntobela to steer the ship towards the right direction.
I thank you.
Issued by: Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison
28 Sep 2012
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