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Cape Town - There have been 264 crimes at Wynberg Military Base since 2009 - an average of five a month.
The Department of Defence admits that this largely is because of a lack of perimeter fencing and access control guards at the base.
The figures were revealed in a response to a parliamentary question by DA defence spokesman David Maynier.
“It’s even more mind-boggling that part of the reason for the high incidence of crime at the base is the non-availability of guards. I would have thought that soldiers who serve there would stand guard duty at Wynberg Military Base,” Maynier said.
The parliamentary response has seen the department acknowledge:
* There is no access control because of the non-availability of guards. There are 52 guard posts available, but they are not funded.
* The old perimeter fence is “unsafe” because of its age. It is rusted and broken in parts and has been illegally breached on numerous occasions. The department said, however, that funds had been secured for a large part of the fence to be mended by January. The department also aimed to have a boom gate with cameras and guards operational by this date - access control would be done by fingerprint authentication.
The costs for these improvements would amount to about R3-million during the current financial year.
Maynier, however, slammed this proposal, saying the installation of an expensive fingerprint access system made little sense until the fencing shortcomings were rectified.
Included in Maynier’s original query, but missing from the department’s response, was the question of the nature of the crimes that were reported. Maynier said a follow-up question would aim at determining “what kinds of crimes are being committed and what is being done to convict the criminals”.
The response to Parliament comes after a number of queries from the Cape Argus to the department went unanswered in recent weeks.
In July, the Cape Argus reported on the lack of access control and a ruined perimeter fence at the base after residents complained about rampant crime at the base’s residential complex.
Subsequent visits to the base - which houses 2 Military Hospital - and conversations with employees revealed that there had been numerous thefts and housebreakings this year. There were no guards at either of two checkpoints on the approach to the hospital and the Cape Argus had unchecked access to hospital wards.