The DA held a protest march in Mitchell’s Plain against what they claim is Police Minister Bheki Cele’s plan to hijack local law enforcement in Cape Town. Picture Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus
The DA held a protest march in Mitchell’s Plain against what they claim is Police Minister Bheki Cele’s plan to hijack local law enforcement in Cape Town. Picture Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

The DA marches against so-called plan to 'hijack' Cape Town’s local law enforcement

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 30, 2021

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Cape Town - The DA in the province said it will fight tooth and nail to prevent the national government’s plans to establish a single police service which they say is part of a wider ANC plot to “hijack and capture Cape Town’s law enforcement powers”.

During a protest march in Mitchells Plain, DA Leader, John Steenhuisen and the DA’s Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis handed over a memorandum to the police at Lentegeur police station, in which they said the move to a single police service would absorb the Cape Town Metro Police department into SAPS.

Hill-Lewis said: “We are trying to send a clear message to Bheki Cele that the attempts to take away policing powers from the Province and the City is not going to work.

“The only reason we are able to keep these communities safer is because of the work Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz and the mayor are doing to deploy our own law enforcement officers here to keep people safe.”

Steenhuisen said the move to set up a single police service will move the command and control structure away from the City and into the police, and take away Cape Town’s power to set its own local policing priorities.

Steenhuisen and Hill-Lewis were accompanied by MEC Fritz and a crowd of supporters in DA t-shirts.

The protest was intended to send a clear message that the DA-led City of Cape Town is committed to expanding local law enforcement powers and step in where national government has failed to keep communities safe. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
The protest was intended to send a clear message that the DA-led City of Cape Town is committed to expanding local law enforcement powers and step in where national government has failed to keep communities safe. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
The protest was intended to send a clear message that the DA-led City of Cape Town is committed to expanding local law enforcement powers and step in where national government has failed to keep communities safe. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
The protest was intended to send a clear message that the DA-led City of Cape Town is committed to expanding local law enforcement powers and step in where national government has failed to keep communities safe. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

They said the second part of the plan, driven by Police Minister Bheki Cele, would use the government’s District Development Model (DDM) to “give ANC cadres in national government the power to unconstitutionally interfere with the functions of municipalities.”

Reacting to the DA, ANC provincial community safety spokesperson Mesuli Kama said the DA’s protest was nothing but an electioneering ploy and that the protest was actually part of a campaign by the DA to advance its federalism agenda.

“The DDM has been praised by various DA MECs as a coordinated approach to create synergies between the three spheres of government. So it is not true that it is hijacking anything.

“The white paper on policing which calls for a single police service has been before parliament for many years now.

“The advantages of this include additional members into the police service which will increase police visibility in our streets. It will reduce the time it takes to train and deploy police officers as the majority of municipal police have received training,” said Kama.

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