Community Safety MEC, Alan Winde says the province’s murder rate validates declaring an intergovernmental dispute with Police Minister, Bheki Cele. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Community Safety MEC, Alan Winde says the province’s murder rate validates the Western Cape Government’s action in declaring an intergovernmental dispute with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the ANC-led national government.

The Western Cape government on Sunday April 28 declared a formal intergovernmental dispute with Police Minister Bheki Cele about urgent policing needs and priorities for the province. The move was part of of a legal process to approach courts.

Mortuary statistics from the provincial Health Department indicate that in April 2019 alone, 308 people were murdered.

Between 1 November 2018, the day before the anti-gang unit was launched, and 30 April 2019, 1875 residents lost their lives as a result of being murdered.

Community Safety MEC Alan Winde, said: “The levels of mismanagement we are seeing in the national police is criminal. On average, ten people are still being killed in our province per day. The interventions which Minister Cele claims erroneously are yielding results, are simply not working. Minister Cele and his national colleagues have completely failed the residents of the Province.”

Of the murders in April 2019, 139 people died as a result of fatal shootings, and 118 as a result of sharp objects. In the Cape Metro, deaths from sharp objects increased year-on-year, from 74 in April 2018 to 79 in April 2019.

Winde said: “Minister Cele has acknowledged receipt of our dispute. He has 30 days in which to provide my office with a date to enter into mediation. As stipulated by the Constitution, the ball is firmly in his court to address the Western Cape’s Provincial Needs and Priorities (PnP). Should he fail to adhere to our 30-day deadline, we would not hesitate to go the legal route and seek relief from the courts.

"The ANC-led national government clearly do not care about the people of the Western Cape, as Minister Cele continues to ignore our offers of R5 million to reignite the police reservist programme, as well as our offer to deploy our own employees as Commissioners of Oaths in police stations, to relieve officers of their admin burdens.

"We need the Minister’s urgent green light on these matters. Our offers would enable police management to increase patrols in our worst affected communities, potentially saving lives," Winde said.

"Only a decentralised police service under a Provincial mandate can assist in building a #SaferWesternCape.”

Cape Argus