Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has rubbished claims that the government is not doing anything to fight rampant crime, insisting that overcrowded prisons proved that criminals were getting arrested and prosecuted for their activities.
Closing the debate on the State of the Province Address (Sopa) yesterday, Dube-Ncube however conceded that the criminal justice system needed cleansing of “rotten apples”.
Responding to a call from DA leader Francois Rodgers for a discussion among leaders of political parties and other formations as a means to end crime in the province, Dube-Ncube expressed scepticism about any possible outcomes stemming from such a move.
“There is no crime that will be ended by leaders sitting at a round table. We need to take the fight against crime to communities because criminals are known and hidden by community members who buy stolen items from them,” said Dube-Ncube.
The premier also challenged all political parties to fight the scourge of gender-based violence, decrying recent revelations of party leaders demanding sexual favours from women in return for municipal jobs.
“The issue of gender-based violence demands that as party leaders, we introspect and rise above party political positions because there are cases where councillors are demanding favours and we should all condemn them,” she said.
Dube-Ncube told the sitting that while there were challenges posed by crime, it was not all doom and gloom, as was reflected by companies that were expanding their operations into KZN, including vehicle manufacturer Toyota and paper giant Sappi.
Meanwhile, IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa warned the ANC of more losses in future by-elections, saying even with its new coalition partner in the EFF, the governing party would continue to get a hiding.
He described Dube-Ncube’s speech from last week as uninspiring.
According to the IFP, some of the commitments made by Dube-Ncube were similar to those made by her predecessor, Sihle Zikalala, including a massive roll-out of infrastructure, but these had amounted to nothing.
He said the premier’s address had not brought any hope to the residents of KZN, and this was the reason that many by-elections were won by the IFP.
He also warned the ANC against its new working relationship with the EFF, saying it would rue the day it had reached such an agreement.
“Your recent partner, the EFF, will bring you stress. When they tried to do the same to the IFP (through unreasonable demands), we told them to go to hell,” said the IFP leader.
The DA warned of changes that would come after the 2024 elections, saying Dube-Ncube’s speech was her penultimate one.
According to the DA leader, the premier’s address had been depressing because of the ANC government’s lack of implementation of its plans.
The sitting was marked by chaotic exchanges between MPLs from opposing parties.
The chaotic scenes followed similar ones on Friday during the presentation of the Sopa when Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini had to be whisked away from the sitting as EFF MPLs constantly interjected when Dube-Ncube was speaking.