Popcru, local CPFs welcome new police minister Senzo Mchunu

Newly appointed police minister, Senzo Mchunu.

Newly appointed police minister, Senzo Mchunu.

Published Jul 2, 2024


The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called on the newly appointed police minister, Senzo Mchunu, to tackle the issue of police killings.

Popcru welcomed Mchunu’s appointment and urged him to prioritise transformative leadership aimed at addressing challenges within the police service.

Community police forums (CPFs) in the eThekwini municipality have also welcomed Mchunu’s appointment, saying this would go a long way towards tackling crime in the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new Government of National Unity Cabinet on Sunday night.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said they expected Mchunu to implement measures to address the issue of police killings.

“Law enforcement officers have become targeted victims of the worst crime, with attacks and killings escalating in the country,” said Mamabolo.

He said the increasing rate of police killings had the potential to undermine the country’s peace and stability, as many of these officers were killed while on duty, preventing and combating crime.

“Some are attacked while guarding inmates, traffic and police officers ambushed when conducting patrols, with their firearms and uniforms being stolen with the probable intention of committing further crimes.”

Mbongeni Phewa, Inanda CPF public relations officer, said they looked forward to a visit from Mchunu as they had not yet worked with him in his new role.

“We strongly believe that he is a man that knows KwaZulu-Natal as the former premier of the province and he knows all the areas and the crimes.”

Phewa said Inanda was known as being the murder capital of the country and that the area also struggled with cases of rape and carjackings.

“We will work as a team with the minister in combating crime.”

Durban North CPF public relations officer Darryl Oliver said the CPF was cautiously optimistic about the appointment.

“We wish Minister Mchunu well in his new role.”

Oliver said from a CPF perspective, they hoped the incoming minister honoured previous Minister Bheki Cele’s promises to fund, facilitate and capacitate CPFs to fulfil their mandates, by “ensuring that our local station is resourced effectively, both with the relevant vehicles, tools and equipment that they need to carry out their daily duties, as well as a sufficient staff contingent to cover the entire precinct, bearing in mind the growth we have experienced in terms of new housing developments”.

KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas said there were a few urgent matters that the new minister must address.

De Haas said Mchunu needed to stay out of operational matters and instead, together with his legal advisers, focus on sorting out legislation and policy.

She said in accordance with the National Development Plan, the SAPS needed to be demilitarised by making police more civilian-friendly.

“The training of the police is crucial,” she said, adding that corruption related to the selection of police should be looked into.

“People buy their way into the police at the expense of people who have passed the tests,” she said.

“The new minister needs to immediately appoint a Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) judge. The position has not been filled for a couple of years,” said De Haas.

The Mercury