Johannesburg - Civil rights group, AfriForum, has written a letter to Gauteng MEC for Community, Faith Mazibuko, demanding transparency about the recruitment and training process undertaken by the Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens (CPW).
Up to10 000 wardens were last month deployed to various crime hotspots across the province to monitor criminal activities and to assist the SAPS in arresting criminals.
Introducing the first and second cohorts, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and Mazibuko indicated that the wardens were trained and would still undergo training to better their skills.
However, AfriForum’s spokesperson for community safety, Jacques Broodryk says the lack of transparency around the recruitment process raises serious concerns.
“Unfortunately, we have seen this public relations stunt used by ANC politicians before where they hastily trained and deployed border guards to create the impression that they are addressing the crime issue in the country, when in fact, unvetted, poorly trained, and unequipped officials are thrown in the deep end,” Broodryk said.
He added that taxpayers deserve to know that the wardens are worth the salaries they are paid.
He also questioned if this was not another ploy by the ANC to campaign for next year’s elections.
In the letter, AfriForum posed the following questions to Mazibuko’s office:
1. What training did the CPW members receive, and by whom was this training provided?
2. What did it cost to train CPW members? We require a breakdown of the costs and to whom it was paid.
3. What was the total training time of CPW members?
4. Are all active CPW members appointed as peace officers, as set out in the relevant legislation?
5. What will the main tasks of the CPW entail?
6. What type of firearms will be issued to CPW members?
7. Kindly issue us with a schematic that sets out the chain of command within the CPW structure.
8. How does the CPW envisage working together with civilian community safety structures? More specifically, how will the communication between the CPW and civilian community safety structures transpire?
9. Will the CPW be utilised in a public order policing function? If so, what training and equipment will be at their disposal?
Despite request for comment, the MEC’s office did not respond to questions sent by IOL at the time of publishing this article.