The Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, accused national Police Minister Bheki Cele of "politicising the anti-gang unit". Picture: Masi Losi/ Independent Media Archives

Johannesburg - The Western Cape provincial Minister of Community Safety Alan Winde on Thursday accused national Police Minister Bheki Cele of "politicising the recently launched anti-gang unit". 

Winde is a member of the Democratic Alliance and Cele belongs to the African National Congress.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson Marcellino Martin, Winde said: "Today, minister Cele briefed the media in Mitchells Plain on the recent developments and successes of the Anti-Gang Unit.”

Winde added: “It is incomprehensible that the national minister, who claims he wants to fight crime together, chooses to exclude the provincial government from this vital engagement. 

"This clearly demonstrates that this event is being used for political gain and nothing else. I will engage minister Cele to enquire why we were not informed of- or invited to today’s media briefing, as we included the minister in our recently held #SaferWesternCape conference.

"The reintroduction and successes of this unit is a victory for us and all residents of this province, as we have been calling on its re-establishment for a number of years. 

"I commend the unit for the continued successes they are achieving. It is for this reason that we cannot allow the national Minister to diminish its worth by using it as a political football, blatantly excluding the role of the provincial department, community safety structures and other stakeholders’, all of whom are in the fight against crime."

Winde said to further demonstrate the province's willingness to work with the national government, he will make a substantial offer during his budget speech in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on Friday, designed to reignite the reservist-programme in this province.

He said the 6,8% reduction in property related crimes, which includes residential - and business burglary and the theft of and out of a motor vehicle, as reported in the 2017/18 crime stats, are all due to SAPS’ effective partnership with community structures, such as the Neighbourhood Watch, Community Policing Forums, Street Committees and School Resource Officers. 

"These structures are all supported by the Western Cape Government," Winde said.

“If we are to achieve a #SaferWesternCape it will require the three spheres of government, all community structures, the private sector and relevant stakeholders to work together. It is unacceptable that minister Cele has sought to bypass the provincial government in this manner.”

African News Agency (ANA)