MPs warn R11.8bn budget cut of police is cause of police paralysis
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Cape Town - MPs have warned that the massive budget cut of the police caused the paralysis in the police as they battled to contain looting and violence in the two provinces.
Following oversight visits to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the portfolio committee on police believes that the R11.8 billion cut to the police budget is the root cause of the police dithering and slow response to looting and destruction of property.
The committee is also steadfast that the executive will be held accountable for security lapses during the looting, violence and destruction of property that affected KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.
“Members of the executive are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament, and it will be a dereliction of duty on our part as Members of Parliament if we do not ensure thorough accountability. It is on this basis that we will be suggesting to sister committees within the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to hold joint meetings to get to the bottom of security lapses during the violence and looting,” said committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
A statement reads that the committee believes that a thorough accountability process is essential in preventing the recurrence of the violence in future.
“The proposal that the committee will make will include a discussion on the functionality of the intelligence apparatus, budgetary shortfalls, as well as collaboration within the cluster.”
According to the committee, the budget cut resulted in the lack of human resources and equipment for police to respond effectively to the violence which raged the two provinces last week.
Regarding the arrest of the police officers who were involved in looting, the committee has called for their prosecution, Joemat-Pettersson urged the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to complete the investigations urgently.
“Also, internal disciplinary proceedings must be instituted to rid the service of rotten apples. We can only regain the credibility of the police through a strong and clear action against rotten apples.”
The committee also acknowledged and commended the efforts of community policing forums (CPFs) for their efforts.