Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to assist police deal with crime in Inanda, north of Durban, which has been described as the rape capital of South Africa.
Ramaphosa visited Inanda police station following the report on crime statistics which revealed that with 330 sexual offences, such as rape, reported in 2018/2019, the area was leading when when it comes to gender-based violence. It was also rated as the fourth when it comes to murder offences.
“This is a police station of the area, which has a national significance because most of the rapes that are reported have taken place here in the recent period. Some people call it a rape capital of South Africa,” said Ramaphosa.
He was accompanied by Police Minister Bheki Cele, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala to the station. He was in Durban to launch the District Development Model, which will see various government structures combining their resources in delivering services such as combating crime.
He said station commander Brigadier Zandile Kunene gave him a strategy to keep the crime down.
“That saddens me because it is a huge dark block on this area, but at the same time we have got a dedicated group of police officers who have assured me that we would be doing everything to bring the level of criminality down.
“They are dedicated, they are committed to doing their work and I gave them a lot of encouragement that they should continue saving the people of our country with dedication.
“I am hoping that in the next visit in Inanda, the level of crime particulary rape will have come down,” said Ramaphosa.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker told Independent Media that since the release of the crime statistics, a lot has been done to deal with rapes in the areas.
“In terms of the gender-based violence, this is one of the highest in the country and a lot of awareness in taking place because most of these crimes occur behind closed doors,” said Naicker.
He said among strategies to deal with crime was to crack down on “illegal or legal” sale of alcohol.
“As we counted there was 120 legal liquor outlets here. The fact that there are thriving it means there is a lot of alcohol abuse.
“The fact that illegal outlets are thriving it also means that there are problems,” he said.
He said such businesses were being closed down “but after a few days they open up again”.
He said there was big operations to deal with high rate of murder.
“A lot of operations are being done between Thursdays and Sundays because you will find that between Thursday night and Monday morning that is when most of these murders are taking place,” he said.
He said police were focusing on recovering illegal firearms and knives.
“This one of our focus stations, so there is constant people from our management intervention, from national, provincial and even cluster that are conducting inspections here to ensure that checks and balances are in place,” he said.
Naicker said Ramaphosa’s visit would clarify how the police station would benefit from the District Development Model.
“The president now does not want government departments working in silos. We should be working together.
“So all the departments within the district should be working together in crime fighting because a lot of our problems that we experience are due to environmental design with the mushrooming informal settlements,” said Naicker.
He said other departments were expected to assist the police by making sure that street lights were functional and that there are access roads.
“Service delivery is important because a lot of our police are taken away from fighting crime to attend to service delivery protests,” he said.