The Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety is concerned that the shooting and alleged hostage situation at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom points to possible challenges in Police crime intelligence and ability to detect and prevent crimes of this nature before they occur.
Of great concern to the Committee is allegations that amongst those arrested are members of SAPS, SANDF, JMPD and the Department of Correctional Services who should be protecting citizens against crime.
This points to a possibility that the incident might have been well orchestrated and coordinated and should have been detected and prevented particularly if law enforcement officers were allegedly involved.
SAPS has a dedicated Crime Intelligence Division that was established to manage crime prevention operations through intelligence based crime investigations. The Committee is convinced that an incident of this nature should have been detected and prevented though this Division.
The Committee calls on the Criminal Justice system to impose harsh sentences on law enforcement officers who are found guilty in these hideous crimes as a means to set an example that the conduct of law enforcement officers in society should at all times be beyond reproach.
South Africa is currently confronted with a devastating pandemic which is taking the lives of many citizens. We therefore cannot find ourselves in a situation where more lives are being lost due senseless killings over issue that could be resolved through constructive legal means.
The Committee takes events surrounding this particular incident in a very serious light given the senseless loss of lives and will call both the MEC for Community Safety Ms Faith Mazibuko and Provincial Police Commissioner Lt Gen. Elias Mawela to appear before it and give a detail briefing on what transpired during the day in question.
Noting the swift response by law enforcement officers in arresting suspects in this matter, the Committee will expect both the MEC and Provincial Police Commissioner to brief it on measures that will be put in place in order to strengthen Crime intelligence to ensure that such incidents are detected and prevented before they occur.
ISSUED BY GPL’S MEDIA SERVICES ON BEHALF OF CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY SAFETY, HONOURABLE MAPITI MATSENA
For interview requests with the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee please contact Mr Thebe Khumalo on 011 498 5948 / 072 266 1021 / TKhumalo@gpl.gov.za