by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 06 March 2019
For our democracy to thrive, especially at times of heated political campaigns, it is essential for our police services to be professional and to act without favouring any political party.
Our police officers must look to the safety of our communities and not act as the security firm of any political party. We cannot forget that political violence and intimidation is a very real threat in this province and that community members, like Johannes Baaitjies, have lost their lives because of their political beliefs.
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape therefore demands that provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Rismati Shivuri, ensures that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against the police officers from John Taolo Gaetsewe who failed in this crucial duty.
Earlier this week, two DA-activists from Bankhara, Piet Mechale and George Mechale, were approached by an ANC supporter who accused them of being sell-outs who “work for the Boere”. He attacked our activists with a panga and a rubber baton, causing them serious injury.
Bystanders were able to control the ANC supporter and confiscate his weapons, at which point he ran away.
When our activists reported the matter to the local police, the officer refused to open charges of intimidation and assault. The only assistance our activists received, was a blank J88-form which the local clinic refused to complete as there was no case number on the document. By this time, it was too late to return to the police.
The next morning, in an absolutely gross miscarriage of justice, our activists were arrested.
It is only through the intervention of local councillor Willie Aucamp, who met with cluster commander General Bean, that the freedom of our activists was secured. General Bean further promised that the necessary dockets will be opened and case numbers will be supplied to our activists, as should have been done from the start.
We also appreciate the commitment from General Bean to meet with the officers in his cluster and discuss with them how important it is that political intimidation or political violence must be dealt with seriously.
But those officers who unfairly, unjustly and unnecessarily deprived our activists of their freedom must be taken through a disciplinary process. It cannot be that we allow our police officers to roam the streets as the self-appointed security force of a political party and only act against crime as and when it suits their political interests.
The DA calls for the professionalization of the police services as part of our agenda for change. A professional police service, which improves the safety of the community as a whole and not just card-carrying members of the right political party, can only be established by the DA.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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071 251 5558