Police service delivery must improve

Poor service delivery by the South African Police Service (SAPS) remains a major problem.
Almost every day, we hear of victims of crime complaining about how badly they are treated by cops and about unprofessional investigations. 
There are certainly pockets of excellence and for this we salute the police officers. But the complaints are just too many.
The Minister of Police and SAPS leadership need to take immediate and urgent action to improve service delivery at all levels – from the taking of calls at 10111 to the client service centers, response times and investigations by detectives.
The SAPS can have as many conferences and workshops, but we need to see action. We need to see improvement in service delivery. 
Many cops think they are above the law and the uniform gives them the authority to do as they wish. This nonsense must stop. They must serve and protect the public. 
Cops must remember they are public servants and we demand a professional and efficient SAPS.
#MakeSAsafe
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee




Crime is killing SA

I often say: Crime is killing South Africa.

Criminals have regard for others and all they want if our hard-earned cash. They take lives and tear families apart. 

#MakeSAsafe

NEWS24 Report:

Cape Town – The Dick and Allsop Mica hardware store in Wellington, in the Western Cape, holds many happy memories for the Fourie family. But it has also become a source of pain.

Last month, store owner Johan Fourie was gunned down in front of his 5-year-old son after they went to deposit money at a bank a few hundred metres down the road.

The 38-year-old had opened the door of his bakkie and put his son inside when a man accosted him.

They wrestled. Two attackers apparently got out of a car and shots were fired.

Fourie died after being shot in the side of the head. A bystander was hit in the leg.

The robbers made off without taking anything. No one had yet been arrested.

His retired father Kobus Fourie was a victim of crime in two similar situations.

He told News24 on Thursday that the first time was in 2014, when he was attacked outside the store. They took R500.

In 2015, Kobus was at the same bank his son had visited.

“When I got out of the bakkie, a guy ran at me. We fought a bit and another guy came with a pistol.”

They tried to shoot him but he got hold of the pistol and it fell onto the road.

“Nobody came along and kicked it away. The one guy knocked me on the head. I fell down and they took R26 000.”

Kobus said there was a time in Wellington when residents expected to have one or two attacks every week.

He said Johan’s wife and son were struggling but they were all trying to move forward as a family.

Sadly, there seemed to be no video footage of the incident that might help identify the attackers, said Kobus.

Seeing the attackers being arrested would at least make them feel his death was not in vain.

Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, said that their investigation continued.

“All possible leads/information are being followed up.”

Kobus was back at the store, but not for long.

“I have sold it now. This is where Johan and I worked together for 16 years.”

 *Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee

Viral crash video: Motorists stop fleeing driver

A video uploaded on social media shows a motorist attempting to flee the scene of a crash near Centurion outside Pretoria.

The driver caused a bakkie to overturn on the N1 North highway near Centurion. 

I tweeted the video yesterday that shows two motorists chase after the driver who caused the crash. WATCH @abramjee

The motorists can be seen blocking the vehicle near the accident scene, preventing the driver from escaping. 

The video was shared across social media with widespread reaction. 

Many were full of praise for the motorists who boxed the driver who caused the crash. 

It’s good to see citizens taking a stand and not allowing the driver to escape. This is active citizenry at its best.

We need more citizens to stand up against lawlessness. 

Well done to the two motorists for doing the right thing. We salute you! 

#MakeSAsafe

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee

Financial Mail rates Namola

It will take more than just a nifty app to restore confidence in SA’s police force. But Namola, a new emergency response app, aims to use technology to improve the efficiency of police assistance — either when its users are victims of crime, or when they witness something that requires police assistance.

Once you’ve pushed the alert button, the app — available for Android and iOS smartphones — makes use of your phone’s built-in GPS to identify the closest response vehicle to your location and direct it to you. The response vehicle is then monitored by the control room during the call-out.

But can a security app help combat crime when the police service is hobbled by severe structural problems? Happily, the app enables users to bypass the problem-ridden police call centre (though it does let you auto-dial 10111 in areas it doesn’t currently cover).

It also bypasses stations, instead directing its response to vehicles.

A cool spin-off is that the app also collects data about police response, which should promote better policing.

According to Namola’s website, the app reduces the “average dispatch time” to a mere 13 seconds (compared with two minutes and 30 seconds from traditional dispatch methods).

Coverage is not yet nationwide, but users in Gauteng and Stellenbosch are part of the initial roll-out.

Crime: When will we start winning the war?

A top cop has confirmed that police are not winning the war on crime.

(See report below)

The officer is honest and for that he needs to be saluted. We need to confront the brutal facts.

There has been lots of talk and little action to #MakeSAsafe

When are we going to start winning the war on crime? Yes, it may take time but the police leadership need to wake up and get its act together.

There is still an acting national police commissioner. Let’s see if Minister Fikile Mbalula follows the recommendations in the National Development Plan (NDP) about the appointment of a new top cop. If not, we can again expect a disaster.

And I ask yet again: Where is the police board that the NDP recommends?

We need stability in the SAPS and we need it now. We need action. We need to start winning the war on crime.

NEWS24 report:

Cape Town – The police are not winning the war against crime, an analyst from the police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation told MPs on Tuesday.

“From where I am sitting, we are not winning the war, we are not,” head of analysis at the Hawks, Major-General Peter Arendse, told the police portfolio committee.

“Well, at least you are being honest,” FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said when Arendse made the startling revelation during a question-and-answer session after his presentation.

The meeting got off to a shaky start when committee chairperson Francois Beukman refused to let police present their latest report on what they are doing to curb gang violence in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, because they submitted it too late for MPs to prepare.

The committee then moved on to an update on the progress of a specially established unit in the DPCI that focuses on priority crimes: Drugs and illegal firearms.

MPs’ anger

It soon emerged that labour issues were holding back the planned restructuring to draw police officers into the unit. This meant they were not able to advertise the posts and finalise the unit’s structure. It currently has 178 officers.

MPs were aghast that the unit had not made any arrests or secured any convictions for illegal firearms, or confiscated such firearms in the Western Cape for the latest reporting period from April 1 to June 30.

“So general, you say that in three months in the Western Cape there were no recovered firearms? No? That’s a major problem,” said Beukman.

During the 2017 State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma announced the establishment of two specialised units within the Hawks, to focus on investigating the priority crimes of drugs and illegal firearms.

According to figures from March 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, there were 598 arrests nationally for illegal firearms and 101 convictions. A total of 1980 firearms were confiscated.

MPs quickly began tearing apart Arendse’s figures, wanting to know why he had added an extra month to the one year reporting period, and why there were convictions in areas that showed no arrests in the province-by-province breakdown.

He updated the printed figures as he went along.

A colleague sitting behind him explained that sometimes police included convictions from the reporting period that were not related to the arrests recorded for the same period.

He had to update the figures because the report had been submitted to the committee two weeks ago.

MPs became increasingly unhappy with the information and questioned its veracity.

When Arendse could not provide information on the union issues that were holding back the restructuring, the committee lost its patience.

Beukman said he would not carry on with the meeting and chided police for being ill-prepared.

“SAPS and the DPCI must come back with a full presentation,” Beukman said and ended the meeting.

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 
Twitter: @abramjee
 
 
 

Crime: When will the madness stop?

When will the madness stop?
Yesterday: Robbers shot dead in KZN. Primary school teacher murdered in front of pupils. Cash-in-transit robbery on the Mabopane freeway. Sgt found murdered in PE and it goes on and on! Yes…all in one day and more!
On average some 45 people are murdered each day in South Africa. Robberies take place every few minutes. 
We keep on making a noise and very little changes. 
Drastic times need drastic actions.
 A series of urgent interventions are required to #MakeSAsafe
Some of these include:
*Strong leadership within the SAPS.
*Additional resources for police.
*Police visibility.
*Improved detective work.
*Using technology to fight crime.
*Mobilizing civil society.
*Improving the court system, and
*Improving service delivery within the SAPS. 
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee

Kidnapping syndicates are dangerous

Two prominent businessmen are still missing after being kidnapped in separate incidents.
Zhaun Ahmed was taken by unknown men three weeks ago outside his Cape Town business and Pretoria businessman, Omar Carrim, was kidnapped over 10 days ago.
There has been a string of kidnappings. While arrests have been made in some cases, it appears the kingpins are still at large.
Scores of business-people have been kidnapped in Mozambique over the past few years. While most were released after paying ransom, two victims were killed.
There is little doubt that the syndicate/s operating in South Africa now are dangerous. This is organized crime. And there are suggestions that the gang/s are professional and daring. They may also have international links.
Someone, somewhere, somehow knows something. It’s important to come forward with information anonymously. Call CrimeStop on 08600 10111. 
Police must get to the bottom of these syndicates and act decisively. 
Let’s hope Ahmed and Carrim are released unharmed. Their families have appealed to their captors to release them. Both men have health conditions.
Extract from a UNODC report:

Let’s put organized crime out of business. What’s being done and how you can help

Combating a global phenomenon such as transnational organized crime requires partnerships at all levels. Governments, businesses, civil society, international organizations and people in all corners of the world have a part to play. Here are some of the actions that are being taken and some ideas to help stop transnational organized crime:

Coordination, education, intelligence and assistance

  • Coordination: integrated action at the international level is crucial in identifying, investigating and prosecuting the people and groups behind these crimes.
  • Education and awareness-raising: ordinary citizens should learn more about organized crime and how it affects everyday lives. Express your concerns to policy and decision makers so that this truly global threat is considered by politicians to be a top priority among the public’s major concerns. Consumers also have a key role to play: know what you are purchasing, do so ethically and make sure that you do not fuel organized crime.
  • Intelligence and technology: criminal justice systems and conventional law enforcement methods are often no match for powerful criminal networks. Better intelligence methods need to be developed through the training of more specialized law enforcement units, which should be equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
  • Assistance: developing countries need assistance in building their capacity to counter these threats. An important tool that can help with this is the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which has been ratified by 170 parties and provides a universal legal framework to help identify, deter and dismantle organized criminal groups. In October 2012 the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime will be held in Vienna. That biennial series of meetings brings together Governments from across the world to promote and review the execution of the Convention in order to ensure better implementation in tackling this international issue. At a practical level, UNODC helps strengthen the capacity of States to track and prevent money-laundering with training and technical assistance for following the money trail. These measures can help cut off the profits of crime.
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee

Mbalula: It’s time to mobilize…

Fikile Mbalula has been in office for a few month now as Police Minister.
He is making his mark. Mbalula has achieved much more than what his predecessors have in years. 
Mbalula needs to continue the momentum and mobilize South Africans to join-in to #MakeSAsafe
Public confidence in the SAPS is still low and he needs to work hard to restore it. Morale within the ranks is also poor. 
Mbalula needs to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and appoint a police board urgently. 
He also needs to ensure that the new police commissioner is appointed as suggested in the plan.
Now is the time! 
Crime is on the increase. We have a crisis and citizens are fed-up. 
IOL/Saturday Star report:

Johannesburg – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula showed his no-nonsense side, how he has adapted to his new role and shed light on what he plans to accomplish in the police service.

He showed his hand on Thursday following Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana’s appearance in court over an alleged assault in a nightclub last week.

Mbalula is no stranger to the police ministry. He previously served as a deputy minister to then minister Nathi Mthethwa before he became minister of sport and recreation.

Recalling his stint in his previous post, the “minister of Twitter” said safety had not been his preoccupation.

“Nobody came to talk about issues of safety. I spoke to Floyd Mayweather about other important issues,” he said.

“It was nice, I must say. Equally this one is about serving. I will do it to the best of my ability,” Mbalula said.

He spoke of how cases were brought to his attention via Twitter and calls from citizens for him to spring into action.

“When a case is brought to my attention, I don’t turn a blind eye, I follow up on it. I see that it is attended to. If it is not, I ask why not?”

He claimed to have helped more than 5000 young women on the run from partners, who contacted him via Twitter.

According to Mbalula, it was not supposed to be like that.

“It means there is something wrong in the administration of justice at police stations. You can’t have a person report abuse more than five times and, as police, you don’t take their concerns seriously.”

He told of a case he was alerted to where police in Alexandra had not made an arrest after a woman had been killed, even though it was known where the suspect had been hiding.

In another, Mbalula had a call from a man whose sister had been raped. He complained that the case had not been attended to by the police in the Eastern Cape.

“Not all police stations will do what I call policing. They neglect their duties,” he said. 

Mbalula said the cases reported to him were “genuine cases”. “It means, in my system, there are cases that are reported and neglected by police for one reason or other. We need to address that as we undertake a campaign against gender-based violence,” he said.

He insisted police “must do their job”.

Mbalula revealed he was working on mechanisms that would “refresh” the 10111 call centre in the fight against crime to make it easy for citizens to report crime without fear or favour.

“I realised there is no prank calls on Twitter when people report these things,” he said.

Mbalula has no qualms about giving orders to the police and being lectured at times.

“I instruct police every day. It is my job. For various reasons, some listen and others not, but I have never given them illegal instructions,” he said.

It has not been plain sailing for the former ANC Youth League president. “I get lectured that this can’t be done. I say, ‘Nonsense, this person must be arrested. This must be done’.”

Mbalula has a word of advice to colleagues and all who might find themselves on wrong side of the law: “We can be friends. It might be painful, but the law must take its course. There must be no favouritism.” -IOL (pic also)

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 
Twitter: @abramjee


Crime: Drastic times need drastic action

The murder of Shaheed Omar, nephew of late Minister Dullah Omar, has shocked the nation. 
Omar was shot dead on Thursday evening near Ottery outside Cape Town in an apparent hijacking.
Far too many people are killed in South Africa. We are fed-up. Crime appears to be on the increase and thugs are running amok.
Life has become cheap. Criminals have no regard for life and crime is killing our nation.
Earlier this week, a well-know Muslim cleric was shot dead also in a botched hijacking in Walkerville outside Johannesburg.
We are seeing violent crime every day. It’s out of control.
Government needs to act and act now!! We are in a crisis. Police are battling to bring down the high levels of crime.
Drastic times need drastic action.
This message was posted on my Facebook page:
“They robbed me a phone at gun-point on Monday evening around 6pm in Braamfontein. Crime is just sickening. We do not feel safe at all. They searched me everywhere they could, even when they had taken a phone, they still wanted more. The other guy shouted; ‘shoot these dogs’. I said let me give you what you want. They then left running down the street. Thanks to a guy who stopped his car next to the scene, shouting at them. He neutralized their rage towards me.”
Civil society must not waste time and stand up and mobilize. For how long are we going to sit-back and see the blood flowing and the lawlessness continuing?
#MakeSAsafe

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador 

Twitter: @abramjee

Manana must resign. Protect our women!

Deputy Higher Minister, Mduduzi Manana, appeared in court yesterday on a charge of assault. He is out on bail of R5000.

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, said yesterday Manana will not receive any special treatment. 

But it needs to be asked:

*Why it took five days to charge the Deputy Minister?

*Why was Manana not arrested like any other suspect?

*Why was he escorted through a back entrance?

A suspect is a suspect. Being a politician does not mean the person must get any special treatment. 

Manana apologized for attacking the woman. There are allegations that he also attacked another woman in a separate incident.

He must resign and resign now! If not, he should be fired. 

There must be accountability. And Manana must be charged and convicted. Let’s hope the law comes down hard on him.

As we celebrate Women’s month, we must send a stern message to those who attack our women: We will not tolerate this.

We must protect our women and #MakeSAsafe

NEWS24 report:

Cape Town – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has denied that Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana is receiving special treatment in his assault case, despite video evidence to the contrary.

Mbalula held a press conference in Parliament on Thursday to update the nation on the status of the case against Manana, who is accused of assaulting a woman at a Cubana nightclub in Johannesburg.

The minister fielded questions from the media on Manana’s apparent special treatment, after video footage emerged showing that he had been escorted through the back door of the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, with police protection.

Ministers and deputy ministers are entitled to VIP police protection.

“The case of the deputy minister is very disappointing, because we expect individuals like him to act as an ambassador,” Mbalula said.

“The law, however, must take its course… Deputy Minister Manana will not be treated with special kid gloves.”

Journalists asked Mbalula a number of questions about why it had taken five days for Manana to be arrested, why he still had police protection, and why he still held his position as deputy minister.

“Arrests need to be done procedurally,” Mbalula said.

“Arrests themselves are not punishments. They are to ensure the suspect appears in court and to briefly restore peace.”

He maintained that, while he was disappointed, a person was innocent until proven guilty.

‘Ministers entitled to VIP protection’

As for why Manana still had police protection, Mbalula said he was still a deputy minister, and was thus entitled to VIP police protection.

When asked why Manana was still in his position, Mbablula said it was up to President Jacob Zuma to dismiss or suspend Manana.

“If it were me that had done something wrong, the people who employ me are the ones who give me direction. I could also opt to stand down.

“But from where I stand, I can’t take such decisions.”

Mbalula said he would need to get answers on Manana’s VIP protection, as they essentially reported to him as police minister.

He also said he did not see the video footage of Manana coming through an alternative entrance of the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, but said “a person’s social standing couldn’t prevent him from being a perpetrator”.

As for Manana’s delayed arrest, Mbalula claimed the police needed to first obtain evidence beyond social media reports, so that the suspect would have a full docket when making his first appearance in court.

He said Manana’s admission of guilt on tape was part of the evidence gathered, along with witness statements.

Manana had availed himself to police, had been fully co-operative, was known to the victim and the public, and was therefore “not a flight risk”.

New programme of action

There were also many examples of perpetrators not being arrested within a significant amount of time, and it was evidence of a larger procedural problem, he claimed.

Witnesses to the events on the night would have been asked to give statements, which would have included Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela, who was seen in pictures taken on the night before the incident, he also said.

Journalists argued that that, in itself, was evidence of treating someone differently.

Fears that Manana could receive special treatment were valid, Mbalula said, as it happened in societies. It was in his and the public’s interest to get involved and find out what happened.

Mbalula said he was not defending Manana, but just explaining the law in terms of procedure. He ultimately decided to hold the press conference because the issue had become a public issue, and to avoid accusations of special treatment.

Mbalula said he would unveil a new programme of action on Friday to remove barriers to reporting domestic abuse crimes.

He would introduce a new mechanism at police station level that would change the way police dealt with woman wanting to lay a gender-violence charge. News24

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador.