JACOB Zuma, president of the ruling African National Congress is in full
support of the controversial “shoot to kill” proposed policy.
Speaking at the KZN Institute of Local Government and Traditional Leadership Fundraising gala dinner on Friday night, Zuma said: “If you have a deputy minister (Deputy Safety and Security Minister Susan Shabangu’s) saying the kind of things that the deputy minister was saying, this is what we need to happen.”
Zuma pointed out that police had at one stage been “asked not to shoot at criminals”.
“Because the fact of the matter is, criminals shoot police. Instead of talking at that level we ought to be seeing action that we are tougher on the criminals. That’s the point I’m making.”
“What the deputy minister was saying is what we are to be doing is dealing with the criminals rather than talking about it.”
Reports from South Africa quote Shabangu saying “”You must kill the
bastards if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations. That is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect.”
However, Shabangu’s comments have not gone unnoticed with calls of an immediate dismissal.
The opposition Democratic Alliance spokesperson, Dianne Kohler-Barnard in a statement said “Given the gross irresponsibility of Shabangu’s remarks, Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula has no choice but to fire her with immediate effect,”
Kohler-Barnard said Shabangu’s call was nothing more than an invitation for police to commit crime. “If the police who follow the Deputy Minister’ s advice find themselves in trouble with the Independent Complaints Directorate or the courts, will Shabangu be there to take the blame?
“Such a call to not worry about the regulations would make criminals out of our police,” she said.
Shabangu’s statement was an admission that the police had failed to arrest or get criminals convicted.
“Rather than playing to the gallery, Shabangu and the police as a whole
should be focusing on the hard work of policing: preventing crime through a visible police presence as well as arresting criminals and securing their convictions through solid detective work,” Kohler-Barnard said.
While her comments have sparked outrage among some and received the backing of others, the issue of crime as been raised repeatedly at several functions attended by the ANC president in Durban and Richards Bay during the past two days.
“You know, if you haven’t experienced crime, you can theorise about it, but for those that have experienced it, it is a painful thing.”
Zuma said he had visited the Cape Flats and had heard of several horrendous crime stories. He added that many of those who felt strongly about crime had been victims themselves.
Addressing the media, he said: “I’m hoping that when you write don’t
sensationalise what I said. Use the words that say exactly what I say. I just hope the clarity is as clear as I put it.”
Earlier on Friday Zuma said that the issue of bail for those accused of rape and murder needed to be debated. “I don’t think we have debated the issue.
“Let us do something that favours the victim and not the criminal.”
Asked if he was personally in favour of rape and murder suspects being denied bail, Zuma said: “I’m not saying its my personal view. I want to say that these things need to be looked at.”
Zuma, was cleared on rape charge himself cited a number of examples where members of the public had questioned him about criminals being released on bail.