/ 24 October 2007

Rights commission: SA has no crime policy

South Africa still does not have a comprehensive national security policy, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Wednesday.

It also had no policy to fight poverty, said SAHRC CEO Tselifo Thitanyane.

”The integrated justice system is not really working,” said commission chairperson Jody Kollapen.

What was needed was a body that would effectively organise and coordinate the terms to deal with crime, he said.

Similar to the South African National Aids Council, this body should be run from the Presidency, specifically the office of the deputy president.

Politically this would send the message that the government considered crime significant enough for it to be dealt with by the highest office in the land.

It would also help sort out the differences between government departments.

The recommendation was one of several made after a conference in March involving the government, civil society, business, agriculture, private security, criminal justice and law enforcement and NGOs.

The SAHRC said the recommendation would be submitted to President Thabo Mbeki and his Cabinet.

”Crime is the biggest threat to the country,” said Thitanyane.

”All South Africans need to fight against this.”

”We believe we can deal with it if we all work together and not just leave it as a government issue,” he said. — Sapa