Zuma to discuss crime with top cops

President Jacob Zuma will meet the country’s police
commissioners next week to discuss crime fighting initiatives, the presidency said on Friday.

“The fight against crime is one of the five key priorities of government. In this meeting, a first of its kind, the president will share his vision with station commissioners,” it said in a statement.

The announcement comes just three days after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa revealed an upsurge in house robberies, car and truck hijackings, and sexual offences.

While the 2008/09 crime statistics revealed a decrease in bank robberies, cash-in-transit heists, and murder and crimes against children, new police National Commissioner Bheki Cele said he was displeased with the situation.

“Am I happy? No, I’m not happy,” Cele told reporters on Tuesday.

“You cannot be happy when 10 people are killed let alone 18 000,” he said.

Along with Mthethwa, Cele said they recognised the police needed to do more, and had begun an audit of how they deployed their human and material resources.

Other steps police planned to take included pushing ahead with the controversial change to Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act to give police wider powers to shoot at dangerous criminals, strengthening special units, and improving the way police stations respond to distress calls.

Zuma would try to get “first-hand accounts of work from the coalface”, when he met more than 1 000 commissioners on Tuesday, the presidency said.

“The meeting forms part of President Zuma’s intention to meet with public servants who are in the coalface of service delivery ... to ensure that they understand government objectives from the
highest office,” it said.

Accompanying Zuma for the meeting at the Monument Function Centre in Pretoria will be Mthethwa, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeffrey Radebe, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Social Development Minister Edna Molewa.
- Sapa

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