Justice cluster details crime busting plan, insists unrest is not xenophobic

 

 

Cabinet’s security cluster has detailed its plans to deal with gender-based violence and ongoing xenophobic protests targeting migrants from African countries.

On Tuesday the justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster — which comprises 11 national departments, including state security, defence, police, and justice — outlined several interventions to help quell recent violent incidents.

On protests targeting migrants, the cluster said crime intelligence and early warning systems have prevented several flare-ups

But the government remains firm that the protests are not due to anti-immigrant sentiment.

“The evidence presented to the JCPS cluster has not shown that foreign nationals are being targeted because of their nationality. On the contrary, we are seeing acts of criminality,” Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said.

So far, 12 people have died in nearly two weeks of protests, mainly focused in Gauteng. Two of the fatalities were foreign nationals, while ten were South African citizens.

More than 700 people have been arrested on charges ranging from public violence, arson, theft, gun offences, and murder.

“South Africa is not a xenophobic country. Whoever is found on the wrong side of the law with be dealt with,” said the defence minister.

The minister said intelligence services are working to detect violent incidents.

“A lot has been nipped in the bud. Intelligence-driven investigations are ongoing to identify suspects and ring leaders.”

However, none of the security cluster ministers at the briefing in Parliament would clearly identify who they believe stands to benefit from ongoing instability.

“We don’t know who’s behind the unrest. But suppose we had that information. Would that be open to the public? Or would we be using that to prevent what is happening…There are elements of criminals who are taking advantage of the concerns of ordinary South Africans,” she said

Ministers also reported back on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assurances last week that his government will ensure perpetrators of gender-based crimes are convicted and punished.

The government said police and the National Prosecution Authority will set up a committee to look into all cold cases involving sexuall offences and gender-based violence.

“SAPS has committed to training more female police officers to deal with victims of crimes against women and children at station level. This will go a long way in ensuring victims are not subjected to secondary victimisation,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

Ministers also are looking into implementing stringent bail conditions for people charged with a gender-based crime, and even the possibility of denying bail for anyone previously convicted of a sexual-related offence.

But Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the first step must be determined if that would be in line with the constitutional provision of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law.

“We have to look into what the constitution says about due process. But magistrates are able to take into consideration the concerns of the community… Our communities are unambiguous about what is currently happening, and they want stricter bail conditions. So it is something to be considered,” Lamola said.

As per President Ramaphosa’s instruction, unsolved sexual offence cases will also be reopened, while SAPS has committed to training more female officers at station level to deal with victims of crimes against women and children.

Police management also plans meetings with the heads of tertiary institutions in an effort to reassess campus security to keep female students safe.

Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit is a Reporter, Journalist, and Broadcaster.
Advertisting

Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.