Cape Flats

Image via Twitter: @SAPoliceService

DA: Five Western Cape police officials have been killed in two weeks

The Western Cape government revealed that its police force has lost five officials in the last two weeks.

Cape Flats

Image via Twitter: @SAPoliceService

The Western Cape provincial government confirmed that at least five law enforcement officials have been killed in the last two weeks.

Western Cape government condemns cop killings

According to the DA’s Reagen Allen, the investigation into the killings is ongoing and it will be key to determine whether these attacks were coordinated as a response to the provincial government’s clampdown on crime.

Allen confirmed that the slain officials within safety and security services included:

  • two law enforcement officials;
  • two constables; and
  • one warrant officer.

“Regardless of the circumstances, whether on duty or off duty, the loss of officials within security services reduces numbers in communities and the combined efforts to fight crime. The security services risk life and limb each day to keep us safe, attacks on them should not be tolerated,” Allen charged.

Growing concerns on understaffed police force

Allen further revealed that the loss of law enforcement officers exacerbates the fact that “the Western Cape remains severely under-resourced”.

He revealed that the DA’s probe into this uncovered a worrying fact: the number of police reservists in our country has been decreasing for nine consecutive years.

“During 1998, the projected personnel shortage for 2001 was calculated at 54.5% and meant that the police service will only be able to satisfy half of its service demand. 15 395 of the 18 364 posts in the Western Cape were filled during 1998.

20 years later the 2017/18 SAPS Annual Report stated that 20 230 personnel are distributed in the province – a mere 1866 more than what was needed 20 years ago. We are indeed 20 years behind in terms of addressing policing needs in the province,” Allen added.

Allen vowed that the DA’s priority in the Western Cape would be to address the rampant shortage of police personnel, something which has “an increasingly negative impact on crime and safety in our communities”.

“I call on Police Minister Bheki Cele to act on these findings with urgency, as we possibly await yet another damning report on safety across our country with the release of the Annual Crime Statistics on Thursday, 12 September 2019,” he said.