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Parliament’s police committee says it will hold executive accountable for recent unrest


  • The Portfolio Committee on Police needs to hold the executive to account for the unrest.
  • The safety cluster has been in disarray within the days following the unrest.
  • The committee believes finances cuts are the foundation of the police’s gradual response to quell the unrest.

The Portfolio Committee on Police is adamant about holding the executive accountable for safety lapses through the looting, violence and destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This was in keeping with the chairperson, ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson, after the committee visited the 2 affected provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the times following the unrest – President Cyril Ramaphosa known as it a “failed insurrection” – the safety cluster has appeared in disarray. 

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula contradicted Ramaphosa, saying it wasn’t an rebel, and later backtracked.

GRAPHIC | #UnrestSA: Counting the price of rioting and looting

Police Minister Bheki Cele denied that the State Security Agency (SSA) supplied the police with an intelligence report earlier than the unrest, however State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo stated she did.

The authorities additionally admitted that it had been gradual to answer the outbreak of violence.

“Members of the executive are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament, and it will be a dereliction of duty on our part as Members of Parliament if we do not ensure thorough accountability,” stated Joemat-Pettersson in an announcement launched on Thursday.

READ | Unrest: About 150 000 jobs in danger, govt says

“It is on this basis that we will be suggesting to sister committees within the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to hold joint meetings to get to the bottom of security lapses during the violence and looting.”

She stated the committee believes {that a} thorough accountability course of is crucial in stopping the recurrence of the violence in future. The committee’s proposal will embrace a dialogue on the performance of the intelligence equipment, budgetary shortfalls, in addition to collaboration throughout the cluster.

The committee additionally believes that the R11.8 billion minimize to the police finances is the foundation explanation for the “police dithering and slow response to looting and destruction of property”. 

According to the committee, the acknowledgement that the police have been overwhelmed, as a result of lack of human assets and gear, can solely be addressed via consideration of the police’s finances. 


The committee highlighted that, as a direct results of finances cuts, for two successive years, the police have been unable to undertake their annual consumption of seven 000 new trainees, putting further strain on the police, given the huge dimension of the inhabitants they serve.

Joemat-Pettersson additionally known as for the prosecution of police officers concerned within the looting.  

READ | ‘It destroys our future’: Pupils involved after KwaZulu-Natal colleges vandalised throughout unrest

“We urge the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to complete the investigations urgently. Also, internal disciplinary proceedings must be instituted to rid the service of rotten apples. We can only regain the credibility of the police through a strong and clear action against rotten apples,” Joemat-Pettersson stated.

The committee recommended group policing boards that attempted to avoid wasting companies, regardless of threats of bodily hurt.

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