BY BANTU HOLOMISA as UDM PRESIDENT
In a statement today, Sydney Mufamadi, the Minister of Safety and Security, made the claim that the crime situation in South Africa is “improving”.
“We are convinced that the initiatives which we have taken… will correct the initial asymmetry which allowed criminals to go about their enterprise with impunity,” said Mufamadi.
I am bewildered by this statement. This “initial asymmetry” must be some sort of bureaucratise for “no government policy” or “failed government policy”. According to the minister’s assessment of the statistics, safe and peaceful times are just around the corner for South Africa. The UDM prefers something more reliable than crime statistics. We prefer to talk to directly to South Africans. As we campaign across the country, people are telling us the opposite. The citizens we meet on a daily basis are now more afraid for their safety and security than ever, statistics or no statistics.
While the UDM applauds the minor improvements in certain areas, we must emphasise the staggering deterioration in others. Naïve optimism is misplaced and inappropriate. The citizens of South Africa demand leadership in this area, not some band-aid approach to the crime situation during an election year. Civil order requires more than just lip-service.
We feel that, currently, the government is actually undermining confidence in the forces of law and order. The UDM will work to ensure that public confidence is restored.
The UDM is serious about crime, elections or no elections.
Mr Bantu Holomisa
10 February 1999