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1999

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

RESPONDING TO URBAN TERRORISM

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK,
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY

A less than successful bomb evacuation exercise at Parliament today is yet another example of the level of preparedness of Government to deal with acts of terrorism. The Marks Building at Parliament (which coincidentally houses the offices of all opposition parties except the IFP) has no PA system for emergencies. Furthermore, the occupants of this building must rely on the bell, that indicates that one of the Houses is going into session, for an alarm. This bell can only be distinguished as an alarm by leaving one’s office and looking in the hallways if an inconspicuous small orange light against the ceiling is flashing. We hope that this is not an indication of Government’s preparedness.

The shocked community of Cape Town must not only come to terms with terrorism once more, but must yet again listen with a growing amount of scepticism to the usual clichés and promises of speedy arrests.

This happens in the face of a serious threat, which seems, in spite of much pomp and ceremony, to go unnoticed.

Veiled threats by the security authorities and the Minister of Safety and Security against certain organisations will not address the problem. We call on Government to institute a programme to raise public awareness of terrorist methods and devices. This will prevent the sort of behaviour that occurred at Camps Bay where many patrons of the restaurant did not respond to a warning by a staff member.

The Ministers of Safety and Security, as well as Intelligence must inform the Public:

  1. Whether they are investigating the possible link between these incidents and international terrorist networks operating from either economic or ideological motives. The UDM calls on Government to use all available agencies of state to investigate this trend in the Western Cape.

  2. Why Operation Good Hope was on the verge of being closed down, when it is common knowledge that gang-related violence and acts of terrorism increase around the December holidays.

  3. Do the Ministers, or Cabinet, have strategies in place for security around the Millennium?

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
Spokesperson for Safety and Security

29  November 1999

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