2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


HOW THE LAW PREVENTS POLICE TO DO THEIR JOB

MEDIA RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZé VAN WYK, MP,
UDM SPOKESPERSON: SAFETY AND SECURITY

Article 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, the so-called "run-and-shoot" clause, has been a contentious issue in Police ranks ever since its amendment more than a year ago. The issue is further complicated by the judgment of KwaZulu Natal High Court judge WH Booysen, that the old version of Article 49 is not unconstitutional.

The UDM believes that Government is now oscillating between two extremes, disarming the Police and citizens in dangerous situations or allowing them to shoot any person that runs away from a crime scene. Recent reported statements of Minister Maduna demonstrate this confusion. Minister Maduna has reportedly admitted that Article 49 has elicited opposition from Police members, and that apparently the legislation is now on hold, even though President Mandela has already promulgated it more than a year ago. 

The UDM argues that neither of these extremes is preferable, rather compromise and allow the use of deadly force in situations where specifically a Schedule 1 crime, like rape, murder or robbery is taking place and no other option is available. There are numerous ways to solve the
problem; this is merely one possible solution. What is clear is that the issue has been postponed for far too long at the expense of Police members' and citizens' lives and morale.

To address this unacceptable delay, the UDM will be asking the Minister of Safety and Security a question in Parliament regarding this issue on Wednesday 17 May 2000. The Minister, unlike his counterpart in Justice, has been mum on the issue. We anxiously await his answer, and hope that it will bring about swift action by Government.

We cannot expect the members of the SAPS to fulfill their duty, in highly stressful circumstances with pervasive violent crime and police murders, if they are not sure whether they will be charged following the arrest of dangerous criminals when using force to protect themselves and others.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP

Cape Town
15 May 2000