RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZé VAN WYK, MP,
UDM SPOKESPERSON: SAFETY AND SECURITY
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
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.
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
15 May 2000