Back to 2001 Media Releases

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

TSHWETE DESERVES A REPRIMAND

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The anger and rudeness displayed by Minister Tshwete in his response to the Portuguese community’s grievances merit a presidential reprimand. The minister is overstepping the bounds of diplomacy and decency.

The minister seems oddly surprised that the victims of crime should write an emotional memorandum to the government regarding the systematic extermination of South Africans by criminals. Is the minister realising for the first time that the nature of crime in South Africa is becoming increasingly brutal and violent?

Tshwete’s racially inclined comments are especially unfortunate considering President Mbeki’s parliamentary speech identifying all South Africans, irrespective of colour, as Africans. The memorandum specifically states that the authors wish to represent all South African victims of crime.

The minister yesterday blundered further by referring to various communities in South Africa who are associated with crime or mafia operations. Regularly the minister and his cabinet colleagues make references to criminals and syndicates and their imminent prosecution. Two examples of similar statements are Tshwete’s comments after the St. Elmo’s bombing to the effect that the perpetrators would be caught shortly, or President Mbeki’s comments over the weekend in Pretoria regarding the imminent arrest of the perpetrators and how surprised citizens will be to hear who the guilty parties are. Unfortunately, these statements seldom lead to successful prosecutions.

Tshwete should realise that he, and his cabinet colleagues, have little credibility when it comes to the fight against crime. A crime statistic moratorium does little to improve credibility. The sort of grandstanding that Tshwete is currently engaging in, is the preserve of those who are unjustly accused whilst they are actually successful in doing their jobs, ironically people who are serious about getting their jobs done don’t have the time for such grandstanding.

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

Cape Town
13 February 2001

Back to 2001 Media Releases