UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

LEAKED CRIME STATS PROVES MORATORIUM’S SENSELESSNESS

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

Official crime statistics for Durban North reportedly leaked to the press, once again proves the senselessness of Minister Tshwete’s moratorium on this information.

Firstly, the UDM is perturbed by this transparent attempt at suppressing information. It reminds starkly of the previous regime’s tactics regarding any view that differs from the official propaganda. Accountability is one of the core principles of democracy, without it all other rights become null and void. Democracy becomes a farcical facade for the abuse of power.

Secondly, the Minister and SAPS are compounding their failure to protect the safety and security of South African citizens, by withholding vital information that would assist people to avoid high crime areas. There can be no greater crime than that of a police service that allows unsuspecting people to visit areas where the SAPS knows they are very likely to fall prey to murderers, rapists and thieves.

Antionette Louw from ISS filed papers in the Cape Town High Court indicating that a SAPS inquiry in 1998 found that withholding crime statistics undermines police legitimacy. It is simply mind-boggling that civil society has to go to court to point out the obvious to an intransigent Minister, whose Department had already confirmed it three years ago.

The UDM calls on the Minister Tshwete to immediately. It is obvious that government claims that the information system was being overhauled and would not be able to produce statistics is false. Surely if SAPS is producing classified reports for internal consumption, the public is entitled to have the benefit of this potentially life-saving information.

Enquiries:

Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security-

Cape Town
6 April 2001