UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

BULLET-PROOF VESTS FOR COUNCILLORS

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

Reports that the Safety and Security Committee of Cape Town Unicity decided to issue councillors with bullet-proof vests sounds like an urban legend.  Though there can be no argument that the political intolerance in the Townships are unacceptable high, surely this can not be a serious attempt to deal with the issue and find a lasting solution?

What confidence does it install in the minds of the inhabitants of a ward if their councillor shows up for a meeting in a bullet-proof vest?  How do we expect ordinary South Africans to feel safe and confident about Cape Town if bullet-proof vests for councillors become the norm? What image does the city of Cape Town, a popular tourist destination, portray with councillors dressed in armoured gear?

Political intolerance must be dealt with through programmes that will have a positive and lasting effect on the community.  The protection of the lives of every South African is important and where there is a real threat against the life of any public representative the UDM supports that the necessary protection of that person. This should be done through the relevant protection services and we do not believe that providing bullet-proof vests to councillors is the answer.

The UDM would encourage the Cape Town Unicity to institute, through the various political parties, programmes aimed at establishing a culture of political tolerance and democratic maturity.  We cannot allow that democratic institutions such as the Unicity council are seen to fund personal political wars rather than actively working towards establishing sound democratic principals.  The UDM finds it strange that the self-proclaimed liberal democrats, the DA, allows for this to go through a DA-controlled Council.

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

Cape Town
7 May 2001