UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

MORATORIUM ON CRIME STATISTICS LIFTED

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

The cloak of secrecy that has surrounded the crime figures has at last been lifted.  The UDM welcomes this.  We have said all along that by withholding the crime figures government was unnecessarily endangering the lives of innocent South Africans.  The most basic responsibility of any government is protecting the safety of the person and property.  Governments are judged on their success or failure in this regard.  The secrecy that surrounded crime statistics for the past year contributed nothing towards the confidence of South Africans in the ANC government's ability in dealing with crime.

The blackout on crime statistics for the past year will not result in a blackout from the minds of the thousands of South Africans who were victims of crimes, or who have lost a loved one at the hands of criminals.

The moratorium has ensured that the new statistics will be looked at with a magnifying glass to ensure that no tampering occurs.  The fact that the first statistics will only be made available for the quarter July - September 2 001 makes a mockery of the budget debate on Safety and Security. It is difficult to understand how it can be expected of parties to participate in a constructive manner on a budget if the effectiveness of the application of that budget cannot be measured.  What measurements should be used to determine the successful application of the budget, or the failure thereof, by the Department of Safety and Security for the past year?

Cape Town
31 May 2001