Crime Law Reforms Urgently Needed

Aug 2, 2023 | Press Releases

The IFP, as the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature, believes that if KwaZulu-Natal is going to address crime, laws require urgent reform, as lax regulations on ammunition contribute to SA’s gun violence epidemic.

The discovery of an ammunition manufacturing machine seized from KwaMashu Hostel, north of Durban, indicates that criminals are not afraid of committing crimes and going to jail.

Questions remain: How many people have been killed by this illegal ammunition? Who is buying this ammunition? Citizens are in broad agreement that crime is rife in this country and that stringent measures are required to contain this malady before it becomes terminal.

The current national debate about gun violence is largely focused on firearms: Who should have them? What types of firearms should people be allowed to own? Where and how can firearms be carried? How should firearms be sold? Certainly, these are all crucial questions that demand a sustained and serious analysis by policymakers at all levels of government.

However, what is often missing from the conversation about firearms are questions related to ammunition – namely, the impact of easy access to ammunition and ammunition accessories in the epidemic of gun violence in the KZN.

Further, responses from the KZN MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka – responding to IFP Written Parliamentary Questions with regards to crime in KwaMashu Hostel – confirmed that KwaMashu Hostel is a haven for criminals:

  1. During the past three years (2020-2023) in KwaMashu Hostel, 748 people have been injured, robbed or killed; and there are 179 people that have been arrested for their involvement in criminal activities in the past three years; these cases were provisionally withdrawn as witnesses were intimidated and received death threats if they continue giving evidence against the accused persons.
  2. 559 cases were set for trial or appeared before the court/s.
  3. 252 police officers were stationed in KwaMashu Police Station.
  4. 41 vehicles were provided to KwaMashu Police Station. 

As the IFP, we feel vindicated by the KZN MEC for Community Safety and Liaison’s confession that the number of the police officers and vehicles in KwaMashu Police Station are not sufficient to fight crime, as we have raised our concerns on this matter on numerous occasions.

KwaMashu Police Station is under-resourced and unable to deal with crime in KwaMashu Township. Vehicle shortages could also lead to dissatisfaction in communities, as such results in police struggling to reach crime scenes, or arriving late to the scene.

The IFP believes that under-resourced and dilapidated police stations in KZN will make it impossible to win the war against crime.

During the 2022 KZN Legislature’s Police Stations’ Functionality Monitoring Programme, the shocking state of police stations were revealed. Some SAPS stations in KZN do not have any vehicles or police officers to respond to crime.

Such issues deserve urgent attention from the relevant authorities. Government must ensure that police receive fully operational vehicles, as well as establish means of intervention to address challenges, such as police vehicles taking longer than expected in police garages for repairs.

Our laws must provide for harsh punishments for all crimes.

People must know that if they commit crimes, they will be dealt with severely. We need to send a strong message that crime is not tolerated. The human cost of SA’s gun violence epidemic is visible not just in the overwhelming number of firearm fatalities, but also in the horribly altered lives of shooting survivors.

The government worked hard to eradicate all the many challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the same enthusiasm should be applied to eradicating crime. Government was able to respond to a life-threatening crisis with speed. This is another such crisis.

The IFP urges the police to leave no stone unturned and to work around the clock to apprehend the criminals responsible for the ammunition manufacturing machine seized from KwaMashu Hostel.

Mr Blessed Gwala MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison
078 290 5842

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