Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi is ready to step down if he can’t win the fight against crime

Gauteng Premier Panyanza Lesufi, in his 2023 State of the Province Address, declared crime, corruption, lawlessness, and vandalism as the enemies that must be mercilessly defeated; however, crime has increased in Gauteng.

Police minister Bheki Cele said, “It is disturbing and concerning that the number of people murdered from October 1 to December 31, 2023, increased by 2.1%, leading to 155 more people murdered as compared to the same period.” A total of 7,710 people were murdered in the last quarter of 2023.

Cele said, “From a sample size of 7,340 murders, it was established that arguments, misunderstandings, and provocation remain the top casual factors leading to 1,116 murders.

The newly appointed Gauteng Police Commissioner, Tommy Mthombeni, said “murder and attempted murder increased by 3.8 and 9.4%, respectively, in Gauteng in the third quarter, while kidnapping spiked by almost 20%.

These crime states paint a horrific picture in Gauteng, while the crime prevention wardens were tasked with assisting police officers to fight crime and show more visibility. With these levels of crime statistics, where are the crime prevention wardens? Has Panyanza’s plan to fight crime failed?

Speaking on the interview at Enca Gauteng Premier, he said, “R8 billion will be invested into the community safety department; if you can’t invest in the fight against crime using technology, you are going to be defeated. The province has recruited 7,000 new law enforcement agencies; we bought helicopters needed to ensure that law enforcement agencies got aerial cover; we bought each police station new vehicles so that police stations can respond to violence. We are installing 18,000 CCTV cameras across our province.

The premier cites that “the fight against crime is on; I am ready to step down if we can’t win that battle, and if we can’t fight crime, it will never attract investment, and if you can’t attract investment, it will never create jobs.”

According to statistics, the SAPS recorded a total of 7,710 murders over the period; an average of 84 people were murdered every day in the third quarter. 431 murders were linked to vigilantism and mob justice attacks; Gauteng registered the highest with 84. Attempted murder increased by 13.0%, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm increased to 5.8%, common assault increased by 0.4%, common robbery increased by 3.9%, and robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 6.6%.

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