President Zuma announced the reinstatement of various disbanded units, specifically the Drug and gang units. It’s no secret that communities and organizations within the Western Cape are fighting a losing battle against crime in the Province. President Jacobs Zuma addressed various topics during his State of the Nation Address and mentioned plans of a new Drug and Gun unit set to be formed within the South African Police Service.
Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beats, Western Cape community safety MEC, Dan Plato, explained that since 2003, when the units were disbanded, the drug and gang related activities have increased considerably in the Western Cape by over 311 per cent.
“This was the plea of both me and Mayor Helen Zille for the last three years. If you compare the figures, it is clear that the disbandment of those units was a mistake,” Plato asserted.
Plato, in a letter addressed to the national minister of police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, requested details about the reinstatement of these units, specifically, within the Western Cape.
“We need sophisticated units that know exactly how to infiltrate the gang and drug dens,” Plato urged.
Plato further explained that the situation changes on a month-to-month basis.
“We must remember that we are dealing with the drug and gangster economy.”
The skill of the disbanded drug and gangster units is currently fragmented across police departments, and has therefore resulted in the loss of “a sophisticated and dedicated team.”
He urged that drug and gang units ascertain where “the millions of rand gained through drug trade” is going.
Furthermore, asserting that the task teams work to prevent the increased involvement of youngsters in drug and gang related activity.
The conviction rate of individuals accused of drug and gang related activity is dismally low, Plato asserts, there is therefore “really no consequence.”
National minister of police, in 2015, announced that he is considering reinstating the drug unit. He did not, however, provide any details regarding the possible reinstatement of the unit.
“The Western Cape will support the president in [this] regard; I believe the announcement is really real. [And] we will provide SAPS with all the necessary support,” Plato concluded.
VOC (Thakira Desai)