Lesufi’s ‘Amapanyaza’ are not above the law says the DA

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LERATO MBHIZA

THE DA in Gauteng is demanding answers from Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, regarding the haphazard and lawless way in which some of his nearly R500 million Crime Wardens are conducting themselves.

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This comes after the emergence of allegations that the Crime Prevention Wardens (CPW) are conducting illegal searches and seizures, physically assaulting people, and acting in contravention of the law. 

The DA, therefore, is demanding that Lesufi be held to account and there has been significant worry and pushback since the inception of the CPW programme, the party’s MPL Solly Msimanga said. 

“We have, among other things, raised worries that the expanded budget for these 6 000 poorly trained (CPW) will be a waste of money. These fears have now realised in examples of them acting in contravention of the law.

“It is unacceptable that individuals who are meant to keep citizens in the province safe, are contributing to their fear. Residents already fear the South African Police Service (SAPS), as they so often act with brutality, they do not need to fear the additional so-called ‘Crime Prevention Wardens’ Panyaza put together’,” Msimanga said.

The most worrying aspect about the CPW is that there is no structure set out for those who have been wronged to report especially because the wardens do not fall under the SAPS nor do they fall under the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). 

“So, if their wrongdoings are to be reported directly to the Gauteng Province, where Lesufi is the Premier, will anything come of these allegations?” Msimanga asked.

Msimanga also called out in the spirit of transparency for Lesufi to be held to account for the failings of his costly, and poorly thought-out plans. And bearing the safety of the province’s residents in mind we demand that, he said.

“The DA is demanding answers on the following: what exactly do these people do, what legal standing do they have under which law do they operate?. 

“Gauteng cannot become a place where those who have been elevated to artificial levels of importance do as they please, to the detriment of our residents. We will not allow it, and we will not stop until the Premier intervenes, and provides clarity. Surely a glorified civilian cannot walk into my house without a warrant and search it? Gauteng’s residents deserve answers”.

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