Nene must introduce cap on VIP protection expenditure: DA

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - OCTOBER 27, 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday announced that it will seek a meeting with both the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, and Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, to discuss the possibility of introducing a cap on VIP protection expenditure for President Jacob Zuma, his cabinet, provincial MECs and other VIPs.

This is after it emerged that national police detective service has lost in the region of R30 million on transporting President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet under VIP guard this year alone. According to an article by CityPress, some R75 million has so far been redirected towards VIP protection and that three times as many guards provide protection to Zuma, his cabinet, provincial MEC’s and other VIP’s, than on the country’s borders.

“I will make formal submissions to both Ministers urging them to tighten the purse strings in this regard, and to reverse this peculiar decision,” says Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA Shadow Minister of Police.

“The latest splurge on VIP protection services for government officials will now require R30 million to be reallocated from desperately-needed detective services to VIP protection. This is simply unacceptable.”

She said that statistics released last month, showed that crime is steadily increasing in the country.

“We need all the resources we have to investigate, arrest and jail the criminals who are terrorising average South Africans.  Detectives today struggle with upward of 150 dockets on their desk at any one time.  We cannot prioritise the needs of the politically-connected elite above those of average South Africans who face crime on a daily basis,” said Barnard.

“With the latest outbreak of mall robberies, murders and rapes both Ministers would do well to focus their attention to resourcing a plan to fight these violent crimes.”

She said that Section 12(1)(c) of the Constitution says that every South African is to be free from all forms of violence either by private or public sources.

“By prioritising policing of the elite, especially in terms of a massively bloated Cabinet, over the needs of average South Africans, the police, it could be argued, are violating Section 12 of the Constitution which they are duty-bound to uphold,” said Barnard.

“The time has come for us to stop splurging on VIP protection.

“Our Ministers are safe as it is, chauffeur driven as they are from National Key Point to National Key Point, and no further escalation of the budget should be allowed in the medium term. We, therefore, call on Ministers Nene and Nhleko to give serious consideration to this proposal and halt this bizarre reallocation away from crime-fighting.”