Statement by John Steenhuisen MP – DA Team One SA Spokesperson on Crime following a visit by Steenhuisen and the DA Federal Council Chairperson, Athol Trollip, to the family of Zavier Jassen who was tragically gunned down late last year in Gelvandale during an alleged gang-related shootout:
Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Team One SA Spokesperson for Crime, John Steenhuisen and DA Federal Council Chairperson Athol Trollip, paid a visit to the family of the Gelvandale High School learner, Zavier Jassen who was gunned down in gang-related violence late last year.
This visit was a follow up from our visit last year where we also met with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to conduct an oversight inspection at the Gelvandale Police Station.
The person accused of Zavier’s murder is set to appear in court on Wednesday 6th March 2019 – and the family is hoping that justice finally prevails. We cannot allow that innocent young people like Zavier continue to be statistics.
SAPS’ ability to investigate crime is an important policing function and plays an essential role in the criminal justice system. The bad news however is that the SAPS has for a long time not been able to be responsive to the policing needs and priorities of communities such as Gelvandale because the police is chronically under-staffed, under-resourced, undertrained and under-capacitated.
As a consequence, violent and organised crime has been increasing, leaving the local communities like Gelvandale people defenseless and unable to enjoy peace of mind in their homes and streets, resulting in young people like Zavier falling prey to senseless gang-violence plaguing these communities.
The DA has long made a call to overhaul our police service so that it is honest and professional. South Africans cannot continue to feel unsafe in their homes, their places of work and on the street. Under a DA-led national government, we would implement a radical localisation of policing resources and operational management, in line with international best practice.
A DA-led government would also professionalise the police service by hiring the best people to do the job instead of cadre deployment and we would ensure adequate training is provided and everyone is held accountable.
Unfortunately we cannot change what happened to young Zavier Jassen, nothing we do would bring him back but we can ensure that crime does not continue to be as pervasive and out-of-control in our communities as it is under the failing ANC government.
We can ensure that our communities do not continue to be war-zones due to the failures of the ANC government.
Crime can be beaten through effective policing – the only chance for reduced crime through effective and responsive policing for the benefit for all South Africans will be through a national government led by the Democratic Alliance.