The fight for a well-resourced flying squad so we can make Port Elizabeth a safer city for all is not yet over.
On Friday I, together with my colleague on the Provincial Portfolio Committee of Safety and Security, Marshal von Buchenroder MPL, paid an unannounced oversight visit to the Port Elizabeth flying squad to determine the real truth relating to the type and availability of vehicles following the contradiction between the MEC for Safety Liaison Weziwe Tikana’s reply and information that I have received along with press reports.
The MEC in her response said there were five high-performance vehicles. There were no high-performance vehicles available for shift work. The only high-performance vehicle had done 384 000 km and was too old to be used on patrols.
In gangster-ridden and crime-infested Port Elizabeth this is a complete violation of the right of all citizens to a safe and secure environment. I challenge her to produce them on Human Rights Day so we can all feel better protected!
The Port Elizabeth flying squad needs to have high-performance vehicles to deal with hijackings, armed robberies and crimes in progress. You cannot chase down criminals without them.
This misleading response from the MEC through provincial SAPS is extremely serious and highlights the dysfunctionality of the provincial Department of Safety and Liaison’s Port Elizabeth office as well. I will pursue this through legislature channels.
The total figure of 11 vehicles on the station strength as answered by the MEC was correct. On the day, we were informed that there were seven operational vehicles of which one was used for admin, another for accident response throughout the province and the third was too old to be used on shift work. This means there were only four flying squad vehicles available for shift work across the whole of Port Elizabeth. There should be five.
Our hard working members of the SAPS and the people of this city deserve the best equipment.