Addressing hundreds of people gathered for the official opening of a state-of-the-art multimillion-rand police station in Lusikisiki on Saturday, Mbalula said police should up their game when it came to fighting crime and ensuring the safety and security of citizens.
“The SAPS is purely for policing, it is not a political party.
“Those who have ambitions and are interested in becoming politicians must resign from the police service and join politics,” he said.
“You cannot have both, that is a recipe for disaster.
“I also don’t want police who don’t have a backbone. Police take an oath to not be involved in party politics, but we now have members who do both – being police members and politicians simultaneously.”
He said the Eastern Cape had the highest number of police members involved in politics and this should be stopped.
Mbalula said that at the recent ANC provincial conference people were beaten and injured, but the culprits were not arrested because police members had political interests.
Police should not “smile” with the municipal and government officials stealing state money.
“I cannot have a political discussion with thieves and criminals,” he said. “Arrest those b ***** ds. I don’t like thieves.
“Police must not be friends with thieves and criminals.”
He said that despite those who were corrupt, there were thousands of police committed to fighting crime. However, he worried that they were not being rewarded for this.
“There are those who risk their lives yet at the end of the day are not rewarded for their courageous work by not being promoted,” Mbalula said.
“Some police members have been constables for more than 15 years despite their diligence and commitment to the service. We are discouraging committed SAPS members.
“Deserving police members must be promoted.”
Lusikisiki has become a hotbed of crime, with a high number of business robberies, murders, rapes, hijackings and gangsterism.
To fight these crimes, Mbalula handed over the new police station as well as eight new police vehicles and introduced a specialised policing unit which includes Public Order Policing (POP) and a tactical response team as well as a K9 (dog) unit.
The police station serves a population of 219 850. The old station will not be closed but will be used to offer services such as producing affidavits and certifying documents.
The event was attended by premier Phumulo Masualle, SAPS national acting commissioner Lesetja Mothiba, provincial commissioner LieutenantGeneral Liziwe Ntshinga, CPF provincial chairman Sicelo Gqwetha, MPLs, mayors and traditional leaders.
By: Lulamile Feni/HeraldLive