DA finalising constitutional amendment for a crime-busting unit immune to political interference

Issued by Mat Cuthbert MP – DA Head of Policy
09 Oct 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Mat Cuthbert MP.

Today, the DA will launch its Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Policy Campaign to rescue South Africans from Crime, Corruption and Lawlessness.

The centerpiece of the DA’s policy is an amendment to the South African Constitution to create a truly independent crime-busting entity embedded as a Chapter 9 institution.

This entity will be able to fearlessly go after crime and corruption because it will be immune to political interference, given that it can only be disbanded through a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament. To this end, we are currently finalising certification of the Twentieth Constitutional Amendment Bill.

South Africa is in urgent need of the DA’s proposed reforms to the criminal justice system.

Under the ANC government, our country has become engulfed by criminality, corruption and lawlessness. Every day, more than 75 people are murdered, and someone is violently assaulted every three minutes.

We recognise that any plan to address the scourge of crime must be based on the following fundamental principles:

  • A whole-of-society approach: Addressing the underlying socio-economic factors contributing to crime requires collaboration across all sectors, ensuring a cohesive effort in crime prevention;
  • A well-funded crime prevention strategy: We firmly advocate for a well-funded plan, recognising the importance of adequate resources to combat crime at its roots effectively; and
  • Support for at-risk youth: Identifying and supporting vulnerable and at-risk youth is a priority for the DA. By offering assistance, guidance, and opportunities, we aim to steer young individuals away from lives of crime.

Some of the critical interventions the DA proposes in its policy are:

  • We propose that the Hawks be replaced by an independent (i.e., separate from SAPS and the line function of the Minister of Police) Chapter 9 investigating unit established through an amendment to the South African Constitution;
  • Focus on effective deterrence: The DA firmly believes in enhancing the likelihood of apprehension as an effective deterrent against crime. We must prevent crimes before they happen;
  • Prioritise evidence-based policing and increased use of technology (such as Artificial Intelligence, digital forensics and data analytics) to enhance law enforcement efforts;
  • Dissolving the current State Security Agency and establishing a new, more effective and politically-independent state security agency;
  • Transferring the power of critical NPA appointments to Parliament to ensure impartiality and provide fiscal independence to the NPA;
  • Addressing concerns regarding the politicisation of the Judiciary, including by reducing the number of politicians serving on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC);
  • Implementing health care screening in primary and secondary health facilities to detect and address crimes like domestic violence and child abuse. By training and equipping these facilities, we can identify cases, report them, and support the victims; and
  • Tailored safety plans: We will roll out provincial and district rural safety plans across South Africa tailored to address the unique challenges rural areas face. South Africans living on farms and in rural areas deserve to be safe just as much as urban residents.

The DA encourages all South Africans to read our policy and to join our fight against crime, corruption and lawlessness.

Together, we can rescue South Africa from rampant and violent crime by registering to vote to remove the ANC from power.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za