#JusticeForEmilio: DA will not rest until boy’s killers are brought to justice

19 Apr 2024 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP

The brutal shooting of three-year-old Emilio Hutchinson at the hands of blood-thirsty gangsters in the safety of his own home in Helenvale is the tragic reminder that nobody is spared from the criminals that are running rampant in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Residents of the crime-ridden Northern Areas are trapped in their homes due to the violence perpetrated by gangsters, but now their homes, that should be sanctuaries of safety, have also become crime-scenes.

Like so many other young people who have been robbed of their future, little Emilio will never have the opportunity to go school, get a higher education and be a future leader of this country. But Emilio’s life will not be in vain. The DA will fight for justice for Emilio and will not rest until the South African Police Service (SAPS) brings his killers to book.

Time and again we have heard Police Minister Bheki Cele make promises that there is a plan in place and that crime will be brought under control in Nelson Mandela Bay – but his promises are just lip-service.

Since the beginning of this year a reported 45 people have been killed in the Northern Areas.  In 2023 alone there were 78,33 murders per 100,000 people and the murder rate increased by 37%. Between 2021 and 2023, more than 88% of all gang violence occurred in the Northern Areas. Over this period, 361 gang-related shooting incidents were reported, 319 of which were reported in the Northern Areas. This resulted in 180 individuals being killed, of which 22 were children.

In October 2023 I wrote to the Minister and requested his urgent intervention to deploy SAPS specialised resources to deal with the ongoing killings specifically in the gang-infested Northern Areas. The Minister replied in writing on 29 December 2023 confirming that that he is taking a request for the deployment of national specialised units under consideration. We are yet to see any meaningful intervention.

I have now written to Minster Cele again to remind him of his commitments before more innocent lives are senselessly lost.

A DA national government will halve the rate of violent crime such as murder and attempted murder by bring policing closer to the people.

We will decentralise policing to capable provinces to effectively fight crime and protect citizens. This will involve devolving specific policing management and governance functions to competent local and provincial government while maintaining a national police force.

By allowing capable provincial and metro governments to manage their own SAPS forces, they can tailor policies and policing plans that are more appropriate to their specific needs, bringing security and safety closer to the communities they serve.

After the 29 May National and Provincial Elections we are going to Rescue South Africa by bringing a new government that will put our country and communities on a pathway to safety. We will rescue our children from the callous criminals that are robbing them of their future.