DA submits PAIA application for Bheki Cele’s refusal to release crime statistics before elections

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
24 May 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

The DA has submitted a request to the Minister of Police under the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) to obtain copies of the 2023/2024 Fourth Quarter crime statistics.

Despite the South African Police Service (SAPS) scheduling a public release of the latest crime statistics for noon on 17 May 2024, the deadline came and went without a peep from Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, or the National Police Commissioner.

On Tuesday, 21 May 2024, the Minister went on record during an interview with eNCA, undertaking to release these statistics “as soon as possible”. But with less than six days to go before the most important election in decades, the Minister’s failure to present these statistics to the public is a clear attempt to avoid further embarrassment for the failed ANC government on the eve of election.

The Minister’s decision is an unacceptable politicisation of the crime statistics release programme, which is managed by the SAPS in conjunction with Statistics South Africa, and is in direct conflict with the broader public interest –which the Minister is duty-bound to protect. This is the first time in the current annual reporting period wherein the Minister has missed a crime statistics release deadline.

The DA’s request under PAIA is submitted to the Minister in the public interest, and we undertake to make these statistics publicly available the moment that we receive them.

The people of South Africa have a right to be fully informed about the failures of its police minister and its national police service, and the DA will ensure that this right is protected.

In less than a week from now, South Africans will start queuing at the ballot boxes, and they will carry with them the opportunity to elect a government that cares. The DA has a plan to rescue South Africans from violent crime and to build a safer South Africa for all who live in it. On the 29th of May, voters will have the chance to make this dream a reality by voting DA.