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Thu Dec 18 22:59:08 SAST 2014

Overwhelming evidence that police heads must roll

The Times Editorial | 05 March, 2013 00:14

The Times Editorial: Police commissioner Riah Phiyega must bring about order and stability in the police service before the wheels come off.

It is shocking that a fully funded police force is found wanting in delivering a basic service to citizens.

Yesterday and today this newspaper has lifted the lid on police stations that have run out of the DNA kits used to collect forensic evidence from rape victims.

What is shocking is that police top brass were warned seven months ago about the impending shortages. Nothing, it seems, was done.

Though Phiyega relies on senior managers to help execute her responsibilities, her apparent failure and inability to turn things around will erode the trust the public has in her as a "seasoned manager".

Former minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils has added his voice to criticism of the continuing chaos within the SA Police Service.

He says that President Jacob Zuma should show leadership and remove Phiyega and her boss, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa.

Though Kasrils might be accused of sour grapes, his concerns about the state of the police force will find approval from many South Africans.

We agree with his statement that the latest policing disasters are "indicative of the confusion and the incompetence that reigns within the police force".

Kasrils hits the nail on the head when he asks how the management under Phiyega could allow things to deteriorate into such chaos.

We as citizens should demand better service from the police.

We should not allow our safety to be compromised at the altar of factional politics.

With the high incidence of rape, it is scandalous even to talk of shortages of rape kits whose use is key in the fight against this scourge.

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