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07 June 2012 at 20:34 - Posted by Anonymous

DA Young Professionals: Is South Africa winning the war on crime?


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Gareth Cliff chats to DA spokesperson on police, Diane Kohler-Barnard, in the latest event from the DA Young Professionals, against the backdrop of the ongoing saga around controversial police leaders Richard Mdluli and Bheki Cele. Follow the Mail & Guardian liveblog as we unpack the debate around the country’s ailing police services.

8:25:08 pm
The debate closes. Unfortunately, not much was done besides talking. Little more than a DA drum bashing session. Then again, shouldnt have expected much more. Both Kohler-Barnard and Cliff agree though, that the war on crime will only be won together.

Good night, thanks for joining us.

Nickolaus Bauer

8:21:33 pm
‘We need a police service that we can be proud of. One that serves us and not politicians. One that inspires confidence. We can do it together by voting the right way,’ Kohler-Barnard said.

8:19:32 pm
Cliff ends off with a statement slamming politicians. ‘We don’t need them. We can do this ourselves. Every single South African wants the same thing: To live,’ he says.

8:16:01 pm
Final words…

8:15:33 pm
Things winding down… Cliff making remarks about the attractiveness of DA supporters.

8:05:51 pm
Kohler-Barnard responds to a SAPS training. ‘It is woeful. There is no psychological training. Officers are supposed to witness a baby being killed and women being raped, and simply come home and put the gun away and have dinner with the family. It’s unrealistic,’ she says.

8:03:17 pm
Cliff says South Africans problems will only be solved through communication. ‘We all need to engage with each other. Make sure we all make it clear to our politicians and government as to what we expect,’ Cliff said.

8:00:16 pm
Kohler-Barnard says their should be zero tolerance for criminality in the SAPS. ‘It would instill a sense of price back into the police force. There can’t be nepotism. Nobody must be protected,’ she says.

7:53:12 pm
Some more questions.

7:51:12 pm
Kohler-Barnard encourages all attendees to defend themselves where necessary. ‘Don’t think you are not allowed to use force if provoked to do so,’ she said.

7:48:40 pm
Both Kohler-Barnard and Cliff reveal they’re gun owners.

7:47:46 pm
More questions.

7:44:28 pm
‘The problems are so bad, we can’t rely on politicians to solve this for us. We need to do it for ourselves. Politicians aren’t there because they want to make a difference,’ Cliff said.

7:42:27 pm
I like the idea of making prisoners useful, but there are lots of other things we can get all people doing. Not just prisoners,’ Cliff says.

7:40:53 pm
‘I believe we shouldn’t allow prisoners to lounge around watching TV. They should be out there p fixing potholes and earning their keep,’ Kohler-Barnard says.

7:39:23 pm
Attendees want to know if maximum punishment for offenders or determined rehabilitation is the way to go.

7:38:24 pm
Question time now…

7:33:02 pm
‘This has got to do with who we are, with what we think about ourselves. We need to do some serious soul searching,’ Cliff said.

7:31:21 pm
‘When someone rapes somebody, they usually know the victim, they are even related. We live in a sick society. This is not necessarily the government’s fault,’ Cliff said.

7:29:29 pm
‘Children have to grow up too quickly in South Africa. They are exposed to horrific things from a young age. This affects them throughout their lives and we do nothing. We don’t take crime seriously,’ Kohler-Barnard said.

7:27:09 pm
Ollis poses: ‘What shall we do to as individuals to fight crime in South Africa?’

7:24:34 pm
Cliff again decries the inability of South Africans to own up to their actions. ‘Its disgusting our leader don’t own up to their actions. People with no hope rely on them, and they don’t care’

7:22:53 pm
Ollis relates a story on how ANC handles corruption, preventing more stories coming out. Says he was told by a senior ANC MP that if someone asks the wrong questions, they are simply ‘brought in on the action’

7:17:26 pm
Kohler-Barnard asks audience who has been offered a bribe by policemen. Majority goes up. Asks who actually paid. Hands sheepishly drop.

7:16:21 pm
Now attention turns to corruption: Is it getting better or worse?

7:15:45 pm
Much consternation over whether building more prisons is the correct way to deal with criminality. Cliff says no, Kohler-Barnard says yes.

7:14:19 pm
Kohler-Barnard points to the poor state of prisons. ‘People say we don’t have a death sentence, but going to jail is close. Male detainees are gang-raped within 48 minutes of arriving, contract HIV and are given no treatment,’ she said.

7:12:20 pm
Kohler-Barnard & Cliff swopping notes on the future of Bheki Cele. Say he should either get ambassador post to Mongolia or Mexico ‘ where they chop people up into little pieces’

7:10:47 pm
Kohler-Barnard chips in again. Decries the nepotism in society and people getting off scot-free ‘When I see Schabir Shaik I want to do him a physical damage. Jackie Selebi will never be in jail. Tony Yengeni got an easy ride,’ she says.

7:06:11 pm
‘I am however disheartened by the lack of remorse shown by those who are found wrong. Cele wants to fight, Mdluli thinks he’s done nothing wrong, it’s a mess. Even our soccer coach can’t leave quietly,’ Cliff said.

7:05:17 pm
Cliff encourages those in attendance to focus on the small victories for our democracy. An independent press, courts and the like.

7:02:05 pm
Cliff salutes the public protector and the courts who are ‘doing a fantastic job’.

7:00:51 pm
Cliff’s chance to chew fat. Says the ANC is ‘under huge stress’ and as a result nefarious things are happening. ‘A dog backed into a corner is a dangerous thing’

6:59:39 pm
Kohler-Barnard salutes South Africans who don’t pay bribes. ‘Youre brave. Many people pay and don’t have to go into the back of the van. If you don’t pay, you’re risking not surviving the night’

6:58:13 pm
‘We are entering a difficult time in the history of the SAPS. Funds are being looted, people are being promoted undeservedly, it’s a mess’

6:56:22 pm
It’s go time. Kohler-Barnard begins with her opening address.

6:55:30 pm
Cliff chipping in every chance he has. Crowd giggling at his snide remarks.

6:54:43 pm
Pleasantries being exchanged by Ollis on his memories of Kohler-Barnard and Cliff.

6:48:26 pm
So, is South Africa winning the war on crime? We’re about to find out…

6:46:48 pm
Music switches off. Diane Kohler-Barnard and Gareth Cliff take their seats. The debate will be moderated by Ian Ollis DA Shadow Minister of Transport.

6:44:47 pm
Weird music mix going on here. Queen’s ‘We’ll keep on trying’ interspersed with excerpts of speeches from Lindiwe Mazibuko and Makashule Gana about how the ANC failed South Africa

6:35:07 pm
Things just about to kick off. Although the DA tries to paint this as a pow wow for all, this Young Professinals gathering gives the feeling it’s a gathering for those from the northern suburbs.

6:25:58 pm
Hall is filling up now. Decent smattering of all different types of Spith Africans. It would seem the DA miscalculated on numbers. Plenty of empty seats.

6:20:01 pm
Not much going on yet. Attendees sipping on drinks in the bar at the Crowne Plaza. Gareth Cliff has just arrived though.

6:17:45 pm
Hi, Nickolaus Bauer here. Just arrived at the DA Young Professionals debate on the South African Police Services war on crime.

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