The exorbitant amount of money spent on VIP protection is “shameful”, as many police stations around the country are under-resourced, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) annual report for 2015/16 revealed that actual spending on VIP protection services increased by 18 percent from R977.9 million in 2014/15 to R1.16 billion in 2015/16, DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said.
“This exorbitant amount spent on the pampered executive elite, and the increase thereof from last year, is shameful, especially when one takes into account the chronic state of under-resourcing of police stations across South Africa,” he said.
“The SAPS has been characterised by the four Us, being under-resourced, under-staffed, under-equipped, and under-trained, which have a direct impact on their ability to carry out their mandate of keeping South Africans safe. Not only are there usually too few operational officers at station level, but they are also short of the basic equipment, such as vehicles, radios, and protective gear to carry out their jobs.”
“This year’s crime statistics alone, that have risen since last year, are frightening, and need to be addressed urgently to keep our people safe. Our people, rather than politicians, must be put first,” Mbhele said.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko had to be ultimately held accountable for splurging on programmes and items not essential for protecting ordinary South Africans, those who the SAPS was mandated to serve, Mbhele said.