Sixth administration cracking down on crime - Lamola

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola says the sixth administration is steadily rebuilding law enforcement agencies like the National Prosecuting Authority to fight crime.

Lamola was speaking during the debate of the State of the Nation Address held in Cape Town.

“[It] is the sixth administration that strengthened the work of law enforcement agencies like the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] by appointing permanent leadership in the upper echelons of the NPA and the SAPS [South African Police Service] and increased the operational budget resulting in visible institutional growth and stability.

“Organized crime verdicts have increased by 21% from 193 to 234 at a conviction rate that is above 80%. Gang leaders are behind bars or in court, whether it is Jerome Booysen, Nafik Modak, Ralph Stanfield, Mark Lifman and Vusi Khekhe, all are behind bars.

“The conviction rate in gender-based violence and femicide matters is at 74.6%. When it comes to successful prosecutions for cable theft matters, the NPA has exceeded some of the targets, the conviction rate is well above 85%, 299 convictions have been obtained from 347 cable theft verdicts,” Lamola said.

The Minister added that R3.2 billion from the criminal assets recovery funds has been allocated to fighting illegal mining and organised crime.

Furthermore, 2 996 arrests have been executed related to illegal mining activities as at December last year.

“SAPS is implementing Operation Shanela, a comprehensive plan to combat crime throughout the country. The plan includes clamping down on illegal mining areas.

“At the end of last year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Special Investigation Units and the Hawks have secured preservation orders to freeze assets which are proceeds of unlawful activities of a syndicate dealing in unwrought gold in Gauteng province.

“The frozen assets include 51 properties with a value of more than R16 million. In Mpumalanga, they secured a preservation order of assets worth more than one billion rands. The message is clear, crime does not pay and the tide against crime is turning,” Lamola said.

‘I am Tintswalo’

Harking back to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA last week in which he described the life of Tintswalo, Lamola described how he himself is a product of progressive government policies.

He recalled how he benefitted from the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA), now known as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), after his parents who were both farmworkers could not afford his tertiary education.

“I can stand here in this house [and say] with great conviction that had it not been for …government’s expansion of TEFSA and my sister paying for my university registration and monthly stipend, I would not be standing here today.

“I would not have been an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa having appeared in the highest Court in the world, the ICJ, on global affairs. My life was predestined as a farm worker [by] design by the apartheid government and not by choice.

“The village where I come from, Cunningmore B in Mpumalanga, had no electricity nor running water. Today there is electricity, running water and tarred roads, so are many villages across the country.

“[NSFAS]…results are tangible. You can touch them with your bare hands,” he said. –