President Jacob Zuma has undertaken that Government will take visible action to combat crime in the Mhlabuyalingana Local Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal which is causing tension between South Africans and Mozambicans.
The President visited the area today to meet the community and hear the concerns. He visited the local police station which he found to be severely under-resourced and also went to inspect the borderline between South Africa and Mozambique. He was shown where and how vehicles especially 4x4 or SUVs are taken by force from South Africans and driven across the border. The owners are told to pay a sum of money to get their cars back and some mentioned sums from R15000 to R50000 by the alleged Mozambican hijackers reportedly working with some locals.
The President urged the local communities of Mhlabuyalingana and surrounding municipalities of Mkhanyakude, Hlabisa and Jozini to renew their trust in the police and work together with them to combat cross-border crime especially the car hijackings in the area.
The President undertook to look into the issues raised by the community, especially the suspicion that some members of the police are alleged to work with the crime syndicates. He urged the community to provide information on specific cases of police involvement and avoid generalizations.
The President said national Departments particularly of the Police, Defence, State Security, Home Affairs, Social Development and others would make a strong intervention after his visit, working with the Provincial government and municipalities.
The Department of Environmental Affairs will look into the complaints raised by the community about the Isimangaliso Wetland Park which was said to be not serving the developmental and transformation needs of the community.
The President emphasized that South Africa enjoyed strong and warm historical relations with Mozambique and that crime should not be allowed to sour these relations.
The President crossed over the border and greeted the Mozambican police and Mozambican residents living on the borderline and was greeted warmly by the Mozambican nationals.
President Zuma was accompanied by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Willies Mchunu, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of State Security, Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi, Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Maggie Sotyu, MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, Mr Mxolisi Kaunda as well as Mayors and local traditional leader Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe.
The visit has intensified the campaign drawing all the spheres of government in unity towards eradicating crime and dealing with serious tensions in the area between citizens and migrants or visitors from neighbouring sister countries.
Dr Bongani Ngqulunga
Cell: 082 308 9373
Issued by: The Presidency