Protesting students forced a backdown on fee hikes. Judge Davis says funds for new universities should have been spent on poor students. 
File Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

GAUTENG police have complained that the #FeesMustFall campaign is a serious problem that depletes police resources and hinders the force’s ability to tackle crime.

Speaking during the presentation of the crime statistics report to the Gauteng portfolio committee on community safety‚ Major-General Eric Nkuna said the police were committed to fighting crime‚ but there were public and government issues that affected their performance.

"FeesMustFall is a major problem. We plan and say we will assist Johannesburg Central [with these resources] and I have to withdraw from [that] because it is FeesMustFall. Once you divert your resources‚ you are not going to achieve your objectives.

"These [protests] are prolonged. There is also land invasion... they become a police baby. I am not here to blame everybody‚ but people must take responsibility... If I am given enough chance to concentrate on crime‚ I will not have a problem‚" Nkuna said.

The committee asked provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe Suzan de Lange and her leadership for reasons why certain crimes were on the rise in Gauteng.

Nkuna added there were issues of taxi violence which were related to operating licences. Abuse of drugs and alcohol also made a huge contribution to the crime rate in the province.

"Boyfriend and girlfriend fights are a big problem. Once they start to quarrel‚ they kill each other. Those are murders that are happening inside the houses. How do you police them? You can only do educational programmes and change the attitudes of people‚" he said.

TMG Digital