Province’s top cop ready to serve

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata.

Just days after reporting for her first full day on the job, newly appointed Western Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, met with Western Cape Premiere Alan Winde and Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz to discuss how SAPS and the provincial government would work together to tackle the Western Cape’s “complex” crime issues.

Lieutenant General Matakata said she had been looking forward to reporting for duty.

“I know only one country, South Africa. And I love it.

“I am looking forward to rendering the required and necessary services demanded.”

At a press briefing held on Monday January 6, a copy of the Western Cape’s Safety Plan was handed to her and she, Mr Winde and Mr Fritz committed to building “a supportive and collaborative relationship between the provincial government and the SAPS in the province”.

Lieutenant General Matakata said her priorities were “leadership, cohesion, ethics and accountability, a focus on the professionalism of the police, and capacitating the police service to improve delivery” and that she aimed to have “a team that is cohesive and driven by the same objective”.

Describing crime in the Western Cape as a “complex issue”, Mr Winde said combating it would require all levels of government, civil society and members of the public to work together. “I am pleased that SAPS and the Western Cape Government have committed to partnering and collaborating to ensure citizens of this province are safe,” he said.

“We look forward to signing the protocol agreement with the National Police Minister, Bheki Cele that will lay the framework for how we co-operate on the implementation of the Western Cape Safety Plan.”

In response to comments about conviction rates, Lieutenant General Matakata outlined the importance of quality police work, explaining that if crimes were not prevented, arrests could only be made after thorough investigation, which played a crucial role when it comes to convictions.

“The investigation will help put a solid case before court, and convictions will be carried out,” she added.

She said as long as the police, “do a proper job of conducting investigations, prosecutors would be able to present solid cases in court, thereby increasing the number of convictions.

Provincial community police forum acting board chairperson, Francina Lukas, promised the commissioner their full support.

“We have high hopes and we are confident that the new commissioner will take us into better safety,” she said, adding that “we can fight crime” as a collective.