Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba plans to lobby national government to grant big metros the power to prosecute and have their own prisons.
Mashaba revealed this during a presentation of the City of Johannesburg’s monthly crime statistics‚ where the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) provided feedback on arrests.
These included 664 arrests that JMPD officers made for driving under the influence in September‚ 13 arrests for car theft and 22 arrests for the possession of drugs.
Mashaba said no municipality had the power to prosecute crimes in its jurisdiction as Section 179 of the Constitution gave those powers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“I am lobbying the new government. I hope in the 2019 elections that the new government can listen to big cities and municipalities like us … so that we can be given the powers to prosecute‚ have our own prisons and do our own investigations.
“Right now‚ unfortunately‚ our poor colleagues in JMPD can only arrest and give (the suspects) to the Hawks and the NPA and that is where it ends.”
Mashaba said the city’s decision to publish monthly crime statistics by the JMPD was done to put the national criminal justice system under pressure to do its job.
“Municipalities have no power to prosecute. That is why we need the (South African Police Service) and NPA to work with us as the city.”
Mashaba said the arrests made by the JMPD resulted in the successful prosecution of less than 10% of those arrested.
JMPD chief David Tembe said a total of 2‚038 people had been arrested between July and September 30 for driving under the influence.
“Our aim is to reduce the number of deaths on our roads‚” Tembe said.
He said those arrested included taxi drivers found to be drunk in the morning.
He said 69 people were arrested for reckless or negligent driving during the same period. There were 35 arrests for car theft.