MEC Dan Plato on SAPS phone line failures

3 Aug 2015

SAPS phone line failures and N2 safety - allegations need immediate investigation

The latest allegations reported in the media that Warrant Officer Petrus Holz tried repeatedly to call the South African Police Service (SAPS) for help in the attack on the N2 that took his life, requires immediate investigation by the SAPS.
I regard the allegations by police sources in the media today that WO Holz apparently tried to call the police control centre, the flying squad and police stations for assistance with no avail as serious and these claims cannot be left unchecked.
I have been raising concerns about the SAPS accessibility and efficiency on the 10111 emergency numbers as well as the response from local police stations’ numbers as recently as last week with the provincial SAPS management and have always been assured that the SAPS are in service of the people of the Western Cape, 24/7.
As part of my oversight mandate over policing in the province I will today ask the Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile, to investigate the allegations made. If there is any truth to any of the claims that police phones were left unattended, it warrants strong disciplinary action and managerial intervention to ensure that the same poor policing service delivery is not repeated.
Acting Provincial Commissioner Patekile needs to provide assurance to the people of the Western Cape that the SAPS are functionally equipped and able to assist them in their darkest hour.
The Western Cape Government is intent on ensuring that the SAPS provide a quality service to the people of this province – this includes having the necessary resources to ensure phone lines are open, phones are manned, and emergencies are immediately responded to in order to save lives.
If the people of this province feel that they do not receive satisfactory response or service from the South African Police Service (SAPS), they can report it to the Department of Community Safety’s Policing Complaints directorate by SMS (“Report” to 35395), phone (021 483 4332), or email (
I urge the people of the Western Cape to keep holding the police at their local stations accountable through the complaints line but to also compliment the police on good service delivery when appropriate.

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