Food parcel theft is treasonous and requires harsh punishment

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Northern Cape welcomes an investigation by the Hawks into food parcel fraud and theft in the province and are calling for all related cases to be prioritized so that they may act as an effective deterrent for  the further abuse of social relief.

This comes as the DA has received a further complaint relating to alleged food parcel abuse by an ANC councillor in !Kheis municipality. The councillor, who was not accompanied by any authorities or officials from the Department of Social Development, was this week photographed driving around Groblershoop with food parcels in his boot.

This was in spite of food parcel distribution powers being relinquished from councillors and the abuse of food parcels being widely condemned by government leaders. 

While the DA welcomes additional measures that have been implemented to curb the fraud and theft of food parcels, including the launching of a hotline whereby people can report any suspected wrongdoing, it is becoming increasingly clear that no amount of warnings will deter unscrupulous people from taking advantage of food parcels.

At the end of the day, the only viable deterrent will be for the long arm of the law to take effect. Given the growing need for social relief across the province and the country, this must therefore be sped up.

In addition to criminal justice taking effect speedily, the DA is further calling for the immediate precautionary suspension of any councillors or officials alleged to be involved in food parcel crimes.

They are a threatening the very survival of those who have been left without jobs, salaries and food on their tables and, in the war-like conditions that we are currently living in, food parcel theft should amount to treason and be handled as such.

The DA will report allegations relating to the !Kheis councillor to the authorities and we will continue to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity that robs people of the means to survive.   

Harold McGluwa, MPL

DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus

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