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Speech by Francois Beukman, ANC MP and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police- Budget Votes Police (Including the Civilian Secretariat for Police) and Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID)

15 May 2018

Old Assembly

Honourable Speaker

Minister of Police Hon B Cele and Deputy Minister Hon B Mkonki

Members of Cabinet Deputy Ministers

MEC`s of the Nine Provinces

Honourable Members

The Accounting Officers of the SAPS, IPID, Civilian Secretariat and the Director of PSIRA

Fellow South Africans

The Portfolio Committee on Police received briefings from the SAPS on their 2018/9 budget and performance plan on 17, 18 and 19 April 2018. The DPCI briefed the Committee on 18 April 2018. Briefings were also received from the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) and the Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service on 20 April 2018. Civil society was invited to give input on the Budget Vote, and presentations were made by the South African Police Union, the Social Justice Coalition, Institute for Security Studies and Corruption Watch.

The reports dealing respectively with the three entities were adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Wednesday, 8 May 2018 and published in the ATC on Monday, 14 May 2018.

In the findings and observations, the Committee specifically focussed on the need to make provision for an increase in the budget with respect to the promotions of SAPS members who qualify for promotion. We welcome the announcement a few minutes ago, by the Minister in his Budget Speech in relation to the group of 66 000 members who will be targeted for an improved remuneration dispensation. It is long overdue and should be welcomed by all parties.

The Committee also resolved that the SAPS implement the recommendations of the NDP, review the low targets in all five programmes with special emphasis on trial-ready dockets and the investigations of serious crime. Police safety was an important focus point with the urgent need to install CCTV cameras at all police stations, and that all frontline police officers be provided with body-worn cameras. The training of cybercrime specialist was highlighted as well as the need for the DPCI (Hawks) to review its performance targets and focusses exclusively on levels 4-5 of the criminal chain. The Committee also recommended that the DPCI finalise their organisational structure and budget and review the relevant technology to fulfil its mandate. My other colleagues will focus more in detail on other recommendations.

In the case of the SAPS 29 recommendations were made; with relation to IPID 12 recommendations, and in the case of the Civilian Secretariat 18 recommendations.

The implementation of the recommendations will be monitored by the Committee in the coming months.

I want to thank all members of the Committee for their contributions during the process.

NELSON MANDELA

We celebrate this year the centenary of the birth of President Nelson Mandela. In 1995 during the term of President Nelson Mandela - the SAPS (South African Police Services) come into being.

The legal framework for policing was created by the SAPS Act of 1995.

It was President Mandela who said the following on 15 October 1994 at Vosloorus at the Safety and Security Summit:

"Every Community in our country has a fundamental right to be free from fear. Each South African has the right to feel secure in our home, to feel safe in the cities, towns and rural areas. People should not fear the night. They must be able to travel to work, to school and other places without danger."

We have seen this past year increases in the murder rate, serious crimes and the last few months nearly daily occurrences of cash-in-transit robberies.

This is totally unacceptable and the tide against trio-crime must be prioritised.

BUDGET

The SAPS received a main appropriation of R 92 billion for the 2018/19 financial year, the IPID R 315 million and the Civilian Secretariat R 131 million. Like the previous financial year, the SAPS receive the second largest individual Vote, which is 11.27 percent (appropriations only) of the total national budget.

We start the new financial year with a new Minister of Police, Hon Bheki Cele and permanently appointed National Commissioner of Police, genl K. Sitole that will contribute to leadership stability in the SAPS.

The ANC is of the firm view that value for money and good governance is key to ensure that the funds allocated to the Police Portfolio is spend to further excellent service delivery to the people of the Republic and improve the safety and security of all South Africans.

That is the bottom-line.

Resources should be prioritized toward the core function of policing and tangible plans should be put on the table to ensure that violent and contact crime is tackled head-on.

We support the further extension and deployment of more well-trained specialized units to deal effectively with medium to high risk crime environments and where communities are subjected to high crime incidents and the occurrence of violent crime.

Strong command and control measures and well-defined protocols should be in place to ensure professional conduct of members always.

The Accounting Officers of the three entities in the Police Portfolio must ensure that the institutions under their stewardship obtain at least as a minimum standard - an unqualified audit opinion - from the Auditor-General.

Anything below this standard needs consequent management from the side of the Executive Authority, namely the Minister of Police.

The Portfolio Committee will monitor this closely.

In this new financial year, consequent management must be instilled and practised to ensure that financial performance and budgetary controls contribute to an environment where the safety of all South Africans is enhanced.

PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as President of the ANC said the following in the January 8 statement in East London and I quote:

"Strong and efficient law-enforcement agencies are critical to the fight against corruption and crime generally, and to the restoration of the integrity and legitimacy of the state. In this regard, the ANC is of the firm view that the country`s intelligence services, the police and prosecutorial authorities should be strengthened and fortified to act with professionalism, and without fear, favour or prejudice. They should continue to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption and state capture, and work with communities to deal decisively with acts of criminality that threaten to tear communities apart. These include child abuse, gender-based violence, substance abuse, human trafficking and many contact crimes that have been on the rise."

House Chairperson, the President of the Republic emphasized the strengthening of the police services and professionalism, but also the fight against corruption.

Public trust in the police can only be improved if perceptions and actual police corruption is dealt with decisively and as a matter of priority.

The Minister and the National Commissioner have the full support of the ANC to deal with corruption and criminality within the SAPS ranks.

The IPID must continue to focus as a matter of priority on matters of systemic corruption in the police services.

House Chairperson

We saw last week that a former Provincial Commissioner and brigadiers were sentenced to custodial sentences with relation to corruption charges.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Rosheni Allie said the following in her judgement:

"The Courts must send a strong message that corruption won`t be tolerated. Corruption in the police force cannot be tolerated."

The Portfolio Committee have recommended in the Budget Report that the SAPS implement lifestyle audits about senior management with special emphasis on supply chain. The Committee also recommends that the Supply Chain Management ICT contract management should be audited by an independent forensic auditor with a view to minimising risks.

Consequence management should be implemented as a matter of priority.

We commend recent steps taken by law enforcement units, especially the DPCI and IPID for the arrests of corrupt police officials around the country.

South Africans require a police service that can be trusted by the community - free of corrupt policemen and women.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

President Ramaphosa indicated in the Station of the Nation Address that in view of the skewed resource allocation of policing resources at stations in poorer areas, the police will reallocate policing resources at station level.

House Chair - shifting crime trends, demographic changes, new developments and migration necessitates a real-time response by Police Management to the shifting of police resources. Police resources must be optimally deployed to those communities who bear the brunt of violent crime.

More importantly is the quality of leadership at station and cluster level.

Consequence management show follow weak and poor performance.

We want to again call on the National Commissioner to rotate Station Commissioners, especially in gang-affected areas and other high risk units, to ensure that integrity of command and control is not compromised by third party interest.

From an operational point of view the following directive from the NDP should apply and I quote from page 391:

"Deploy officers per crime patterns and trends. Officers should be available outside office-hours to direct operations, investigate crime and supervise staff. Office-hours should not apply to policing; senior staff should always be available to resolve crime matters with speed and efficiency."

CRIME INTELLIGENCE

Crime patterns in all countries around the world tend to change with technology, new innovations, socio-political developments and migration patterns.

Intelligence-led policing is the gateway to deal pro-actively with crime threats and crime syndicates.

The success in the turn-around strategy in the Crime Intelligence environment lies in the quality of leadership, integrity of members and commitment to the upholding of the constitutional order and output to ensure actionable intelligence-led policing.

Research and development, as well as international cooperation with other police agencies is key. Cooperation on knowledge management and technology with Interpol and other international partners should be intensified.

The shocking attack on a mosque last week in Verulam in KZN is an example of a new crime and intelligence threat that should be thoroughly investigated and evaluated.

The role of Crime Intelligence to gather reliable information, to analyse and interpret new threats cannot be under-estimated in the days and months lay ahead.

GUN CONTROL/VUURWAPENS

Die sterftes van onskuldige jong kinders op die Kaapse Vlakte weens bendegeweld, maar veral weens kruisvuur deur misdadigers van onwettige vuurwapens, is inderdaad `n nasionale tragedie.

Jong kinders wat buite speel en deur `n opslag-koeel getref word, na `n huiswinkel loop en ongesiens in `n vuurgeveg beland of in die voorkamer van `n huis deur `n dwaalkoeel getref word, of selfs in `n skool-klaskamer beseer of gedood word.

Dit vertel `n verhaal van `n deel van Suid-Afrika waar kinderlewens nie sinoniem is met die Visie van 2030 van die Nasionale Ontwikkelings Plan waar kinders veilig buite-speel nie.

Baie meer moet gedoen word om die kwessie van onwettige vuurwapens hok te slaan, en die sirkulasie van wettige vuurwapens na misdadigers vas te vat.

Minister it means

  • More resources to the DPCI`s specialised unit focussing on illegal fire-arms;
  • More projects and network operations initiated by Crime-Intelligence dealing with gun smuggling by criminal syndicates;
  • Stricter control measures with regard to SAPS stores, stations and the arms supply of the SANDF;
  • Closer cooperation with other SADC-countries with regard to the proliferation and inflow of high calibre automatic fire-arms in the region; and
  • A full-scale review of the turn-around strategy of the FCR (Fire-arms Registry) and a forensic audit of high risk areas in the licencing of fire-arms, as well as permits and authorisations.

Due to the various changes in the Executive Authority of the Police and the position of National Commissioner and Acting National Commissioner the last four years` progress with regard to the finalisation of the Fire-arms Amendment Bill and the long-awaited fire-arms amnesty was not satisfactory to say the least.

From the side of the ANC we call on the Minister to prioritise the tabling of the Fire-Arms Amendment Bill in the last 12 months of the current Parliamentary term.

NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

The full implementation of the NDP recommendations with regard to policing should be at the top of the agenda in this financial year.

We want to repeat what we have said in last year`s debate:

Many of the matters that are in public domain about the management and competing mandates of institutions in the Peace and Stability Cluster could be solved by a proper overhaul of the SAPS Act. The applies to the Secretariat and IPID Acts as well.

Finally, we want to thank the thousands of police officers who go beyond their duty to serve and protect the citizens of the Republic.

As an example of the exemplary work of police officers we want to commend the officers of the KZN Organised Crime Unit and CIS about the Glebelands Hostel cases, and recent breakthroughs and successes that were reported. We want to commend Brigadier Mbele, Cols Sikhakhane and Mazibuko and Det W/O Mwelase; De W/O`s Shabangu, Madonsela and Ngcobo and other members for their dedication and hard work.

Their example of honest and committed police work in a very difficult environment is a clarion call to other police officers to follow their example, and those in other units who excel in the execution of their duties.

The National Police Commissioner must ensure that the mentioned Saps members receive the necessary recognition for their outstanding service.

Finally, let me extend a word of thanks to the Parliamentary staff for their professionalism and dedication.

The ANC supports the Budget Vote 23 for Police (including the Civilian Secretariat) and Budget Vote 20 for the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID).

I thank you.

     
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