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Address by Malusi Motimele (ANC) MP on the debate: "Responding to the needs of our people through peace and stability

13 November 2018

Honourable Speaker, as the world`s oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress, had been preparing to govern and take South Africa forward. Our vision for the country was to encourage the flourishing of the feeling that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, to promote a common loyalty to and pride in the country and to create a universal sense of freedom and security within our borders.

Before the attainment of freedom, South Africa had never tasted a good and representative government for all. Government used to harass divide and humiliate the great majority of South Africans, while securing privilege and relatively high standards of service for the minority .The ANC undertook to create a national, Defence Force, Police Service and a Correctional Service which would be non-racial and non-sexist in character, comprising personnel that are well-trained, disciplined, humane and loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law.

The ANC advocated for the creation of an independent office of the Ombud with powers to investigate complaints, allegations of corruption, abuse of power and maladministration; against members of the civil service and other holders of public office.

Honourable Speaker,Twenty-four years into democracy, we have Chapter Nine institutions which include the Office of the Public Protector. We have established accountability institutions such as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and Special Investigations Unit (SIU). This did not happen by chance nor was it an accident of history. This is a product of the concerted efforts by the African National Congress.

In 1989, the Harare Declaration was adopted. The Declaration stated that South Africa shall have a new legal system; that there shall be equality before the law; and that there shall be an independent and non-racial judiciary. In our 1991 Constitutional Principles, we provided that the legal system shall ensure equality before the law. Equality before the law would include laws, programs or activities that have as their objective, the amelioration of the conditions of the disadvantaged.

We advocated for a South Africa where all would have recourse to independent courts of law and other tribunals. We advocated for a transformed judiciary long before it was popular to do so. We said that the judiciary shall be appropriately qualified, independent and impartial and shall have the power and jurisdiction to safeguard and enforce the Constitution and all fundamental rights.

The pre-1994 court system did not place access to justice and responsive service delivery a the heart of its values. The ANC-led government has pushed itself into re-orientating the courts into a service culture accompanied by a sound performance management system. Today there is at least one High court in every province and 722 lower courts throughout the country.

Speaker, Again, the well-functioning judicial system we have in South Africa didn`t happen by accident. It is because of the ANC-led government, that the indigent can access an efficient court system. Access to justice incorporates the right to legal representation. We have set up institutions such as Legal Aid South Africa, which provides for free legal services to the indigent. Legal aid is a fundamental human right. Without adequate legal aid there can be no fair trial, no functioning criminal justice system and no respect for the rule of law. The masses of our people have confidence that they will not be left out because of financial reasons.

Honourable Speaker,Positioning ourselves to govern, we correctly identified that Apartheid`s overcrowded and authoritarian jails were crime factories set up to dehumanise inmates, feeding on a culture of violence and despair. We as the ANC, asserted that adequate resources should be made available for the humane conditions, education, training and job placement of convicts. Today, we no longer have prisons or jails. We have correctional centres because we believe in correcting behaviour. We have made great progress in terms of our rehabilitation and social reintegration programs. Former inmates who have undergone the rehabilitation programs have acquired skills and now are able to contribute to the economy of South Africa. The corrective posture espoused by the ANC assists in arresting the high levels of recidivism.

The ANC committed itself to the formation of a new Defence Force which would enjoy legitimacy in the eyes of the entire population. The primary role of the Defence Force would be the defence of the country`s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Recognising the contribution of military veterans to bring about a peaceful, democratic and prosperous South Africa, the ANC-led government established the Department of Military Veterans. We identified in our national conference that many former MK members remained destitute, unemployed, poor, without much assistance from the State; and Some of these former members were demobilised from the SANDF with little safety nets for their survival.

This department has done good work in realising its mandate despite its challenges. In 2014, the DMV was providing education support to only 200 military veterans and their dependent`s. There has been exponential increase in the previous financial year. The ANC led government assisted 7712 eligible military veterans and their dependent`s with Education Support. The Department has increased access to health services to more than 15000 military veterans through the South African Military Health Services.

The SANDF encourages young people to follow military careers is through the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) and the University Reserve Training Programme (URTP). The SANDF is also involved in improving young South Africans through the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec) in conjunction with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. This skills development programme has at its core non-military character building training. This programme targets unemployed rural youth as part of the rural economy transformation strategy from poor rural wards.

Intelligence-driven policing is essential in dealing with the primary source of crime. The turn-around strategy to restore the Crime Intelligence Division of the SAPS as a credible and real-time provider of intelligence products should be fast-tracked and closely monitored. The ANC-led government has led the re-establishment of a specialised anti-gang unit within SAPS, in line with the recommendations of the National Development Plan. The ANC led government has not been soft on crime. We have seen arrests by the DPCI focusing on corruption allegations at different levels of government and those linked to state capture. Organised crime and corruption are a real and imminent danger to the basic foundations of our constitutional state and building a resilient anti-corruption system.

Strides have been made towards establishing a resilient Anti-Corruption System. More than 800 persons are currently under criminal, financial and forensic investigation. During the first quarter of 2014/15, the Asset Forfeiture Unit finalised freezing orders to the value of R500 Million, exceeding the quarterly target with R344 Million.

The Annual Crime Statistics released by the Police for the period 2008/09 to December 2013 indicate a continued general decrease in serious crime. The general decrease in serious crime can be attributed to huge investment in policing and criminal justice system. Various other initiatives also contributed in this fight against crime are the:

  • Implementation of Rural Safety Plan
  • Improvement in detective services capacity, skills and training
  • Improvement of police forensic capabilities at crime scene and forensic Laboratories.
  • Closer interaction with communities, through strengthened implementation of community policing forum and community safety forum.

The identity of everyone living in South Africa should be known and secured. National and personal security and public safety depends to a significant degree on the state knowing and protecting the identity and status of every citizen and every foreign national who has entered the country legally. Identity systems that are not secured exposes countries to risks and threats from domestic and international crime and terrorism. It also impacts on the integrity of systems including tax collection, business licences, social grants, qualifications and security vetting. The main strategies of achieving security are early registration of all births, establishing a secure, comprehensive National Identity System; and risk-based management of immigration. As the ANC, we have managed to change the lives of our people through the successes of the Department of Home Affairs.

We inherited a broken and dysfunctional state but even so, we have always had a vision for our country. We have made great strides to better the lives of our people respond to their needs. We will not rest until we realise all that we have promised

Hon Members I thank you.

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