No Place for Complacency, Corruption & Crime Within Saps- Warns Minister Mthethwa
28 Feb 2012
Compliance with systems, firm discipline and sound management must become daily norm
This is an announcement made by the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa during an oral reply in Parliament this afternoon. The Minister’s remarks are in line with the ministry’s stance of zero tolerance on corruption, negligence and financial mismanagement which have engulfed the SAPS in the past.
Responding on whether any members of the SAPS have been promoted or transferred to different positions within the SAPS after they were investigated for wrongdoing in their previous positions; and whether they were penalised in any way for wrongdoing, Minister Mthethwa said that the National Instructions on Promotions in the SAPS currently allow people who have been investigated for wrongdoing to be promoted; in that it provides that employees against whom criminal or disciplinary investigations are pending or who has criminal convictions or findings of misconduct may be considered for promotion.
“However the preliminary findings of this report highlight a number of deficiencies in our approach to discipline within the organization. In some cases the audit even resulted in cases being reopened and in other cases, the actual officials involved in the disciplinary process themselves being charged. The National Instruction on promotions as it currently stands does not sufficiently address issues of discipline management. As a result this is being reviewed as part of final audit report and weaknesses rectified,” he stated.
“While SAPS is supposed to pay due regard to the merits of the cases to establish the suitability of a member and only members found suitable are promoted, I am not happy with this situation. Indeed there is a need to begin to hold managers in the SAPS accountable. There is no doubt that if we want to create a more professional police service we need to rid the institution of any bad practises that have existed in SAPS. In this regard we must not only review the actual standing order to align it with the type of service we want to build but call managers to account for their actions,” he added.
“Last year when I addressed the Portfolio Committee; I explained that I would be looking into the entire process of appointments and promotions and if necessary, would engage the Public Service Commission regarding these processes. I think that one of the problems has been, that managers have sat behind their desks and handled promotions without due regard to who they are promoting.”
He added that the promotion system in SAPS needs to be seen as a crucial part of building the right type of service and a way of rewarding good cops. However equally important is that when people are promoted it becomes part of their career-pathing in SAPS and not promoted into positions where they do not have capacity or skills. If someone performs well in the area of crime prevention or detective services the promotion should reflect the skill and the person should not then be promoted into another area where the person cannot build on.
Pertaining to the whether the SAPS has a policy on standard lease periods for all buildings they lease from other government departments and private companies, he stated that the policy regarding standard lease periods is determined by the Department of Public Works (DPW) and not by SAPS. While the Minister is aware of the problems in DPW, he believes this cannot devolve SAPS responsibility to effectively manage lease deals adding that SAPS have acknowledged that they have not always informed DPW timeously of lease expires and this must be addressed.
“Over the last two months I have been engaging with SAPS about how they manage their infrastructure and have instructed them that effective management must become one of their priorities for the next year. I will be expecting to see a marked difference in how SAPS is managing this infrastructure over the next year and have informed them I will be holding them accountable,” he stated.
Commenting on what mechanisms are in place to ensure that detectives send crime kits for forensic analysis, the Minister stated that despite various national directives outlining the procedures on sampling and collection, safekeeping, transportation and dispatching of exhibits for forensic analysis being issued to all provinces, compliance with these directives remains a challenge.
“I also wish to inform Parliament that during police station visits conducted by the Civilian Secretariat for Police, it has been discovered that there are problems of non-compliance with these directives. I am also aware that the Portfolio Committee has found similar non-compliance during their visits. As a result, meetings with senior management have been scheduled, particularly with the detective and support services, to address this problem and for them to provide me with a plan on how this will be addressed,” concluded Minister Mthethwa.
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