Annual Report Hearings: SAPS: Administration

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19 October 2010
Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The South African Police Service (SAPS) continued to present on the various programmes, and to allow the Committee to interrogate matters raised in the 2009/10 Annual Report. The presentation by SAPS firstly focused on Programme 4: Crime Intelligence. The targets were fully set out and explained. Most of these had been achieved. There was then a description of targets for Programme 5: Protection and security services. Whilst targets for protection of all identified VIPs while in transit and as static protection were reached, there were 13 instances of security breaches. In respect of recovery of stolen goods, it was noted that recovery of stolen vehicles was achieved above the target, but that the targets for recovery of firearms had not, with only 152 out of a targeted 400 being recovered and the target for increased recovery of cannabis had also not been reached. There were also not increased arrests for cross-border crimes. The targets for combating rail crime were reached, and the number of priority crime arrests were also achieved. 

Members were generally appreciative of the efforts taken by VIP protectors, but questioned their discipline and their compliance with rules of the road. One Member was also concerned with the abrupt removal of VIP protectors. Members were not satisfied with the fact that management in the crime intelligence units were given vehicles as well as being given car allowances, questioned what types of cars were provided, and asked for a copy of the new policy on this, noting that it was in the process of being revised. Members pointed out that in fact management were not active in the field and probably did not need cars. All Members agreed that the lack of security at Parliament was of grave concern, especially as there were dangers posed by public meetings, and that people were not properly searched. On the other hand, they also noted that management was not being fair to those posted in Parliament and were not perhaps being used optimally, being in one position for far too long.  In relation to crime intelligence there was concern from the Members about corrupt activities. The Members asked who gave authority for interceptions to be conducted, and how the numbers that would be intercepted were chosen. Members also asked how crime intelligence agents were monitored so that they would not abuse the system. Further concerns were expressed about payment of sources, with a Member insisting that the relevant figures be disclosed, rather than being put in a written report. Members asked about the decline in the numbers of arrests and were advised that arrests were taking place in some other countries. Members were also interested in the relationship with counterparts in other countries and on the border.

SAPS responded that on some issues written reports would be provided, provided that the information was not classified. The Chairperson summarised that the interactions with SAPS had been useful, but had also highlighted a number of issues to which SAPS would need to pay attention.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks.
The Chairperson reminded those present that Parliament was mandated to oversee organs of State, to ensure that the law was being upheld and to ensure accountability and transparency.

South African Police Service (SAPS): Continuation of 2009/10 Annual Report presentation
Presentation on Programme 4: Crime Intelligence
General B Mngwenya, Chief Operations Officer, South African Police Service, apologised that the National Commissioner, Bheki Cele, could not attend. The team from South African Police Service (SAPS) would be led by Lieutenant General Mduli, who headed Crime Intelligence, and would focus on Programme 4

Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, Crime Intelligence, South African Police Service, indicated that Programme 4: Crime Intelligence, was a support base for operational units. This covered both overt and covert environments and as a result crime intelligence had managed to contribute to 24 368 operations for the previous financial year. The actual performance against the target was presented. For the output, infiltration or penetration and collection on identified threats, the service delivery indicator was the number of operation and investigations conducted. The target for 2009/10 was to maintain or increase the number of operations or investigations conducted relative to the baseline figure of 19 000 operations or investigations. The actual performance for the year 2009/10 was an increase from 17 035 operations or investigations in the year 2008/9, to 24 368 investigations in 2009/10. In terms of variances, he stated that the target was exceeded owing to the establishment of a crime intelligence capacity in all station precincts and cluster stations, which led to more intelligence and crime prevention.

For the sub-programme intelligence and information management the output was crime intelligence products and the service deliver indicator was the number of crime intelligence products. The target for the year 2009/10 was to maintain or increase crime intelligence products relative to the baseline figure of 85 000 products. The actual performance that had been achieved was an increase from 142 020 intelligence reports in 2008/9 to 234 231 intelligence reports in 2009/10. The target had been exceeded owing to the concept of “intelligence led policing” on all levels, which led to a more focused collection of crime information and intelligence coupled to the better flow of information and intelligence reports.

Lieutenant General Fani Masemola, Divisional Commissioner, Protection and Security Services, SAPS, presented on Programme 5: Protection and security services. He stated that in relation to the protection of all identified VIPs while in transit, the target had been set at 98% to 99% protection provided without security breaches. He stated that this target had been achieved. In relation to the static protection of all identified VIPs and their property, including persons related to the President and the Deputy President, a target had been set at 98% to 99% protection without security breaches. The target had been achieved but there were 13 instances of security breaches.

A target had been set for the increase in recovery of stolen vehicles relative to the baseline figure of 500, and this was achieved and 845 vehicles were recovered. A target had been set for the increased recovery of illegal firearms relative to the baseline figure of 400. This target had not been achieved, since only 152 firearms had been recovered. A target had been set for the increased recovery of cannabis relative to the baseline figure of 80 000. Again the target had not been achieved, because 29 521 kg of cannabis had been recovered. A target had been set for the increased number of arrests for illegal firearms, stolen vehicles, illegal goods, human smuggling  and trafficking and undocumented persons relative to the baseline figure of 40 000 arrests. The target had not been achieved. In relation to crime prevention and combating in the rail environment, a target had been set to reduce contact crimes by 7% and this target had been achieved. A target had also been set to increase the number of priority crime arrests in the environment relative to the baseline figure of 2 500 arrests and this target had been achieved.

Major General Elias Mawela, Head: Bordeline, South African Police Service, elaborated on the issues of ports of entry. He stated that in preparation for the FIFA World Cup, and through the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security SAPS had partnered with its counterparts in neighbouring countries to strengthen security along the common borderlines. They also agreed on numerous joint operations, and the timeous exchange of information. He added that SAPS was successful in deterring the illegal movement of goods and persons.

Lieutenant General Stefan Schutte, Financial and Administration Services, SAPS, stated that crime intelligence was intensive. He stated that, in relation to the spending performance, this programme showed an increase from R1.4 billion to R1.6 billion, of which most had been spent on compensation. He added that the number of personnel had increased from 7 142 to 7 542 year-on-year. In relation to equipment and operational expenses, R33.6 million had been spent on vehicles, R57.3 million on fuel, R25 million on maintenance and repairs of vehicles and R28.5 million on telecommunications. An additional R15 million was allocated and spent on end user equipment.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) stated that it was good to receive  brief reports from crime intelligence and to hear that this division had exceeded targets. However, since the results of the previous years had not been included, it was difficult to make a comparison.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked whether sources were paid. She asked whether there was a common trend in breaches of VIP security.

Ms Kohler-Barnard added that the recovery of 840 vehicles was a small number, despite the fact that overall the division had achieved the target.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked about the relationship between SAPS and its cross border counter parts.

Ms Kohler-Barnard noted that cannabis was the only drug that had been referred to in the presentation.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked for an explanation in relation to the crime intelligence budget.

Mr G Schneemann (ANC) asked whether there was an accurate asset register. It was noted that the PSS bought a lot of equipment. He asked whether the equipment that was bought was on the asset register.

Mr Schneemann asked what R28.5 million in relation to telecommunications meant.

Mr Schneemann asked when the increase activities had started.

Mr Schneemann asked, in relation to the arrest of illegal immigrants, when the announcement had been made by the Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Schneemann enquired as to the routes where the railway police were operating and whether the SAPS were really effective because he had heard that train commuters were afraid of using some routes.

Mr George reiterated this concern and asked if SAPS was on top of the situation.

Mr M George (COPE) asked how many criminal activities had been prevented because of crime intelligence. He stressed his concern on the issue of abuse in covert operations. He asked how personnel from crime intelligence was prevented from monitoring conversations illegally. He also stressed his concern about the number of personnel who were colluding with criminals and who were responsible for the death of their colleagues.

Mr George asked whether the figures that had been given for firearms were separate from the figures that had been given by the SAPS on firearms in earlier meetings.

Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) asked who authorised the interception of communication, and whether there was a process or application that was followed, and to whom was the application made.

Rev Meshoe enquired whether “security breaches” meant that the intelligence had failed.

Rev Meshoe was interested to hear why Parliamentary parks were excluded from areas covered by crime. He also raised his concerns in relation to the security at Parliament, saying that this was non-existent.

Rev Meshoe thought it was regrettable that SAPS could not conduct surveillance on a house that had been pointed out to it by members of the community.

Rev Meshoe noted that there had been an increase in the spending performance, from R1.4 billion to R1.6 billion, and that most of this had been spent on compensation. He asked who was being compensated and what measures were in place to justify compensation.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) stressed that when the SAPS gave reasons for its success it did not proffer crime intelligence as one of the reasons. She added that crime intelligence officers were being frustrated because their information was not being taken seriously. She asked to what extent the quality of crime intelligence reports had increased. She further asked to what extent there was an improvement in crime intelligence reports being used within the different sections of the SAPS. Ms Van Wyk also noted that the objective of crime intelligence had changed.

Ms van Wyk agreed with Rev Meshoe that there was a lack of security at Parliament.

Ms van Wyk did not agree that border security cooperation was showing good results, pointing out that less firearms had been recovered although she would have expected the reverse to be the case. She asked why arrests had come down. She asked what the personal strengths of the PSS were.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) asked how crime intelligence picked up particular numbers for interception, and what criteria were used when deciding what numbers to intercept.

Mr Lekgetho agreed that PSS had done a very good job of protecting the VIPs. He stated that he was concerned about the abrupt removal of VIP security. He asked how the PSS removed units without informing the individuals.

Mr M Swathe (DA) also asked what information the crime intelligence unit was giving to the police.

Mr Swathe asked how many police officers were intercepted colluding with syndicates, and how many were arrested with the information that came from crime intelligence.

Mr Swathe asked whether the number of guns that had been given included the number of guns that had been voluntarily surrendered.

Mr P Groenewald (FF+) stated that intelligence was supposed to be common sense and it should be a field that flourished with corruption, because of secrecy.

Mr Groenewald asked what criterion was used to pay a source.

Mr Groenewald asked what was being done in terms of counter intelligence to ensure that personnel complied with regulations.

Mr Groenewald agreed that members of the VIP unit were delivering excellent service. He, however, stated that there was a problem with the discipline of VIP protection service, and that one of the characteristics of personal protectors should be that the person had the ability to keep calm, and there seemed sometimes to be a problem in this regard.  

Mr Groenewald asked about the relationship with the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Defence.

Ms Van Wyk asked whether there was a plan for the spending of the PSS. She added that there were technological solutions that were available, because the border was so big such that it could not be patrolled by people only.

Ms Kohler-Barnard was concerned about the trains that were coming from Zimbabwe that were not being searched.

The Chairperson agreed that there was a distinct lack of security in Parliament, exacerbated by the fact that meetings were open. This matter had to be dealt with more urgently.

Mr Schneemann stated that the Committee needed to know who was in charge for the security at Parliament.

The Chairperson noted that she had visited Maseru Border Post, and had actually seen crimes being committed, and asked why such people were not being arrested.

The Chairperson asked what the procedure was, from the time drugs were received to the time when drugs were disposed off.

The Chairperson asked if Crime Intelligence and PSS had experienced any budgetary constraints and, if so, how these were addressed.

The Chairperson asked if there was a strategy within the Crime Intelligence division to identify fraud and corruption.

The Chairperson asked from which allocation the vehicles had been purchased, what types of vehicles were purchased for senior management and the costs of repairs and maintenance. She asked whether it was possible for an undercover member to travel with a functional member overseas.

Lt Gen Mduli responded to the question of previous targets by stating that these were set out on page 20 of the Annual Report. The targets for the previous year had been 17 035.

Lt Gen Mduli noted that in response to questions on the sources, there were no constraints. A national criterion was used to guide the payment of sources and there was no room for any abuse of the system.

Lt Gen Mduli noted that the intelligence that had been gathered had been used in 33 000 operations. He added that this unit mostly focused on hot spots. He stated that the crime intelligence unit had seen a lot of success in netting police officers who worked with criminals. He stressed that the information for police officers at stations levels made its way to the top.

Lt Gen Mduli explained that when the SAPS wished to get authorisation on the interception of communication, a judge had been assigned to look at this applications. The process was not conducted in the SAPS building, but elsewhere.

The Chairperson asked how the crime intelligence division ensured that this happened.

Lt Gen Mduli responded that there were structures that dealt with the gathering and dissemination of information. He added that there were also forums that dealt with such issues.

Mr George asked how personnel were prevented from illegally intercepting communications and thereby abusing their powers.

Mr Groenewald asked how, for instance, a particular political faction could be prevented from illegally monitoring the calls of another faction.

Ms van Wyk repeated her question on how the crime intelligence unit chose who to intercept.

Lt Gen Mduli stated that he was not at liberty to answer that question.

Lt Gen Mduli agreed that there was a problem in deploying members at the border post. He added that the division was trying to deploy more resources to deal with the problem.

Lt Gen Mduli noted that, in relation to drugs, these were kept at one particular point before being referred to the Forensic Laboratories.

The Chairperson asked what control measures were in place to ensure that the drugs were not lost on their way from the police station to the Forensic department.

Ms van Wk stated that her question was simply related to what success rate had been shown from the Crime Intelligence Reports. She reiterated that Crime Intelligence should be the force that drove the entire police service. She also asked how seriously SAPS  was taking crime.

Lt Gen Mduli stated that he could submit reports later, since he did not have the figures of the success rates. He also stated that sometimes the police did not take crime intelligence seriously enough.

Mr Groenewald asked what percentage of crime intelligence information was followed up and successfully led to arrests.

Mr Groenewald wanted to know how much the sources were being paid for information.

The Chairperson stated that if it was not possible to answer questions here, the relevant materials in response to the Committees’ questions could be provided in writing, if that information was not classified.

Lt Gen Schutte added that the Committee would be given a policy in the payment of informants. He however stated that the payment of informants was a challenge because no invoice would be given.

Mr Groenewald disagreed, stating that the amount that was allocated for informants was not classified.

Lt Gen Mduli stated that the amount would be provided to the Committee.

Ms Van Wyk asked why the Committee could not be given the amount in the meeting.

Gen Mngwenya stated that all information that was not classified would be provided to the Committee in writing.

Mr Groenewald stated that there were members of the SAPS who were in the meeting who knew the amount.

Lt Gen Schutte responded that the total amount allocated was R39.1 million.

Lt Gen Mduli stated that the counter intelligence unit was playing a very big role in detecting and preventing fraud and corruption.

Lt Gen Mduli answered, in relation to the question on vehicles, that supply chain management was in a better position to answer the question.

The Chairperson asked whether the management in the Crime Intelligence division had car allowances, and, if they did, whether they qualified to have vehicles purchased on their behalf.

Lt Gen Mduli stated that there were State vehicles which they were allowed to use under certain conditions.

Mr George believed that Mr Schutte could answer the question and there was no necessity to bring in the supply chain management team. He asked why management was given a car allowance, when they were supplied with State vehicles. He added that the question that the Committee needed to ask itself was whether the Committee was giving SAPS more money than it needed.

Mr Schneemann asked if the Committee could be given the policy on the car allowance.

Ms Van Wyk stated that management were the last people that needed to have State vehicles because they did not chase any criminals.

Rev Meshoe asked whether each individual had a specific car or whether there was a pool of cars. He further asked whether an application was done
Mr Groenewald asked what types of vehicles were purchased for the management.

The Chairperson asked who maintained the vehicles and at what cost.

Lt Gen Schutte said that a person driving his or her own car would be able to reclaim the costs. However, this policy was under review and a new document was being compiled.

Ms Van Wyk stated that full details were to be provided.

Rev Meshoe stated that he needed clarity on the questions asked earlier on about the pool of cars.

Mr Groenewald asked what model and what types of cars were being driven by management.

Mr Schutte responded that the cars that were being used by management were mostly low-end Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

Lt Gen Mduli responded to the question asked by the Chairperson on the issue of an undercover member travelling with a functional member, by stating that it was not supposed to happen. He added that it was not possible for him to answer the question.

Lt Gen Schutte responded to the question that had been raised by Mr Schneemann about costs. He noted that the R28.5 million for communications was for landline and cell phone costs.

The Chairperson asked about the Secret Service account.

Lt Gen Schutte stated that the secret service account was not part of the police.

Lt Gen Masemola answered some of the questions that had been raised in relation to PSS. He stated that the number of vehicles that were moving out of the country was a very small figure. He added that cannabis was not the only drug they had recovered. He referred the Committee to page 116 of the Annual Report for more details on this. He also stated that the firearms that were reported on were separate from other firearms.

Lt Gen Masemola said, in relation to the security at Parliament, that SAPS had taken cognisance of the complaints and the issue would be resolved.

Mr George stated that the issue of the lack of security at Parliament was not a new issue. He added that SAPS members at Parliament were not being cared for, and that they would sit at the same gate for three years.

Lt Gen Masemola stated that he agreed that this was too long a posting. He added that the policy was being reviewed to two years.

Lt Gen Masemola noted that, when VIP protectors were to be removed, Ministers were given three months notice and other VIPs were given five days notice. He added that Mr Malema had been given five days notice, and he had ignored the notice. He went on to state that protectors were trained in advanced driving, and in full compliance with the rules of road, and they were also trained in discipline.

Mr Groenewald stated that VIP protectors did not drive according to the rules of the road. He asked whether the personality of the members were tested. He asked what advanced course the protectors did.

Lt Gen Masemola stated that they underwent basic VIP training and advanced driving.

Lt Gen Masemola responded that there was a good relationship was between SAPS and the neighbouring countries.

Mr Groenewald said that there were complaints from the members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that he would have expected complaints also from SAPS.

Lt Gen Masemola stated that the PSS was working on corruption and fraud. He added that statistics would be provided to the Committee.

General Venter stated that the PSS would focus its security on times that they thought were problematic such as early in the morning or late at night and they were stationed on all major routes.

General Mawela stated that the reason for the number of arrests on the border having gone down was because criminals were being intercepted in other countries.

Gen Mngwenya concluded that SAPS had learned a lot from previous meetings and hoped that the problems that had been identified within the SAPS by the Committee would be addressed. She expressed hope that the problems would be sorted by the next financial year.

The Chairperson stated that she needed clarity on the issue of human resources.

The Chairperson stated that numerous problems had been found within the SAPS by the Committee, and urged that these must be addressed as soon as possible in order for the SAPS to function well and give value for the taxpayers’ money spent on it. However, she was optimistic that the problems would be solved and that SAPS was moving in the right direction.

The meeting was adjourned.


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