The Chairperson mentioned a recent article in the Mail & Guardian newspaper about a school in Carolina, Mpumalanga where young white people received military training and were being indoctrinated to believe that any black person was their enemy. This type of training was not welcome in SA, because it took the country backwards to the Apartheid era. She hoped that SAPS would investigate the school to establish whether any laws were being contravened and whether the school was complying with the Children’s Act and labour legislation. If any laws were found to be broken, the people involved needed to be brought before the courts. Also noted was the Cato Manor case. Some of the photos in newspapers brought back memories of the Vlakplaas death squads which operated under the Apartheid government. The Portfolio Committee, the Hawks and the ICD all had an interest in the case to ensure that the police, who were supposed to protect the people of the country, did not brutalise them.
SAPS appeared for a second attempt at briefing the Committee on all Proclamations issued by the UN Security Council since July 2010. SAPS presented on the processes the United Nations followed to list and de-list a person or entity as a terrorist threat. It also touched on the effects of being listed.
The Committee was dissatisfied with the presentation, because it was not what was requested. It noted that SAPS had to do the following:
“Every proclamation issued under section 25 shall be tabled in Parliament for its consideration and decision and Parliament may thereupon take such steps as it may consider necessary.”
It could not give the Committee a mere Gazette number of the Proclamation. The SAPS delegation criticised for wasting the Committee’s time and was told it should rather come over-prepared.
Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) Report
The report was adopted with amendments. In this meeting, the Senior Committee Researcher presented the second draft of the report which would become the submission of the Portfolio Committee on Police to the Presidential State-Owned Entities Review Committee. PSIRA was a public entity, the only SOE that fell under the Portfolio Committee on Police. It was funded by levies collected from the private security industry, security officers and security service providers. It was governed by a council appointed by the Minister of Police in consultation with Cabinet. The Portfolio Committee on Police had interacted regularly with PSIRA over the last year, due to it experiencing severe problems. In 2008/09 PSIRA received a disclaimer of opinion from the Auditor General. In 2009/10 it received a qualified audit opinion with five items under emphasis of matter. Toward the end of 2010 it became apparent that the functioning of PSIRA was questionable. In 2010/11 it received an unqualified audit opinion with three items under emphasis of matters and recorded a net deficit of R23.7m. The Auditor General doubted its status as a going concern. Its key challenges were poor leadership both internally and in council, poor revenue and debt collection processes and rising personnel costs. PSIRA had instituted a turnaround strategy which included a new leadership, an increase in annual fees, improved control measures as well as independent audit and risk committees. A key concern of the Portfolio Committee was that current legislation did not provide sufficient control over the industry. The industry was huge, armed and inadequately controlled, posing a security threat. The Act had been under revision for a number of years and had not yet been tabled in Parliament.
The Committee recommended an Amendment Bill be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible. The Bill had to address regulation and control of the industry, especially addressing foreign ownership of companies, conditions of service of employees, the registration of foreign nationals employed in the industry as well the control of firearms. The Committee discussed at length what measures needed to be taken in gaining control over foreign ownership of companies such as strict background checks and using South African rather than foreign managers.
The report included a complaint about the poor quality of the service that the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster received from the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). The Committee recommended that a Programme of Action had to be developed, giving clear time frames, deadlines and costs for development and implementation of the information technology components of the Integrated Justice System.
Committee Report on oversight visit to the Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) project
The report looked at this massive project in Port Elizabeth and the direct and indirect costs of the TETRA Project, benefits to SAPS over the five year period of the TETRA contract, and concerns raised by the Committee. There were enormous concerns about the costs, outdated equipment, previous failure in
The Chairperson mentioned a matter reported in the Mail & Guardian last week, about a school in
The Chairperson said that she was from that area and knew it well. The school was situated on the
This was connected to the Cato Manor case, and some of the photos displayed in newspapers brought back memories of the Vlakplaas death squads which operated under the Apartheid government. The Portfolio Committee, the Hawks and the ICD all had an interest in the case of whether the police, who were supposed to protect the people of the country, brutalised them.
Proclamations for adoption
The Chairperson said the proclamations which the Committee was going to be briefed on, were supposed to be adopted at a previous meeting. It did not happen and this meeting was called in order for SAPS to brief the Portfolio Committee on the proclamations. According to what appeared in the ATC on 4 November 2011, it would be from proclamations dating from 20 July 2011. However the last time SAPS briefed the Committee on this, it dealt with proclamations up to July 2010. The Portfolio had not been briefed on any proclamations issued since July 2010, so it had to start from there. It was necessary to go through all the proclamations but this was time-consuming which was problematic, because the Committee had a very full programme.
Brigadier J Strydom said she recalled that the Committee had requested SAPS to table the proclamations more regularly. What the delegation had prepared was what they were requested to prepare for this meeting. She asked whether the Committee wanted a full briefing on all the proclamations every six months or a briefing every three months. The information stayed pretty much the same, but Ms van Wyk had indicated that she wanted to know what happened in every Gazette; had they deleted or added names etc. Guidance from the Committee would assist.
The Chairperson said that the issue had been discussed before and the Committee had made it clear that it needed to be briefed on all proclamations. In other words, all proclamations issued since the last one the Committee had been briefed on, it needed a briefing on. This was why she accepted that it would be necessary to call another meeting in order to cover all proclamations. The Committee was prepared to focus on whatever was prepared for this meeting, even if it covered only part of what had to be covered.
Brig Strydom apologised and said that in future the Committee would be briefed on all proclamations.
Presentation on Proclamations
Colonel Mandisa Bobi delivered the presentation. The Portfolio Committee on Police requested a briefing on Proclamations in respect of entities involved in terrorist and related activities identified by the United Nations Security Council, made in terms of section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and related activities Act (POCDATARA ) (No 33 of 2004) and tabled in terms of section 26 of that Act. The presentation gave a list of the proclamations tabled (see presentation)
Article 24 of the United Nations Charter said “In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United nations, its members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility , the Security Council Acts on their behalf.”
Article 25 said “The members of the UN agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”
Article 26 said “In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security, with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the military Staff committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.
Clause 231(3) of the Constitution stated that international agreements had to be tabled in Parliament, in the Assembly and in Council within a reasonable time.
A resolution of the UN Security Council said that the President of a member country had to, by means of a notice in the Gazette or any other appropriate means, publicise in his country that the UN Security Council had identified an entity which showed tendencies to commit or did commit terrorist acts or identify an entity against which members states had to take action, in order to combat or prevent terrorist activities.
The POCDATARA prescript for Parliamentary supervision stated that: “Every Proclamation issued under the section 25 shall be tabled in Parliament for its consideration and decision and Parliament may thereupon take such steps as it may consider necessary.”
The consolidated list consisted of four categories: Taliban individuals and Taliban entities, and Al-Qaida individuals and entities. States were encouraged to circulate it widely.
Member states were encouraged to submit names for listing as soon as supporting evidence was obtained. Member states were encouraged to contact the state of residence or citizenship of the individual or entity to obtain additional information. Member states were also expected to give the name of the individuals responsible for or concerned with listing.
The statement of the case had to be releasable. If the listing was approved, the 1267 Committee of the UN of the Security Council (dealing with Taliban and Al-Qaida) updated the consolidated list. The secretariat then informed the permanent
Member states by law had to inform the individual or entity that he had been listed. The Office of the Ombudsman also notified individuals/entities if their addresses were known, after the Permanent Mission had been notified. The information was also forwarded to Interpol. The possible effects of listing on entities or individuals were to have their assets frozen, have arms embargo and travel bans.
To de-list, a petitioner had to submit a request for de-listing to the office of the Ombudsperson. The states of nationality, residence or incorporation of the petitioner had to be consulted. The chairperson then circulated the request including appropriate additional information provided by the monitoring team. The request was placed on the 1267 Committee’s agenda and the member states were invited to submit views.
The 1267 Committee considered the opinions of the states of residence, nationality or incorporation and if any objection was received, the request was rejected. If there was proof that the individual involved had died, a decision had to be made regarding the unfreezing of assets. The Ombudsperson could also do an investigation and make an observation which served as a recommendation to the Monitoring team for or against de-listing.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) said that she had a problem with the presentation because this was a repeat of a discussion that had happened before. Brig Strydom said “Ms van Wyk requested…….”, but the Committee requested that all proclamations had to be tabled in Parliament. She did appreciate the information it contained because it explained how the United Nations processed proclamations. She quoted the presentation where it said that:
“Every proclamation issued under section 25 shall be tabled in Parliament for its consideration and decision and Parliament may thereupon take such steps as it may consider necessary.”
This was exactly the complaint of the Committee against SAPS delegation the previous time. It could not give the Committee only the number of the Gazette in which the five proclamations appeared. The Committee had raised the issue of a South African being listed as a suspect person, who had to be de-listed, because of the fact that this process had happened haphazardly.
After that meeting, SAPS had presented the Committee with a document that indicated exactly what the impacts of the proclamations were.
Today, this briefing was supposed to inform the Committee accordingly. It was not doing that. SAPS knew what had been requested. If it were new presenters, she still would have had a problem, because the organisation had to communicate what was expected. It was not new people, it was the same people, but the Committee was not getting what was requested. The presentation as it was, did not put the Committee in a position to do what it was supposed to do: “...to consider and to take decisions.”
Brig Strydom accepted responsibility for the deficit in information and added that SAPS did not have a narrative summary on every person listed. Her understanding was that a narrative summary was only needed on individuals who might influence the SA environment. She apologised for her misunderstanding and promised that it would be rectified.
At a previous meeting, she had provided a narrative summary on an individual called Khaled Tantoosh. [Khaled Tantoosh served as the mufti (Sunni Islamic scholar - religious leader) of
Ms van Wyk said that the Counter-Terrorism Act it made it an offence to do business, or give donations to listed individuals or organisations. It was not only about SA citizens. It was about all the people in the world. According to the presentation, one of the responsibilities of states was to publicise the listed individuals or organisations. Parliament was one of the places where that had to happen, so it could not only be about South Africans. Previously the point had been raised that Parliament had to inform people, and not only South Africans, about what was going on in SA. It was also possible that Parliament was not happy with the list and would request the UN to de-list individuals or organisations. SAPS was not assisting the Committee in doing its parliamentary responsibility in terms of the Act and what the United Nations expected.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) said that there had to be contact amongst countries. When Parliament had to take a decision, it needed to consult so many people. Information needed to be forwarded to Parliament, because when Parliament talked to sister parliaments, the briefing process would be easy. Parliament needed high quality, thoroughly investigated information, because it did not want to list someone wrongfully. Information on security in this regard also had to flow freely between governments, because of the international nature of terrorism.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had had a similar discussion in a previous meeting. This was why the current meeting was called. This was the second meeting where the Committee requested SAPS brief the Committee on the outstanding proclamations, where SAPS had come unprepared. Its own presentation stated that “every proclamation shall be tabled in parliament for consideration.” The Committee would not call a meeting to be briefed on a process of the UN Security Council only. She appreciated the fact that the presentation reminded the Committee of this process, but the situation was unacceptable. The Committee was wasting time while it had a very busy programme. It was the duty of SAPS to remind the Committee of the proclamations that had not been tabled, as it was their area of work.
Brig Strydom apologised again and said that SAPS had a counter-terrorism meeting chaired by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. It would include the Intelligence Community and Detective Services. If any individual needed special attention it would be brought to the attention of the Portfolio Committee.
Mr Ndlovu said he did not understand that statement as the Portfolio Committee on Police was part and parcel of the Security Cluster. Some of the information had to come from this Portfolio Committee and it had to be briefed thoroughly and not receive information as a third party, if there was a threat.
Ms van Wyk pointed out that Brig Strydom again referred to an individual, while it was not about individuals. The body to which she was referring, which was going to meet, were officials, not politicians, not Parliament, not representatives of the people. She suggested that Brig Strydom went through the Counter-Terrorism Act again and read about the protection of democracy, because she thought Brig Strydom had forgotten what the responsibilities of Parliament were.
This attitude was why the Financial Intelligence Centre did not have any prosecutions on its record. The proclamations by the UN were about alerting South African companies not to do business with, associate with, or give donations to, hide or interact with listed companies or individuals anywhere in the world. It was not about South African individuals and it might never be about South African individuals. Mr Ndlovu was correct. That body that was meeting was not the representatives of the South African people. They were officials. The Portfolio Committee was the elected representative of the South African people and this was where they needed to be informed. She called for a single meeting with a full briefing on all the proclamations not yet tabled in Parliament.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) said the Committee had requested a briefing on proclamations, which was not happening. He asked the SAPS delegation go and prepare themselves and come back to do the briefing.
The Chairperson reiterated that it was the second time that the meeting had to be postponed. The Committee could not convene meetings in order to postpone them. The delegation should rather come over- prepared. It had to give a briefing on all the outstanding proclamations. The meeting could not proceed on this agenda item. This could not happen a third time. If it did, the Committee would be obliged to report Brig Strydom to the highest authority and request that somebody else be sent who would be able to provide what the Committee requested. The Committee expected a prepared briefing on all un-tabled proclamations and the Chairperson expressed her frustration and disappointment with what had transpired. She expected better from Brig Strydom and that the Brigadier would be informed of the date of the next meeting.
Committee Report on Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA)
The Chairperson said that a committee, the Presidential State-Owned Entities Review Committee (PRC) had been set up. President Zuma had announced the setting up of the Presidential SOE Review Committee during his 2010 budget vote speech with the objective of strengthening SOEs and clarifying governance and ownership of SOEs. The PRC had compiled a report which had been tabled in Parliament. Each Portfolio Committee was expected to make inputs about the entities, agencies and stakeholder organisations which accounted to it.
Ms Nadia Dollie, a Senior Researcher in Parliament, presented the second draft of the report which had been amended, using inputs from members, since the first draft was circulated the previous week. She then read through the report (see document). The report consisted of headings: Introduction, Challenges experienced when dealing with PSIRA and Recommendations to improve the work of PSIRA.
PSIRA was a public entity, the only SOE that fell under the Portfolio Committee on Police, established in terms of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act No 56 of 2001. It was funded by levies collected from the private security industry, security officers and security service providers. It was governed by a council appointed by the Minister of Police in consultation with Cabinet.
The Portfolio Committee on Police had interacted regularly with PSIRA over the last year, due to it experiencing severe problems. In 2008/09 PSIRA received a disclaimer of opinion from the Auditor General. In 2009/10 it received a qualified audit opinion with five items under emphasis of matter. Toward the end of 2010 it became apparent that the functioning of PSIRA was questionable. In 2010/11 it received an unqualified audit opinion with three items under emphasis of matters and recorded a net deficit of R23.7m. The Auditor General doubted its status as a going concern. Its key challenges were poor leadership both internally and in council, poor revenue and debt collection processes and rising personnel costs.
PSIRA had instituted a turnaround strategy which included a new leadership, an increase in annual fees, improved control measures as well as independent audit and risk committees.
Recent media reports about a Cape Town-based unregistered security company that had links with organised crime, highlighted the fact that PSIRA had very little capacity to control its brief on the ground. The industry was huge, armed and inadequately controlled, posing a security threat.
A key concern of the Portfolio Committee was that current legislation did not provide sufficient control over the industry. The Act had been under revision for a number of years and had not yet been tabled in Parliament.
The Committee welcomed the revision of the Act and recommended that this be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible. The Bill had to address issues such as regulation of and control over the industry, especially addressing foreign ownership of companies, conditions of service of employees, the registration of foreign nationals employed in the industry as well the control of firearms.
State Information Technology Agency
The report included a complaint about the poor quality of the service that the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster received from another entity, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). SITA did not fall under the Portfolio Committee on Police, but the Committee thought that the PRC would be able to address the problem. The Committee recommended that a Programme of Action had to be developed, giving clear time frames, deadlines and costs for development and implementation of the information technology components of the Integrated Justice System. The plan had to be closely monitored by SAPS, the relevant oversight agencies including the Portfolio Committee on Police.
The Chairperson said the Committee had identified PSIRA as a SOE that reported to the Portfolio Committee on Police but it had also commented on SITA, which was reporting to another Minister and Portfolio Committee. These were the issues the Committee felt had to go into the report in order to strengthen PSIRA and SITA.
Ms van Wyk suggested that another bullet point had to be added under the heading:” Other concerns of the Committee include” under “Challenges” and the bullet point had to read:” The capacity of PSIRA to collect fines”.
Ms van Wyk said if she understood correctly, this report would become part of the cluster report. She wanted the comment on SITA to read: “The Program of Action had to be closely monitored by the departments within the Integrated Justice System and the relevant oversight agencies including the parliamentary committees”.
Mr M George (COPE) said he was worried about PSIRA, the lack of control over firearms as well as the dominance of foreign owned companies in the security industry and how to limit it. In the past when he was part of the Justice cluster, it was discussed and identified as a problem, but the people from the finance departments defended the industry, saying it was foreign investment. There was a meeting of German and British stakeholders who came to SA to intimidate them. It was later discovered that that was the correct stance. The report was a good thing, but fell short. The time had come to do something about foreign ownership.
He did not know how the issue of foreign nationals in the labour force in the security industry was going to be addressed. There were abuse of workers in the security industry. There were fly-by-night companies which sprang up and disappeared without paying their workers.
Then there was the issue of firearms. At one stage, it was said that the security industry owned more firearms than SAPS, the SANDF and Correctional Services put together. Some security companies were not properly constituted. Some gave the arms to criminals. SAPS had to develop a plan to control firearms in the private security industry.
Mr Ndlovu referred to the phrase that read: “address foreign ownership and control issues’ and said that a stronger word than ‘address’ was needed. There was a need to ‘catch’ foreigners who wanted to open security companies here. It was not that SA did not need the investment, but government had to find a way to deal with it. They did not do it in other countries, but the SA government allowed them to do it here.
Mr Ndlovu questioned the practice where private security companies were allowed to own and use higher calibre machine guns, than the SANDF. If they had more firearms than the entire firearm-carrying state departments combined, there was a serious problem. He was afraid of what was happening.
Ms Van Wyk agreed with everything that was said. She proposed instead of ‘address’ foreign ownership, ‘restrict foreign ownership and address controls’. She proposed that the conditions of service of security guards had to be addressed in accordance with existing labour law. The calibre of weaponry had to be determined by SAPS. PSIRA did not issue licences, SAPS did.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) was concerned about the wording regarding ‘restrict’ versus ‘address’. The blanket statement saying ‘restrict foreign ownership’ implied that all foreigners were a threat to the country, which was not the case. Many foreigners owned many companies in SA, without being a threat to the country. She agreed that strict background checks would be needed for prospective foreign security company owners. Currently PSIRA could not and did not do it. She suggested that the wording had to be left as ‘address‘ so as not to predetermine the outcome.
Mr George said when he was part of the Committee (then called Safety and Security) drafting the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority Bill, as part of its research it listed all security companies which were owned by foreigners. When talking about foreign ownership, he referred to foreigners living and based in
Ms Van Wyk said that she did not say a total ban was needed. Restrictions could mean that there would be requirements of security checks on the background of security company owners, or for example that the manager had to be South African. The Committee would be irresponsible not to acknowledge the problems that there were with foreign owned companies. Restrictions meant that checks and balances would be put in place, thus improving control. She reminded the meeting that a year ago the Mail & Guardian published an article about a certain terminal at OR Tambo Airport, where intelligence gathering was happening, but not by the SA government. It was a problem to which the solution was not on the table.
Rev Meshoe indicated that he agreed with the word ‘restriction’. Other nations in the world did not allow foreign controlled security companies to overwhelm the local security industry. There was an element of danger. In all other industries, investment was welcome.
Mr Ndlovu said that it was PSIRA’s job to ensure that there was a security industry, but it could not be stronger than the SA security forces. This was the only country in the world where so many foreigners ran and owned security companies and owned more weapons than the country’s security forces.
The Chairperson agreed with the wording ‘restrict’ foreign companies. It also meant regulating the security industry. Emphasis had to be placed on legislation itself. For as long as the legislation was not in Parliament, nothing would change. The legislation had to be tabled in Parliament.
Nothing was said about security guards who were foreign nationals and who were in SA illegally. The process of employing foreign nationals as security guards had to be looked at. Were they being vetted? Some had military training in their countries, some were qualified doctors.
The Chairperson acknowledged the point added by Ms van Wyk on the capacity of PSIRA to collect funds as a concern of the Committee. She asked whether there was a recommendation in this regard.
Her own view on SITA was that maybe, if there was going to be a consolidated report for the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster this had to be part of it. She understood that it reported to another Portfolio Committee which was not in the cluster, but she felt it had to be raised at that level. SITA had to drive integration at cluster level. It was not happening.
She proposed, in the light of Mr George arguing the point so strongly, that the issue of foreign ownership of private security companies in SA had to be the number one recommendation of the Committee, although there was no order. There had to be a proper conclusion to the report. The Chairperson, with Mr George agreeing, said SAPS had to control firearm licences in the security industry.
The Committee adopted the report with amendments. It would be submitted to the Presidential State-Owned Entities Review Committee as the contribution of the Portfolio Committee on Police.
Committee Report on oversight visit to Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) project: 29 November 2011
The Chairperson noted the Committee had visited this massive project in
The Committee Secretary read through the report. Important points made were:
▪ The Chairperson referred to Paragraph Two of the Introduction which read ”SAPS management did not report on the TETRA project when it met with the Portfolio Committee on its 2011/12 Budget and 2010/11 Annual Report”. She corrected the report by saying that SAPS management never ever reported on the TETRA Project in any budget.
Ms Kohler-Barnard agreed and said that the report could say that SAPS management did not report on the TETRA Project in any previous Annual Report.
▪ Direct and Indirect cost of the TETRA Project, Ms Van Wyk said that members asked staff whether they had ICASA licensing for the project, to which they replied in the negative, stating that it was not necessary. Subsequently the TETRA project did approach ICASA to request a licence. The staff lied, and it had to be captured in the report.
▪ The Committee was told that the equipment was kept in a warehouse in
▪ The Committee requested SAPS to respond to all questions in writing and to submit a costed implementation and maintenance plan with its responses.
Ms Van Wyk said the Chairperson asked for a maintenance plan, but what was in fact needed was a breakdown of the costing in terms of infrastructure, equipment, implementation, maintenance and the roll out. She did not believe that the Committee would be done with TETRA after tabling this report.
▪ In the conclusion of the report, Ms Van Wyk said wanted to ask as a representative of the ANC for a specific meeting between the Committee and SAPS, for which the Committee could prepare, along the lines of the leases that included the breakdown of the costing as mentioned in the previous paragraph. There was talk in the security cluster about moving to a national communications platform. SAPS had to provide answers on this issue as well as a report on comparisons to other countries on these issues. The Committee had to make it clear to Parliament that it was not done with this issue.
The Chairperson agreed that the Committee was not done with the TETRA issue and that SAPS would be called to Parliament to answer questions.
The Chairperson asked members to re-read the report and make their amendments so that the report could be adopted the next week. The project was massive and a lot of money was spent on it. The Portfolio Committee complained in the previous meeting about the office space leased at R125/m2 in
The Committee did not complain about this massive project that was so mismanaged. Sometimes she wondered why Members did not complain. This project was going to cost the country huge sums of money, and it could collapse at any moment. It was a case of the contractor making money during the contract and not caring whether it collapsed afterwards as had happened in
The meeting was adjourned.
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