The South African Police Service (SAPS) continued its briefing on its Annual Performance Plan (APP), Strategic Plan and Budget for 2013/14 by looking at Programme 2, Visible Policing (VISPOL). Visible policing consists of three programmes; Crime Prevention, Border Security and the Specialised Interventions Unit. Visible policing receives 46% of the total budget of SAPS. The Crime Prevention programme takes up a total of R24 105 billion of the budget allocation, and its sub-programmes were as follows: Rail Police (R 739 million), K9 Units (R633 million), Mounted Police (R902 million), Youth, Children and Gender-Based violence (R30 million), Flying Squad (R902 million), Detained Persons (R203 million). Imbizos were also used to mobilise communities.
The purpose of VISPOL was to enable police stations to institute and preserve safety and security, and provide for Specialised interventions and the policing of South Africa’s borders. Its strategic objective was to discourage all crimes by providing a proactive and responsive policing service to reduce the levels of priority crimes. The elements of measure for the crime prevention sub-programme were: the number of serious crimes where the target for 2013/14 was reduced by 2% to 1 753 256. The number of contact crimes was reduced by 4-7% to between 598 547 and 579 842. The number of trio crimes was reduced by 4-7% to between 40 504 and 39 239. Other performance indicators were the number of lost/stolen firearms recovered (including state-owned firearms), the number of stolen/robbed vehicles recovered, the percentage of persons escaped from police custody, the percentage of applications for firearm licences, permits, authorisations, competency certificates and renewals finalised, police reaction time to Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints.
One of the major points of discussion was that of the lack of trained officers to run victim friendly services in police stations. Members raised concern about whether officers received emergency health training or any training to deal specifically with victims of trauma and sexual violence. Another serious concern was about the low levels of adequately trained station commanders. In response SAPS argued that there were various hindrances to training high volumes of officials, such as the 17 week ‘block week’ during training.
Also Members raised concern about the high rate of police brutality, lost/stolen firearms, loss/stolen vehicles, police with criminal records, how low SAPS targets were for these and they noted that the targets for recovering stolen and lost firearms had actually been reduced. Members strongly felt that SAPS management was not adequately prepared to deal with such matters, and that was reflected in the quality of the presentation made to the Committee. SAPS failed to adequately respond to most questions posed by Members. Members argued that SAPS did not have a clear plan on how to address shortcomings within the sector.
Chairpersons’ opening remarks
The Chairperson said that Visible Policing was the biggest SAPS programme with a R31.5 billion budget allocation. It was also the division in SAPS with the largest staff. Visible police were the first point of contact for communities and were at the face of fighting crime in the country.
The mistake in the Annual Report about the Child Justice Act was communicated in writing to SAPS, informing them that it had to be tabled before the Speaker before it was referred back to the Committee. The Committee had been waiting for the correction for more than 3 weeks and it needed an explanation.
Presentation: Programme 2- Visible Policing
Lt-Gen Stefan Schutte, SAPS Chief Financial Officer, began by introducing the members from SAPS from Visible Policing. He referred to the programme as being one of the arteries of the SAPS in terms of operational and functional executions. Visible Policing consists of three programmes; crime prevention, border security and the Specialised interventions unit. Visible policing receives 46% of the total budget of SAPS. The Crime Prevention programme takes up a total of R24 105 billion of the budget allocation, and its sub-programmes were as follows: Rail Police (R 739 million), K9 Units (R633 million), Mounted Police (R902 million), Youth, Children and Gender-Based violence (R30 million), Flying Squad (R902 million), Detained Persons (R203 million). Imbizos were also used to mobilise communities.
Border Security includes Ports of Entry, which amount to R1 575 billion. Specialised Interventions include the Special Task Force of R 67 million, the National Intervention Units (R138 million), Tactical Response teams (R240 million) and Public Order Policing (R1 692 billion). One of the main aims in spending requirements was that of enhancing basic resource requirements for Special Task Force and National Intervention Units.
Strategic Objectives, Annual Targets and Performance Indicators for 2013/14
Maj-Gen Mlungisi Menziwa, Head: Strategic Management, said the purpose of the programme was to enable police stations to institute and preserve safety and security, and provide for specialised interventions and the policing of South Africa’s borders. Its strategic objective was to discourage all crimes by providing a proactive and responsive policing service that would reduce the levels of priority crimes.
The elements of measure for the crime prevention sub-programme were: the number of serious crimes where the target for 2013/14 was reduced by 2% to 1 753 256; the number of contact crimes was reduced by 4-7% to between 598 547 and 579 842 and the number of trio crimes was reduced by 4-7% to between 40 504 and 39 239. Other performance indicators were the number of lost/stolen firearms recovered (which included state-owned firearms), the number of stolen/robbed vehicles recovered, the percentage of persons escaped from police custody, the percentage of applications for firearm licences, permits, authorisations, competency certificates and renewals finalised, police reaction time to Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints. The 2013/14 target for Alpha complaints was 19:05 minutes, Bravo complaints reaction time be maintained at 24:33 minutes on average, and Charlie complaints a reaction time of 21:45 minutes on average. Further indicators were: the percentage of police stations which render a victim friendly service to victims of rape, sexual offences and abuse; the quality of illicit drugs confiscated as a result of police action; volume of liquor confiscated as well as the percentage of police stations where sector policing has been implemented according to the minimum criteria.
As for the second sub-programme, Border Security, the performance indicator was the percentage of crime-related hits reacted to as a result of Movement Control System screening on wanted persons/ circulated stolen or robbed vehicles. The 2013/14 target was to maintain a 100% reaction to hits on persons and vehicles. For the sub-programme, Specialised Interventions, the performance indicators include the percentage of medium to high-risk incidents stabilised in relation to requests received. This included the National Intervention Unit, the Special Task Force and the Public Order Unit, which have all been set to achieve a 100% target for 2013/14. The second performance indicator was the percentage of safe delivery of valuable and/or dangerous cargo, which also had a 100% target.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) referred to the recovery of stolen/ lost firearms, and asked why the target was not 100% instead of 84%. She asked about the type of feedback that SAPS received from Imbizos about the recent outbreaks of police brutality nationally.
Ms D Cili (ANC) asked for a simplified definition for the terms Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked about the reduction of serious crimes, the target was to drop 7-10%, which had only dropped by 2%. She argued that SAPS was aiming too low when it came to their targets, keeping in mind the budget which was spent. In relation to firearms, she asked for a breakdown of the recovered firearms and police vehicles.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) asked why the targets were constantly being lowered, instead of being increased. He asked for the criteria being used in determining targets. He asked for an indication about the minimum criteria used to determine targets.
Mr M George (COPE) asked what was meant by “discourage crime”, seeing that the SAPS mandate from the Constitution was to prevent crime. He argued that the envisaged 100% target for sector policing was too ambitious and asked for an indication of how SAPS was planning on achieving this target.
The Acting Chairperson asked about the minimum standards for sector policing. She argued that the SAPS Strategic Plan had not changed, yet there was no significant change in the policy. She asked about the number of police station where sector policing had been 100% implemented, and whether a Sector Commander had been appointed. Was there an increase in escapes from police stations versus the percentage of detainees. She wondered whether the number of escapes had actually increased.
Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba, Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, responded to the question on lost/stolen firearms saying that the target was not 100% as SAPS found a number of recovered firearms could not be traced back to their owners. The 2011/12 Annual Report noted about 20 000 firearms were recovered with their numbers filed off. The target was therefore about firearms which could be traced back to their owners.
Lt-Gen Schutte asked his delegation to respond to the feedback that SAPS received from the Imbizos.
Lt-Gen Mothiba said that there were a number of partnerships which SAPS had with Community Policing Forums (CPFs) which were meeting on a regular basis. There was therefore continual interaction with communities at cluster levels as well as at provincial level. Awareness campaigns were driven by these CPFs and ward councillors. Imbizos had therefore made provision for rural areas, and the youth for example. However, no impact assessment had been done yet with regard to ascertaining feedback.
The Chairperson responded that Lt-Gen Mothiba did not answer the question, which was about the feedback that SAPS had received from community members about police brutality, and what was being done about it. The majority of the SAPS members involved in these complaints came from Visible Policing.
Lt-Gen Mothiba responded that there were not any specific complaints raised about police brutality at the Imbizos. However, there were comments on general service delivery issues.
Mr George argued that SAPS was not attempting to answer the question.
The Chairperson responded that SAPS had no choice but to answer the question. However it would be dealt with at a later stage.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed his delegation to answer the question on the Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints.
Maj Gen Michael Motlhala, Head: Police Emergency explained that Alpha complaints were serious complaints in progress, such as house robbery, murder or rape. Bravo complaints were serious complaints which had already occurred, while Charlie complaints were minor complaints which had already occurred such as armed robbery.
Lt-Gen Schutte asked that a member from his delegation respond to the question on the 2% reduction.
Maj Gen Menziwa, Head: Strategic Management, said the 2% was an indication per annum. SAPS had therefore agreed with National Treasury that it would not be 1.8-2%.
The Chairperson commented that the SAPS member was not answering the question.
Maj Gen Menziwa said that at the end of 2014, crimes would be reduced by 7%, therefore 2% was part of a multi-year target which would be achieved by 2014 target.
The Chairperson raised a concern that SAPS did not understand that Treasury was not Parliament, and that SAPS was not being overseen by Treasury, rather by the Committee.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed his delegation to respond to the question on the lost/stolen firearms and asked that it be split to indicate which belonged to civilians and which ones belonged to SAPS.
Lt-Gen Mothiba responded that the SAPS delegation did not have the exact figures and how the firearms were split. He requested that SAPS respond in writing.
Ms Kohler-Bernard asked about the number of firearms which SAPS had lost, so that the Committee could figure out for itself the rest.
The Chairperson said that the stealing of SAPS firearms was a major concern which had to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) argued that SAPS was not taking the Committee's questions seriously. SAPS’ conduct was inappropriate.
The Chairperson agreed with Mr Ndlovu, and argued that SAPS needed to account for its R 31 billion expenditure.
Lt-Gen Schutte requested that SAPS members take a small break to gather all the necessary information. He said that Visible Policing did not have the statistics at hand; however Supply Chain Management would have the data.
The Chairperson said that SAPS should have had the information at hand in preparation for the meeting. A 10 minute break was granted to them to gather all relevant information.
After the break, Lt-Gen Schutte directed his delegation to respond to the question on lost and recovered vehicles and escapees.
Brig B Solucoto, Acting Head: Firearm Licence and Second Hand Goods, said that the target for lost/stolen vehicles was worrying. Vehicles and firearms were being stripped of any identification which made it difficult for them to be recovered and returned to their owners.
Maj Gen S Pienaar, Head: Crime Prevention, responded to the question on escapes and said that the new indicator using percentages did not take into account more arrests. However records of the number of escapees were still being kept by SAPS.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed his delegation to respond to the question on sector policing.
Lt-Gen Mothiba responded that Sector Policing was implemented about 10 years ago. It was important to note that it was indeed a resource intensive strategy. The challenge was that many members were being lost through resignations, promotions and deaths. Unfortunately replacing these losses was a major challenge. SAPS could not keep up. Some of the stations have even reduced sectors to keep up with the resources available at their disposal. This was the challenge in implementing sector policing.
Maj Gen Pienaar added that the minimum criterion was part of the SAPS national revised strategy. It required that Sector Commanders be appointed, with sector forums in place. Out of 1131 police stations, 1090 had implemented sector policing. The remaining 41 police stations were mostly those in rural areas which were battling to meet the minimum criterion. The 2009 implementation plan was not moving forward, the implementation framework therefore had to be revised. And that was how the new minimum criteria came into place. The current compliance plan would only be finalised after the new minimum criteria had been implemented.
Ms Molebatsi asked what SAPS was doing about the rising national complaints about police brutality.
Mr Groenewald referred to the Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints and asked why the target for Bravo complaints was lower than that of Charlie complaints. A question was also asked about why the 41 remaining police stations had not implemented sector policing. The list of the 41 stations was requested. He asked how the compliance with minimum criteria was being monitored.
Ms Cili argued that some police were aiding escapes, and asked what SAPS was doing about such cases.
Mr Ndolvu asked about the lost firearms, and asked how SAPS got to that figure, seeing that they were not dotted. He asked about the brutality of the police and what the management was doing to curb its rise. He wondered whether the management was in fact supporting such actions by the police.
Ms Kohler-Bernard asked about outstanding firearm applications, and wondered how many of these were finalised on time. Referring to the victim friendly rooms at police stations, she asked about the level of training which SAPS officials had undergone to take care of these victims.
Mr George referred to the 834 lost firearms and asked about the total cost of these lost firearms. He asked about the number of police officers which had been charged and dismissed for such negligence.
The Chairperson asked what the target was for inspecting police stations, to make sure that they were in compliance with the minimum standards. She then asked why the serious crimes committed in rural areas had been omitted from the report, and what SAPS was doing to deal with unlicensed liquor outlets. She spoke about the backlog on firearm applications, and what the time period was to rectify this backlog. With regard to lost police vehicles, she made reference to the Alberton police station where it had the highest number of lost firearms, lost vehicles and even a lost police safe. What was SAPS management doing to ensure that police stations were implementing the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recommendations? How many of the victim support centres were fully functional with adequately trained staff? SAPS was covering up the fact that prison escapes had actually increased. What was management doing about the discipline of its members?
Lt-Gen Schutte suggested that members from the delegation answer the question on police brutality.
Lt-Gen Mothiba responded that SAPS did not condone any form of police brutality, and any officers who were implicated in such cases should be reported. He argued that the current police service could not be compared to that of the old apartheid regime, as some Members has been suggesting.
Mr Ndlovu raised a point of order and requested that the General should respond to the question, if he could not answer he should rather say so.
Mr George also raised a point of order on the comment made by the General, and argued that he should not involve himself in political matters. He suggested that the General respect Parliament, and deal with the matter in front of the Committee, that of police brutality. What was the management of SAPS doing to deal with the matter?
Ms Kohler-Barnard added that the response from the General was completely arrogant, and he should remain away from political matters. He should be addressing SAPS matters at hand. Reference was made to the recent act of a civilian being dragged behind a police van and dying in police custody as a result.
The Chairperson said that General Mothiba as part of SAPS should not deny the existence of brutality and ill discipline within SAPS.
Lt-Gen Schutte said that any forms of torture and police brutality were unacceptable. SAPS was busy with community awareness programmes, which seek to enforce and inform members on the code of conduct. Training of SAPS members was indeed one aspect which still needed more attention.
The Chairperson said the Committee was expecting an "IPP" on the implementation of IPID recommendations.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed his delegation to respond to the question raised on Alpha-Bravo complaints.
Lt-Gen Mawela, Division Commissioner: Operational Response Services, responded that the criterion used in determining response time was based on the performance of the previous financial year. The comparison was therefore not between Alpha and Bravo complaints, but between the targets from different financial years. He then argued that what also needed to be considered was the rural versus urban response times.
Lt-Gen Schutte said that the list of the 41 police station which had not implemented sector policing would be provided to the Committee. SAPS members were asked to respond to the question on escapes.
Lt-Gen Motlhala said that in 2012/13 there were 750 escapes from SAPS police stations. In the process detainees and police officials collide resulting in some individuals being killed.
Lt-Gen Pienaar said that the list of 41 police stations which had not implemented sector policing was available, and would be circulated to the Members. With regard to escapes, where there was collusion it was found that police members did not comply with the SAPS standing orders. Most detainees therefore find opportunities to escape during their transportation to and from courts mostly.
Lt-Gen Schutte requested that Lt-Gen G Kruser respond to the question on lost/stolen vehicles.
The Chairperson over-ruled and argued that in the previous meeting General Mothiba has said there were enough vehicles within sector policing. General Mothiba had also said that the reason some police stations had not yet implemented sector policing was because of a shortage in personnel. Sector Policing was adopted in 2002, and it currently had 199 000 police officials, therefore skills shortage was not the answer. She insisted that Lt-Gen Mothiba respond to the question on police vehicles.
Lt-Gen Mothiba said the challenge was that of vehicles at the garages for repairs. This would then create major backlogs. The turnaround time for the repair of vehicles therefore needed to be reduced.
Lt-Gen Schutte requested that a member from the delegation respond to the question on lost/stolen firearms. The question was how SAPS was able to identify lost/stolen firearms if most of them were not tagged and could not be traced back to their owners. How was SAPS able to retrieve its own lost/stolen firearms?
Brig Solucoto responded that police officers who lost their firearms negligently were called in for a disciplinary hearing through a loss management process. The 834 police firearms lost therefore amounted to R4 857 million.
Mr Groenewald asked how police officials were scanned to run emergency medical services. How were they selected, and how were they trained.
Lt-Gen Pienaar responded that the police had a victim empowerment facility nationally which enabled them to provide victim friendly services when required to do so. Trained volunteers were also outsourced to deal with victims of trauma, such as those from sexual or gender-based violence. Victim friendly services were also used as a waiting area, it was a private space for taking down information in a private sector. Different criteria were therefore applied for officers who operate in the victim friendly services. One criterion was that officials need to have the necessary training to assist victims with their trauma.
Lt-Gen Schuttte requested that the Alberton scenario be dealt with.
Maj Gen Menziwa responded that contact was made with the provincial commissioner and there was willingness to investigate all matters of crime and theft. The Committee would be informed about the results of the investigation.
Brig Solucoto responded to the question on outstanding firearm applications and said that 59 037 firearms were outstanding nationally.
Maj Gen Menziwa said that in 2012/13 agreement was reached that all firearms applications should be finalised within 90 days. However due to some applications coming in during the 3rd quarter, most applications were finalised in the following financial year.
Lt-Gen Schutte asked that a member from the delegation respond to the question on the difference in terminology between ‘discouraging’ crime and ‘preventing’ crime.
Maj Gen Motlhala responded that the connotation was similar therefore the term would be changed back to ‘crime prevention’.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked about the levels of medical training that police officers had received to deal with victims when the need arose. Reference to the 352 firearms which were lost by SAPS members, a question was asked about who would be financially liable for these loses. She also asked whether any SAPS had been dismissed as a result of negligence.
Ms Cili said that there was suspicion that police officers were helping inmates in escaping, and wanted a comment from SAPS on the matter.
Mr George said the Committee had taken a study tour around the Western Cape and there were a number of police stations where sector policing had not been implemented. He stated that the figure of 41 police stations which had not implemented sector policing nationally did not seem like a true reflection of the reality on the ground. With regard to police brutality, he argued that it was a matter which would make the work of the police very difficult. SAPS were still to comment on the matter.
Mr Groenewald said that targets were set to improve service. SAPS therefore had a misconception of what it meant to set and meet targets. He asked about the appeal on firearms; how much were in backlog and how many had been dealt with. An explanation was asked about how it was possible that some police members would be found guilty of crimes in the court of law, but no disciplinary action would be taken by SAPS management.
The Chairperson said that SAPS did not seem to have any turnaround strategy to deal with misconduct and police incompetence and brutality. Shortage of staff could also not be the reason why SAPS in underperforming. Management and distribution of SAPS vehicles was a matter which needed attention. The training and appointment of competent management at police stations was considered to be highly questionable. Members were not satisfied with the targets set by SAPS. She questioned why the allocation for entertainment had increased, whereas results were deteriorating. How many inspections were done in victim support centres? With regard to the issue of firearm licensing the previous target of delivering within 90 days was better than the current one. How quickly was SAPS dealing with the renewal of firearms?
Lt-Gen Schutte responded that funds had been provided for increasing the number of police stations. Recruitment and training of personnel was a matter which SAPS had provided all the necessary support for. He argued that a lot had been done by SAPS, even though there was still a lot which needed to be done. With regard to the lost/stolen firearms, police officials were required to report lost/ stolen firearms, if the person was guilty for losing the firearm, they would be required to pay back the firearm.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that the Minister had made an announcement that each police officer who lost his or her firearm would be dismissed. She asked whether any officers had been dismissed and whether SAPS had any statistics for these occurrences. Who were the serial offenders and how were they dealt with?
Brig Solucoto said that the loss of firearms was on the decline when the last few financial years were compared. SAPS had put many measures in place to reduce such occurrences. The target set by Supply Chain was to make sure that any firearm lost was because of legitimate reasons such as robbery. Better control of the firearms would be achieved, however more stringent action needed to be taken to deal with negligent officers.
Lt-Gen Pienaar said there were 201 cases of police officials who aided escapees. Of these 55 were fined, five were dismissed, 11 were given final written warnings, and 18 were given written warnings, 24 had cases withdrawn. The complete breakdown would be made available to Members.
Lt-Gen A Lamoer , Provincial Commissioner: Western Cape responded to the question on SAPS officials who had been convicted of criminal offences yet were still serving without any disciplinary action taken against them. He said that there were examples were SAPS members were acquitted in a disciplinary hearing, but convicted in a criminal court. The whole disciplinary process was therefore currently under revision, as it was a serious concern.
The Chairperson asked about suspended dismissals.
Lt-Gen Lamoer responded that suspended dismissals usually lasted for six months, however after the six months some members were found to be committing the same offence again. And this was why the current disciplinary system was being revised.
Maj Gen Pienaar said SAPS was busy finalising the improvement of the SAPS 13 stores. The number of firearms was being monitored at both national and provincial levels. The provincial management had also set up provincial teams to monitor firearms; KwaZulu Natal was cited as an example of such a case.
Lt-Gen Schutte said that the training of station commanders would be taken up at national level, and would be factored into the SAPS training manual.
The Chairperson responded that there were too many police stations where the station commander had no formal management training. This was a huge concern, seeing that station commanders were the most important factor for the running of effective and functional police stations.
A SAPS member said that the rotating of management between police stations was a huge challenge for SAPS.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked whether the Heads of police stations had received any management training. She argued that SAPS was not employing trained officials and that it was rather training them on the job.
Mr George referred to the Rural Safety Summit, and asked for a definition of ‘rural’.
Mr Groenewald asked what the difference was between sector policing and rural safety.
Lt-Gen Mothiba responded that SAPS was facing a challenge by not having a working definition for ‘rural safety’.
Lt-Gen Schutte referred to the question on the rural summit and responded that SAPS would get back with an answer at a later stage.
Mr Groenewald raised frustration that SAPS was not taking the Committee seriously.
The Chairperson asked why the targets for recovering stolen and lost firearms had been reduced, and why many station commanders had not undergone training.
Ms Molebatsi asked what amount of the budget was allocated to the air wing of SAPS. She wondered whether SAPS had enough pilots.
Mr George said that cluster commanders were a waste of money, time and resources as they had limited authority.
The Chairperson asked how many station commanders have undergone management training in the Western Cape. With regard to management training, she asked about what modules police officers were taking and how long it took to be qualified.
Lt-Gen Lamoer agreed that members were first appointed as station commanders and then underwent training afterwards. In the Western Cape, out of the 149 station commanders, 99 had already undergone management training and had completed all the six modules, 35 had not completed all the six modules and 15 stations had vacant posts.
The Chairperson asked what the role and responsibility of cluster commanders was. She referred to the Child Justice Act and enquired what SAPS was doing to intervene early and prevent abuse. With regard to Standing Order 3, she asked how SAPS went about implementing it.
Lt-Gen Lamoer responded that clusters came about as a result of 43 area offices being replaced with 106 clusters to bring the offices closer to the local communities. The basic responsibilities of cluster commanders were to monitor through visible policing and to carry out detective work and to inspect the practise of policing.
Mr George asked about the effectiveness of the cluster commanders. He argued that area officers seemed to be far more effective than cluster commanders.
Lt-Gen Lamoer responded that some clusters were effective, and it all depended on the monitoring and control from the provincial level. Clusters which were not managed effectively were therefore not performing effectively. However the entire cluster model would be revised, in an attempt to make it more effective.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed the delegation to give an overview of SAPS’s involvement in foreign deployments.
Lt-Gen Mawela responded that currently, SAPS was involved in two missions: the South Sudan mission as well as the mission in Darfur. SAPS had 15 members deployed in South Sudan, and 53 members were expected to be deployed to Darfur, they were awaiting Darfur to issue visas.
The Chairperson asked about the time period of deployment and what their duties were in the missions.
Lt-Gen Mawela responded that the deployment period was usually one year, but at times requests were received from the UN to extend the missions for a few months longer. The duties of the deployed officers were to assist the local police with capacity building; they were not armed officials and therefore did not effect any arrests.
Mr George asked how many years did the officers stay in South Sudan, seeing that deployment could not be indefinite.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded that the mission in Darfur started in 2005 while the one in South Sudan started in 2011.
The Chairperson asked when members were expected to withdraw, seeing that deployment was only supposed to be one year.
Lt-Gen Mawela responded that SAPS was directed by Cabinet to withdraw members.
Mr Ndlovu responded that deployment could not be indefinite.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded that deployments were bilateral.
Lt-Gen Mawela responded that SAPS deployed officers on a United Nations resolution, and not based on a country-to-country agreement.
The Chairperson referred to the SAPS Act and stated that SAPS was not accountable to the United Nations, but it was Parliament which held it accountable. International deployment in the SAPS Act therefore needed to be looked at.
Lt-Gen Pienaar responded that there was a need to train officers in dealing with sexual offences victims. A training course had just been developed. With regard to the Child Justice Act, SAPS had identified shortcomings with regard to implementing the Act. Enabling guidelines were drafted to deal with these challenges. SAPS would visit 60 police stations to ensure that the guidelines were implemented correctly. SAPS was also in partnerships with non-governmental organisations to monitor the proper implementation of the legislation. Monitoring at national levels was through prison visitors and through external stakeholders.
Lt-Gen Schutte directed members of the delegation to respond to the question on station commander training.
Maj Gen Motlhala responded that the number of station commanders nationally was 1133. Of these, 817 had completed the management training course. The planned training was for 125 for the 2013/14 financial year. The target remaining of 191 would be trained in the following financial year.
Lt-Gen Schutte asked whether the trained officers had been trained in all modules.
Lt-Gen Motlhala responded that officers had completed all courses of the station management programme.
The Chairperson asked whether the 817 were currently in station management positions.
Lt-Gen Motlhala responded that the high turnover in training complicated the allocation process.
The Chairperson responded that the 817 trained commanders who were not in management positions was worrying. She wondered whether a recommendation should not be made to SAPS to first train officers before they were put in station commander positions. She wondered why SAPS was not prioritising training.
Ms Molebatsi asked about the effectiveness of the training.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that there were 316 untrained station commanders and asked why this was the case.
The Chairperson asked for the list of stations with trained station commanders, and argued that the training of station commanders needed to be fast tracked.
Mr George asked about how many trained police were not running stations.
Lt-Gen Kruser responded that training took place over a 17 week block programme, which made it a very intense training programme. Therefore this limited the number of officers who could be trained at one time.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked how long it would take to be qualified.
The Chairperson said in the 2013/14 financial year SAPS had a target to train 125 officials, and 191 were set for training for the2014/15 financial year. She asked why the target for the current year could not be increased. SAPS was setting its targets too low.
Ms Molebatsi asked about what happened to the officers who did not pass the training.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked how many lost firearms did SAPS recover.
Ms D Sibiya (ANC) asked why the budget allocation for entertainment was so large.
Mr George asked whether SAPS still used the ranked salary system when considering transfers and promotions. Good police officers were discouraged because there were no available posts.
The Chairperson responded that Parliament had ruled on the matter and SAPS just had to make peace with it.
The Chairperson said that officers should be trained to become station commanders even before they were envisioned to be in those positions so that when an opportunity arose, there were trained officers available to take up the posts. She asked what plan SAPS had to fight against gender-based violence and crimes against the elderly. Mention was also made of the specialised intervention units; she asked whether SAPS Annual Performance Plan dealt with zero tolerance towards police brutality. The current plan did not seem to speak to specialised police services and did not seem to address the seriousness of discipline with SAPS.
Ms Kohler said that there were thousands of SAPS members with criminal records. She asked why one had to negotiate with unions instead of the member being immediately dismissed. How was it possible that SAPS members had criminal records and were still in service?
Lt- Gen Kruser responded to the question on what happened to officers who did not pass the training and said that the failed officers were removed from the programme. Career pathing would however be discussed with the training division and with the Human Resources division. With regard to the number of lost/stolen firearms, of the 834 lost/stolen, SAPS had managed to recover 358 of these.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded to the question on the SAPS budget for entertainment and said that it had increased over the last financial years.
The Chairperson asked why there was no set target for Imbizos.
Lt- Gen Schutte responded to the question about the change from ranked-led salary promotions and said that that was how the current structure of SAPS was. However there were discussions on how the current structure could be improved.
Lt-Gen Pienaar added that there were no specific measures made by SAPS to provide for needs of vulnerable groups with special needs. However there were three initiatives by SAPS to assist in curbing the issue, these was gender dialogue, the three year plan of the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence and the work by the inter ministerial committee led by the Department of Social Development and SAPS.
Ms Kohler asked about the systems which SAPS had in place to proactively help young children, seeing that the current systems and their outcomes were not desirable.
Lt- Gen Pienaar responded that SAPS was in partnerships with local communities in an attempt to educate and raise awareness on safer schools. SAPS had good relationships with school initiatives and their communities. The Green Door and Red Door initiatives were some which were led by communities.
The Chairperson said that the current strategic plan was not working. She asked if SAPS had done an honest evaluation of what was working and not working within SAPS. She asked whether SAPS was in constant evaluation of the discipline and work ethic with the SAPS community.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded that if a member had a criminal record while in service, the member would be suspended without the choice of a fine. This would sometimes lead to immediate dismissal. However not all guilty offences meant immediate discharge.
The Chairperson said that the initial requirement for entry into SAPS was that members not have any criminal records. However members were committing crimes while in service. She asked why SAPS had such double-standards.
Lt-Gen Lamoer agreed that there were members within SAPS with criminal records. However the current regulations did not make provisions for immediate dismissal. Dismissal action would be only be taken when there was a prison sentence. However the current regulations for dismissal were being reviewed.
The Chairperson asked why the process was taking so long.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked whether there was not a regulation to prevent members from serving when they were out on bail. She asked whether SAPS was running a spaza shop.
Mr George referred to a comment made by the Minister that command and control had collapsed within SAPS. Police members also were in partnerships with criminals and were protecting them.
The Chairperson asked when the full report would be finalised on issues of dismissal and their procedure. She requested that the Committee be updated on the progress made on the matter of SAPS members with criminal records. This was a matter which had to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded to the question of evaluation as a performance output and said that monitoring was considered to be priority within SAPS. However more work still needed to be done.
The Chairperson advocated for less talking and more action. She argued that the Committee was not satisfied as the majority of the budget was not being used to deliver positive results. Crime and police brutality were still major concerns which needed adequate attention from management. Performance standards were to be adhered to on a daily basis. Management also had a responsibility to monitor police stations and units regularly. SAPS had an abundance of resources, both financial and skills-wise. They just need to be managed well. The targets that had been set were also a major concern; SAPS therefore had to do better. She reminded Lt-Gen Schutte to forward all the agreed upon documents in due time.
The meeting was adjourned.
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