SAPS on its 2012/2013 Annual Report: Programme 3 Detective Services Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI)

This premium content has been made freely available


10 October 2013
Chairperson: Ms A van Wyk (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

The agenda stated SAPS would brief the Committee on Programme 3: Detective Services and Programme 6: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.

The meeting began with the Department responding to outstanding questions from the previous day around the recovery of stolen vehicles, cooper cable theft, firearm licence renewals, the vehicle pounds, appointment of the deputy station commanders, firearm competency tests and driver’s licences. Discussion focused on the cluster commanders whose effectiveness was challenged by the Committee and merely contributed to a bloated senior management. A clear indication of the roles and responsibilities of the cluster commanders, their performance measurements and financial implications was requested. Debate was held on the response time calculations and problems with the 10111 call centres as identified in the findings of the Auditor-General. The crime statistics were discussed and the Committee questioned the use of current census data when comparing between this years and previous years (which had used earlier census data). They wanted to see the move toward real-time statistics – not releasing this only once a year.

The Committee received responses to their questions on the increase of car hijackings, proactive policing, stagnation in sexual offences, the increased murder rates in the Free State and KZN provinces, local government by-laws, attempted murder rates and the contribution of gang violence toward the murder rate in the Western Cape.

Programme Three: Detective Services covered four subprogrammes: Crime Investigations, Criminal Record Centre, Forensic Science Laboratories and Specialised Investigations (DPCI). For crime investigations, the presentation focused on the actual performance indicators against the targets, major achievements and interventions. For the Specialised Investigations: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, performance indicators were compared out against targets and the major achievements were discussed. The Committee told SAPS that it would not accept the report next year if the Hawks were not handled as an additional programme [Programme 6] which was required by the Act. The Committee had requested this already last year but this was ignored.
The presentation on the Criminal Record Centre looked at the performance indicators and targets against the actual performance, the forensic science laboratories (FSL), reduction of the backlog, comparison of the FSL against the Indiana state laboratory, and accomplishments. The presentation specifically discussed the issues raised by the Committee in terms of the decommissioning of the Marshall system, evidence collection kits and the progress on two pieces of legislation: the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment legislation on Fingerprints and DNA.

Members raised questions on interventions to encouraging women to report rapes, vacant forensic posts and delays in allocations, especially with the looming DNA Bill, a skills retention plan, lost and missing dockets, the status of the national sex offenders and child offenders registry and rhino and abalone poaching. Also discussed were the role of the detective court case officers versus the branch commanders - specifically, the duplication of posts, bloating the system, not getting to the crux of the problems and the rank of these officials. Members were concerned about the drug conviction rate and testing of drugs and the extraordinary high number of court-ready case dockets.

The last round of questions asked about the status of the National Crime Combating Forum, detailed information on how the interventions in the Annual Report would be implemented and cheaper and more immediate ways to test drugs. Of particular concern was the absence of informants at station level and the cost and numbers of registered informants. The Chairperson concluded with a detailed list of requirements that SAPS needed to attend to – which had emerged from the meeting’s discussions.  

Meeting report

Answers to questions outstanding from yesterday’s meeting
Maj. General M Menziwa spoke about the recovery of stolen vehicles, saying it was easy for the police to recover foreign cars in South Africa but when the vehicles were in another country, it was a very long process. This was because the legislation was not compatible and could end up taking even more than a year. The issue was being dealt with by regional bodies, the National Commissioner and the Minister. SAPS was not only affected by this but the police services in neighbouring countries were also challenged.

He said many foreigners involved in copper cable theft. They were being arrested and the important part was that they were working on behalf of syndicates. There were forums on the theft of non-ferrous metals which included all stakeholders, like Telkom and Eskom, where results were starting to yield. Good arrests were being made and there was reduction in the theft of copper cable theft.

Moving on to cluster commanders, he explained they were needed for in the capacity of carrying out oversight over police stations. The role of the cluster commanders was to inspect police stations and to ensure the personnel were doing what they were supposed to and there was compliance. The structure was currently under review to make it more powerful and increase its capacity.

SAPS National Commissioner Riah Phiyega added the role of the station commander was to focus on crime within an area while the role of the cluster commander was to look at larger issues of oversight and compliance and so it was a critical structure. She emphasised that there was a need to define the role of the cluster commander clearly as differentiated from that of the station commander. The deputy station commander would also be inward looking at internal issues while the station commander should be left to work on the crime on the ground with the people. A task team was working on this structure and she hoped they could come back and report to the Committee on how they would sharpen the focus on this.

Mr M George (COPE) questioned why cluster commanders were not given more staff. He got the perception that cluster commanders were a nuisance even at station commander level. These cluster commanders were effectively decorated policemen doing nothing. He felt the intentions were good but as the structure was now, they were doing nothing.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) said that there were now layer upon layer of oversight bodies but it was ultimately left up to station commanders, They were not answering to the cluster commanders and simply ignoring them or the cluster commanders were ignoring the stations. She got the general impression that the cluster commanders were not taken seriously and because of this maybe they should be doing a different job as this was not working. She was not happy with the answer the Department had provided.

The Chairperson stressed that the Department could not have another layer of management. She gave the example of a Limpopo police station where a cluster commander was stationed at the station which was one of the worst stations the Committee had visited. This was where the Committee found children being locked up and detainees being assaulted. She wanted to see a clear role definition for cluster commanders if they were needed, otherwise they would become a mere post office. 

Commissioner Phiyega noted this model was not foreign to Police but came from the Department of Education model of regional offices as there was no way the national Department could have direct one-to-one relationships with schools. The clusters were critical to ensure that the station commanders were out there where crime was happening while the cluster commanders were there to ensure operational oversight. This was a model used by all large-scale organisations. The cluster commanders were an important component and it should not be written off. She asked that the Department be given an opportunity to come back to the Committee with a stronger definition to make the cluster commanders do what they were supposed to.

The Chairperson made the point that the Department claimed success in fighting crime with a defunct cluster commander system which brought into question why were they needed. Which added benefits would be gotten out of the cluster commanders? 

The Commissioner said she was not disputing the findings but these were some solutions they were going to invoke about the issues being raised. She knew they had many challenges to mitigate as they were not perfect performers. They were far from angels and asked for the opportunity to come back on this. 

The Chairperson said she was asking a very direct question as to what were the added benefits from cluster commanders. There were financial implications to cluster commanders such as more staff, vehicles, cell phones, office space, fuel costs and daily operations meant more funds. She wanted to know what the added costs were moving forward.

Mr George made it clear that the truth of the matter was that the cluster commanders were not functioning at the moment. There were already criticisms of a top-heavy police management. In Pretoria there were a large number of policemen and women trained to arrest criminals now sitting in offices. This was the same in the regions. This was not the Department of Education and was far more serious as they were dealing with men and women rooting out ruthless criminals and protecting South Africans who could not protect themselves. This was not a teacher waking up in the morning asking what was two plus two.

Commissioner Phiyega said she was not talking about bringing in new people but about refinement of roles of those already existing. The cluster commanders were there but to make them work SAPS needed to sharpen the focus, clarify roles and eradicate duplication of roles to use people more effectively.

Maj Gen Menziwa said the cluster commander was there to ensure there was coordination between the provincial commander and station commander. In the past the Department used to have areas then areas were suspended; then cluster commanders were formed. When the clusters were started they were not doing well although there were clusters which were doing very well. The Department would ensure that all clusters function well.  

The Chairperson could not understand why they needed to change the structure in order to take steps.

The Commissioner replied that they were not changing the structure but clarifying the roles. 

The Chairperson noted there were questions from the Members and this was not dialogue between herself and the National Commissioner. She wanted to finish the outstanding questions so that they could move on. It was clear the Committee was not convinced about what was being said and they would make recommendations on it. 

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked if the deputy station commanders were already in existence or if it was something which was still going to happen.

The Chairperson wanted to know the mandate of the cluster commanders. She was worried that the wrong people were in the wrong positions and this was seen everywhere in SAPS. If the right people were in the right positions, they would not be seeing these things. Instead of addressing why person X was not doing their job they created another structure to intervene in what person X was doing instead of training person X or letting them go. She emphasised that they could not keep on bloating the system. She felt they would have been safer on this issue had they stuck to what was said yesterday. What the Department was saying, whether they denied it or not, would have serious financial implications. There were already cluster commanders with inadequate office space. In order to be safe and move on, the Department needed to keep to what was originally said to re-look at the matter, come back with a redefinition of the roles and cost implications thereof. She stressed they should not come back to the Committee and say there were no cost implications because she would prove there would be.

The Commissioner, as accounting officer for SAPS, and head of the environment, said the issues being raised were very true. By intervention, they would look at the structure to deliver on their mandate and they get the right people in the right places to do the job as these aspects were mutually inclusive. She would ensure that through the structure of clusters they would look at ensuring the structure did what it was supposed to and that there were consequences for those not doing their job in terms of performance management. She would present this to the Committee. 

The Chairperson said she would summarise this section with a recommendation. The recommendation was that the Committee was worried about the bloating of the system and requested that SAPS come back to the Committee with clear indication of the roles and responsibilities of the cluster commanders, performance measurements and financial implications. She explained that the ultimate responsibility lay with the Committee as they accounted for taxpayers’ money. The Committee was excluding what the Department had said but requested that this information come back to the Committee before a final decision was made. 

Commissioner Phiyega asked, in relation to the cluster commanders already there, do they wait and not do the work because it was worrying that the Chairperson said the Department come back before a decision was made.

Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) explained the Chairperson meant they should not stop operations but that they should carry on and approach the Committee with a report if they were to implement a new system all together so that they were on the same level. This was his understanding of the matter.

The Chairperson reiterated her concerns about the financial implications of new layers in the system which Parliament needed to know about. This was the role and responsibility of Parliament just as SAPS had theirs. She did not want to see adjusted appropriations next year but wanted to see it before that time. She reminded the Department that the Committee could change the budget now.

Moving on, Maj Gen Menziwa said response times were calculated from the time when a person phoned a 10111 centre and the call was logged. This was linked to a patrol vehicle on the road which dealt with the complaint and the patrol vehicle then gave feedback on what was found. At the same time the 10111 personnel would record on the system that the compliant had been attended. The concern of the Auditor-General (AG) was that this particular target could not be verified as some of the members did not have pocket books. Visible Policing (Vis Pol) met with the National Commissioner and these issues were brought to their attention. These issues would be managed on a monthly basis especially that of the pocket books, that members were making entries and if the pocket book was full it must be filed properly for the AG to verify. Of particular importance was that the pocket book and the Crime Administration System (CAS) must be compatible.

The Chairperson could understand the AG’s findings. She did not buy SAPS saying they used the 10111 centres as the basis for the response times. And if it was, then it was very a unreliable basis and justified the AG’s finding. She mentioned the case of the disarray of the 10111 centre in Midrand.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if they factored into the calculation, the calls dropped or not answered into the response time and the calls which had to be repeated because no action was taken. She had all three experiences in trying to use 10111. The training of the people designed to answer the phones left a huge amount to be desired. What SAPS was saying and what they experienced was not necessarily the same.  

Maj Gen Menziwa said the AG’s findings were based on those cases not opened because the call was not opened. He explained the calls dropped and so on were a different matter. Last week Tuesday he was in Midrand and said the problem was that some calls just did not reach the centre. He was sitting next to a member who tried to answer a call but the line just went dead. Apparently it was a problem with people phoning from cell phones and challenges with the networks. This was a matter to be addressed via an improvement of the system. There was also the challenge of abusive and prank calls depriving a person with a real complaint of getting though to the centre.

Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted an answer to her questions which she reiterated.

Maj Gen Menziwa said it was not factored in. Once a call had been dropped and one called again it was a new call not a continuation of the original call.

The Chairperson noted in Mpumalanga they saw an almost eight minute drop. T he point was how reliable was this eight minute drop, how was it determined and why did Mpumalanga specifically have this huge drop.

Maj Gen Menziwa said the 10111 was the only place where these issues could be picked up and where they were drawing their information. If stations did not have the 10111 they would not be able to pick up the information because they did not have the necessary systems. The challenge in Mpumalanga was busy being worked on.

The Chairperson said that he was not answering the specific question on Mpumalanga’s drop.

Maj Gen Menziwa said he did not have specific information on Mpumalanga.

The Chairperson highlighted the page and table of the Annual Report where it stated the actual time for Mpumalanga was 23 minutes and that reaction time could not be verified because no systems were in place by SAPS to validate the reliability.

Maj Gen Menziwa stated there were two things at play here which was first the system from which SAPS was drawing its information. The AG wanted to verify the information and this came from the pocket books of the members in the absence of the AVL. When the AG went to look at the pocket books of the members, some were lost, could not be accounted for and some entries in the pocket book were differing with what was on the system. SAPS was working to rectify this and had made presentations to all the provincial commissioners to address this specific issue. They accepted the finding. 

The Chairperson said the simple thing was then to tell the Committee not to pay too much attention to the times in the report and spare them the time. She was worried because this was the same finding for the past five or six years or at least since 2010.

Maj Gen Menziwa rectified that this was a finding since 2011/12.

The Chairperson said that it was definitely not - the point was that it was only being looked at now. She had the feeling that SAPS was doing with the AG’s findings as they did with the Committee’s findings - that they were an unnecessary nuisance. She asked SAPS to continue with the next question on firearm licence renewals. 

A SAPS General replied there would be 73 120 renewals for this financial year. The renewals for 2012/13 had been 28 975.  

The Chairperson asked how many of them had been finalised.

The General was not sure of the numbers which had been finalised but for 2012/13, 47 660 licences were finalised as some had been received prior to 1 April 2012. 

Maj Gen Menziwa added that in 2012/13 a total number of 49 046 licences were liable for renewal which included 28 285 licences to possess a firearm for self-defence, 70 licences to possess a restricted firearm for self-defence and 691 licences to possess a firearm for business purposes. There were only 28 975 licences for renewal for SAPS in 2012/13. 28 975 applications were received in 2012/13, 47 660 were finalised in this period and from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013, 22 268 applications were received while 25 392 applications were received prior to 1 April 2012- these applications would then be finalised during the next financial year.

The Chairperson wanted to know about the renewals not finalised. 

Maj Gen Menziwa said they were busy with applications made during the end of the financial year which would be dealt with within this financial year. He would make these numbers available to the Committee. He highlighted the Department was busy with court action against an organisation fighting the constitutionality of this section and the entire Arms and Ammunition Act. The interim ruling was that those licences which fell under the old Act were still valid. 

The Chairperson asked what they were doing to follow up on the 40 000 plus licences up for renewal, based on the figures given during the answer. 

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked about the status of the issue about the head of the firearm unit being suspended and people buying their licences because that in itself caused chaos for many months. She felt this topic was being avoided.

The Chairperson said that statement was not fair as the question had not been asked before, so it could not have been avoided.

Maj Gen Menziwa said the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) started an investigation which they were informed about and was restricted to a big firearms dealer in Johannesburg. The investigation centred on the import/export licences and licences of people buying firearms from this particular company. SAPS had immediately instituted disciplinary steps where the head was suspended and was now facing disciplinary charges and the process was still in motion. SAPS was trying to close down this dealer for engaging in illegal activities such as bribing SAPS members. This Brigadier was not the only person disciplined and suspended but about 90 resigned when presented with the intention to suspend  while others were presently under suspension with disciplinary procedures in process. 

The Chairperson said her question was still being avoided.

Maj Gen Menziwa stated a huge number of renewals had been carried into the 2012/13 financial year. The renewals of some people were not reflected but their applications had been put in.

The Chairperson wanted the number of applications received.

Maj Gen Menziwa did not have the number with him but would make it known to the Committee.

The Chairperson’s basic question was what SAPS was doing to address the renewals.

Mr George questioned the status of the firearm licences of those people who had applied for renewal but it had not been processed for some reason.

The Chairperson stated the Committee had drafted that legislation which said as long as the person applied,  they were illegal. 

Mr Ndlovu asked if the SAPS members had been charged even though they had resigned when handed the notice of the intention to suspend. He said many people had ran away as the easy way out.

Commissioner Phiyega said there was a parallel criminal process to the internal disciplinary processes. 

Mr Ndlovu was concerned about SAPS members just running away when faced with disciplinary charges.

The Chairperson stated these people could still be criminally charged even if they could not be charged internally through a disciplinary process. 

Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted to know the current status of the members who had failed their proficiency tests.

The Chairperson noted this was a new question and so should be held off until later. It was interesting that this was not in the report.

Maj Gen Menziwa began answering the question on the vehicle pound in Limpopo.

The Chairperson said the case of Limpopo was just an example and he was not answering the actual question which was how the Department managed their pounds because there was clearly a problem.

Maj Gen Menziwa said there were two processes to clear the pounds. The pounds were the storage facilities where vehicles were kept for safe storage. The vehicle investigation service carried the dockets and immediately ran with an investigation when a vehicle came to the pound. The process was coordinated with the insurance industry assisting in tracing some of the vehicle owners. This was a close working relationship to track the vehicle owners.

The Chairperson became very frustrated that the question was not being addressed. The question was what was SAPS doing to manage corruption at the pounds. She wanted the answer in writing. There was an outstanding question of appointing deputy station commanders - had they been appointed or were they still going to be appointed?

Maj Gen Menziwa sad they had not yet been appointed but were still going to be appointed.

The Chairperson asked if there would be financial implications for these appointments.

The Commissioner responded there was a common baseline but the role of these commanders first needed to be outlined.

Maj Gen Menziwa stated the deputy station commander was to oversee all the administrative functions of a station. Currently the station commander was doing everything but the introduction of the deputy station commander would be to support the station commander in managing all the administrative functions of the station.  

Commissioner Phiyega added that the baseline was very finite and SAPS was looking at reorganisation of functions to find the people to fulfil these roles. Any financial implication would be within the baseline.  

The Chairperson was concerned because this meant they would be taking away from the lower ranks because the baseline was fixed.

The Commissioner said they would try to carry out the process in the most effective and efficient manner and would try this at all costs. 

Mr Stubbe (DA) felt deputy station commanders were needed in some big stations like Upington but not in others. It was a waste of resources and when taking someone from the lower ranks to fill that position, that position would need to be filled which was where the cost implications came in.

Commissioner Phiyega said the size of the station would be taken into account - where it was not necessary they would not be put in place. Management of the process would take these aspects into account.

Ms Kohler-Barnard questioned the current status of those officers failing the firearm competency tests and if they were in possession of a firearm without the competency certificate or if they had been disarmed. She also questioned the situation with driver’s licences for SAPS officers which soared every year. She asked if there was a limit as to how many times a member would be trained to acquire a driver’s licence at the tax payer’s expense as it was a hugely expense exercise. Were the members who failed their tests removed from SAPS or what happened to them?

The Commissioner said part of this matter concerned the transformation and intervention of SAPS. Many of them were children who came from a rural background for which they could not be blamed or punished. As they came from villages, their parents would not be able to afford the driving schools if they were even available. SAPS was bound, in terms of transformation and intervention, to take care of these types of situations.  

Gen Bheki explained the firearm competency of members, as at 30 September 2013, stood at 87.42%. For operational members, which was distinct from support and management, 12.58% were not yet competent against the unit standard. The audit committee required that there be a distinction between these environments. 

The Chairperson wanted a copy of this to be given to the Members.

Ms Kohler-Barnard requested a repeat of the last figure for the SAPS members who had achieved nothing.

Gen Bheki said it was 6280. On the driver’s licences, 10 352 members were allowed to join who did not have drivers licences and this was the group SAPS was currently working with through a project plan to try and address the issue on a short-term basis. No person was dismissed from SAPS for not having a driver’s licence. However when they were deployed they were buddied up with other members to complement their skills so that the work was not hampered.

Mr George noted that the Institute for Security Studies had yesterday that the Department had used population figures from an earlier census not the latest one for their crime statistics.

The Chairperson clarified that the Department had used the new census data and compared it with the census data from previous years

Mr George said the figures would not be entirely correct as they would be effectively comparing apples with oranges. 

Ms Kohler-Barnard felt the crime statistics figures were questionable and was the equivalent of having a matric learner mark their own papers. She asked if there were any plans in place to modernise or progress the system so that civilians could access real time stats at the stations as the old data did not allow citizens to protect themselves.

The Commissioner stated that on 19 September 2013 the latest crime stats were released and some of the so-called analysts and experts alleged SAPS was using the stats to hide the real crime situation in SA and were not important. They argued SAPS should rather focus on raw figures which they had also provided which remained raw and would not be changed because it was the basis of the Department’s information. These analysts and experts were now arguing crime stats were vital but were based on the incorrect population figures but this was not true at all as the SAPS used the data provided by Stats SA. The raw data which was actual cases reported were not derived from stats but was arithmetic counting. She said this was a serious academic debate SAPS found themselves in which unfortunately only served to confuse matters and the nation. SAPS had their own approach and the so-called experts and analysts also had their own approach. Nothing had changed and SAPS was doing everything as they had done before. The debate would continue to occur each time there was a new census which then served as a new baseline for the new estimates. The debates that were raging were unreal, unfactual and just served to confuse the nation. She reiterated that nothing had changed from as far back as 2003/04. SAPS worked closely with the Statistician General and would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for further integrity. She said it was an executive decision taken by Cabinet to issue the stats once a year. If this decision was changed SAPS would oblige as they would to all decisions taken by government and its executive.

Mr Ndlovu turned to a page in the Annual Report which showed an increase in car hijackings which he was worried about. He asked what the increases were based on or if they were thumb-sucked. 

Maj Gen Menziwa said the table dealt with car hijacking which showed an increase in the raw figures from nine in 2011/12 to 28 in 2012/13 which showed a 200% increase.

The Chairperson said this was stating the obvious.

Mr Stubbe asked if he was right or wrong in his estimate.

Mr George said the National Commissioner was doing exactly as her predecessors. He said that the academics could not be dismissed and he found her dismissive attitude, as management, concerning. He remembered the previous National Commissioner, Jackie Selebi, had the same dismissive attitude. He advised SAPS to talk to these analysts and not dismiss them.

Mr Ndlovu highlighted a table in the Annual Report noting it was important to deal with the crime stats after they dealt with Vis Pol as he wanted to understand the role played by the visibility of police. He asked how the problem could be solved in the future and he was not looking for a sophisticated debate.

Ms Kohler-Barnard was uncomfortable that the analysts should not be insulted by being called “so-called”. Someone like Dr. Johan Burger had been in the SAPS and studied for many years and he certainly did not refer to the National Commissioner as the “so-called” National Commissioner even though she had only been around for a year. She wanted a response to her question earlier about moving toward real-time stats as they belonged to the people.

The Chairperson said the debate was around the comparison of this year’s crime stats to those from other years something which needed to be moved away from. SAPS needed to engage with the analysts as they were not criticising how SAPS got to this year’s stats but were criticising the comparison. She then walked over to a white board to explain her point in writing. The argument centred on the dependent and the variable. Instead of getting worked up, everyone should meet on it, acknowledge where there were decreases, to decide on what would be done where there were increases instead of arguing how the figures were arrived at.

Commissioner Phiyega thanked the Chairperson for the illustration. She said it came down to differences in approaches. She apologised if she came across as arrogant because she was not and just stating a fact and where SAPS was coming from. They would engage with stakeholders on matters not just relating to the crime stats as SAPS could not police SA alone. They were willing to meet and engage as per the advice of the Committee with those people who had a different view.

The Chairperson wanted to know what was being done about to improve the stagnation relating to sexual offences. She also wanted to know to address the increase in the murder rate in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) and the Free State which was clearly very high. The academic and philosophical debate around the stats was important but these were the real issues which needed to be addressed.

Maj Gen Menziwa stated that from the side of detectives, they were trying their utmost to increase the detection rate, and intensify community awareness campaigns by visiting churches to sensitise the public about how to assist SAPS.

The Chairperson said this was a very wide statement not really saying anything. She said speaking for 15 minutes without saying anything should be left to the politicians but SAPS needed to address the specifics.  

Gen Motiba explained that liquor remained the main cause of crime. 

The Chairperson stopped him and she had heard all that before. People did not start drinking or using drugs last year but was a problem all along.

Gen Motiba said there had been increase in liquor in SA and related socio-economic conditions. Research by Free State police had shown that petty fights or quarrels in shebeens especially in the Mangaung area, particularly in the illegal shebeens, played a role in the large number of murders. Also in the Manguang area was the prevalent use of knives and SAPS had confiscated many knives especially in the Manguang area. 

The Chairperson wanted the answer to focus on what SAPS was going to do. The Committee already knew how people got killed.

Gen Motiba stated SAPS would launch provincial strategies driven by provincial government but a multi-disciplinary approach was needed to deal with crime. Spaza shops run by foreigners were mushrooming and they were targets because of their irregular operating times. SAPS was also intensifying the crackdown on illegal firearms including homemade weapons being used in crime especially in parts of KZN. Involvement of the communities was very important and the Crime Prevention Forums (CPFs) were on board with the sharing of crime stats. With sexual offences, the most important element was the involvement of families – a mother might leave her child with someone she trusted and came home to find this offence had been committed. SAPS was working with reputable NGOs on this matter. It was also important to look at where these sexual crimes were being committed and it was usually in the informal settlements which were a challenge.   

Mr George highlighted this was one of the most important topics and he thought the approach of the police would be different. He said society developed and as years went by there would be more liquor consumption. He thought the police should develop steps which allowed them to be one step ahead of the criminals. He was concerned SAPS did not talk about the biggest deterrent which was visible policing. The Committee had once visited Sao Paolo and the visible policing there was excellent. The Department was not talking about what would be done but about why these crimes occurred which the Committee already knew. He wanted to know what the police would do to give hope that the police understood the problem and what they would do to reduce the number of murders and sexual offences.

Mr Ndlovu asked about the by-laws of local government. He asked if SAPS had a forum to discuss with local officials about dealing with issues such as illegal shebeens. This would allow for preventive action instead of reaction. 

Ms Molebatsi asked if the spaza shops had to adhere to trading hours which should be monitored.

The Chairperson shared the concerns of the Members in that the SAPS strategies were not clear. She used to lead a ministerial task team on child pornography and for years they struggled to get SAPS to sign a MoU with the Film and Publication Board (FPB). This was a solid action which could have impacted on sexual offences and the crimes committed against children but SAPS was not interested. The MoU was ready and the problem did not lie with the FPB but with SAPS not coming to the party when it was in their interests. This was just an example which she did not want a response to. The other issue was the need for proactive policing and not after the fact policing. Shebeens took a while to start up and at any time the SAPS sector should be passing by the premises as they were busy setting up. She asked if the members ever got out of their vehicles, asked to see their licence, not in a confrontational way, and close it down before it even started in the case of illegal shebeens. She asked where the proactive policing was because an illegal shebeen could not be there one night and spontaneously pop up the next. A lot if it had to do with crime intelligence at the basic station level. This was the basis of sector policing - knowing one’s area, knowing what was happening and what was not, having a relationship with the community in such a way that the police would know someone was building in the area that should not be. This was lacking and not being seen which was worrying.

She felt they would continue to have the problem of the impact of the systems on policing in terms of the IT environment. She was also worried about the effective use of systems which were there. She did not want to embarrass the SAPS members but she wondered if she took any of those at this senior level to the central firearm registry, whether they would be able to draw from the system. The systems might be lacking but SAPS needed to know how best to use them.   

The Commissioner explained the situation became dire when they factored in the illegal shebeens considering that the police intervened at the tail-end. They were looking at the involved participation of key stakeholders in the issuing of liquor licences. Rigorous enforcement of local by-laws was a serious weak point in many areas and it needed engagement from a planning point of view. There was also the continual confiscation of liquor. She told the Committee to visit the warehouses in the Western Cape because they were massive and packed to capacity. The disposal costs of these warehouses were humongous and SAPS had to carry them. She took note of the suggestions made by the Members and they would grow the list to ensure there were more interventions. She appreciated the inputs not only from Committee but from other stakeholders. Station intelligence was critical and needed to be improved.

The Chairperson noted the attempted murder rates were a far better indicator of violent crimes within a society rather the murder rates and this showed quite an increase. She asked what was being done around this issue because they linked to other contributing factors like the renewals of firearm licences. She noted SAPS contributed, last year, to about 10% of illegal firearms for those lost and stolen from SAPS members. She asked how they were going to deal with this. She wanted to find out to what extent did gang violence in the Western Cape contribute to the increase of the murder rate in this province.

Commissioner Phiyega said most murders in the Western Cape came from Langa and Khayelitsha which were areas not associated with gangs so this proved that murder was being driven by other factors. A lot of the confiscation of alcohol came from these areas. Minor tiffs in the shebeens led to four or five people getting killed in one instance. She outlined the Western Cape police were doing more studies on this. They spoke about collaboration with the municipality to look at, for instance, lighting in some of these areas.

Lt Gen Khehla Sithole, Department of National Crime Policing Operations, said knives were a common weapon in the instances of murder. He felt the legislation needed to deal with dangerous weapons as it was still narrowly focused on firearms. Firearms were still contributing and SAPS would be focusing on the confiscation of firearms. There were also the contributing societal dynamics where the multidisciplinary collaboration came in with civil society at large. There was also community education and awareness focusing more on the vulnerable communities. At the level of local government there were the local crime prevention frameworks which would target the design of community safety plans to attend to environmental design factors. There would be a focus on multi-agency forums to include police, other governmental departments, local government municipalities and civil society. SAPS would also continue with the initiative of safer cities and safer streets where the introduction of the new street crime forum would focus on clearing the streets. 

Gen Motiba wanted to touch on the domino effect in terms of attempted murders. It started as a street quarrel which sometimes became assauLt It sometimes became serious assault which then went on to become attempted murder.

The Chairperson thought the underlying message was that the Committee saw it as an amber light that there were increases. She was concerned SAPS did not lose the progress made over the past years. She pleaded with SAPS to embark on partnerships as they did not know everything about everything. She agreed that there was a problem with street lighting everywhere and partners in local government were needed and to be led by the knowledge they had. One of the problems with the informal settlements was the high mast lighting which did not light the street where the people were walking. This was already highlighted in 1995 or 1996 and although it sounded silly it needed to be looked at. SAPS needed to roll-out the mobile crime scenes so that they were available and could be used. The Committee agreed that drug and alcohol use was a problem but this would most probably increase as people became desperate. There needed to be more visible police for the people to see - which was where Vis Pol and sector policing came in. If they knew what time people came walking home from the shebeens, why were the police vehicles not patrolling the streets at those times at 10km/ph to make sure people were okay? These things would contribute to people saying the police did care and did not discriminate. Coupled with this was that violence bred violence which was where discipline came in to play. The police needed to lead by example and act strongly against the rogue police officers without fear or favour.

Programme 3: Detective Services
The Chairperson made it clear that next year the Committee would not take a report if the Hawks were not handled as an additional programme [Programme 6] which was required by the Act. This was the last year the Committee would take both entities contained in the same Annual Report. The Committee had requested this last year but for some or other sinister reason it was not done.

Lt Gen Schutte: SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Finance and Administration,  began the presentation saying the purpose of the service was to enable the investigative work of the South African Police Service, including providing support to investigators in terms of the forensic evidence and the Criminal Record Centre. Its strategic objective was to contribute to the successful prosecution of crime, by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence, thereby increasing the detection rate of priority crime. The Detective Services Programme comprised the following four sub-programmes, namely, Crime Investigations, Specialised Investigations, Criminal Record Centre and the Forensic Science Laboratory.

Turning to finances he said, in terms of the subprogrammes, for crime investigations, the adjusted estimate was R8.5 billion of which R8.9 billion was spent because of the increase in compensation and machinery and equipment. In the crime record centre, the adjusted estimate was R1.699 billion of which R1.582 billion was spent which presented an expenditure level of 93% mainly as a result of CJS expenditure. For the forensic science laboratory, there was actual expenditure of R1.92 billion mainly as a result of CJS expenditure again. For the specialised investigations (DPCI) the adjusted estimate was R1.226 billion of which R1.210 billion was expended, which was a slight under expenditure mainly because of capital being on target for goods and services. All in all for crime investigations there was a percentage spend of 104.5%, 93% for the crime record centre, 94.9% for the forensic science laboratories and 98.7% for specialised investigations. 

Lt Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo, Divisional Commissioner of Detective Services, said the strategic objective was to contribute to the successful prosecution of crime, by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence, thereby increasing the detection rate of priority crime. For crime investigations, the target was a detection rate for serious crimes of 55% (1 066 859). The actual performance was 54.19% (1 145 978). This was a variance of 0.81% and the Department was not met. The percentage target of court ready case dockets for serious crimes was 36, 84% (165 429). The actual performance was 61.31% (369 204) and the deviation was +24.47% so here the target was achieved. For the conviction rate for serious crimes, the target was 88, 50% (312 208). The actual performance was 88.24% (352 513). The deviation was 0.26% so the actual target was not achieved in terms of percentage but was achieved in terms of raw figures.  The planned target for the detection rate for contact crimes was 60.66% (449 575). The actual achievement was 62.09% (434 409). The deviation was +2.09% so the target was achieved. The planned target for the court ready case dockets for contact crimes was 37, 24% (74 112). The actual achievement was 61.83% (142 305) which was a deviation of +24.95% so the target was met. The target for the conviction rate for contact crimes was 75, 34% (81 019). The actual achievement was 79.60% (92 022) which was a deviation +4.26% so the target here was achieved. The target for the detection rate of trio crimes was 23% (11 671). The actual achievement was 23.02% (12 658) which was a deviation of +0.02% so the target was met. The planned target for the percentage of court ready case dockets for trio crimes was 43, 74% (5 108). The actual achievement was 67.06% (11 069) which was a deviation of +23.32% so the target here was achieved. The planned target for the conviction rate for trio crimes was 71, 02% (1 825). The actual achievement was 71.66% (3 146) which was a variance of +064% so the target here was achieved. The planned target for detection rate for crimes against women (18 years and above) which included murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and GBH assault was 72,5% (161 518). The actual achievement was 68.47% (151 115) which was a variance of -4.03% so the target here was not achieved. The planned target for the percentage of court ready case dockets for crimes against women (18 years and above) which included murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH was 39,85% (28 284). The actual achievement was 61.72% (43 443) which was a deviation of +21.87% so the target on this indicator was met. The target for the conviction rate for crimes against women (18 years and above) murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH was 73, 51% (29 869). The actual achievement was 83.18% (32 457) which was a deviation of +9.67% so the target here was achieved. The target for the detection rate for crimes against children (under 18 years) murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH was to be maintained at 77,42%. The actual achievement here was 70.94% (42 822) so the deviation of was -6.48% so the target here was not achieved.

The Chairperson interrupted because the figures in the presentation and the figures in the Annual Report were not correlating. She had picked it up a few slides back already. 

Lt Gen Moonoo said the figures were the same and continued with the presentation. The planned target for the conviction rate for crimes against children under 18 years was 70, 54% (10 311). The actual achievement was 75.98% (9 814) which was a variance of +5.44% so the target here was achieved.

The major achievements included that there were 826 life sentences for 2012/13 and 499 of these were from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) environment, 1586 suspects were sentenced to more than 20 years and detective court case officers placed at court were increased from 138 members at 109 courts to 142 members at 118 courts, 72 forensic social workers were appointed. Furthermore 602 missing persons were traced and 45 suspects arrested with the assistance of the Bureau for Missing Persons, persons circulated as wanted on the data base decreased from 208 844 to 177 757 – a total decrease of 31 087,  joint operations were conducted with Lesotho and 187 vehicles from South Africa were identified and repatriated to South Africa.  An additional 182 vehicles were identified and awaiting the Lesotho Mounted Police to authorize the release and items to the value of R 3 387 947.00 were confiscated and 240 persons arrested as a result of information provided by the public to the Crime Stop Call Centre. 

Interventions included finalisation of the crime detection strategy, the establishment of a National Crime Combating Forum and National Crime Evaluation Centres to ensure integrated approaches to prevention and detection of crime, conducting and linking research to modus operandi and to target broad organised criminal resources and criminal enabling infrastructure, to advance multi-lateral cooperation and alignment of legislation in the region and beyond on detecting transnational crime and to implement early warning systems (including monthly accountability sessions) to improve detective performance management. They would also enhance case docket analysis capability at police station level, leverage on intelligence, forensics and IT to apprehend suspects (including tracing and tracking), enhance the Organised Crime Threat Analysis capability to inform targeted interventions to increase detection of serious crime and intensify community education initiatives on reporting crime and non-withdrawals, particularly crimes against women and children. 

The Chairperson suggested that over lunch they review the figures as it was not the same and she would prove this. Sometimes the anomaly was not much but in others it was. She wanted an explanation for this.

Programme 6 Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat, Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, SAPS, presented. The strategic objective was to contribute to the successful prosecution of crime, by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence, thereby increasing the detection rate of priority crime. For the performance indicator of the percentage of court-ready case dockets for fraud and corruption for individuals within the JCPS Cluster, the 2011/12 achievement was 35.4%. The planned target for 2012/13 was a 3% increase on the baseline. The actual achievement was 63.46% so the target was exceeded by 27%. The performance target for the detection rate for serious commercial crime-related charges for 2011/12 was 65, 2% while the planned target for 2012/13 was 50%. The actual achievement was 86.1% and the target was exceeded by 36.1%. For the percentage of court ready case dockets for serious commercial crime-related charges, the target for 2011/12 was 50% while the target for 2012/13 was 30%. The actual achievement was 56.5% so the target was exceeded by 36.5%. For the percentage of registered serious Organised Crime Project Investigations, the achievement in 2011/12 was 52.27%. The target for 2012/13 was 31% while the actual achievement was 44.07% so the target was exceeded by 13.07%.

For the number of serious commercial crime-related cases investigated where officials were involved including procurement fraud and corruption, the achievement for 2011/12 was 57cases to be investigated. The target for 2012/13 was an additional 50 cases to be investigated. The actual achievement was 89 cases so the target was exceeded by 39 cases. For the number of serious commercial crime-related court ready cases where officials were involved including procurement fraud and corruption, the achievement for 2011/12 was 24 court cases to be ready while the planned target for 2012/13 was 25 court cases to be ready. The actual achievement was 34 cases meaning the target was exceeded by nine cases. For the value of assets restrained/seized where officials were involved in procurement fraud and corruption-related cases, the achievement for 2011/12 was R588 822 438, 05 assets restrained/ seized. The planned target for 2012/13 was R125 million assets restrained/seized. The actual achievement was R1, 024,885,250.16 so the target was exceeded by R899, 885,250.16. 

Lieut Gen Dramat moved onto the major achievements. For the reporting period 334 arrests were made for the possession of narcotics. The monetary value related to the arrests was R 95, 181, 942.94. Four suspects were also arrested for possession of equipment and chemicals used for the manufacturing of Mandrax tablets. Upon the seizure of these items, it was determined that the chemicals (according to the forensic laboratory) were sufficient to manufacture 16 million Mandrax tablets to the street value of R241 million. All four accused pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, of which seven was suspended.The investigation of serious organised crime led to the confiscation of 2 077, 997 kg of Cannabis, 9, 1 kg Heroin, 114, 613 kg CAT, 25, 487 kg cocaine, 2 545 400 Mandrax tablets, 5 331 Ecstasy tablets, 541 kg Crystal Meth (Tik Tik), 0.079 kg Nyaope and 20.007 kg LSD. 41 clandestine drug laboratories were dismantled with an estimated value of R300 000.00 for each laboratory.In order to address the issue of illicit mining, a four year operational plan (2012-2014) had been developed and approved by all principals of relevant departments and there was a further roll out of this plan to the provincial police. The critical need to focus on the investigation of theft of copper cable (electricity and rail cable) related crime, that were seen by economists as a sabotage on the national infrastructure, had resulted in 130 arrests. 40 individuals were convicted in this regard. Various investigations were being conducted with regard to the buying of stolen copper and the export thereof, the hijacking of trucks carrying copper and fraud committed by scrap metal dealers. The DPCI investigations focused on species such as abalone and rhino poaching. During the reporting period 104 persons were arrested and 49 convicted. Various operations/projects were conducted which heeled the following successes - 1 872 charges of racketeering and R55 million worth of assets were restrained, seizures of 20 Rhino horns and 5,5 tons of ivory, R630 400 US dollar and 1 120 000 Vietnamese Dong and ten years imprisonment for a rhino poacher from Zimbabwe. A total of 46 years of imprisonment for five accused which smuggled abalone from the Eastern Cape to Mozambique (accused 1: 18 years; accused 2: 7 years; accused 3: 8 years; accused 4: 18 months and accused 5: 3 years). During the reporting period 2012/13 government related fraud and corruption at local government level was an ongoing focus area of the Directorate.  A number of significant successes were achieved in respect of Operation Clean Audit.  A total of 45 public officials were arrested, while 14 persons (four officials and nine members of the public) were found guilty on charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering.  One accused was sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment and another to six years.

Criminal Record Centre
A SAPS official then began presenting on the criminal record centre subprogramme. For the performance indicator of the percentage of previous conviction reports generated within 20 days, the average performance was 94% previous conviction reports generated within 20 days, the target was 95% previous conviction reports generated within 20 days and 97% was reached. They would not review this target but bring down the number of days. For the comparative annual performance, SAPS was on track and did not have much to worry about. 

The fingerprint searches done for 2012/13 was also made available and what was interesting here was that for 2011/12 46% of searches were made for non-criminals while 54% were made for criminals more related to police clearance certificates, permits and firearms. The focus was to support the investigation of crime. For the breakdown of criminal searchers they were beginning to see a trend where the repeat offenders were more and more circulating in the environment while the first offenders were on the decline which meant the community of criminals was not necessarily growing.

Forensic Science Laboratories
The percentage of case exhibits processed by forensic services within 28 days, the baseline was 77% of exhibits. The target for 2012/13 was 92% while the actual achievement was 57, 6% (230 854 of 400 284) of case-exhibits entries processed by forensic services within 28 working days. In 2012/13 performance was calculated taking into account all cases including routine, non-routine and intelligence and cases carried over from 2011/12 backlog. The average turn-around-time for non-routine cases was 63 working days, 60 days for intelligence cases –for these cases the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) had no control over the finalisation of the intelligence cases as it was dependent on submission of the Reference Sample by the Investigating Officer. Despite this, the FSL was committed to expedite cases and prevent delays in court by prioritising routine cases above non-routine and intelligence cases and the 28 day target would apply to routine cases and priority cases only. There was also an increase in demand - over the past five years [since 2008/09 to 2012/13] the receipt rate / demand increased by 56, 5% (+ 137 971 exhibits) and the finalization / production rate increased by 117% over the same period. Of the reasons for the increase in demand was the Effective Awareness Program embarked upon, resulting in exhibits kept in SAPS 13 stores - particularly DNA-related exhibits received at the Biology Section - thus impacting on the workload and backlog. Drug operations conducted as a strategic priority immensely increased drug-related exhibits requiring analysis – in particular small / one tablet cases.

For the reduction of the backlog (those cases exceeding the 28 day target) thus increasing turn-around-time of the FSL and reducing the percentage of cases finalised within the prescribed time frame. Despite the 56% increase in cases received from 2009 – 2013, the FSL still managed to reduce the backlog by 65, 4% (from 59 023 to 20 422) over the same period. In 2009 one in every four cases received was a backlog case. This situation improved drastically to only one in every twenty cases received being a backlog case in 2013. The way forward was for the backlog to be managed and measured separately to focus effort and resources on eradication of the backlog in order to achieve the 28 day turn around target and to implement and parallel process with dedicated capacity to deal with incoming and backlog cases independently. This meant the FSL would not be including the backlog cases into the 28 days and would be looked at separately.

For the backlog vs. the demand and production, the backlog constituted 24% of the cases in the laboratory in 2009. The target was to bring this down and it had been over the years to 6% in 2011 and now the backlog constituted only 5% of the total cases as the laboratories. This was an encouraging picture.

Comparing the FSL to how it was doing against its counterparts around the globe, the FSL came close to the Indiana state laboratory as all the others had far less cases to process e.g. the Netherlands forensic institute processed less than 1000 cases a year. There was a report available in this regard. Over an average five year period, the Indiana lab processed 17 288 cases while SA’s FSL had processed 284 031 cases which was a difference of +1543%. For the number of cases received the Indiana lab received, over a five year average, 17 284 cases while SA’s FSL received 283 136 which was a difference of +1538%. The target for Indiana was 100% in 45 days while the target for the FSL was 92% in 28 working days which was a better target even with the huge backlogs. The average backlog for Indiana was 13% while SA had an average backlog of 5%.

In terms of accomplishments, under Subprogramme Three: Criminal Record Centre, there was the establishment of the Crime Scene Laboratory in Mitchells Plain, Western Cape which was opened by the Minister, established additional eight LCRC service points, increased AFIS-sites with eight, from 34 to 42, investigative psychology was established in all nine provinces and appointed an additional 359 personnel including crime scene experts. Under subprogramme four: forensic science laboratory, there was the decentralized Biology and Questioned Documents disciplines to KZN, decentralized Scientific Analysis discipline to the Western Cape, appointed an additional 355 personnel including forensic analysts, a project was initiated in Belhar, Western Cape to address the influx of Methamphetamine cases and the operationalised and officially launched the state of the art Plattekloof Forensic Science Laboratory in the Western Cape which they were proud of as the leading laboratory. Under quality management, a dedicated Quality Management capacity was established with the appointment of an additional 87 personnel and a kick-start of the process to ensure accreditation of laboratory processes.

On the issues raised by the Committee, total firearms test fired as at 31 March 2013 was 261 272. Commendable progress had been made in this regard. For the decommissioning of the Marshall system, a criminal case was registered and investigated by the Hawks, the Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) declined to prosecute and the matter was considered as finalized. For the evidence collection kits, the availability and distribution of the new evidence collection kits to stations was secured through a contracted supplier, expired kits and kits older than five years were removed for disposal. The change in the rape kits was informed by feedback received from the medical professionals on the complexity, the non-utilization of some items within the kits and that the old kit cost R291, 84 and the new kit cost R99, 18 which was a saving of R192, 66 per kit. The contracted supplier commenced with delivery of the new kits on 28 March 2013 and the evidence collection kits in-store will be utilized until the stock was depleted. 

For the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, 2010 which was promulgated on 5 October 2010 and operationalized on 18 January 2013, the National Instruction was approved and implemented, training manuals were compiled, an interdepartmental forum was established, protocol documents were developed and signed off by the DGs within the JCPS cluster, country-wide forensic awareness campaigns were kick-started to sensitise all functionaries on the practical implications, obligations and expectations of the legislation and for the National Sex Offender Register, the functionality was developed and was being tested. For the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) DNA Bill, the draft policy was compiled to regulate Forensic DNA related matters, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) were in the process of being aligned to the DNA Bill and the on-going Forensic Awareness Campaigns provided to focus groups. 

The Chairperson reminded Members and the Department of last year’s findings particularly the issues the Members raised. Importantly, it was agreed the achievements made in 2011/12 would be used as baselines for this year. 

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if SAPS was looking at why women did not go to police stations to report rapes and if they were looking at methods to counteract this. She noted many women felt going to the police stations was like being raped for a second time. Was there a strategy to deal with this? She congratulated the Department on the decrease in backlogs but she was concerned about vacant posts and the delays in allocation and asked why this was so. She raised this specifically in light of the fact that the DNA legislation was looming and at this stage there was no way that they were in a position to take on the DNA legislation.

Ms Molebatsi asked if forensics had filled all their posts and how the biology section would impact on the DNA Bill.

Ms D Sibiya (ANC) questioned what measures were taken to improve poor performance and the failure around reaching the target in increasing the detection rate for crimes against women and children in the detective service.

Mr Ndlovu wanted to know what SAPS was doing about the changing of dockets and duplication of positions. In the case of lost dockets in detective services, he asked if they had identified the culprits and what happened to those found to be selling dockets. He used the term “selling” as the dockets could not walk out the door by themselves.

Mr George asked what the relationship between detective court case officers and branch commanders were.

Mr Stubbe wanted to know, from DPCI, how many arrests were made and the conviction rate with the confiscation of drugs.

The Chairperson questioned particular slides in the presentation. There was an extraordinary increase the number of court ready dockets.  Knowing that a variance of up to 5% was fine, what informed this huge increase? Had the Department planned to impress the Committee or why was this so? She asked what SAPS was doing to increase the conviction rate for trio crimes and crimes against women and children. 

Lt Gen Johannes Phahlane, Divisional Commissioner, Forensic Services, SAPS, replied to the filling of posts noting that for the 2011/12 financial year, SAPS had to fill 800 posts and all 800 posts had been filled and people had taken up their posts and were currently operational in the environment. For 2012/13, SAPS had initially planned for 710 in line with CJS programme but that process could only be completed at the end of this year. The posts earmarked for 2012/13 financial year had been filled.

On allocation, this was part of the predetermined programme and was currently being processed within the environment. The job finalisation of the specific posts was still awaited but otherwise they were doing well for the allocation under this financial year.

There were two environments which impacted on backlogs and this was biology and DNA. With the strategy that SAPS had embarked on, the situation in biology would change and the strategy was to separate the specific cases. SAPS were being too harsh on themselves for wanting to do the non-routine and intelligence cases within 28 days which was impossible.

Lt Gen Phahlane explained the DNA Bill was retrospective in nature so there would need to be huge numbers of samples coming into the labs and that in itself may cause an impact. However the strategy being put in place was aimed at mitigating the negative effects and would be managed going forward.

Mr George asked if the posts were advertised or if the Department took from people who were consultants.

Gen Phahlane explained these were posts which were advertised particularly focused at B. Sc graduates to recruit into the environment. None of the 800 positions were people who were consultants, they were new to the environment although some were sourced from another department who had the necessary requirement, such as from the Department of Health but there were no consultants among these people.

A General from the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) answered the question on victims being scared to report incidents at the police stations noting that SAPS encouraged CPS members to go and personally obtain the statements from the victims in order to avoid secondary victimisation. For the past financial year, SAPS had managed to conduct 380 awareness campaigns through SA to sensitise communities, especially cases related to sexual offences. For the detection rate, there were 13 posts for the forensic social workers which were approved and ready to be advertised before the end of this financial year. This would apply specifically to the cases of children. The awareness campaigns would also allow the communities to learn how to assist the police in the investigation of these cases because often the victims had trouble informing the police who the suspects were. This was especially when the suspects were wearing balaclavas so they encouraged the victims to listen to their voices so they could assist in suspect identification.  

The Chairperson wanted to know the percentage of cases where the suspect was wearing a balaclava.

The General said it happened quite often. She did not have the number of cases but it could be submitted at a later stage to the Committee.

The Chairperson suggested they find out in the meantime because it should be substantiated with the number of cases. The Department might think two out of 100 cases was substantial while the Committee did not think it was. She suggested they send a message to sometime to obtain that information.

Ms Kohler-Barnard listened to the numbers of replacements and thought that 192 SAPS members that had left seemed to be a huge number. These people were taking with them huge institutional memory and expertise and this brought into question the retention strategy the Committee had been talking to SAPS about for years. She presumed the Department had done exit interviews with those leaving and she wanted to know what the outcome was. Were they leaving for more money, to better jobs, or if they were retiring as this was a big whack to SAPSs overall staff contingent.

Commissioner Phiyega noted that, as had been said, there was lateral mobility with some of the staff being taken from other environments. In the game of employment, you win some and you lose some.

Gen Phahlane said the 192 did not necessarily mean people they had lost in 2012/13 alone but people they had lost over many years. Over and above the 800 posts they had filled, in terms of additional capacity for the DNA Bill, and with natural attrition, those people needed to be replaced. In the main, those that had resigned had done so for greener pastures to other environments. They had lost some of their most experienced members, such as Brig Gouws, because of retirement while others were lost because of chronic illness but there was some replenishment.  

The Chairperson asked if SAPS was not worried they were losing expertise especially with the case increases and backlog increases. She asked if SAPS was worried and what they were doing to address this issue.

Gen Phalane said it was a concern but they had a strategy in place in conjunction with Gen Schutte and personnel management to not just fill these posts at entry level but at a higher level to retain the services already within the system. This was a dual system to bring in new skills and retain what was already there. As new entrants came into the system, they were trained and being sent on international programmes to acquire the skills needed but it was not a crisis they were confronted with.

Mr George advised that SAPS develop a retention strategy as they were not dealing with skills easily found and that they should look at incentives. 

The Chairperson thought it was part of the retention strategy already. She said it was important to remember there would be movement in this environment but that the issue was how to best manage this movement.

Maj Gen Charles Johnson provided some background on the issue of the detective court case officers. He explained that while Mr Johnny De Lange was still Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development there was concern around the effectiveness of the criminal justice system especially around the finalisation of court cases due to the dockets not being at court in time, non-compliance of the prosecutors’ instructions etc. The Department in conjunction with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided there should be a police officer as a go-between between the prosecutors and the detective commander at station level. The instruction was for the case dockets to be at the court a minimum of three days before the time but what was found was that the dockets were lying in the office of the prosecutor. The idea was for the detective court case officer to receive the docket three days before the court case, screen the docket to ensure the instruction of the prosecutor had been complied with, that the relevant witnesses had be subpoenaed, send the docket back immediately. This was an attempt to reduce delay and speed up the system. The court case officers had also been provided with vehicles to follow up on certain issues or outstanding matters raised during the court trial. SAPS had engaged the NPA in this regard and they appreciated the detective court case officers - they even wanted them to be placed at more courts. They could not be placed at the regional courts at this time as they did not have the additional resources.

Mr George said some of these matters were the responsibility of the branch commanders.

The Chairperson asked what the purpose of the branch commander was as they were supposed to make sure that information that was supposed to be there, that the warrants for appearance in court were issued and whatever else was necessary. She said they were effectively back to the discussion of cluster commanders from this morning in that the Department was putting in another level instead of sorting out the problem in. This was being done with station commanders and cluster commanders. Putting all these layers were costing money and taking away from the critical shortage of detectives already.

Lt Gen Moonoo said that since the detective court case officers had been appointed, the number of cases struck off the roll had decreased drastically. Before this dockets, at times, lay at the courts for three or two years and it was one of the roles of the court case officers to make sure these dockets were attended to, timeously.

The Chairperson asked why the cases lay there for two or three years.

Lt Gen Moonoo responded that the prosecutors took their time on when to make a decision on the cases.

Mr Ndlovu thought that the prosecutor should deal with the branch commander who was in charge of the station and knew exactly who was investigated. He was worried about the duplication of roles as there were now three people dealing with the dockets now before it reached prosecution. 

The Chairperson said it got worse as the reality was that the detective was investigating the case, the group commander, the branch commander and the detective at the court. In all of this, the branch commander and group commander should have been doing their job and this was the bottom line. She was seriously worried that instead of addressing the people who were not doing their jobs they were simply adding more levels of personnel. All these people got salaries and now vehicles, fuel costs and more chances for the docket to get lost. She did not see the practicality in this system and they still did not address the question of what now happened to the branch and group commander. If branch commanders did carry a case it was only one or two cases.

The Commissioner heard the frustration in the questions being asked. When she sat in the National Efficiency and Effectiveness Forums, the role of the court case officers were seen as paramount and as an 'unlocker' in the delivery value chain from the side of the police. 

The Chairperson also wanted a response to why there had never been a reaction to branch and group commanders not doing their work, as this was what it boiled down to. Sometimes branch commanders could not interpret their own statistics but had to rely on a clerk who could interpret the statistics better than the branch commander could.

Lt Gen Moonoo said it was not that the branch and group commanders were not doing their work but that the prosecutor with the docket sometimes required additional information sometimes on the same day as the court hearing. The detective court case officers had a huge role to play in cases being finalised speedily by ensuring the docket was filed on time and processes in the docket had been followed. These functions were far more than just collecting a docket and making it available to the prosecutor. This also aided in ensuring dockets did not get lost at court, as these dockets were the property of the police.  

Mr Ndlovu was very upset. He felt the loss of dockets could not be the responsibility of someone at the court but was the responsibility of the detective. 

The Chairperson said the fact of the matter was that some dockets did get lost at the court but it was the minority. She said SAPS could not fool the Committee, as they were Members which had sat on the Committee for longer than ten years. It was frustrating because they knew it was the minority of dockets which went missing at the courts. SAPS would see this in their own information. Further than this, SAPS had always had someone from the police at the courts - they might not have been detectives but there were court ordinates which came from the police. The Committee was not convinced and if Justice wanted more court case officers they should pay for them and to take their own people. She said the Committee could not complain about losing detectives to the private sector when they were now losing them to the courts.

The Chairperson said the basic job of the investigating officer was to make sure the docket was ready before going to court but now another level was being added. Added to this was the responsibility of the provinces and the clusters so they were talking about seven people in this long and bloated structure. 

Gen Sithole explained there was a process functioned by the criminal justice cluster referred to as the case flow management. In this structure both Justice and Police were expected to deploy dedicated capacity to deal with the assessment of cases. There was also the screening protocol project where they used the same dedicated capacity to screen the dockets to increase convictions. These were interventions within the JCPS cluster intended to improve current docket management. It was noticed the big crimes were overloading the crime detection capacity and beyond the norm for the number an investigating officer must carry. SAPS wanted to move the big crimes away from the investigations so that they were able to focus on the basics. He recommended that this process be afforded the opportunity and it could be reported on.

The Chairperson said they could also explain the rank of these officials at the courts.

Maj Gen Johnson conceded there were detective commanders which were not doing their jobs relating to the proper management of the court dockets. This gave rise to the need for the detective court case officers. The provincial heads were instructed to retain information relating to non-compliance needed corrective measures and reports on this.

He said the highest rank of the detective court case officers was Lieutenant Colonel and the average rank was a Captain. 

The Chairperson was absolutely shocked. She wanted a breakdown of the numbers and cost for the salaries of these people to be submitted in writing. She summarised the matter because it was quite clear they would not find each other on this issue. In the words of the Committee researcher, SAPS kept on throwing the good after the bad. Rather than addressing the problem where it occurred they created another level rather than constituting corrective steps at the level where the problem was. She reiterated the basic duty of the investigating officer was to ensure that his/her docket was in order when it went to court. 

Maj Gen Johnson responded to the dockets lost and stolen. For the period under review there was a total of 655 dockets, 44 dockets were lost at court, ten were stolen in housebreakings of officers, 30 dockets could not be found at the archives, ten were stolen from offices of the detectives, 395 dockets were destroyed in fire at the Polokwane magistrates cost and 96 dockets were destroyed in a fire at a police station in KZN. All these dockets had been reconstructed, some were finalised while others were still under investigation. 10 500 lockable steel cabinets had been acquired for the provinces and issued to the detectives as part of the corrective measures.

The Chairperson said this was reported on last year.

Maj Gen Johnson said these cabinets were procured and distributed last year. The province had supplemented these steel cabinets and SAPS had made it known they wanted consequences for dockets lost or stolen due to negligence or criminal conduct of members.

The Chairperson asked Mr George, who was from the Eastern Cape, whether he believed only one docket was lost in this province. He did not believe this. She said it was just not true. She was not surprised they could not find dockets at the archives. She did not believe these figures and asked how the Department got to these figures and the consequences for those involved. She also wanted to know the difference between lost and misplaced dockets.

Maj Gen Johnson proceeded to talk about the condition of the archives.

The Chairperson saved him the trouble as the National Commissioner spoke to the issue yesterday, which the Committee agreed with, but at some point SAPS needed to solve the problem. She thought SAPS would have thought of a solution already as there were companies which kept documents safe.  She did not want details on the archives because she knew the problem. She wanted an indication of how many officers faced disciplinary hearings and the outcomes for the lost and stolen dockets.

Comm. Johnson said 22 criminal cases were opened against members and 29 members were departmentally charged.

The Chairperson asked what the outcome was of the departmental charges.

Maj Gen Johnson did not have that information but it could be provided.

The Chairperson wanted the complete breakdown in writing and the status of the criminal charges.

Lt Gen Moonoo said in the huge increase of the court ready dockets they only focused on dockets where there were arrests to ensure the correct processes were followed. The detective service played a crucial role in this.

The Chairperson asked if they realised the Committee would want this to become their new baseline.

 Lt Gen Moonoo said yes.

Maj Gen Johnson discussed undetected court dockets noting the Department had included this matter into the risk management and there was a target to reduce the cases undetected by 5% and they hoped they would achieve this set target. Furthermore, the detective, otherwise known as the branch, commander would be the only one to decide the dockets were undetected and not the group officers. they hoped this would yield results.

The Chairperson was frustrated because the Committee last year had asked SAPS to report on this in the Annual Report. Did they? Why not? The Committee wanted this and would report that this instruction had been ignored. She wanted the figure for how many dockets were undisclosed last year. She insisted somebody find this out.

 Comm. Johnson said this would be done.

The Chairperson was frustrated that things which should have been included in the Annual Report were not. She did not know whose responsibility this was but she did not take kindly to it. She explained the Committee’s request was adopted by Parliament so it was not longer a request it was a decision of Parliament. The Committee had two choices - either the report was noted by Parliament or it was adopted. In this case, the Committee had asked Parliament to adopt the report. 

Mr Ndlovu corrected the Chairperson that the Committee had never ever since 1995 asked Parliament to note the report but to adopt the report so that action was taken and for the National Commissioner and management to implement what had been adopted. 

The Chairperson reiterated there were two options-the Committee either asked Parliament to note or adopt a report and Mr Ndlovu was quite right that a report had never been noted.  The Committee never had any punitive powers but they now had.

Lt Gen Moonoo said the detection rate for trio crimes had increased.

The Chairperson said the point was that the target was brought down significantly. This was a point of discussion last year and which the Committee had warned them not do.

Lt Gen Moonoo explained that last year, the conviction rate was debated and there were many dynamics involved in the conviction rate.

The Chairperson asked SAPS not to abuse the knowledge that SAPS was not the only role-players involved here. Trio crimes were a priority crime and its rate had increased. She wanted to know what was being done about this serious issue.

Lt Gen Moonoo said SAPS would increase the detection and court ready rate for trio crimes. The responsibility for this lay solely on the shoulders of the Department. They were also working with Justice to see if these crimes could be tried in a specialised court.  

Mr George was very worried. He felt they could not keep the detectives out of the conviction rate. At the centre of conviction were good detectives and investigations. This had always been the case and it could not be changed. 

The Chairperson said this was why she said SAPS should not abuse the knowledge of the Committee. If this was the excuse being used then the Department was on thin ice. The Committee had invested too much time, money and energy in detectives last year to see this kind of result. They favoured them last year, boosting what the detectives needed, advocating for their funding and spent about R100 000 of their own budget on hosting the detective dialogue to assist and get professionals in to hear the suggestions to the problems. From this investment the Committee wanted to see results more so that the Minister declared this the year of the detectives. The Committee had given detectives a lot of support but this investment was not paying off.  She said Gen Sithole should keep the whip on these guys as the Committee wanted to see improvement, as they were the primary role player.

Ms Kohler-Barnard questioned the national sex offender register being tested. National legislation said that would be operational by December 2008 but it did not happen. She wanted to know what was happening with this. She also asked who managed the child protection register and what was happening with this.

The Commissioner said they would report on this when justice was ready.

Mr Ndlovu noted the serious organised crime presentation spoke about identified owners of clandestine labs. He asked if these owners were identified, if they were South Africans and where were they.

The Chairperson wanted to know from FSL how many days, hours etc before drugs went to the labs in terms of the national instruction. She also asked this of ballistics and dagga which was differentiated from other kinds of drugs. She cautioned the House that she was uncomfortable since yesterday around the way they dealt with foreigners involved in crime. The Committee could not be seen being xenophobic around these issues and she was very serious about this because the fact of the matter was that everyone knew the majority of crimes were still committed by South Africans and she did not want a situation out there that the Committee contributed to xenophobia and SAPS having to police xenophobic attacks.

Mr Ndlovu asked the question because there was a perception only foreigners committed these offences. This perception needed to be removed.

The Chairperson appreciated this.

Lt Gen Dramat responded to clandestine laboratories noting he did not have the exact information on the nationality of the persons arrested but generally the situation was so that not all involved were foreign nationals and there was a range of nationalities involved in the narcotics threat including South Africans and this included at the trafficking or production level. It was a mixture of nationalities working together so it could not be said that the organised narcotics threat could be attributed to one specific nationality. They did see certain nationalities occurred to be more prevalent but the criminal underworld seemed to work and cooperate across nationalities much easier than in normal, legitimate businesses. They always tried to ascertain who the owners were of the laboratories, where they sourced their chemicals, where they came from and in this way they worked closely with FSL to trace the source of the substances as a precursor.

Mr Stubbe noted his question from earlier had not been answered.

The Chairperson said it would be responded to as the answers went ahead. 

Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted to know exactly what SAPS role was in relation to the National Register so that Justice could not say they were waiting on SAPS to develop some software or something. She wanted clarity on the exact role of SAPS so that one Department was not playing off another.

The Chairperson thought the population of this register would come from Justice, from the court side. 

Gen Phahlane spoke to attrition noting that in the 2011/12 financial year, SAPS lost 144 members -66 were resignations, 42 were deaths, 14 were dismissed, 12 retired and 12 retired due to ill health.

On the National Sex Offenders Register and the Child Offenders Register both the Department of Social Development and Justice were the leading departments in this regard. SAPS s role was to provide information to both departments as in terms of the law only SAPS could access the criminal records. This method would compartmentalise the cases and make the easier to deal with for both departments.

On the issue of drugs, five days and seven working days was period in which stations must deliver on exhibits for disposal to forensic science laboratories. This directive informed especially remote stations where they did not have to go on a daily basis or every second day to the lab. Stations closer to the labs did not have an excuse for keeping the exhibits. Dagga must be destroyed according to the destruction process at the station. Dagga needed to be tested where there was a dispute about its contents and whether it was compressed or mixed with something else. The labs would run tests to ascertain whether it was pure dagga or mixed with something else. This time line applied to all kinds of exhibits to be taken to the laboratories.

Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted clarity on whether SAPS work on the compartmentalising of the database was complete.

Gen Phahlane said their work was complete to make accessibility much easier.

Lieut-Gen Dramat 334 people had been arrested for the narcotics in that period while the convictions for the period were 133. He emphasised this was not 133 of the 334 arrested. 

The Chairperson thought the National Crime Combating Forum was also already established so why was it still under the interventions for programme three: detective services crime investigations. She noted none of these interventions meant anything unless how and when they would be done was explained. If this could not be explained now it should be provided to the Committee in writing. A prime example was how they were going to enhance the case docket analysis capability at police station level and who was going to be responsible for this. She was not interested in the project management around this but how these interventions would be done. She was surprised the Members were really tired. She wanted to know if they were looking at cheaper and more immediate ways to test drugs which could lead to immediate arrest for the possession of particular drugs. On the DNA Bill, she hoped the deadline for testing these samples would positively impact on the testing of other samples by the labs and assisting the turnaround times. She was also worried about the backlogs related to this issue and she knew it depended on the IT systems. In terms of the retention strategy, she asked if SAPS had considered entering into trade restrain agreements with laboratory personnel so that if they left that they could not work in the field of forensics for at least three years. She wanted to know what was meant by certifying the docket. 

Comm. Sithole said the National Crime Combating Forum was going to start by the beginning of next month as a continuation from another establishment. The document for this was with the National Commissioner and the reason for this new document was because of changes in the strategic process and growth in the operational components including the other units.

The Chairperson wanted clarity on whether SAPS was saying since 2010 there was no such forum.

Lt Gen Sithole replied that there was crime combating forums in all nine provinces, at the level of the cluster and at each and every police station. The only gap was a national crime combating forum. 

The Chairperson said the simple was that yes, they did not have this forum since 2010.

Lt Gen Sithole agreed. For the docket analysis at the police station it was an ongoing responsibility that should take place between the intelligence officer at the station together with the detectives led but he detective commander at the particular station to analyse each and every docket. This analysis could show common patterns or modus operandi, which could help SAPS to change the strategies and connect certain cases together. By enhancing this capacity, it was referring to beefing up the CIO capacity to include some development training and monitoring and evaluation of these particular commanders. The geographic intelligence office also aided in this capacity. 

Gen Phahlane said the quicker ways of doing the drug test was already introduced. SAPS had already procured the rapid testing “drug cup” which was very useful and was necessary for growing the capacity of initial testing before further testing was done at the laboratories. This would go a long way in reducing the number of cases going to the labs.

On the trade restraint, this proposal was welcomed and would be considered. While it was not documented, SAPS was already operating in this way by not allowing personnel to come back as consultants once they had left the Service and was akin to double dipping. They had been successful in restricting the further participation in the environment.

Commissioner Phiyega added the issue of restraint was important for confidential information and data where there were serious gaps. This was being looked at broadly by the JCPS cluster in relation to the protection of state information, as this space was completely open especially for the IT systems.

The Chairperson noted this was one aspect of the debate but the Committee was referring to the limiting of a person to not work within the environment for a certain amount of time as was done in many other organisations.

Head of Quality Management at SAPS Forensics Department, Major General Adeline Shezi, said the submission of samples would not be limited to DNA alone but the awareness programmes rolled out would apply elsewhere.

Lt Gen Moonoo explained the first stage, of the certification of sockets, was when the detective commander certified the docket was ready and there was a prima facie case where the accused could be linked to crime. The second stage was when, after the investigation was completed, the docket was made ready for trial by making an entry into the prosecution diary, using the criteria used for trial ready dockets. The third phase of certification was where the case was presented to detective commander for closure, the investigation officer would make en entry into the investigation diary to the effect that all the processes had been finalised, there were no outstanding investigations in the dockets, no exhibits outstanding for disposal etc. and then making an entry that the docket could be signed off for closure.

The Chairperson asked how many informants there were in the detective environment including at station level and what amount was paid out last year to informants.

Lt Gen Moonoo stated the number of registered informants was available but it was not with him but would make it available writing as he did not want to speculate. For this financial year there was 698 466 cases closed and undetected.

The Chairperson noted this was 700 000 cases rounded off out of about two million cases received a year of which half were undetected. This was unacceptable and needed to be managed downwards. She suggested this programme come up with a target which could be written in as part of the Annual Performance Plan (APP), to be used as a means of tracking both by the Committee and the Department.

Mr George questioned rhino and abalone poaching and if the police could play a preventive role as they were becoming an endangered species.

The Commissioner said they were already participating in a multi-departmental task team led by the Department of Environmental Affairs to look at collaboration in operations and all the prevention issues.

Lieut-Gen Dramat confirmed it was a high priority committee carried out though a multi-disciplinary approach where the root causes and prevention strategies was keenly looked at.

Maj Gen Arendse, of the Priority Crime Management Centre, explained three monthly meetings were held coordinating concrete police action at the national level. From Interpol, there were monthly telephonic conferences to look at the prevention aspect as well.

The Chairperson also knew they deployed some people into the national parks to do actual patrolling. She said this was worrying for everyone as despite the efforts there was an increase in poaching this year again. She noted her time at a Zambian lake where on the Zimbabwe side of the lake, despite all the country’s problems, there was an island where a rhino had babies and they literally deployed nature conservationist officers with firearms to guard those babies and the rhino. This was how much they treasured the few rhinos they had left.

Lt Gen Schutte stated R34.03 million for 2012/13 was paid for informants while the amount was R35 million in the previous financial year. This was not the secret account but the open account for registered detectives.

The Chairperson was surprised as this was non-existent even at the big stations. She said it would be interesting to know where these informants were and their number to give an average of how much was paid out per informant. She was waiting for this number.

Mr George said this was an area where there had been some abuse. He asked if Lt Gen Schutte, as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) could check the monies paid was used for its intention.

Comm. Shutte explained there was a very thick national standing order instruction to try to eliminate the risk, as there was always some risk. This was not an ordinary payment with an invoice but as far as possible there was reasonable confidence in the controls.

The Chairperson said the problem was that everyone knew national instructions had become a suggestion not an instruction. What was found at station level was an absence of informants registered or utilised which the Committee was worried about.

Comm. Shutte noted the number had come down from previous years.

The Chairperson said this was also alarming as informants played an extremely important role. She asked what the budgeted amount was.

Comm. Shutte did not have this information with him.

Lt Gen Moonoo said it had to be gotten from each province.

The Chairperson thought this would have been done in preparation for the Annual Report and information to be had at the national level especially as these were registered informants. She wanted all the information the Committee had requested by Wednesday as the information was needed to finalise the Committee’s report which needed to be in the week thereafter. This applied to everything over the past four days. If the Department had been taking notes they could already start getting the people at the offices to get the information requested together. She also wanted to know how many payouts were made for the informants registered on the system.

The Chairperson summarised Vis Pol and Programme Three noting the Committee wanted the creation of a section in the Annual Report as SAPS interchangeably used police action and crime prevention while they were not the same things. This would also help engagement in the process. Erratum needed to be submitted to Parliament including the missing table. The Committee wanted to know the progress of the MoU with Correctional Service regarding detainee management in holding cells. The Committee also wanted to know about the management of firearms, the review and minimum requirements for sector policing. The Committee raised concerns and wanted SAPS to take tighter control and investigate how it happened that uniforms and blue lights became available for criminals to use. By Wednesday, the Committee wanted a detailed breakdown of the disciplinary cases dealt with police officers aiding escapees. There was also a need for the redefining of the roles and performance measurements of the cluster commanders and the Committee strongly suggested this be included in the Department’s APP for next year. On the issue of licence renewals, the Committee wanted a breakdown of the renewal applications, the number received for 2012/13, the number received since the end of the financial year, the number finalised for 2012/13, the number finalised up to date (included the ones received after the end of the financial year up to now), the outstanding renewals and the number up for renewals, or the ones which should actually be renewed, for this year. The Committee wanted feedback on the management and tightening of what was happening at the vehicle pounds and the role of function of the deputy station commanders. The Committee had also expressed its wish for the National Commissioner and her team to engage with those who were criticising the crime statistics to have a meeting of minds on this issue to the advantage of future crime statistics released. The Committee would like to see an inclusion of the Western Cape’s gang violence and its contribution to the crime stats. She asked this not to be difficult but SA did not have legislation dealing with gang violence but it was dealt with under organised crime and it had been a debate over the years amongst Members whether there should be specific legislation to deal with gangs. While it was organised crime it had a unique nature. Gangs were also starting to flare up in Khayelitsha and the Langa area so it could no longer be said that gangs were limited to the Cape Flats. The Committee emphasised again the fact that next year DPCI had to be a separate programme as this was a legal requirement. Under programme three, the Committee wanted to see a breakdown of court case officers – rank, numbers, salary levels and cost. The Committee wanted detail on the outcome and numbers of the criminal and departmental charges for lost dockets. Next year it was expected there would be a clear target for detectives to reduce the number of undetected closing dockets to be included in both the APP and the Annual Report. The Committee wanted the number of the registered informants, the cost and the number of registered informants, which made up the R33 million paid out. She wanted to make it clear that in today’s engagement which was day three of very long engagements, Members were not negative, especially around the detectives, but they were supportive of this environment over and above what was required by the Committee and because they believed it deserved encouragement and attention. The Committee believed the detective environment was a vital one for the success of SAPS, not only for the reduction of crime but the rate of conviction, which was where the detectives played a critical rule. It was not criticism from the Committee but it was like punishing the favourite child to make them do better. The Committee believed this environment could so better as they were given the resources to do better so they should be doing better. She emphasised this was not being negative. She thanked all the environments and noted the National Commissioner still owed the Committee two answers especially on the vacancy rate of the CFO. She thanked the Members noting they were meeting again tomorrow in Parliament at 09h00 to deal with protection services and crime intelligence. 

The meeting was adjourned.


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: