IPID recommendations on SAPS discipline: input by SAPS, IPID, Metro Police, Civilian Secretariat; SAPS inspectorate turnaround strategy

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19 November 2014
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met with the Department/SA Police Service (SAPS) and the entities, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the metro police for the City of Cape Town and the Civilian Secretariat on Police (CSP/the Secretariat) to discuss challenges faced in monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by IPID on disciplinary cases. The CSP presented its mandate to the Committee on IPID matters, success and challenges in this regard as well as future plan in the environment. The City of Cape Town metro police presented possible challenges (of which there were none) faced by the metro police department in monitoring implementation of recommendations made by IPID on disciplinary matters. The presentation also looked at the numbers of matters referred by IPID to the metro police since April 2012, the types of offences and the working relationship with IPID.

IPID then presented its mandate in terms of SAPS recommendations, referring recommendations to SAPS, recommendation reports and external challenges. Thereafter SAPS briefed the Committee on implementation of IPID recommendations looking at the initiation of disciplinary proceedings on received IPID recommendations for 2013 and the current financial year. Detailed numbers and a provincial breakdown were also provided along with interventions implemented and the way forward.

The Committee was seriously concerned about IPID recommendations not being implemented, development of the national standards of policing, unequal disciplinary proceedings, the unlawfulness of not initiating proceedings within 30 days of receiving IPID’s recommendations as stipulated in the IPID Act,  reinvestigations and the general relationship between SAPS, the CSP and IPID. Limitations of IPID were also engaged, following up on cases and the integrity of reporting before the Committee resolved to have all three entities back next year with one combined report outlining mutually agreed rules of the game in terms of recommendations.

SAPS also briefed Members on the turnaround strategy for the SAPS inspectorate division by presenting the key issues in the strategy, scope of the inspectorate, regulatory framework of the strategy, an environmental analysis and the implementation of recommendations.

Many Members felt SAPS should return with a hard, concrete document with clear deadlines and objectives as the current strategy was more of a wish list with no tangible goals or deadlines. The strategy also needed to be accompanied by an implementation plan and budget. Nevertheless, the Committee discussed leadership and capacity of the inspectorate, role of the inspectorate with copper cable theft and second hand good stores, restructuring of Standing Order Six, awareness campaigns, coordination between IPID and the CSP to prevent duplication and interaction with the Public Protector. Other points of discussion were on early warning systems for personnel depletion, management of the centralised database and internal capacity, standardised inspection methodology at provincial and national level and benchmarks for best practice.    

Meeting report

Chairperson’s Introductory Remarks
The Chairperson noted that two police officers were shot dead in the Free State last week while a female constable was shot dead in front of her home one evening as she was preparing to go to the station and a lieutenant was killed after he conducted soccer training with schoolboys. He thought this was untenable – there could not a situation where perpetrators killed police who were there to protect communities and society. The use of firearms in these situations was also terrible. People who killed the police and acted against the police in the execution of their duties, acted against the spirit of the Constitution. South Africans should reject conduct of this nature. He highlighted communities were to play their part and protected the police.  The Committee sympathised with SAPS and the families of the police members killed. A society was needed which respected the police and everyone was to contribute to this as a social discourse.

Turning to the agenda for the day, the National Development Plan (NDP) stated, in the short-term, the code of conduct should be included in the disciplinary recommendations and performance appraisal system. SAPS and the metro police authorities were to provide all members with a copy of the code of conduct, there should be a link to all HR systems and all members should be required to sign a copy of the code to be kept in their personal files. Periodic checks should be conducted to ensure the code was understood and practiced. Police members charged with misconduct should be required to leave the station immediately until allegations were tested and the case finalised. A code of ethical police practice should be developed and prescribed through regulations. Police members should be trained and tested in this application through a compulsory course and failure to pass should lead to suspension or dismissal from the service. SAPS and the metro police should be viewed as professional working in a skilled occupational group to protect the public and the only agency to use coercive force. Ethical conduct should be practiced to maintain the public perception of policing as a professional institution. There was an important role for agencies within SAPS to play. The Committee had made a number of recommendations in this regard which was reflected in the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR):

closer cooperation and liaison between the oversight structures including the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP or the Secretariat), SAPS and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on the architecture of police oversight

all recommendations by these oversight bodies to be implemented by SAPS

full report on the SAPS inspectorate performance be compiled and made available to the Committee

Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) appreciated that it was important for the Committee to highlight when the police were in anyway harmed or injured and killed but it also behoved the Committee to refer to the invasion of the National Assembly by SAPS on Thursday 13 November. She knew the police could not make up its own orders so she wanted comment from the National Commissioner in this regard.

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC), in her knowledge, knew there was some investigation going on so she asked the matter be reserved.

The Chairperson noted there charges laid against SAPS the next morning by some Members and although the merits of the case could not be discussed he provided the National Commissioner with a short opportunity to respond on the incident from the SAPS perspective.

Ms Riah Phiyega, SAPS National Commissioner, thanked the Chairperson for the concern and condolences expressed for the lost members. Another member lost from detective services in KZN who had gone on a process with the team in search of wanted criminals and would be buried on Saturday in Port Shepstone. Three members were already lost before SAPS rolled out its “duty calls” campaign before the festive season. She agreed SAPS be given time and respond on the National Assembly matter when the time was appropriate, however, she reiterated in terms of section 205 of the Constitution, one of the responsibilities of SAPS was law enforcement. Whatever happened at the incident was in terms of prescripts according to the laws of Powers, Privileges of Immunities of Parliament Act. When the opportunity came, SAPS would be able to clearly show the duties and responsibilities carried out within the prescripts of the particular legislation. SAPS had also opened cases of assault in process of carrying out their duties. The matter was being investigated by IPID.     

The Chairperson agreed an opportunity should be given to IPID to investigate the matter in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act and to do the necessary task. Perhaps a formal briefing could be received when the Committee met again next year. It was appropriate to leave the matter to be investigated by the appropriate agencies of the law.

Division: Inspectorate Strategy for Re-Engineering and Service Delivery Improvement

Commissioner Phiyega provided some introductory comments to the briefing noting the inspectorate was a pertinent function in the police. The need to ensure inspectorate services worked and compliance with legislative aspirations was critical. The inspectorate service was an important part of the assurance architecture within SAPS and this platform was vital for self-assessment along with other platforms for assurance like the internal audit which was prescribed by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Outward looking assurances were also important and provided by the Auditor-General and IPID and SAPS accounting to Parliament which also formed part of public assurance. The inspectorate played a very crucial role in this hierarchy. The inspectorate should be reorganised to meet the current demands of service which included, inter alia, a very powerful inspectorate to inspect the service at all levels and mitigate risks by implementing sustainable corrective proposals to the service. Management effectiveness was also important along with the appropriateness of conduct, enforcing the law, compliance and management of complaints to ensure they were taken care of along with recommendations. In a nutshell, a very functioning inspectorate ensured an efficient service was delivered to the citizenry of the country at the lowest level. The inspectorate had been through a metamorphosis – before 1994, the responsibility to inspect was the responsibility of officers at station level prescribed through particular standing orders. Post-1994, at national level, the section process evaluation was established with a mandate to evaluate policing processes and procedures at all levels of the organisation. In 1998, this section was incorporated into the national inspectorate which was established under the deputy national commissioner who was referred to as the inspector general. In 2001, the national evaluation service division was established and merged with crime intelligence and detective evaluation capacity. In 2005, provincial evaluation services were established and in 2007 the national evaluation service was renamed the national inspectorate. In 2010, the centralised structure was decentralised. The turnaround strategy was to ensure the function was reorganised in a manner that assisted SAPS to do what it was supposed to do. It was SAPS priority to reorganise the inspectorate function, resource the function, profile it and make it permanent to ensure it was an important component in SAPS assurance architecture. It was also important that the inspectorate was not an end in itself and recommendations given were dealt with. Looking at the capacity of the inspectorate was crucial – interviews would be held this week for the position of divisional commissioner of the inspectorate. She reiterated the importance of the trio of combined assurance being the inspectorate, internal audit as well as the AG. SAPS would be looking at performance measurement, performance reporting and indicators to measure the turnaround strategy. Improved cooperation with communities was also being looked at to enhance community accountability through the effective management and coordination of complaints.     

Lt. Gen. K J Sithole, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, noted the presentation was informed by the service charter of the inspectorate. The three key issues highlighted were that:

The Inspectorate was there to empower top management to make proper decisions    

Assist with the reorganisation of the service to deliver effective and efficient service delivery

Build cooperative structures to improve accountability, transparency and performance excellence

The scope of the inspectorate meant it dealt with service delivery related matters which covered both national and provinces. The scope also encompassed service delivery complaints against SAPS. The turnaround strategy came out of SAPS not being convinced of corrective steps taken in the business unit of inspections had taken place. Added to this was that the management of complaints was not very structured.   

The regulatory framework of the strategy was informed by the Constitution, Police Service Act and the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery which spoke to the service charter. Standing Order General Six was the key paper informing the turnaround strategy.

Under the inspectorate strategy, Lt. Gen. Sithole highlighted the statement of intent which was to contribute toward service excellence and organisational accountability, transparency and compliance. This would be done through the use of inspections, managing service delivery complaints and coming up with relevant interventions. At times these interventions were informed by inspections while at other times they were informed by service delivery complaint and the interventions could go as far as reviewing certain organisational plans in a particular division.

With the environmental analysis, there were a number of strategic objectives, including:

Reorganising the inspectorate to ensure professionalism

Review of resourcing in the division

Transform the inspectorate into a tool to be used effectively by top management to inform  the state of compliance

Reorganising the inspectorate to manage complaints effectively in line with the Service Charter

Moving to the implementation of recommendations informed by the investigation of complaints, it was highlighted outcomes of investigations could lead to the review of certain strategies and plans, reprioritisation and corrective action which might also include negative discipline to be implemented without favour. 

Commissioner Phiyega, in closing, said it was crucial to increase the coverage of the inspectorate and the response to the inspectorate by the service. It was important for the inspectorate to broaden the synthesis and analysis of information collected to assist in continually improving SAPS.


The Chairperson, evaluating the presentation, noted that 60 – 70% of the presentation spoke about what would be happening in the future and this could be a limitation. Going forward, exact timelines were needed with what steps had already been implemented. How big was the inspectorate at this stage in terms of numbers? Going forward, what would SAPS be doing to ensure the inspectorate was capacitated with the right member profile? He welcomed the move for a deputy national commissioner for the inspectorate.   

A Maj. Gen. From the inspectorate division of SAPS said all nine provinces were at 197 in the inspections environment while there were 53 in the complaints environment. This produced a total of 250 excluding support services. This was the whole complement for the whole country.

Comm. Phiyega added SAPS was looking at further capacitating the environment in terms of personnel as well as with other resources. The budget for the environment had already been increased this year. She emphasised the ability of the inspectorate to self-assess and be inward looking to evaluate the efficient and effective delivery of services and adherence to the code of conduct. This formed an important part of public accountability

Ms Kohler Barnard echoed the sentiments of the Chairperson and thought the strategy was very airy-fairy and more of a wish list when a cold, hard plan was needed with clear deadlines and targets – she did not see this so it was very hard to address the presentation. She was very inclined to ask the Chairperson to send SAPS back to the drawing board and start again.  

Mr P Groenewald (FF+) also thought the presentation was quite theoretical and repetitious and he was not impressed with it. He did not see anything in the plan which would really change the inspectorate. 

Ms Molebatsi asked if Gen. Shabalala was replaced. Had the restructuring of Standing Order Six begun? Cable theft was on the increase – what was the role of the inspectorate in this area in inspecting second hand outlets etc? How were the Batho Pele principles upheld in the conduction of inspections and producing of recommendations? It was often found, on oversight visits, that recommendations were found lying in the stations so how could it be ensured these recommendations would be followed up? She was concerned about awareness campaigns implying that some SAPS members did not know the role of the inspectorate. 

Commissioner Phiyega, as mentioned in her opening remarks, noted SAPS would be interviewing in the next week the Lt. Gen. Who will be the head of the inspectorate. She hoped the process was successful to introduce the new head to the Committee at the next meeting because leadership was important in bringing some of the plans to fruition.  The awareness campaigns were a forum to ensure the community knew where to take complaints and concerns in a structured platform. It was important for the community to know there was a dedicated, focused and coordinated facility that answered diverse questions. Awareness campaigns was a crucial part of the keeping the community aware and informing them of where to lay complaints.     

A Maj. Gen. From the inspectorate division of SAPS explained with the standing orders, the process of review had begun. One of the issues to attend to was to ensure the central coordination and the central database to record complaints from all environments to avoid duplication.  

Lt. Gen. Sithole addressed the issue of cable theft noting the inspectorate had a specific capacity located in visible policing in terms of the Second Hand Goods Act with the responsibility to undertake inspections of all second hand good dealers. The role of the inspectorate was for quality control and monitoring as well as to look into specific crime trends, for example, cable theft, to factor into the recommendations for operational interventions.

With the implementation of recommendations, Comm. Phiyega noted the importance of supervisors   

Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked if the turnaround strategy was costed and how much the role out of the strategy would cost.

Comm. Phiyega indicated SAPS would be back with an implementation plan which would cover costing.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked if the presentation basically came down to the fragmented handling of service delivery complaints in the past, the inspectorate facing capacity constraints and the proposed solution of a centralised complaints management system and ring fencing funds for the inspectorate within provincial commissioner budgets. He sought more information on the coordination between IPID and the CSP in terms of partnership with the inspectorate other monitoring, evaluation and inspection bodies to avoid duplication in the policing ecosystem. Was there an early warning system to pick up on personnel depletion specifically in terms of the Western Cape with Provincial Commissioner Lamoer being present?  

Comm. Phiyega reiterated the importance of the inspectorate fulfilling the role of self-monitoring and evaluation in combined assurance platform – SAPS could not blindly offer services without this capacity. It also formed part of public accountability. With personnel, it was important to not SAPS had higher than usual attrition partly because of some of the perceptions that people would lose pensions. SAPS were running a road show with government pensions to go out to the people. The show stated about two weeks ago with two or three of all the provinces still to be visited to explain to members losing pensions were a myth as publically articulated. There was also attrition with people retiring. SAPS were responding to this through the new intake. SAPS were looking at staggered intakes to build enough capacity to plug the attrition. There was also lateral infusion with students whom had studied policing being provided with a solid year of training given they already had the academic background to policing. A number of options were being used to plug some of the attrition gaps. 

Comm. Arno Lamoer, SAPS Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, noted members were recruited from other provinces and after serving a period of time, these members felt they wanted to go back home so this was a continuous challenge. The last recruiting drive aimed to recruit members from the province itself to ensure there was no outflow of members out of the province. These were young constables and financially it did not make much sense either. With the early warning system, senior managers of provinces went on various visits and if it was picked up that members were disgruntled or wanted to leave or be transferred, there would be discussion on the sport. Officers could resign within 24 hours and this presented a challenge

Mr D Twala (EFF) reiterated the suggestion for the SAPS team to be sent home, compile a proper presentation and come back to the Committee.

Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted to understand when the inspectorate changed in order to ask informed question. He wanted to know at what stage the inspectorate currently was. When terms of reference were mentioned in the presentation, did this mean the inspectorate developed its own terms of reference? He also wanted more information on the dynamics of the relationship between IPID and the inspectorate. How did the public lay complaints with the inspectorate?  

Comm. Phiyega said the complaints came through various forms, for example, letters, e-mails, the presidential hotline etc which covered a wide spectrum of issues. It was the goal for the inspectorate to be the coordinator between all these specialised functions. From this it was hoped there would be a centralised database for the management of complaints for consistency and standardisation – this formed part of the turnaround strategy. With the relationship she explained IPID dealt mostly with issue of SAPS conduct and compliance dealing more with sanctions. The role of CSP through the changes of the inspectorate were not sufficiently profiled and the response to the findings of the Secretariat had not been given the necessary importance and significance – the turnaround could not ignore or overlook the importance of the function such as the Secretariat.

The Chairperson took note of the Members suggestions and thought a reworked presentation, in terms of timelines, was definitely needed. It was also important in preparation for the Committee’s work next year for the SAPS Amendment Act to look at the complaints environment, institutions involved and the move toward the NDP.

Commissioner Phiyega undertook to come back with a very clear presentation with a roll-out time plan.

Mr Groenewald asked how long there had been an inspectorate in SAPS.

Comm. Phiyega indicated from 2001.

The Chairperson said this was part of the role of Members as legislators to look at proper coordination and better linkages as SAPS had the biggest budget in the Treasury list.

Mr Groenewald replied that there had actually been an inspectorate since 1995.

Comm. Phiyega indicated that yes it was since 1995 and not 2001. 

Mr Groenewald wanted to know, in simple terms, of the public could lay a complaint against SAPS with the inspectorate? Where did this fit in with IPID? Did it mean the public could lay complaints at both platforms?  

Comm. Phiyega said the inspectorate and IPID differed on the nature of complaints – the inspectorate dealt with service complaints while IPID dealt with the conduct of SAPS in relation to the handling of victims and issues of corruption. She likened the former to an inspector in schools so there was a distinct difference between the two. There was interaction with the public and there were various processes of feeding in complaints.   

Ms Molebatsi noted the Public Protector was on the list of the inspectorate’s external clients – what was the interaction with the Public Protector and the inspectorate?

Comm. Phiyega indicated the Public Protector was another platform for complaining. 

Ms Mmola asked who would manage the proposed centralised database. Did SAPS have the internal capacity to manage the centralised database from an IT perspective or would the management be outsourced? Was there a standardised inspection methodology used at both national and provincial level? Did SAPS conduct benchmarks in the development of the inspectorate to assess how inspectorates functioned in other jurisdictions? 

Comm. Phiyega explained that because the entry points for complaints were so diverse, a centralised platform was needed. This made auditing easier and to see where complaints were coming from and what was being done about them. She said the service would not be outsourced and was an internal function. Benchmarking was being done to look at what other countries were doing for best practice. 

Mr Twala, having listened to the National Commissioner, noted the inspectorate was a machine regarded as obsolete at some point but a new purpose had now been found for it. This was the reengineering of an old machine to serve a new purpose he assumed was derived from the experience faced and internal challenges. Was provision made in the budget vote 25 of the Department for the reengineering of the division?  If this provision was made, how much was it? he raised this given the austerity measures the Minister of Finance alluded to in his Medium Term Expenditure Framework Speech that posts would be frozen – where did this put the turnaround plan for the inspectorate?

Comm. Phiyega said it was an asset that was under-utilised and the focus was to put this asset to good use working toward the NDP. The provinces were catered for in terms of the provincial budgets but nationally, R9 million had been budgeted for this financial year (up from R7 million in the previous financial year). She would be able to give a composite picture once the implementation plan was finalised for repositioning of this environment.

Mr Mbhele noted a mystery visitors project was discussed as part of quality control in an earlier engagement with the Committee – was this project linked to the turnaround of the inspectorate?

Comm. Phiyega said it was part of the monitoring and evaluation function as per Presidency guidelines.

The Chairperson said it was clear another engagement was needed between SAPS and the Committee on this matter and this would take place 28 February 2015. This would include the implementation plan and budget. The issue of the call centre was also critical – this was one of the successes of the Department of Home Affairs in tracking issues. SAPS needed to take heed of these good practices in Home Affairs and the SA Revenue Service (SARS) moving forward. Moving toward the NDP, more assurance was needed with institutions and agencies because there was a strong focus in the NDP on compliance, good governance and members acting in line with the Constitution. In the next engagement it was also important to look at the growth of the inspectorate in relation to the growth in personnel numbers of SAPS. The Committee wanted assurance that the inspectorate could fulfil its function effectively.   

CSP Monitoring the Implementation of IPID Recommendations

Looking at the Secretariat’s mandate on IPID matters, according to Section 5(h) of the CSP Act, the Secretariat must promote co-operation between IPID, SAPS and the CSP. Section 31 of CSP Act, stated that CSP must monitor the implementation by the police service of recommendations made by IPID and provide the Minister with reports on steps taken by it to ensure compliance, and a copy thereof must  be sent to the executive director. According to Section 18(1) the Secretary must convene the first meeting of the Consultative forum.

The successes in this regard included integrating the CSP Act provisions on IPID to the Annual Performance Plan, reports had been written on IPID matters for the attention of the Secretary and the Minister, there were regular meetings between SAPS, IPID and CSP chaired by CSP to deal with IPID recommendations and provisions of the Act. Monthly snapshots were also drawn from these meetings for the attention of the Chief Director and Secretary, IPID monitoring and evaluation studies were conducted by CSP and the results were presented to SAPS and IPID, IPID nodal points and the turnaround strategy by SAPS was established, SAPS was now starting to report in accordance to the provision of the IPID Act and the verification process was in place.  

Although there were these successes there were also challenges, including, incompatibility in terms of the recording and processing of statistics, different interpretation on some of the IPID Act Sections and gaps in the lines of communication between SAPS and IPID at all levels. There were also differences in the understanding of each other’s time lines and verification processes along with provincial co-ordination challenges and historical challenges in addressing the backlog.

Future plans included enhancing the Consultative forum, and there was a forum meeting scheduled for 25 November 2014, furthermore a workshop had been arranged between provincial and national stakeholders to clarify roles and responsibilities on IPID recommendations scheduled for 26 November 2014. Other plans included reviewing the MOU and TOR between the entities, formalizing the working relationship between STATSSA, IPID, CSP and SAPS to assist with statistics and data management challenges and strengthening of provincial co-ordination between SAPS, Provincial Secretariats and IPID to replicate the national structure.

Chief Wayne Le Roux began by noting the purpose of the briefing was to give effect to the request from the Committee on possible challenges faced by the Cape Town Metropolitan Police Department in monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by IPID on disciplinary matters.

Chief Le Roux gave an indication of the numbers of matters referred to IPID by the metro police since April 2012. The type of offences was then highlighted over the 2012/13 period noting there were minimal complaints. The metro police did a thorough investigation of complaints forwarded.  To date, no member had been charged with any serious offence like rape or murder.
With the working relationship with IPID, this was stated as being a very good one. There was a standard meeting every month, workshops and training was organised and feedback was provided through the communication strategy. The City of Cape Town took a zero tolerance approach when it came to disciplinary matters. There were no challenges in implementing the recommendations of IPID.    

Ms Molebatsi wanted to know where the Executive Director, Mr Robert McBride, of IPID was.

Mr Matthews Sesoko, IPID Chief Director: Investigations, said Mr McBride was involved in the strategic planning session of IPID. Because it was his first strategic session, it was felt he should be there.

Ms Molebatsi thought Mr McBride could send someone in his place to the strategic planning session in order to prioritise Parliament.

The Chairperson thought it was a pity there was no formal communication that Mr McBride was not present. In future it was important to have all the role players under one roof because SAPS was here with the National Commissioner.

Ms Kohler Barnard asked the Committee write to Mr McBride to reorganise his thinking – Parliament requested this briefing with very senior members of SAPS present and the strategic sessions could well have been attended tomorrow. She failed to understand and felt it showed complete contempt for the process.

The Chairperson said the necessary would be done.  

Ms Mariaan Geerts, IPID Acting Chief Director: Compliance, Monitoring and Stakeholder Management, began by noting IPID’s mandate in terms of SAPS recommendations stating the responsibilities of Executive Director, according to the IPID Act, section 7 outlined Section 7 (6) the Executive Director must ensure that complaints regarding disciplinary matters were referred to the National Commissioner and where appropriate, the relevant Provincial Commissioner. Section  7(7) stated that, once a month, the Executive Director must submit to the Minister a summary of the disciplinary matters and provide a copy thereof to the Secretary. Section 30 of the Act dealt with disciplinary recommendations stating, the National Commissioner or the appropriate Provincial Commissioner to whom recommendations regarding disciplinary matters were referred, as contemplated in section 7(6) and (7), must:
(a) within 30 days of receipt thereof, initiate disciplinary proceedings in terms of the recommendations made by the Directorate and inform the Minister in writing, and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary;
(b) quarterly submit a written report to the Minister on the progress regarding disciplinary matters made in terms of paragraph (a) and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary; and
(c) immediately on finalisation of any disciplinary matter referred to it by the Directorate, to inform the Minister in writing of the outcome thereof and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary.

When referring recommendations to SAPS, the section 30 of the IPID Act stated, (1) A complaint of a disciplinary nature or recommendations by the Directorate involving the discipline of a member or members of the South African Police Service or the Municipal Police Services must be contained in a report substantially similar to Form 3.
(2) The Executive Director or relevant provincial head must, in accordance with section 7(6) of the Act, read with section 9(m) and 21 (1)(f), ensure that the form contemplated in sub-regulation (1) was correctly completed and submitted to the National Commissioner or relevant Provincial Commissioner of Police, as the case may be.
(3) The Executive Director or relevant provincial head must interact and liaise with the National Commissioner or Provincial Commissioner of Police regarding progress relating to disciplinary proceedings initiated by the National Commissioner of Police, as the case may be, in accordance with section 30 of the Act.
(4) The duty imposed upon the Executive Director or the relevant provincial head in terms of sub-regulation (2) or (3) may be delegated, in writing, by the Executive Director or relevant provincial head, as the case may be, to a suitable member of the Directorate.

Looking specifically at the recommendation reports, Ms Geerts explained the recommendation reports must meet a certain criteria in terms of IPID Regulations, Form 3. The investigator must sign the Recommendation Report, send it to the supervisor for quality control and for their signature and thereafter the supervisor was to send the report to the Provincial Head for approval and their signature. The Provincial Head was to scrutinize the recommendation report in order to ascertain whether the recommendation was in order.  If he/she was satisfied with the recommendation report, he/she sign it and endorsed the date/date stamp in order to measure the 30 days compliance from the date of completion to the date of referral to SAPS/MPS in line with the APP target. The Provincial Head was to complete/update the file on the Case Flow Management System and update the case file by ensuring that a signed copy of the Recommendation Report was filed in the case file before he/she referred the recommendation to SAPS. Recommendation reports were submitted to SAPS within 30 days after completion. The report must be hand delivered together with the cover letter, which comprised the list of the recommendation report(s).  No recommendation reports were allowed to be faxed, e-mailed or send by post to the SAPS/MPS. The designated IPID official waited to obtain acknowledgement of receipt from the SAPS Recommendation Coordinator. The IPID Provincial Coordinator must ensure that no duplicate recommendation reports were forwarded to the SAPS/MPS. The IPID Provincial Coordinator must ensure that recommendation reports were delivered to the correct stakeholder and no reports meant for the NPA be mistakenly delivered to the SAPS/MPS and vice versa. The IPID Provincial Coordinator then completed the recommendation register and sent the scanned copies of the recommendation reports and the register immediately to the Compliance Monitoring Section. The IPID Provincial Coordinator then forwarded an e-mail to the Compliance Monitoring Section on a weekly, verifying that all referred recommendations reports and feedbacks received from the SAPS/MPS were forwarded to National Office. All scanned copies of recommendation reports, registers and feedback reports must reach the Compliance Monitoring Section before the 7th of the following month in order to be considered for the monthly report to the Minister.

With these recommendations, IPID was required to record all recommendations in a register, which recorded the relevant details in terms of performance. Confirmation of the feedback was required, it was not sufficient to only receive an updated spreadsheet with the updated statuses of the recommendations - each recommendation must have its own response and be accompanied by supporting documentation, e.g. report from SAPS with a copy of the written warning issued to the SAPS/MPS member. The Provincial Head must keep a record of all recommendations sent to SAPS, update the recommendation register and keep record of all responses from SAPS in terms of Section 30(a), (b) and (c). In the event that the Provincial Head was not satisfied with the response(s) on the recommendations forwarded to the SAPS/MPS, the Compliance Monitoring Section must be informed and the matter will be engaged with on a National level (with SAPS and the Legal Section if needs be).

The Chairperson interjected and asked for clarity, if the presentation would only be dealing with the legal section and not the inspectorate?

Ms Geerts replied that both were being dealt with. She continued with the presentation looking at recommendation meetings noting recommendation meetings on provincial level occurred on a monthly and quarterly basis as per the meeting schedule. Minutes of meetings were forwarded to the national office for record keeping and reporting progress to the executive director through the Consultative Forum. Attendance of members was monitored and issues raised in the provincial meetings were noted and discussed at national level. To date, 55 confirmed meetings took place on provincial and national level for the current financial year. 

Looking at external challenges, IPID was challenged when receiving feedback in terms of Section 30(a), (b) and (c) in terms of supporting documents and delays in receiving a response with responses from 2012 still outstanding. There was also confusion in terms of the reporting channels when recommendations were involving members of from different provinces or divisions.

The Chairperson noted this was a huge concern. There was a strong need for solutions to sort out this big problem or elephant in the room.

Ms Geerts continued with external challenges and said with decisions on recommendations, SAPS declined to initiate disciplinary action on recommendations, without proper reasons being provided, even after it was agreed that the SAPS must implement IPID recommendations. Outcomes relating to the “withdrawal by the complainant” occurred without proper documentation to the effect, outcomes did not match the seriousness of the case and often the outcome resulted in no effective corrective measures being implemented. E.g. suspended sentences or written warnings for rape cases and there were occasional insistences by SAPS to re-investigate IPID cases which undermined the whole exercise.

In conclusion, in order for the procedural challenges to be addressed IPID, CSP and SAPS will be engaging in a Recommendation Workshop on 26 November 2014 to discuss respective needs and finding long terms solutions for our challenges. There might need to be amending of the IPID Regulations to cater for Recommendations more effectively and to give more guidance and structure to the Recommendation process and response format required from SAPS and amending the IPID Regulations to strengthen compliance with the IPID Act in terms of the sections dealing with Recommendations.

Lt. Gen. Nombulela Mbekela, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Services, began by looking at initiation of disciplinary proceedings on received recommendations from IPID noting the figures reflected were reported at the time of compilation of the 2013/2014 Annual Report. At this stage all the 764 IPID recommendations received had been initiated and the progress made regarding disciplinary matters in terms of section 30(b) of the IPID Act, 2011 was being monitored on a continuous basis. Out of the 764 recommendations, 645 processes of initiation on the recommendations had begun, there were 0 service terminations and there were 119 pending decisions. The cumulative performance of SAPS in this regard was 84%. The provincial breakdown of the 764 recommendations was then provided as well as how the provinces fared in terms of recommendation initiation. Some provinces had initiated progress on 100% of recommendations.

Of the 645 processes of initiation on the recommendations, the detailed numbers were as follows:
Disciplinary proceedings not recommended :   142
Disciplinary hearings still in progress :   76
Matters still under investigation :   276
Disciplinary cases finalised :   151

Lt. Gen. Mbekela turned to present the current information for the 2014 financial year 1 April – 31 October 2014, noting, 657 recommendations were received, 641 of the recommendations had been initiated, there were 16 service terminations and pending decisions. The overall performance for this period of the current financial year was 100%. The provincial breakdown of the 641 recommendations was then provided as well as how the provinces fared in terms of recommendation initiation. All provinces had initiated progress on 100% of recommendations.

With regard to the 641 recommendations where disciplinary proceedings were initiated, the progress was as follows:
Disciplinary proceedings not recommended : 56
Disciplinary hearings still in progress : 38
Matters still under investigation : 453
Disciplinary cases finalised : 94

Of the finalised disciplinary cases:
Withdrawn : 31
Guilty    : 58     
Not guilty :  5
Out of a total of 58 guilty findings, 12 members were dismissed and 46 given sanctions such as suspended dismissal, fine, final written warning etc.

Lt. Gen. Mbekela turned to the interventions implemented saying that, previously there were several challenges experienced however, they had been addressed through the introduction of the following:
The Protocol arrangements were developed and communicated to IPID, the Secretariat, Provincial and Divisional Commissioners.
Incorporated implementation of the IPID disciplinary recommendations into SAPS Annual  Performance Plan and cascaded same to performance agreements of the Provincial Commissioners;
Set the performance standard for station commanders to implement recommendations within five working days;
Establishment of Nodal points at Provincial offices and appointed co-ordinators of IPID recommendations who had the following responsibilities:
Receiving and verifying of recommendations;
Referral of recommendations to respective commanders;
Ensure compliance to the turnaround times in terms of the implementation of recommendations;
Co-ordinating of monthly meetings between IPID and SAPS; and
Data capturing and maintenance.
The full contact details of the appointed co-ordinators had been provided to all stakeholders;
A workshop on the management of IPID recommendations was held with the appointed IPID coordinators on the 2nd and 3rd July 2014; and
The main purpose of the workshop was to provide guidance in relation to the management of IPID recommendations.

For the way forward, SAPS would be conducting joint visits to provincial structures; and was planning a joint workshop with all stakeholders, including SAPS and the Civilian Secretariat.
The Chairperson noted the three institutions, SAPS, IPID and the CSP, was funded from the same budget in the same cluster and now the Committee had to bring all three together to find one solution.

Ms Kohler Barnard asked if IPID played any role in the infamous figure of 1448 convicted criminals within SAPS. It seemed the National Commissioner’s hands were tired and apparently conceited criminal members of SAPS could not just be fired. The figures worked out that each member committed at least two crimes each ranging from murder to rape to bigamy – the worst possible crimes imagined. Could IPID assist in this matter? It was inconceivable that there were these convicted felons in SAPS that could not be gotten rid of. Did IPID follow up on various court cases? In the case of the National Commissioner alleged tipping of the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner and the NPA declining to prosecute, the court recommended a disciplinary case be conducted – did IPID follow up on such matters? If someone from SAPS was arrested, paraded in front of the media then found to be innocent – what was the role of IPID in such a case? She asked what SAPS was doing about what she saw as unequal disciplinary processes where one member could be fired for stealing R200 while another member was suspended for stealing R20 000 – she did not understand how this happened. She was inclined to ask IPID to investigate as it seemed someone had been paid off.

Mr Sesoko said the role of IPID ends when a recommendation was made after an investigation – any action after that was purely in the hands of SAPS. The purpose of the monthly meetings was to engage on the recommendations. The matter for the National Commissioner was dealt with at a ministerial level and not at IPID level. IPID’s position was clear, when a crime was committed and there was evidence to suggest an offence was committed, if IPID itself arrested the member, the member would be taken through the processes up to finalisation of the matter. If it was a SAPS arrest, IPID also took over.    

Comm. Phiyega, for the record, said she was not a criminal and she had no criminal offence. She welcomed the outcome of the investigation undertaken by IPID to which she made herself available. She equally welcomed the outcome by the NPA. She was fully in support of the police being policed. It was important to listen to both sides in the case of an investigation as there were regulations for discipline.

Mr Groenewald wanted the National Commissioner to comment on a suspended sentence or written warning for a SAPS member accused of rape.

Lt. Gen. Mbekela said this spoke to inconsistency of sentences given and SAPS had been looking at the standardisation of sanctions across the board given the disparities and inconsistencies. There were disciplinary units with certain skills needed for disciplinary chairpersons for the sanctions handed out to match the offence. The regulations in this regard was with the Minister.      

Mr Groenewald noted that the presentation by the City of Cape Town metro police was the first to say there were no challenges to implementation. If there were no challenges he thought this was a good story to tell but he did not believe this good story as there must be challenges. He would like to see which outstanding disciplinary matters were referred to and the related statistics. He was concerned that there were public complaints against the metro police and there was not good follow up and members were not found guilty. For IPID, he noted the presentation only made reference to SAPS and not the metro police – he wanted such a report on the feedback from metro police units. He was concerned about the different stories being told between SAPS and IPID. He was very concerned about the external challenges faced by IPID in SAPS not implementing recommendations which he found totally unacceptable. He sought a response by the police on this.

Chief Le Roux said if there were problems there would be engagement with IPID. There were regular meetings and if there were concerns there would be immediate communication. The metro also had independent investigators to deal with complaints, he categorically assured, complaints, if there were any, were dealt with and no members were allowed to walk away in the face of serious allegations. Each complaint was unique and investigated with members allowed to represent their case and interact with union representatives. It was important to note the metro police fell under the SA Police Act and were not independent. The communication between the metro police and IPID was there and there were minutes of such meetings. There was an independent chairperson when cases were presented. When the chairperson presented a recommendation, the member in question would be provided with written confirmation of the outcome of the particular case timeously. There was a zero tolerance approach when it came to serious allegations against members but everyone, member and complainant, were provided with fair opportunities.

Mr Maake asked where the independent chairpersons were sourced from. What type of people was included?

Chief Le Roux said there was a pool of chairpersons or initiators within the City of Cape Town. This member would be completely independent and would not know the case until it was presented on the day of the disciplinary matter. If a second opinion was required, a completely independent person would be called.

Mr Maake wanted to understand what sort of people constituted this pool.

Chief Le Roux indicated it was City of Cape Town officials who had been trained as disciplinary chairpersons – these people were completely independent of the metro police.

Ms Mabija said Mr Maake wanted to know if this pool of people were suitable to be chairpersons. 

The Chairperson asked Mr Maake if he was happy with the response.

Mr Maake wanted to know if these people used as chairpersons were civil servants in the City or just waiting to be called up if there was a case to chair.

The Chairperson thought a further written report could be provided.

Chief Le Roux answered that these people were trained as initiators and disciplinary chairpersons as part of the Labour Relations Act, were independent but were not sitting around waiting for cases. The person was then appointed in terms of labour relations. 

Ms Molebatsi could not reconcile how, according to the metro police presentation, written warnings valid for six months were given for the discharge of firearms when potentially someone could be killed or left disabled. She asked if the National Standards of Policing had been developed as per Chapter 12 of the SAPS Act of 1995. For IPID, she asked what communication had taken place as per sub regulation 12 (4). What was the engagement between IPID and StatsSA regarding the integrity reporting of disciplinary recommendations?  She asked how long the chief director of compliance, monitoring and stakeholder management had been in an acting position and how much longer would this still occur.

Chief Le Roux indicated firearm discharge could be accidental but the metro police was obliged to inform IPID whenever there was discharge of a firearm – this was important. 

Mr Sesoko said the Chief Director had been acting since 1 April. In the previous engagement with the Committee, it was noted there was delay in getting concurrence with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) but recently the concurrence had been attained and the post would be filled soon.  

Ms Mmola asked what happened after IPID submitted recommendations to SAPS or metro police services. She asked why SAPS did not institute disciplinary processes after they had been recommended by IPID.

Mr Sesoko indicated IPID’s reporting was holistic and did not distinguish between SAPS and the metro police. Only 2% of cases related to metro police but the information could be provided – in future the demarcation would be clear for reporting.  On SAPS receiving these recommendations, initiation of disciplinary proceedings had to begin and IPID would provide all the necessary evidence for them to do so. IPID did not participate in disciplinary proceedings unless called in as witnesses

Ms Mabija noted police officers themselves ganged up against complainants in a conniving way to protect each other. It was often found more than one police officer would be implicated in such a case against one complainant – was this being taken seriously? Police went to the extent of threatening community members when they knew they were in the wrong. She sought more information with the future plans presented by the CSP – it was hard for the Committee to monitor if there were no due dates. She was concerned by the contradictions between SAPS and IPID and asked who was fooling who.

Chief Le Roux responded that there was liaison between SAPS and the metro police sometimes even with surprise visits from SAPS to check, especially, compliance with the Firearm Control Act. There was also follow up with disciplinary cases and anything could be perused. 

Mr Mbhele noted the category of “disciplinary proceedings not recommended” – he understood that recommendations went to SAPS either for prosecution or disciplinary actions. He asked SAPS what “pending decisions on initiations of proceedings” meant noting that it was unlawful and a criminal offence for SAPS not to initiate proceedings according to the IPID Act. He also wanted to know what “matters under investigation” meant given the statutory requirement for SAPS to initiate proceedings within 30 days of receiving the IPID recommendations. The clear cut matter was that someone was breaking the law in not initiating proceedings within these 30 days as stated by the Act and there needed to be a consequence which the Act said could be up to two years in prison or a fine. The law was very clear in this regard.

Mr M Mncwango (IFP) asked the metro police how the outcome of disciplinary processes were communicated to the complainant – was this even done and if it was, what was the timeframe involved? He was delighted to hear there were no challenges with the implementation of IPID recommendations by the metro police – this should really be congratulated if it was true. He was concerned about the re-investigation of IPID recommendations by SAPS which indicated a Cold War between SAPS and IPID – it might not have been directly referred to but actions spoke louder than words. He was concerned about the duplication of services and waste of money because of re-investigations.

Mr Maake was interested in all charges initiated against the metro police members who were dropped or found to be unsubstantiated – did the metro police have its own inspectorate? What was the relationship between the metro police and the CSP and SAPS itself. 

The Chairperson thought it was evidently clear better coordination was needed. 28 February 2015, IPID, SAPS and the CSP would present one joint document which demonstrated agreement about the rules of the game in terms of recommendations, outcomes and unified statistics. The Committee needed to approve the budgets of the three institutions next week and there could not be divergent views year after year. The National Commissioner, Executive Director and Secretary needed to be attendance for this meeting. This was a Committee recommendation – solutions needed to be found because it impacted on service delivery.

Mr Groenewald asked that the metro police were included in this resolution.

The Chairperson thought many of the issues had been exhausted for the day and there would be further engagement on 28 February with all the relevant institutions i.e. SAPS, IPID CSP and metro police.

Mr Groenewald asked that written responses be received from SAPS on the external challenges outlined by IPID because this was the core of the issue.

The Chairperson thought the MOU should encompass these challenges so it did not become a problem every year.

Ms Kohler Barnard, to her knowledge, thought a SAPS officer who stole should be fired. With the case of the member who was still in the service after stealing, with whom could she taken this matter further – SAPS or IPID?

Comm. Phiyega suggested the information be sent to her. It was the SAPS process and had nothing to do with IPID.

Ms Molebatsi noted that in the last financial year, a man was beaten up by police members in Cape Town, stripped and dragged behind a police van – where were these members now? Was the “teeth” of IPID really biting? 

Mr Sesoko said simply, yes, the IPID Act gave the directorate teeth and it did bite.

Comm. Phiyega said SAPS did not even wait for IPID on this incident and conducted its own very simple internal investigation before any criminal investigation. Those members were dismissed.

Mr Mbhele felt like there was a difference between what SAPS and IPID defined for “initiation of proceedings of recommendations”.

Mr Maake understood that SAPS was not obliged to give information as IPID wanted it – there was no regulation for obligation in this regard. How would an MOU deal with this?

Mr Mncwango thought the MOU should have a common understating of the issue of initiation from the side of both SAPS and IPID as it appeared there was a difference in definition given the re-investigations.

Ms Molebatsi asked why there was only one metro police department present. She knew there were many in Cape Town.

Chief Le Roux indicated there was no other metro police department in the Western Cape – the only one was the City of Cape Town’s metro. There were metro police departments in the other provinces.

The Chairperson thought it was clear the challenges presented in the various presentations would be the focus areas of the MOU. He was confident the role players were committed to cleaning up the area. The Committee needed to be cognisant and keep the maters in mind when looking at the amendment process next year. Most of the challenges related to coordination, internal processes, communication and cooperation.  He looked forward to the process going forward in finding a permanent solution moving toward the NDP and for the Committee to have clarity in analysing statistics and reports of the various entities next year.

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