The Committee, in a full programme for the day, met with various divisions of the SA Police Service (SAPS) to be briefed on the progress made on a number of operations. The first item on the agenda was a briefing by the Committee researcher on the recommendations of the Farlam Commission emanating from the Marikana massacre. The comprehensive overview provided by the researcher detailed the chronology of events at Marikana, versions of events, tactical options and misrepresentation. The establishment and scope of the Commission was covered before moving onto a summary of concluding remarks and police-specific recommendations and key questions and comments for Members to consider. This was a preparatory briefing for the Committee before it met with the Minister for a full engagement on this pressing matter.
The Committee was then briefed by SAPS Western Cape on Operation Combat which was the Gang Strategy for the province. It spoke about the operational focus and objectives of the Operation, the criminal definition of gang as outlined in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), the types and features of gangs and gang system and its nexus with crime and drugs, the approaches used in the Operation, and interventions and execution and pillars of the Operation.
Members questioned current vacancies in SAPS Western Cape impacting operations, sufficient resources to effectively deal with gangs, operations to combat rocks being thrown off bridges along the N2 highway and jurisprudence of POCA, challenges of coordination with other departments, successes, implementation of programmes to identify youth at risk and police colluding with gangs in the Western Cape.
The Committee was comprehensively briefed on Operation Fiela-Reclaim, which is a multi-disciplinary integrated national action plan to reassert the authority of the state. Members were informed about the background to the Operation and government response, priorities and deployment numbers per province along with arrests, searches and confiscations. The Operation was run on a five pillar action plan with lead departments in each pillar and the objectives and operational strategies for each province were noted. The briefing also detailed case management, screening of illegal foreign nationals and deportation numbers.
The Committee discussed the operation being periodic versus it being a part of daily life and which would yield the most results, the use of the term “xenophobia” and the cautioning of its use in SAPS discourse. Some Members were deeply concerned about the use of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and what this image meant for investor confidence. Other concerns were that the SANDF was doing the job of SAPS and that the Operation was designed to target foreign nationals yet the borders were in such a catastrophic state that those deported could simply return.
A briefing was given on Operation Tornado noting its background and scope, operational focus areas, objectives, operations executed, successes achieved and the way forward.
The Committee discussed links between domestic and international intelligence to deal with syndicates, disruptive operations, omission of the Northern Cape and the number of convictions to come out of the arrests. Members were largely pleased with the progress achieved all in all police operations reported on.
Moving on to facility management and the roll out of generators at police stations, the SAPS presentation detailed the classification of SAPS stations in terms of those devolved and non-devolved, the status of generators in the two categories per province, stations with portable generators, maintenance contracts in place and stations operating with solar power and backup generators. The Department of Public Works (DPW) also briefed the Committee on the installation of standby generators in terms of processes undertaken, budgetary allocations, project status, services per province and their challenges.
The Committee sought clarity on the exact number of stations SAPS and DPW were each responsible for and numbers of stations without generators, budgetary allocations, why DPW was not proactive, requirements for leased facilities and the risk management plan in terms of running costs and maintenance, installation costs for solar panels at five police stations in the Eastern Cape, DPW’s use of consultants, the overseas procurement of some generators and sufficient storage capacity to run the generators. The Committee felt stations needed to be operational at all times as it affected crime fighting so this issue would be monitored closely.
On other matters, the Chairperson indicated the Committee would not consider the SMS sent to Ms Kohler Barnard by Nat. Comm. Phiyega but instead that serious reflection was needed by the Accounting Officer. He noted that the Committee had requested to see the SAPS National Spokesperson next week.
Chairpersons' Introductory Comments
After going through the agenda, the Chairperson noted that the President issued a statement with the release of the Farlam Commission report. The statement referred to findings against and recommendations for the various bodies including the police. The Committee would take its oversight cue from this statement by the President and await the outcome of processes. The Committee would however have to get input from the Minister of Police on steps taken by SAPS and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). The Farlam Commission report had been issued to all Members. The researcher would now provide an overview of the Commission’s recommendations and then there would be more engagement.
Overview of the Farlam Commission Recommendations
Mr Thembani Mbadlanyana, Committee Researcher, began the briefing by noting that undoubtedly, 16 August 2012 will go down in the annals of South African policing history as one of the incomprehensible calamities of our times. As Dixon observed, the events at Marikana when a number of people were injured and 44 of them died at the hands of the SAPS in a single day – marked a turning point in South African policing. To many South Africans, the incident raised concerns not only about human‐rights and labour‐relations travesties, but also about serious systemic shortcomings in public order policing practices and associated use of force by the SAPS. According to a number of policing experts, events at Marikana were symptomatic of deep-rooted systemic challenges within SAPS including leadership and operational deficiencies. In fact, in many South African’s minds, Marikana conjured up images of public order policing gone wrong - with frightening images of what appeared to be a police failure to deal with public protests in a democratically acceptable manner - one in line with the country’s constitutional imperatives.
Mindful of the above and in response to a growing national and international public outcry, a few days later on 23 August 2012, President Jacob Zuma instituted a Judicial Commission of Inquiry chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam. The Farlam Commission of Inquiry was established by Proclamation No. 50 of 2012 to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana. In particular, the Commission was established to address the causes of the events of 9 to 16 August 2012 at Marikana, which culminated in the killing of 34 civilians by members of the SAPS on 16 August 2012, and to make recommendations in this regard. The scope of the Commission was very broad but it should be noted that the Farlam Commission’s Report on the Marikana tragedy, released on 25 June 2015, made a wide range of recommendations on reforming public-order policing, which determined how the police should react in situations such as service delivery protests, union marches and political demonstrations. In particular, with regard to the conduct of the SAPS, the Commission was asked to inquire, make findings, report on and make recommendations concerning:
I. The nature, extent and application of any standing orders, policy considerations, legislation or other instructions in dealing with the situation which gave rise to this incident;
II. The precise facts and circumstances which gave rise to the use of all and any force and whether this was reasonable and justifiable in the particular circumstances;
III. The role played by SAPS through its respective units, individually and collectively in dealing with this incident and;
IV. Whether by act or omission it directly or indirectly caused loss of life or harm to persons or property.
Mr Mbadlanyana then spoke to the concluding remarks of the Report:
Violence on the part of the strikers - "This report would not be complete without a condemnation in the strongest terms of the violent manner in which the strike was sought to be enforced, and the brutality of the attacks upon those persons who suffered injuries and who died prior to 16 August 2012. Whilst the strikers aver that they first took up arms to protect themselves against the attack by NUM, a version which the Commission has found to be untrue, as set out above, they have not placed any evidence before the commission to explain why they found it necessary to resort to violence to achieve any of their aims”. The Commission concluded that, “While not detracting at all from the criticisms of the actions of the SAPS, the taking up of arms and the use of violence by the strikers was an important contributory fact to the situation at Marikana developing as it did. It alerted the police to the type of criminal acts they were required to deal with and precipitated a police presence in addition to Public Order Policing and was also an indication of the lengths the strikers to which were prepared to go, to enforce their demands".
Public perception of the SAPS - The Commission Report shared the same view expressed in the Stonechild Report, which stated that if police practices were antithetical to its responsibility to the public and assumed a partisan role, that would “contribute to a public perception that police cannot police themselves and that complaints against the police are futile”. The Report continued that "The recommendations of the Commission will, it is hoped, help the SAPS provide a policing service within the constraints of the Constitution and the law". It endorsed the view expressed in the Heads of Argument submitted on behalf of SAPS, which stated that: “South Africa should not have another Marikana. The loss of lives of the strikers, the members of the police, security personnel of Lonmin and employees of Lonmin is to be deeply regretted. The injuries sustained by some of the strikers are also regrettable. Damage to property should not follow expression of any civil disaffection. Bearing arms against a lawful authority should provoke widespread outrage. A career in the police service should not be a death warrant. Those who are found to have been culpable in relation to the criminal acts in the period 9 to 16 August 2012 in Marikana must bear the consequences of their conduct”.
On the police-specific recommendations, the Commission, having conducted hearings and evaluated evidence provided by different parties, made eleven broad policing related recommendations. The researcher went into the detailed recommendations for each of these categories and noted questions and comments for the Committee to consider: a) further investigations; b) use of certain (R-5 rifles) weapons in crowd control and management; c) police management; d) National Commissioner’s fitness to hold office; e) police management; e) recommendations on the IPID; f) recommendations for a Public Order Policing Panel of Experts; g) recommendations by National Planning Commission on Demilitarisation; h) control over operational decisions; i) police equipment; j) first aid and; k) accountability.
In conclusion, it was without doubt that events that happened in Marikana have no place in a democratic society. More so, the events in Marikana spoke to the ‘structural or systemic policing issues’ that needed to be addressed to avoid a recurrence of such calamity. As Bruce eloquently put it, the events in Marikana also spoke to the need of examining issues on ‘the level of how the police organises as an organisation, how it trains its personnel, what it teaches them, to what standards it holds them, how it is managed and who does the managing. Specifically, SAPS needed to respond to protests in a fashion that did not result in needless bloodshed and therefore revisiting the training regimes and equipping police officers effectively for crowd control was very important. In the spirit of honouring the lives lost in Marikana, the police leadership and the Portfolio Committee on Police might need to pay a particular focus on the key ‘systemic’ issues relevant to public order policing and to the deployment of the use of force within SAPS. There could be no better way of honouring the lives lost in Marikana other than ensuring that all the Commission’s recommendations are implemented and that justice is served.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) asked if this was the time to ask questions of the officials or should the Committee wait until it had been briefed by the Minister.
The Chairperson noted that this was the usual preparatory meeting by the Committee researcher before there was proper engagement. Full discussion would ensue once the Committee was briefed by the Minister. He noted government committed itself to implementing the recommendations and it was the mandate of the Committee to monitor this on an ongoing basis. Issues such as equipment and tactical policing would be engaged when the Committee looked at the budget toward the end of the year. He asked the researcher about similar issues of police reform in other jurisdictions and suggested looking at the UK and US currently where there was a big debate about police reform and the use of force – perhaps an additional paper on this could be prepared for Members.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) noted that in 1994, when the democratic government took over, there was a clear cut decision to demilitarise the police. Come 2009, there was remilitarisation of police. Communities responded positively to demilitarisation but now communities were up in arms against the state of police. What bearing did militarisation bring in terms of creating hostility between police and members of the community? He thought the report by the Farlam Commission took us back to demilitarisation when, in fact, the head of state called for militarisation of police when he took power.
The Chairperson said the White Paper on Police spoke to demilitarisation and the Committee would later be briefed by the Acting Secretary of the Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP) on the White Paper on Safety and Security which would also speak to that.
Mr Mbadlanyana added that the National Development Plan (NDP) already pronounced on the need for the demilitarisation of police and there was a clear position on this in the White Paper on democratic policing – militarised police had no place in a democratic SA.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) thought the researcher did a good job by wading through the thick Farlam Commission report and focusing on the recommendations. He brought to light which areas the Committee needed to prioritise in terms of oversight responsibility. This included the acceleration of the NDP and White Paper in terms of demilitarisation. This should be done without wasting time. An action plan for implementation of the recommendations was also needed.
The Chairperson said an indication of the action plans would also come from the briefing by the Minister. From there, engagement with SAPS could be arranged.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) thanked the researcher for a coherent and broad presentation. Also contained in the NDP was the depoliticisation of senior appointments and the inquiry into the fitness of the National Commissioner. He asked how the research team, on a purely factual and objective basis, can assist the Committee by looking at alternative models to give effect to the recommendation on the appointment process for the National Commissioner. Three examples were the (1) Judicial Service Commission (JSC) model used in SA where there was a short list compiled by a multi-stakeholder body including some experts who then made recommendations to the President, (2) appointment, although at executive discretion, required parliamentary consent such as currently was done with the Head of IPID and the Head of the Hawks and (3) US model of the Attorney-General being an elected position subject to democratic consent. Could the research team look at different models the Committee could put to the Minister and SAPS in terms of implementation of this recommendation?
The Chairperson noted these issues would be central to the White Paper on Police process.
Ms Kohler Barnard questioned what status the Committee Report on the Farlam Commission Report would have on this issue – a lot of time would be spent on it and she wanted to know possible outcomes such as whether it would be debated in Parliament, submitted to the Minister or the Commission?
The Chairperson explained there would be constant interaction with the Minister and the report would be sent to the National Assembly. He noted some of the issues, such as public order policing, had been in the spotlight of the Committee for a while.
Mr Mhlongo felt that the Report of the Farlam Commission indicated leadership at all levels was required in order to achieve the recommendations. Most of the issues had been raised before such as demilitarisation of police. Judges had raised serious concerns many times even with the independence of the Hawks but nothing had been done because there was no leadership at political and administrative levels.
The Chairperson interjected to note the lack of time and that the Committee had a number of other items on the agenda to get through although broad political statements were always welcomed.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked if there was an indication of when IPID would complete its investigation considering the amount of time expired.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee would first hear from the Minister and then be briefed by the other institutions.
SAPS: Western Cape Gang Strategy: Operation Combat
Maj. Gen. Thembisile Patekile, Acting Provincial Police Commissioner: Western Cape, noted the operation began with the Western Cape government strategy in 2008. This was accelerated in 2011 to the SAPS gang strategy and Operation Combat to effect to these strategies. He apologised for some statistics in the presentation being erroneously included.
Maj. Gen. Peter Jacobs, SAPS Western Cape Provincial Head: Crime Intelligence, highlighted that SAPS was one was one of the multiple departments in the Western Provincial Government Gang Framework (2008). In terms of operational focus, the strategic framework took a multi-agency and intersectoral approach that included:
▪ The establishment of a co-ordinating structure/forum to guide and monitor implementation of the strategy.
▪ Aimed to be responsive to risk factors and drivers to lead to the formation and continuity of gangs in certain communities.
▪ Took a long term view, recognising that while it was essential to act in the immediate term, it was also essential to put programmes in place now that may only bear fruit in ten years time.
▪ The Strategic Framework recognised that both adults and children were engaged in gangs - most individuals joined gangs while they were still children. (for the purpose of prevention and intervention, children and youth should be targeted).
▪ Incorporated range of different law enforcement and suppression, prevention, early intervention, diversion and reintegration programmes.
▪ Recognised the need for a range of interventions to be targeted in areas with the most need (identified priority areas).
▪ Community involvement in establishing programmes for that specific community was essential.
▪ Interventions must include programmes that target the risk factors of families and communities as well as programmes that target the risk factors of the individual gang member.
The operational focus of the SAPS Western Cape Gang Strategy (2011) included:
▪ Gang Criminal Investigations
▪ Strategic Visible Policing Deployment
▪ Community mobilisation towards development
▪ Focused Crime Information/Intelligence Management
Maj. Gen. Jacobs then went through the criminal definition of gangs as outlined in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) (1998) - “...includes any formal or informal ongoing organisation, association, or group of three or more persons which has one of its activities the commission of one or more criminal offences, which has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity...”
Types of gangs included: Named Gangs; Non-Named Gangs; Prison Gangs; Foreigner’s Gangs; School Gangs and Township Gangs. The two main features of gangs included those named: Mainly coloured; Linked to prison gangs; Sell drugs & liquor; Cross generational. And unnamed: Mainly Africans; Commit robberies; Limited link to prison gangs
Maj. Gen. Jacobs then spoke to the gang system and the nexus between gangs, drugs and other crimes or what is known as trio crimes. Also included in the discussion was the drug value chain.
Maj. Gen. Jeremy Veary, SAPS Western Cape Acting Deputy Provincial Commissioner: Crime Detection, outlined the strategy was designed in order to achieve the following objectives:
▪ dislodge and terminally weaken the capacity of the gangs to operate in the selected communities.
▪ disorganise and fundamentally disable the criminal economy linked to the gangs.
▪ construct prosecution ready criminal case dockets against gangs/members implicated in specific criminal acts/incidents.
▪ construct a series of POCA Act cases for gangs - identified 15 gangs.
▪ disable the prison gang influence on the communities beyond prison.
▪ eliminate the propensity of criminal gangs to corrupt police officials.
▪ mobilise and organise communities against gangs and their criminal activities.
▪ ensure that visible policing was deployed in a manner that prevented gangs from operating/flourishing and ensured seizure of illegal drugs and illegal and or unauthorised firearms.
The strategy made use of intelligence, investigative, operational and visible approaches to policing by disrupting, dislodging and disorganising. The targeted focus was on the firearms supply, drugs supply chain, 15 gangs and geographical development in designated areas. The emphasis was on developing a target focused approach under the gang strategy against street and prison gangs, guided by the following pillars:
▪ Gang Criminal Investigations
▪ Strategic Visible Policing Deployment
▪ Community mobilisation towards development
▪ Focused Crime Information/Intelligence Management
▪ Visible Policing
▪ Dedicated Investigation
▪ Crime Intelligence
▪ Deployment at Identified Gang Stations
Looking at the pillars of the strategy directed to SAPS, Pillar 1 was aimed at gang criminal investigations:
▪ Centralisation of dockets against targets
▪ Compilation of Threat files for identified targets
▪ Monthly inspections of Target threat files
▪ Periodic docket inspections by Provincial Head/Commander
▪ Inspections by Cluster, Station and Branch Commanders
▪ POCA focused investigations / specialised National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) focus
▪ Bi-weekly monitoring and review meetings with NPA
▪ Provincial, Cluster and Branch level specialisation in gang investigations
Pillar 2 targeted strategic visible policing deployment:
▪ Target driven operational planning at Station, Cluster and Provincial level
▪ Dedicated Gang Incident Response
▪ Target focused disruptive and interception teams
▪ Monitoring of productivity on Targets at Station, Cluster and Provincial levels
Pillar 3 focused on community mobilisation toward development:
▪ Focused community mobilisation against identified targets/areas
▪ Social crime prevention programmes
▪ Creation of broad mobilisation forums against gangsterism and drugs at station level (e.g. Community Policing Forums (CPFs), NHW, Business Watch,
▪ School Safety Programme
Pillar 4 was aimed at information/intelligence management:
▪ Integrated information /Intelligence management capability for Operation Combat established at Provincial level
▪ Informant /Intelligence management through target focused:- Firearms - Groups.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs noted the challenges experienced in the strategy included very limited implementation of the Western Cape Government Gang Strategy, non reporting mechanism into the provincial government strategy, the structure of gangs and the criminal economy and attempts at corporatisation.
Operation Fiela-Reclaim: Integrated National Action Plan to Reassert Authority of State
Lt. Gen. Elias Mawela, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, in his background to the Operation noted that SA continually experienced increased levels of lawlessness, impunity, intolerance and disregard for the rule of law. This had manifested itself in community protests, industrial actions, land invasions, defacing of statues and violence against foreign nationals. There had also been an increase in incidents of incitement through social media and other platforms without serious repercussions. Most of these activities were characterised by extreme violence. Government’s response was to act decisively and swiftly to stabilise the situation. The Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) developed a Five Pillar Action Plan to address the attacks on foreign nationals and to create stability in the country. The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) activated the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) and Provincial Joint Operational Centres (PROVJOC’s) to manage the Action Plan.
Maj. Gen. Charl Annandale, SAPS Component Head: Specialised Operations, outlined the Five Pillar Action Plan: 1 Safety And Security; 2 Humanitarian Services; 3 Legal and Regulatory Framework; 4 Communication and Community Outreach; 5 International Cooperation.
On Action Step 1 Safety and Security, there were a variety of departments and metro police departments involved. Operational strategies included:
- Daily deployments at hot spots
- Increase deployment to enhance visibility and response to incidents
- Intelligence ground coverage by deploying more intelligence operatives
- Integrated criminal case management and criminal justice system to enhance swift justice
- Establishment of liaison forums and cooperation centres for migrants in conjunction with the CPF
- Enforcement of by-laws relating to trade health and other compliance issues
- Support the reintegration programme of government
- Assessment and management of illegal firearms in the hands of migrants.
Other strategies included those for the short term (immediate) through stabilisation of identified areas, two action operations per week, speedy investigations and solving rate, dedicated detectives and task teams and quick turnaround time in the criminal justice system. Medium term interventions included normalisation in terms of high visibility, outreach programmes, awareness programmes and imbizos to run concurrently. In the long term the interventions included maintaining the strengthening of the criminal justice system, mobilisation of the community for effective partnerships and creating a highly skilled workforce through training, effective and advanced technology and optimisation of systems. Government, after reviewing the situation within the country, initiated a multi-disciplinary integrated operation code named Operation Fiela–Reclaim, to address crime and socio-economic challenges in communities.
Maj. Gen. Annandale then explained the priorities of the Operation before moving onto looking at the number of deployments per province including numbers of arrests and searches. Arrests were also highlighted for selected crimes, confiscation of selected items and case management.
Action Step 2 Humanitarian Services in the multi disciplinary integrated national action plan involved emergency shelter, health and humanitarian services. The departments involved were Social Development, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Health and Human Settlements. The focus was on:
- Food and infrastructure to displaced people
- Providing temporary shelter, access control and policing
- Reintegration into communities
- Provision of psycho-social services
- Provision, management and coordination of emergency medical services
- Provision, management and coordination of environmental health services
- Provision, management and coordination of primary health care services
- Coordination and issuance of permits with regard to human remains (forensic pathology)
- Provision of mental health services
- Regulation of the human settlements environment for responsiveness to cross-border migration
- Monitoring and management of disease surveillance.
Action Step 3 Legal and regulatory framework involved interventions with the Departments of Home Affairs, Labour and Small Business. The numbers pertaining to the screening of illegal foreign nationals were discussed along with the screening outcome and the Department of Home Affairs numbers of deportations from April – June 2015.
Action Step 4 Communication and Community Outreach had as its lead departments SAPS, Government Communication and Information System, Social Development and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. The aims included:
- Briefing of the councillors to formalise their roles and institutionalisation of the intervention process
- Community engagement to involve churches, NGOs, political parties, traditional organisations and community based structures amongst others
- Mass media communication and meeting
- Regular visits and deployment to the shelters
- March against attacks on foreign nationals
- Discussion with the Amakhosi Local Houses.
Action Step 5 International Cooperation involved Interpol, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the State Security Agency. Focus was on:
- Engagement with all foreign missions in SA on migration challenges faced by the country
- Regular feedback sessions with foreign ministries by SA heads of missions on steps being taken by SA to deal with challenges on migration
- Maintain the Joint Emergency Evacuation Contingency (JEEC) on a standby mode to monitor SA missions’ security
- Monitoring of the possible backlash on SA citizens and businesses aboard
- International migration and transnational organised crime.
In conclusion, operations were on-going in all provinces and the impact on the crime situation was showing preliminary positive results in certain categories.
Maj. Gen. MJ Lekalakala, SAPS Acting Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, (standing in for Maj. Gen. Bongiwe Zulu), noted the background to the Operation. During 2014 the country experienced a surge in serious and violent crimes including property-related crimes of an organised nature. These crimes were consistently on the increase with no signs of abating. Crimes included:
▪ Business robberies (including mall robberies) where criminals mainly focused on cell-phone outlets, electronic shops, clothing outlets, supermarkets, food outlets and jewellery stores
▪ Armed robberies at cash depots as well as the hijacking of trucks and vehicles transporting cash and tobacco products
▪ ATM bombings and drop safes
▪ Property-related crimes (market for stolen/robbed goods)
The top contributing provinces to these crimes were Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and North West. It became apparent that there was not enough focused attention being directed to the proper and systematic addressing of these threats in a manner that was cohesive and objective-driven. It was therefore necessary to develop a robust and feasible strategy to assist in the identification, investigation and neutralisation of these threats as a matter of extreme urgency. For this reason a Crime Intelligence National Coordination Team was established to develop short, medium and long term strategies to address these crimes. One of the strategies developed by the National Coordination Team was the registering of an “umbrella” intelligence operation named Tornado to coordinate all efforts. These efforts included the following:
▪ Gather intelligence on all identified levels of the crime value chain
▪ Plan and execute disruptive operations based on already known information
▪ Link arrested suspects to criminal cases
▪ Centralise all identified case dockets at the Provincial War Rooms
▪ Plan and execute intelligence driven operations and investigations
▪ Ensure that all cases were well prepared with evidential material for court
▪ Liaise with other provinces and follow suspects’ trans-provincial borders
▪ Deploy Visible Policing Units at malls to support preventative measures
▪ Facilitate briefing sessions with mall security to ensure that they were alerted and prepared
▪ Network Service Providers to assist with video footage analysis and linking suspects to other robberies
▪ Monitoring sudden increases in these crimes and creating interventions from national level.
Maj. Gen. Lekalakala discussed the scope of the Operation which was a national intelligence driven operation focusing on:
▪ Serious and violent crimes (vehicle and truck hijacking, business and house robberies, ATM bombings, CIT heists, and armed robberies); and
▪ Property-related crimes (market for stolen/robbed goods). The focus on property related crime addressed the entire value chain which included: Runners; Transporters; Local receivers; Couriers; and Trans-national buyers which was linked to the property taken during the commission of trio crimes
In terms of operational focus area and tasking, the operational focus area was currently executed in eight provinces and coordinated nationally as targets operating across national and provincial borders/ in terms of tasking, the provincial crime intelligence offices were tasked to gather intelligence on trio and property-related crimes and to implement initiatives to effectively address the threat in terms of short, medium and long term strategies. Objectives of the Operation included:
▪ Provide proactive and reactive intelligence to SAPS operational nits to execute objective driven operations
▪ Enhance and sustain existing intelligence networks nationally for the collection of proactive and reactive intelligence in support of policing operations
▪ Analyse and coordinate intelligence with the view of enhancing the intelligence picture for improved understanding of the threat
▪ Address wanted suspects and monitor activities of repeat offenders and parolees.
Maj. Gen. Lekalakala then turned to numbers of operations executed since July 2014 – there were 191 operations relating to registered network and pre-operations (provincial and cluster level) and 1894 disruptive operations at all levels. In terms of success since July 2014 to date, there were 1850 arrests; 340 vehicles seized; 295 firearms seized.
With recent significant successes from 7 August 2015 – 8 August 2015, there were simultaneous disruptive operations targeting the most problematic scrap yards, chop-shops and backyard mechanics were executed in all nine provinces on these dates. From these disruptive operations, there were:
▪ 38 arrests of suspects
▪ 24 vehicles seized
▪ 8 firearms seized
▪ 77 cellphones seized
▪ 9 computers and 4 plasma screens seized
▪ 5 iPads/tablets seized
▪ 30 engines/blocks seized
▪ 18 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes seized
▪ 15.2 kg copper seized
▪ 12 satellite tower lead batteries seized.
On 16 August 2015, an operation was launched to trace a suspect wanted for various house robberies in the Sandton area of Gauteng. This led to the arrest of a suspect in Soweto and the recovery of five pistols, five revolvers, one shotgun, ammunition, watches and cameras. A follow up operation was then launched in Alexandra where another suspect (identified as an associate of the main target) was arrested and three shotguns, including ammunition, expensive watches and cameras were recovered. All in all, two suspects were arrested which were linked to the main target and there was seizure of five Z88 pistols, five revolvers, four shotguns, ammunition, 58 expensive watches and three cameras. Firearms were also checked and linked to a number of other criminal cases in Gauteng. All the firearms were forwarded to the SAPS forensic laboratory for ballistic testing for possible linkages to other crimes.
In terms of the way forward, Maj. Gen. Lekalakala said the Operation would be extended, and expanded to police killings, to 31 March 2016. All nine provinces were to be covered due to the transversal nature of these crimes. There would also be regular coordinated simultaneous disruptive/takedown operations focusing on repeat offenders and wanted suspects in identified hot spot areas.
The Chairperson noted that there were many vacancies currently in SAPS Western Cape – did this impact on operations? On the question of resources, he asked if the Western Cape operation had enough resources to effectively deal with the issue of gangs.
Maj. Gen. Patekile acknowledged the shortage of personnel but there were a number recruitment drives and initiatives, for example, looking at ex-SAPS members bellow the age of 50 who could still work. There were more than 400 such applications being processed currently. SAPS was synergising with other departments in the JCPS Cluster to assist and supplement resources. There was also focus on partnerships with other stakeholders and it was beginning to bear dividends in some areas.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) felt good by what was heard this morning from the presentations. She highlighted the spike of rocks thrown from bridges off the N2 in Cape Town and asked if SAPS was winning in combating this. With Operation Fiela, it was said the Operation was specifically established for foreign nationals and she asked for a response on this.
Maj. Gen, Patekile highlighted that there was static and permanent deployment in the area which was also a partnership with the metro, provincial traffic and other government departments. Since the new approach was started, the number of incidents of stone throwing declined. There were some cameras in the area but this assisted with incidents after the fact so emphasis needed to be placed on preventive measures.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) was pleased with Operation Tornado and it seemed as if SAPS was working and committed – she encouraged this be maintained.
Mr Ramatlakane thought the presentation of Operation Combat was good but he questioned jurisprudence around POCA and being a member of a gang. He thought that if this hurdle was crossed, surely the strategy would be able produce more results in terms of deterrence. If this was not the case, what were the challenges experienced? He asked about coordination with various other departments in the operation on gangs in the Western Cape and if there were challenges with sufficient coordination. If such challenges were experienced, what was being done to address the problem? Turning to Operation Fiela, he noted the use of the term xenophobia. He took issue with this term as a slippage of language because there was no such thing. He suggested the word xenophobia be erased from the vocabulary and writing of SAPS. He asked why Operation Fiela was not part of daily life of SAPS instead of being a period exercise – if it was a daily occurrence, the impact would be much bigger.
Maj. Gen. Veary noted that there was a statutory definition of a criminal gang – it first needed to be proved that the gang someone said they were a member of, fit the definition. Usually a gang had a name, identifying sign and symbol and, more importantly, one or more criminal offences which formed the predicate to tackling the gang. It was not sufficient to just off a tattoo someone might have from many years ago to for that person to still be a member of the gang. Information was constantly updated and one could not just go off history. The challenge experienced was with very focused intelligence collection and management with specific investigative techniques requiring observation of certain places to draw a nexus.
Lt. Gen. Mawela said there were a number of benefits emanating from Fiela including the fact that more was achieved when government worked in an integrated manner. There were contributing factors to crime where other government departments had a role to play or intervene to assist the police. This was done in Fiela. The architecture of integration would definitely be taken forward.
Maj. Gen. Annandale explained that xenophobia was one of the activities of the work stream – most of the activities were prevent during the time of attacks on foreign nationals and dealt with the education of communities to fight against xenophobia and criminal activity. This was the context in which the term xenophobia was used to dispel it through education and awareness programmes.
Mr R Mavunda (ANC) did not hear the presentation on Operation Combat speak to successes. He felt the level of commitment displayed by the police today instilled confidence in the nation. He asked about the young people involved in gang-related activities and if SAPS knew the families or ever spoke to the parents to hear their comments on the involvement. Were parents aware of the activities of their own children? What was the level of involvement of these youth in gangs? He also raised the issue of shebeens and whether the by-laws of municipalities were effective in regulating or monitor the activities of shebeens.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs said he could make the successes available to the Committee – it was hyperlinked in the presentation but it could be printed separately. There were successes with the supply of firearms and ammunition and it was believed the core supplier was arrested as the Committee spoke. There were also successes on the drug value chain by closing in on manufacturing labs, couriers and suppliers. It was interesting that mandrax and tik could not be manufactured in coastal areas because weather conditions were not conducive so all of the labs were in Gauteng. This meant the work between the provinces needed to be coordinated because the manufacturing occurred in Gauteng for supply in Cape Town. There were also convictions of key gang members and leaders in Cape Town with multiple life sentences in secure prisons. While key members were taken out of one gang, numbers of the opposition gang grew which explained the importance of coordination. It spoke to the need for in-tandem interventions with SAPS to prevent vacuums being created and then filled.
Maj. Gen. Annandale said the by-laws were in all probability sufficient – it was just a case of volume in respect to the number of liquor outlets. An example was in the area of Delft South, in the Western Cape, of a survey population of 44 827 there were 119 liquor traders. The reality was that people were so dependent on this income and the volume was such that it was difficult to address the issue of liquor outlets.
Mr Mhlongo asked if SAPS managed to get to the level of identification from which countries drugs and goods were trafficked from. If such countries had been identified, had authorities been alerted so that something could be done? He was aware that, at certain levels not everything could be done by the police. Had SAPS identified loopholes or constraints which might be caused by the Constitution in terms of the high level of criminal activity – did constitutional obligations hinder the police in its line of operation? He was thinking of a country like China which had very stiff penalties for drug traffickers. With Operation Tornado, he did not hear of linkages between domestic and international intelligence in order to penetrate and deal with syndicates. He was thinking of high level syndicates such as criminal Radovan Krejcir who had domestic and international links.
Maj. Gen. Lekalakala replied that if it were not for coordination with foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the successes would have been limited. Coordination was conducted through Interpol structures and other platforms within the intelligence community. He mentioned that over 50% of the market for robbed, hijacked and stolen goods was foreign. For instance, with the bulk of robbed cellphones from stores, over 60% were activated in Nigeria as indicated by telecommunication companies. Several other cellphones were intercepted and were on route in small quantities to other countries. This was the same for other electronic goods like plasma screens which were intercepted on their way out of the borders.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity in relation to Operation Combat – he was slightly confused by the assertion of “limited Western Cape involvement in combating gangs in the province” under challenges raised in the presentation given what he knew about various programmes and activities. He asked if these concerns had been raised, for example, in the fortnightly meetings between the MEC for Community Safety and the Provincial Commissioner. Did the implementation of programmes such as the youth safety, religious partnership, Northlink bursary programme and Chrysalis Academy, all speaking to prevention, diversion and identification of youth at risk to restrict the supply line for gang continuation, factor into the involvement of the Western Cape government in dealing with gangs? It was in the public interest to have full information and he thought the picture presented was somewhat lopsided. On Operation Tornado, 02:42
Maj. Gen. Veary said that in 2008 there was a policy document by the Western Cape government and in 2011, aspects of this policy was reaffirmed. The document clearly outlined the responsibility of every single government department that should be monitored against the strategy with a multilateral delivery mechanism to track everyone’s delivery. This was not done and this multilateral structure was not brought into existence. This particular aspect was recognised as a deficiency and was part of a recommendation of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry in terms of addressing youth gangs. It required integrated programmatic management and SAPS was not the lead agency in that regard. This was the challenge of coordination and integration.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs added by alluding to the 2008 strategic framework which spoke to intergovernmental coordination which had never happened. These challenges were raised and he personally presented to provincial Cabinet on the concerns and need to report into a structure. There were other factors in the value chain of how people became involved in gangs that needed the attention of other departments. Each government departments’ role was cogently and clearly outlined in the framework to prevent and reduce the factors that drove young people into gangs and combat the culture of gangsterism in the Western Cape. He compiled the police strategy document and he noted the central need to report into a coordinating body. Whilst there were a number of good initiatives, like the Chrysalis Academy, the challenge was that it did not include youth who might have a criminal history or record. These youth could not be captured and incorporated into that category. This meant the pool of gang supply remained large and this was a challenge. This was raised multiple times in various forums in various levels of government.
Mr Mbhele asked if the challenge was around scale or around more structural shortcomings. Was the challenge on the intervention itself or that it was not big or rapid enough?
Maj. Gen. Jacobs said the framework outlined in tandem developed interventions. If the police was focused on one area, for example Atlantis, all the departments needed to come together to look at the challenges in the area and then list and coordinate interventions from there. The work of every department was clearly outlined in the framework. Coordination also involved the reporting and tracking of progress made.
Ms Kohler Barnard noted that the DA had a deep concern about the decision to utilise the SANDF within SA’s borders specifically recently in Operation Fiela and that the right for the Defence Force to operate in the borders had been extended to March 2016. This seemed particularly threatening in that when military uniform was seen in the streets on TVs around the world, it inevitably had the outcome of damaging investor confidence which was the last thing a country hungry for jobs needed or wanted. The DA called for the army in the Western Cape during an upsurge on gang wars but this request was refused yet SANDF personnel were seeing doing door-to-door with SAPS. It was an entity with about half the budget of SAPS and members trained to shoot and kill the enemy yet it was called to assist SAPS – was this not the job SAPS was supposed to be doing all along? What did this say about SAPS in that it needed help to do its job? Operation Fiela was created to deal with illegal aliens – did the criminals arrested and convicted relate to illegal aliens? Everyone knew that because of the catastrophic state of the borders, in all likelihood, those deported had already made their way back into SA.
Lt. Gen. Mawela dispelled the perception that Operation Fiela was targeting foreign nationals and government worked to further dispel this perception. The media had also been engaged to dispel the notion that Operational Fiela was exclusively focusing on foreign nationals. Communities were made aware of the priority focus areas of Fiela which included undocumented people. SAPS welcomed and appreciated the assistance of all government departments, including the SANDF, in the fight against crime. The mandate of the SANDF was to provide perimeter or outer protection of all forces operating in a particular space. The intention was to have maximum impact.
Maj. Gen. Annandale added that there were a number of activities to prevent those deported from returning on the borderlines. This included roll-out of an online verification system for asylum permits at all ports of entry, implementation of passenger name record, biometric capture of all travellers entering SA linked to the movement control system, business inspections and recording detailed documentation of all foreign employees. This was ongoing work.
Ms Kohler Barnard questioned the response of the SANDF functioning as outer perimeter protection when there was television footage showing door-to-door operations – this was not outside work but working inside buildings along with SAPS. This ran contrary to the answer provided to the Committee.
Mr Mhlongo thought it would important to know from which countries drugs were coming from into SA - he did not think SA was capable of manufacturing certain drugs and so it had to be coming from somewhere. Political decisions needed to be taken to deal with this and develop strategies.
Mr M Mncwango (IFP) questioned Operation Tornado and what exactly was meant by “disruptive operations”. He was interested in the number of convictions to come out of the arrests referred to.
Maj. Gen. Lekalakala said disruptive operations followed the monitoring of activities of groupings and repeat offenders to ensure operations were intensified as based on intelligence received. He currently did not have statistics on the number of convictions but it could be made available to the Committee once it was received from the detective component.
National Commissioner of Police, Ms Riah Phiyega, said a number of approaches were looked at to enhance and improve offerings. It was clear from the presentations that integrated policing approaches would yield the most achievements and to look at the broader crime line not just at the end-intervention role SAPS played. An example was the entering of a hijacked building in Gauteng as part of Operation Fiela were SAPS was accompanied by health inspectors, labour inspectors, home affairs etc – the building had no lights and toilets but every inch of it was occupied. Without this integrated approach, SAPS would only have touched the tip of the iceberg. Partnership policing was also important as demonstrated in Operation Tornado and the operations on mall robberies partnering with the Consumer Goods Council and South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). Internal coordination and centralisation was also heightened as also heard in Operation Tornado and this helped with focused resourcing.
Ms Molebatsi asked about the lifespan and cost for Operation Tornado.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega added the internal HR processes were also heightened
Mr Mbhele noted that operation Combat made reference to dedicated NPA prosecutors who assist teams – were those prosecutors permanently attached to the Operation or were different prosecutors rotated? Would it then be conceptually correct to call this a prosecutions-led approach? In terms of recommendation 12 of the Khayelitsha Commission, he believed the Community Safety Department had drafted and MOU which was forwarded to the Provincial Commissioner’s Office and was awaiting signature. Hopefully there would be quick action in this regard.
Maj. Gen. Vearey replied that there were dedicated prosecutors in the NPA attached to the organised crime desk – they looked at all investigations generated by POCA so the Act enforced this specialisation. These trials often comprised 30 to 40 cases and lasted a period of years so they required greater project focus and there was such a capability. On the investigative side, provincially, there were dedicated project teams for each particular gang. The teams worked in tandem as gangs had structures all over the province to conduct illegal transactions in terms of racketeering which needed to be brought together – this was in itself further specialisation. Drug investigations also required a level of specialisation along with cyber crime etc
Ms Mmola asked about police colluding with gangs in the Western Cape.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs affirmed this as shown by the arrest of Col. Prinsloo in the supply of firearms. There was dedicated capacity in intelligence and a team on investigators in the Hawks focusing on corruption and there was a provincial anti-corruption team that worked too target such members. Arrests had been made with members selling dockets etc. but there was a focused approach to deal with it.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega added that HR processes has also been heightened to deal with and pick up criminality internally.
Mr Mavunda asked if there was any strategy in place to close the markets where stolen goods were sold. It was not only about the illegality of stealing but the trading and selling to buyers.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked why Northern Cape not included in Operation Tornado – what did the province have, or did not have, that criminals were not hitting it as experienced in other provinces? Had an analysis been conducted on this phenomenon? She found it as strange as to why the Operation was driven by National Intelligence and not SAPS crime intelligence – these were crimes and not threats to the country’s sovereignty. She sought an explanation on this.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega clarified that the Operation was run through the national office of crime intelligence and not National Intelligence.
The Chairperson, in closing, thought the presentations provided a good picture of where things were in terms of the operations and there was good progress. The Committee would be monitoring this and the teams would return with further updates. The arrest of SAPS members were welcomed in cleaning up the firearms environment and the Committee supported these efforts. The issue of the budget would be looked at in October to strengthen efforts in dealing with organised crime.
SAPS Division: Facility Management: Roll Out of Generators at Police Stations
The Chairperson highlighted the importance of stations remaining operational and servicing the public during load shedding. The Committee wanted to know what the current situation was, if it was being addressed and what the overall impact was in terms of crime fighting.
Lt. Gen. Gary Kruser, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, standing in for Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Facility Management, who was on training, began the presentation by outlining the classification of SAPS facilities where properties were either classified as non-devolved or devolved. Non-devolved properties were the responsibility of the DWP while devolved properties were the responsibly of SAPS itself. DPW was then responsible for 768 fully fledged police stations as state-owned facilities and 100 fully fledged police stations as leased facilities. SAPS were responsible for 272 state-owned police stations and six satellite stations. Members were then taken through the numbers per province.
Lt. Gen. Kruser then went through the status of generators per category per province – all 272 fully fledged devolved police stations had backup generators and the 14 fully fledged police stations as indicated on the Annual Performance Plan (APP) will receive upgraded generators during the 2015/16 financial year.
The Committee was then informed of which stations in the Free State and Western Cape had portable generators which will be equipped with new generators during the 2015/16 financial year. all provinces had generator and electrical maintenance contracts in place and included the following:
▪ Generator installation and upgrades
▪ Three monthly service inspections on generators
▪ Electrical” replacement of globes, power outlets, cabling, distribution boards, emergency call outs
▪ Mechanical: new air conditioners including six-monthly maintenance
▪ Perimeter solar lighting
Department of Public Works (DPW): Installation of Standby Generators
Mr Nkosi Vilakazi, DPW Acting DDG: Projects and Construction, began by taking the Committee through the background to the issue. There were 667 police stations that were on generators but most of them were old and some of the installation of the generators dated back to the 1980s and so needed to be replaced. There 181 requested from SAPS – the request was received in May 2014. Processes to undertake included clearing the site in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, conducting an assessment of the generator and status of the facility. The generator would be designed around the load needed. There were also a number of issues for compliance such as noise levels.
The presentation then covered the allocation for the financial year, project status and services per province. In terms of challenges, assessment had taken long but the process would be shortened and services providers declining projects because of the geographic spread across provinces. However interventions were in place to appoint service providers as per location to reduce travelling and some of the projects had been unbundled.
In conclusion, delays were acknowledged in terms of design and assessment but there was a general plan to speak to this and prevent delays. All generators that DPW had now would be on site in the 181 requests by end-June 2016/17 – orders would be put in place before December and the manufacturing could then begin. This process was being closely monitored and there was an inter-ministerial task team led by DDGs to monitor the entire SAPS portfolio including the issue of generators.
Ms Kohler Barnard thought this was good news from the side of SAPS that generators could now be purchased without going through the whole process but she assumed this was just with the devolved stations. The problem remained for the non-devolved stations. She wanted to know exactly how many stations there were on the side of SAPS and how many did not have generators. For those stations under the mandate of DPW, she wanted to know exactly how many stations there were and how any did not have generators. This included satellite stations. There were many reports of SAPS staff going home when there was load shedding. She got the sense that DPW was playing catch up – why was the Department not proactive? She was appalled and released why people said Public Works did not work. She emphasised the need for clear numbers from both sides.
Lt. Gen. Kruser answered that there were 198 satellites and the exact number of stations from the side of SAPS was 272 stations which were devolved. The exact number of stations under DPW was 868 of which 181 still required generators.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked for clarity – was the 198 satellites included in the 272 devolved stations.
Lt. Gen. Kruser clarified that he was referring to a satellite of a devolved station so it was a separate structure operating at specific hours based on the need.
Mr Vilakazi acknowledged that the Department was behind in terms of the programme but the equipment under discussion was not the portable generators but the ones that were specially designed. Some of these generators were already on site and would be completed in this financial year and the Department was pushing to get the balance of orders before the end of the calendar year.
Mr Mbhele questioned more recent numbers of devolved stations with backup generators as presented today vs. an answer to a parliamentary question on the issue by the Minister. He also questioned numbers from DPW on the projects in the pipeline
Lt. Gen. Kruser responded that at the time of the parliamentary question, there were 1138 stations but there were now 1140 – two satellite stations had become fully fledged stations in the period between the time of the question and currently so the numbers changed slightly. With DPW, 187 stations were not done but six had subsequently been done. This meant 181 stations still were not done. With SAPS, 13 stations were not done but they had subsequently been addressed through portable generators.
Mr Mbhele asked if the 27 projects highlighted in the DPW presentation was the sum total of projects that the Department had the pipeline to address the figure of 181 stations.
Mr Vilakazi affirmed the 27 projects were for the 181 sites.
Mr Mhlongo was worried about the joint-ministerial task team acting as an oversight on projects when there were parliamentary committees to conduct oversight. He was worried of Minister running oversight themselves.
A DPW official explained the task team was to ensure there was a good working relationship between the Department and the client – the Department’s biggest clients, like SAPS, were located a DDG from both sides to meet on a bi-weekly basis to look at the progress of projects. From there, detailed reports were developed monthly to facilitate the good working relationship.
Mr Mhlongo felt it was important for the public representatives to protect their backs because Ministers could be overseeing themselves in terms of execution – this needed to be corrected before there was another Nkandla. If the Committee did not conduct oversight it would just be theoretical.
The Chairperson highlighted the Committee would be visiting the Free State in about four weeks time and all those stations would be visited to ensure the generators were in place. Public representatives also had constituency duties where it could visit stations to ensure there were generators and fuel.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega added that there were internal audit processes and the Auditor-General who supported some of these activities to ensure what was reported on was present and audited.
Mr Ramatlakane wanted to find out about the new requirements for leased facilities – would the leaser provide the service or would DPW intervene? Did the cost presented take this into consideration or was it juts focused on the devolved stations? He heard mention was made of June 2016 – did the budget speak to this date or was it additional funds? He asked this because the financial year ended in March. He questioned the risk management plan on running costs and expenses – how would this project be run in terms of maintenance costs? Would the generators kick in automatically when the load shedding began?
Lt. Gen. Kruser explained that with leases through DPW, part of the contract was that DPW must ensure generators.
The DPW official said that with risk management and maintenance and running costs of the generators, there was a structured arrangement with the clients to handle day-to-day maintenance to avoid a long winded process. The maintenance and running of the generators then would fall in this structured arrangement. The Department would come in when major maintenance was needed.
Mr Vilakazi added that the budget reflected was for the current financial year – programmes were multi-year in nature and allocations were received from the client in every financial year. At the end of the financial year, allocations were reviewed in preparation for the next financial year.
Mr Ramatlakane noted the budget was for the current financial year but the goods would only be delivered by June 2016 – was the budget for all the goods or would some of the budget be rolled over?
Mr Vilakazi indicated the budget would be rolled over – the budget catered for activities around design, delivery and installation but some of the activities might occur outside the current financial year. It could happen that delivery of the equipment might happen this financial year and whatever activity fell outside of the financial year would be rolled over.
Ms Mmola questioned the cost associated with the fitting of solar panels at the five police stations in the Eastern Cape. When were these panels installed?
Lt. Gen. Kruser did not have the figures with him currently but the answer could be provided to the Committee.
Ms Molebatsi asked about what happened currently with stations and load shedding if they did not have solar power – did the members just pack up and go home? She questioned the utilisation of consultants in many units of DPW which had been problematic – how did the Department hope to overcome this hurdle?
The DPW official said the emphasis was on building in-house capacity, as detailed in the turnaround strategy. Young professionals and retired professionals were being attracted to assist in building this capacity – it was hoped that in time the balance would be tilted on the reliance on consultants but it would take some time.
Mr Mncwango asked why the generators were procured overseas. Was it because there was no local manufacturer? He questioned what happened to awaiting trial prisoners in the event of load shedding.
Mr Vilakazi indicated that some of the equipment was ordered overseas, like the generators using Volvo engines which were not manufactured locally.
The Chairperson asked if there were currently sufficient capacity storage for diesel to run the generators. What storage facilities were currently at the stations? It did not help to have generators when there was no diesel or fuel available. What monthly checks were there in place to ensure stations had enough diesel for the generators.
Lt. Gen. Kruser answered that SAPS did not make use of storage tanks anymore – there was a SMS system on the generators linked to the levels of fuel informing the member on duty and cluster and station commander to say when the fuel was running low. Provinces needed to ensure there was money available and budget allocated for fuel to fill the tanks. An SMS would also be sent if the tank was tampered with in case the fuel was attempted to be stolen.
Mr Vilakazi added that diesel was catered for by the client to run the generators.
The Chairperson, in closing, said the issue of generators affected crime fighting and communities so it was important for the Committee to monitor this through follow-up meetings and to receive feedback where there were problems. The Committee would also require a further report on the matter in the fourth term to track progress. Since there was not enough time to be briefed by the Civilian Secretariat for Police, the item would be accommodated in a future meeting.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would not be dealing with the SMS sent to Ms Kohler Barnard by Nat. Comm. Phiyega. He emphasised the need for serious reflection by the Accounting Officer.
A formal letter would be written to SAPS on the Section 201 matter and the following documentation needed to be submitted to the Committee by next week:
- Agenda of the Magoebaskloof meeting
- Electronic copy of the minutes of the meeting
- Attendance register of the meeting
- Electronic recording of the meeting
- Performance agreements of all related officers mentioned in the statements
- Copies of all statements issued by provincial commissioner, senior management and the spokesperson
The Committee had requested the SAPS National Spokesperson appear before it next week.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Department of Public Works (DPW): Installation of Standby Generators
- Western Cape Gang Strategy Operation Combat: Western Cape SAPS briefing
- Operation Fiela-Reclaim briefing
- Operation Tornado: SAPS briefing
- Roll-Out of Generators at Police Stations: SAPS briefing
- Overview of the Farlam Commission’s Recommendations: Research Unit
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