SAPS on its 2014/15 Annual Report
14 October 2015
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
The first part of the presentation on the South African Police Services Annual Report for 2014/15 dealt with Technology Resource Management. The Integrated Justice System and Criminal Justice System plans were discussed, presenting on the weighted project milestones. The need to upgrade networks was discussed. SAPS had received approval from the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to upgrade 500 sites, but by the time the approval was given, it had only two months to do that, and it had managed to handle 275 sites with rollover requested for the remainder.
Members expressed concern regarding the under-performance in the TMS environment. Delegates were asked whether they had engaged with private sector, and raised concerns about what had been done to answer the points raised by the Auditor-General. SAPS noted that a three stage approach was taken – policy, a charter of how to deal with this and then an implementation plan. Members were also concerned about the spike in spending in the fourth quarter. Members also raised queries on what was deemed to be irregular expenditure but SAPS disputed that the TETRA spending had been found to be irregular. Members also raised queries about equipment ordered for the 2010 World Cup soccer, but apparently never used, queried where it was listed in the asset register and what the training was. SAPS creation of the contract to invoice model was discussed.
The Inspectorate programme results were then presented, with extensive listing of targets and whether they had been achieved. It was noted that the planned target of 790 inspections was exceeded by 230. Other highlights included the appointment of the first female divisional commander to lead the inspectorate. The relationship with the Auditor General and internal audit teams was discussed and it was noted that unannounced visits had yielded results. The implications of Standing Order 6 were discussed. Members asked questions about the ranks of those doing the inspections and stressed that a way would have to be found to reduce the possible deference by inspectors to those of higher ranks who were being inspected. They also noted that a full audit must be done to find out where any breaks in the chain of command meant that inspections were not achieving the desired results. Members also questioned whether the targets were high enough for the current year, given the achievement on targets in the past year.
The Chairperson summarised the draft recommendations that the Committee had made to SAPS so far following the presentation of the reports, dealing with demilitarisation, quarterly reports and corporate reports, and the call for an advisory strategy to ensure effective management control over stations and cluster stations. The Committee had been concerned about and wanted more action on monitoring of pocket books and implementation of protocols. SAPS must provide the Committee with a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement with the Human Rights Commission. It must also provide details on how the community was involved, a copy of the new inspection strategy and compliance, updated accountability and supervision systems and a review of roles and responsibilities of cluster management, and action plans to limit contingent liabilities and deal with civil claims. The Committee wanted a copy of the national demographic plans used for the integration of stations, and monthly reports on the action plans, as well as the plans and time frame around section 6 directives.
Programme 2: Visible Policing then set out its aims, targets and results. This was described as having three elements – reactive crime response and reaction, including specialised interventions, proactive crime prevention, and SAPS support of other departments at the borders. Many of the facilities listed had been touched on during the presentation on other programmes. Crime prevention took the majority of the budget, and spending here had been 98.5%, while in border security 97.9% was spent and on specialised interventions there was spending of 108.2%. Other sub-units, their spending and purpose were described. In this year, 25 targets were set, and last year 21 of the 25 targets were achieved. Audit findings related to the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie reaction times, the pocketbooks, open recording of illicit drugs and confiscated liquor. Indicators were given on a number of reported crimes. The 2% reduction in reporting of crimes against women had not been met. Other statistics related to firearms, violent crime, stolen and robbed vehicles, escapes from police custody, finalised firearm applications, reaction times for Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints, percentage of police stations rendering a victim friendly service to sexual and domestic offence victims, illicit drug and liquor confiscation. Targets were also set out for operational Community Police Forums, minimum implementation of Rural Safety Strategies, partnerships with other organisations, sector policing, Operational Planning and Monitoring system, hotspot policing and awards. Movement Control systems and vehicle tracking was described. Other areas covered included external deployment, tactical response team, tracking teams, national operations and regional efforts.
Members were particularly concerned with the way the targets for this area were set, particularly those for reduction of crimes against women, questioning whether the targets should address reporting, since it was pointed out that reduced reports did not necessarily indicate a reduction in the commission of such offences but could be indicative of lessened confidence in the SAPS, especially on repeated offences. Members also expressed concern about the number of personnel still in acting positions, indicators on reaction times, unreliability of data and statistics. Members were also very concerned about the data on the number of rural police stations implementing minimum criteria for rural safety and pointed to the rise in farm murders and crime. Less than half of rural stations seemed to be implementing the rural safety strategy. They also raised questions on who was responsible for ensuring compliance in liquor outlets, public order police training, what exactly was meant by “outstanding applications” in the Central Firearms Registry, and how the reported successes on recovery of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and mandrax tablets was achieved. Again, concerns were raised about the pocketbooks, particularly since the Committee had previously recommended that poor performance must be addressed, yet this was raised again by the Auditor-General, and if nothing had been done to date, the problem would no doubt be repeated also in the next year. The Committee was not satisfied with responses and wanted to hear exactly what was being done to address the problems. Members also questioned why the AVL was not sufficient and effective for the purposes of tracking and recording data. Members insisted that further reports be presented on research into targets and how the AG findings were to be addressed. Disaggregated reports on rural stations were needed.
Other issues raised by the Members included the problems with border policing and upward mobility for members of the force within visible policing. The delegation’s responses included indicating that border policing remained a labour intensive activity, which was handled mainly by the Police. However, the promulgation and implementation of the Border Management Agency Bill would aid in lightening the burden, as well as combating issues around corruption. The upward mobility of members was addressed, both through the additional allocation received for the promotion of commissioned officers who had served more than 11 years, and through SAPS’s promotions policy.
Programme 3: Detective Services and DPCI
Crime investigation had spent 99.5% of its adjusted allocation, at R10.1 billion, the Criminal Record Centre had spent 101.4% of its budget, at R2.02 billion, and the Forensic Science Laboratory had spent 106% of its budget, at R1.63 billion. Overall the programme had spent 100.1% of its budget, requiring R60 million to top up the expenditure. The programme had 20 indicators, and 12 had been achieved. The ones not achieved included:
- Detection rate for serious crimes: targeted at 41% (858 405) and achieved at 37.4% (820 598 of a total of 2.19 million);
- Percentage of trial ready case dockets for serious crimes: targeted at 68.5% (261 109) and achieved at 63.63% (237 362 of 373 037);
- Percentage of trial ready case dockets for crimes dependent on police action for detection: targeted at 64.5% and achieved at 55.89% (122 559 of 219 304);
- Detection rate for crimes against women 18 years and above (murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH): targeted at 75.4% and achieved at 74.41% (144 232 of 193 832).
Major achievements had included:
- 363 life sentences involving 288 persons had been secured by General Investigations, including 258 life sentences for murder and 65 for rape;
- 680 life sentences involving 451 persons had been secured by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations during the reporting period.
The discussion saw Members lamenting the poor performance of the programme. A reason identified in the briefing for the poor performance was the loss of skilled detectives which had led to problems with the command and control procedures relating to the handling of dockets. There was also an in-depth discussion about the closing of dockets in the Free State as undetected. Members were concerned to know where the order to close some 7 000 dockets had come from, and the implications of this. The Committee was assured that the closing of dockets does not mean the cases were abandoned or that the crime statistics would be affected, but was a procedural matter which had been done in line with the prescripts of standing orders. They had been closed in the appropriate manner, requiring either further investigation or being closed as undetected, unfounded or withdrawn. The exact number of cases closed in this manner across the country was unavailable at the meeting, and was requested to be provided in writing. A Member also raised the issue of a particular case involving a ballistics expert who had falsified a report and questioned whether this would have been detected without the involvement of external forensic experts.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) had achieved all its targets. Highlights included:
- Percentage of trial ready dockets for fraud and corruption for individuals within the JCPS cluster: targeted at 40%, achieved at 70.96% (1 215 out of 1 712);
- Detection rate for serious commercial crime related charges: targeted at 62% and achieved at 94.8%;
- Value of amount involved in procurement fraud and corruption related cases: targeted as more than R5 million in assets, achieved at R2.2 billion.
The DPCI had been involved in several successful convictions for crimes ranging from serious corruption, serious commercial crimes and rhino poaching.
The discussion saw Members raise concerns about the reasons that the DPCI had not been budgeted for as a separate programme. The response received was that this followed on from a decision by National Treasury to not allow a separate programme to be created, essentially because the DPCI could not be functionally separated from the Detective Services and required only operational independence under the South African Police Services Amendment Act.
Programme 4: Crime Intelligence
The actual expenditure of the programme was R2.88 billion (100.1%), with R1.2 billion spent by Crime Intelligence Operations and R1.67 billion spent by Intelligence and Information Management. Compensation of employees had consumed 90.7% of the total budget.
This programme had seven targets all of which had been achieved. The highlights included:
- Number of network operations conducted: targeted at 32 507 and achieved at 47 846;
- Percentage of physical security threat assessments finalised per request: targeted at 100% and achieved at 100% (142 requested and finalised);
- Quarterly intelligence reports provided: targeted at four reports, achieved at 14 reports.
Highlights included 16 level-13 posts being advertised, with 15 posts being filled and one post awaiting authorisation. 440 level 7 to 12 internal posts had been advertised, of which 144 posts had been filled, 75 were awaiting authority, two were awaiting fingerprints and 219 were awaiting approval from Head Office.
The discussion saw Members question whether the programme had resolved the leadership instability and capacity problems which had faced the programme in the past. It was indicated that these issues were in the process of being resolved and the ability of the programme to collect and provide effective intelligence had improved and was continuing to improve.
Programme 5: Protection Services
There were a total of six targets under this programme of which only one was not met, which was related to an infrastructure problem at government buildings in the Northern Cape. Major highlights had included the provision of protection at major and special events without security breaches -- for example, the Presidential inauguration in 2014 and the State of the Nation Address in 2014 and 2015. The total expenditure of the programme was at R2.2 billion (102.7%), with VIP Protection spending R977.9 million (108.7%), static security spending R909.6 million (96.5%), the Government Security Regulator spending R107.6 million (111.2%) and operational support spending R207.6 million (100.8%). The cost drivers had included additional investment in capital equipment, such as x-ray machines and significant overtime and subsistence/travel expenditure.
The discussion saw Members question why members of the VIP protection services had gone to the Sunday Times to vent their concerns about the long hours they were made to work as protectors of Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The programme head responded that a forum had been set up to proactively address these issues. Members also had strong concerns about the state of the programme’s office in the Free State, which they felt was a safety hazard for those who worked there. SAPS management assured the Committee that they would visit the site and find an interim solution.
S A Police Service (SAPS) on its 2014/15 Annual Report: Reports on programmes
Lt Gen Stefanus Schutte, Deputy National Commissioner: Resource Management, South African Police Service, started his presentation from slide 74 of the combined presentation on the SA Police Services (SAPS) Annual Report.
Technology Resource Management (TMS)
The presentation outlined the Project Management Services of the SAPS, their strategic objectives and the performance indicators. It was indicated that a percentage of weighted project milestones was delivered according to the funded Integrated Justice System (IJS) plan. Lt-Gen Schutte suggested that before talking about IJS and the Criminal Justice System (CJS), he wanted to outline the principles behind each.
Seven principles applied to the CJS, which dealt with the investigative part of the whole system. It was composed of an IT portion, an operational portion for the forensic services and the Criminal Record Centre (CRC), a portion of training for detectives, and there were some carry through costs of personnel appointed in that environment to enhance the numbers, especially for the DNA Act, which would bring about significant analysis. The amounts allocated had been specifically earmarked, by National Treasury (NT) in the allocation letter, and SAPS reported on it frequently to both NT and Parliament. The last presentation to Parliament was in March. SAPS also had asked the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to present on the IT portion.
He noted that in relation to the IJS plan, weighted project milestones were set, and the previous target had been 53% - which related to projects outlined in this presentation, not all IT projects. The March presentation had covered all issues. The current achievement, according to the plan before amendments had been made was 80%; previously it had been set at 95%, which was high, but it was decided to try to attain this. The growth year on year in terms of those specific deliverables was significant.
Deviation from targets was mainly influenced by three projects, - Pecan, Service Orientated Architecture and the Light Scan Environment. SAPS would have liked to improve its project management in this regard but there were sometimes external deliverables which may necessitate a change control to be implemented.
In the CJS, the percentage of weighted project milestones delivered was previously (in 2013/14) at 37%, which increased to 80%. Although SAPS had not achieved the 95% target, it had made significant strides. The reason was mainly that six projects did not progress as intended, for various reasons.
Slide 76 illustrated the percentage of weighted project milestones delivered according to the funded Technology Management Services (TMS) operational plan. It was a new indicator, with no previous comparisons. Here again, the planned target was 95% but the actual achievement was 78%, The main reason was the , and the main reason was the network project NMUP which had been the subject of lengthy discussion in the Committee in the previous week. SAPS had to upgrade its networks. The administrative portion had been completed and the functionality and roll out had started. He pointed out that significant data capability was needed to scan; and this involved cabling, bandwidth and equipment, with enhanced focusing of a number of systems needed. Last year, there had been approval given by SITA to upgrade 500 sites but that had to be completed by the end of March 2015. However, approval was only granted in February, with the SAPS then left with two months to attend to 500 sites. Logic dictated that that was not possible, so SAPS had concentrated on 275 sites, with approval then sought to complete the remainder. In addition, SAPS needed a multi-year mechanism to attend to continuous upgrades.
He indicated that SAPS had spent 95% of its approved ICT budget, against a target of 98%. Technically, therefore, this target was “not achieved” but he felt that it was quite good performance, particularly for a new indicator.
The Chairperson referred everyone to the Research Report prepared by Parliament's Committee Section, which commented that performance by SAPS against predetermined targets for the IJS, ITS, CJS and SJC revamp, and SAPS technology management projects in 2014/15 was generally poor. The Auditor-General (AG) also found that IT governance was lacking within SAPS and needed attention, with warning indicators marked; the Committee would like to see green indicators instead. One of the recommendations that the Committee would make would be to get monthly action plans from SAPS on how it intended to address issues, especially the recommendations of the AG. SAPS would need to indicate what extra steps it would be taking to ensure there was a move to improved performance.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) expressed that an ongoing concern had been the under performance in the TMS environment, especially since this had the potential to greatly enhance the performance and professionalism of SAPS. On the previous day, there had been long discussions on how pocket books of SAPS members were being handled, whether they were used properly and inspected properly. If officers in the field were equipped with smartphones and correctly designed apps, this would greatly enhance their ability to comply with the pocket book requirements. They could take photos, make voice recordings that would get uploaded to a database, and generally enhance their jobs.
He noted that much of the presentation concentrated on interaction with SITA and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, but nothing was said about engagement with the private sector. There were many companies in the IT and software space, who could add enormous value in terms of making advancements. For this reason, he wanted to know if there was engagement with the private sector, what it might be, and what progress was seen, with possible outcomes for the short term, to achieve faster progress.
General Riya Phiyega, National Commissioner, SAPS, noted her apologies for arriving late at the meeting. She noted that SAPS fully agreed with comments on the governance issues. SAPS had established the necessary governance structures and she was sure there could be more details given around that. The Technology Advisory Committee had been set up with the respective interaction forums and that was part of SAPS’s governance structures. SAPS had used the public service DPSA framework and good progress had been made in that area. It had a more structured approach of dialogue and discussion and implementation of technology.
In regard to the areas of under performance that the AG had highlighted as “red alerts”, she noted that performance was now improving and she hoped that by doing more, more improvements would be seen; SAPS had currently achieved around 70%. In some areas, SAPS had no control over the matters causing variation from the target. Lt Gens A Shezi and P Ramakosi had been working with SITA to unlock the process, working with the new Chief Executive Officer and Board of SITA. She said that no one was disputing that technology could unlock much more performance. The comments made were noted. In terms of the private sector, she was sure there were unsolicited approaches, but governance had to be followed when looking to new markets. SAPS did not “sit in a cocoon” but proactively looked to see what new technologies could assist them and it was able to evaluate them through platforms such as the CSIR and ensure that the architecture was aligned. She commented that SAPS's dependency on SITA, which was legislated, was a problem because the latter was slow and tenders sometimes could take two or three years to be finalised.
Lt Gen Schutte noted that the AG had basically highlighted three aspects; a policy of what to do, a charter on how it would be done, then an operational plan which consisted of a risk plan, an implementation plan and an IT infrastructure portion, up to 31 March 2015. SAPS’s policy and charter had been approved and the structure had been set up. Those documents would be submitted to the Committee in writing. In terms of the IT operational plan, SAPS did have a separate risk plan and an operational plan. The IT architecture still needed to be finalised, and this included communication. SAPS was busy with that, and would again provide what it could at this stage.
He repeated that there had been about 80% achievement on governance structures and governance plans, and this showed good progress against the previous year. The audit also referred to a mainframe security environment. The mainframe security environment was being driven by SITA, and SAPS had asked for SITA involvement because during the Service Level Agreement negotiations, various “must” and “may” conditions were debated. For “must” services, SAPS would have to pay but SITA was in charge of mainframes. User access control was a separate issue.
SAPS had a number of draft plans that it would provide the following week, and this would show that SAPS had made significant progress. SAPS had good systems but a more coherent approach was needed in terms of the IT architecture, in order to be more focused on it supporting the business environment. This was being addressed in the plan, and two of the three documents had been compiled and approved.
He noted that SAPS did have interaction on the latest technologies and products that could be made available in order to enhance the SAPS business environment. There was, however, a need to tread very cautiously so that it did not look like SAPS was preferring one provider over another before the bidding. All projects such as AVIS, fingerprinting, the new DNA, ICTS used the latest technologies.
He reported that Lt General Shezi wanted to bring the pocket book into the context of the utilisation of the smart phones. In the SAPS presentation in March, one of the projects handled by CSIR was “unified communications”, and as part of that an investigation was being done into how to distribute devices to the users, which included the smartphone device, and how to use data gathered at the scene, and translate it through SAPS platforms.
A comment was made on the poor performance of IJS and CJS. What caught Lt General Shezi’s eye from the previous day’s presentation was the utilisation of the full budget in relation to the projects that appeared on the APP.
The Chairperson interjected to point out that on that specific point, the trends of SAPS expenditure showed around 48% spending up to the third quarter, then a huge spike in the fourth quarter. It could be argued that whilst SAPS had spent the full amount, there was an unnatural spike. He asked for that point to be addressed.
Lt Gen Shezi reminded the Committee that SAPS had been called in to Committee sessions in September, in October and subsequently in March. SAPS had provided a response as to what it expected moving into the subsequent quarters. Those presentations had highlighted that SAPS would experience late allocations of contracts at financial year end, and that had happened, but SAPS was trying to ensure now that this was corrected. She wanted to stress the context that there were only 12 projects, for example, in the CJS that were highlighted in the APP, but many more under the whole flag, and the same applied to the IJS.
Lt Gen Schutte added that the TMS figures were discussed in the previous meeting, but those related to the 2015/16 financial year while this document dealt with 2014/15. In the last month, R172 million was expended, and R158 million was for the networks, but network approvals were only received at the beginning of February from SITA, which explained the large expenditure in the last two months of the financial year – SAPS could not engage, purchase and order prior to getting that approval.
Mr Mbhele noted that the approval from SITA would have been until the end of the financial year, so that SAPS surely had to request approval for the remaining money also. He asked whether SAPS had received any feedback from SITA, on how the remainder would proceed.
Lt Gen Shezi noted that SAPS had approached SITA last Friday, and indicated that the service had to be provided by SITA, In the previous year, there had to be engagement with different departments on non-delivery and the same in this year. SAPS was working to point out what had not been established, and trying to get it resolved.
Lt Gen Schutte stated that if SAPS did a mass service without SITA approval then it became irregular spending.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) stated that there was one opinion that there was nothing irregular about TETRA, but the AG expressed the opinion that it was irregular, and she asked for an explanation on this.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) was worried about all the “red flags” indicators on the technology management services. He understood the SITA situation, but he wanted to know what communication there was with SITA to ensure that things were moved along. If this was not done, for instance, with the automated fingerprints and facial compilations, then justice would not prevail because evidence could not be produced. He wanted to know if SITA really understood the urgency and the impact of delays.
The Chairperson wanted to know what criteria had been used and the rationale for only putting certain IJS projects in the report, and not all.
General Phiyega stated that it was on record that TETRA was not irregular. SAPS gave the facts, not a judgment call, and the AG would evaluate – and it was factual that it had not been deemed irregular.
Lt Gen Schutte noted that NT had made the ruling, as the drafters of the Public Finance Management Act and principles. Any differences of opinion must be put to NT. At the time, SITA had not been in the correct position and SITA had only acquired network licenses after the bid.
Lt Gen Shezi spoke to communications with SITA, saying that SAPS had different levels for communications – monthly, bi-monthly and Service Level Agreement (SLA) meetings, where SAPS had expressed its discontent on a number of issues to do with the SLA. This was one of the reasons SAPS said there were problems in March, for matters would seem to be resolved but extend. Some related, unfortunately, to the mass services, which had effectively crippled SAPS. It had been hoped to find resolution but the dynamics had not been as fruitful as it was hoped. In 2015/16 SAPS had seen improvements. The reasons that only some projects were listed in the presentation and not others had to do with the fact that those were priority projects at the time, for 2013/14 and 2014/15, with most in the development phase. In the new financial year, 2015/16, SAPS would be reporting on all projects.
Mr Groenewald requested that the Committee's report must deal specifically with the SITA situation. If there were any developments then the Committee must get another report, with timeframes. This was serious.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) referred to slides 74, 75 and 76, and the comments of SAPS on the failure to reach targets, and what had been achieved compared to targets. He had some difficulty in understanding the scale and where the networks and specifications were shown. He also questioned how SAPS came to the conclusion that 80% of target had been achieved, and said it was difficult to do a proper comparison. He requested SAPS to speak specifically to this point, and to quantify what had not been achieved also.
Lt Gen Shezi said that this had been detailed in the annual plan – which reflected only 21 projects. Part of the 15% not achieved related to three out of those 21 projects. In addition to what was put in the APP, SAPS also provided the full scope of CJS and IJS plans on each project, plus deliverables. She was just unable to quantify all of that information into one figure. On slide 77, there was a list of what was listed under the 15%. Not all projects had been mentioned.
Gen Phiyega said that she appreciated that question and said the milestones were sitting with the operations team. She said it might have helped to explain, for instance when saying that PCEM development had not completed, what milestones it was measuring against. She agreed that slide 77 set out some information but she thought SAPS could come up with further details for the Committee at the next engagement.
The Chairperson noted that officials from SAPS indicated that they had received drug testing equipment for the Soccer World Cup in 2010, but for five years the scanners had not been used and no training was given. The AG picked this up, as the scanners were not included in the supply chain stock analysis. He wondered if officials in TMS were aware of what instruments and equipment SAPS had, and whether there was a full list.
Lt Gen Shezi stated that each environment within SAPS was responsible for specific equipment. The equipment that the Chairperson spoke of was procured by the Forensics Department, and the forensic environment was not necessarily IT related. There was a policy in SAPS that all the equipment must be listed as assets within the requisite environment, and so she would not necessarily know what was held in each environment, nor would it be listed as TMS assets. The Commissioner responsible for forensics would need to account for it.
Lt Gen Schutte stated that Lt Gen Shezi was referring to the asset register; each business unit had its own asset register and the combined asset register informed the total asset register. SITA had the AR register, and then there was one at SAPS. Those two registers had to link, and those had been brought closer together. There were still a few challenges, for example, in deciding whether a switch might belong to SITA or SAPS.
Mr Ramatlakane said the Committee had asked several times about that equipment, and the issue was that it did not appear on any register – it might have been useful for SAPS to have said specifically where the equipment was registered or listed. The Commissioner in the Free State had been present when the Committee had discussed that piece of equipment and had commented that it had been in the office since 2010, without being utilised. National Supply Chain could not explain it either. This could not be brushed off as not being part of the Technology, and the Committee wanted to know exactly where it did appear in the asset register.
Mr Ramatlakane commented that when SAPS and the Committee had last discussed the tenders, there might have been some outstanding information on the findings of the evaluation that was then taking place.
The Chairperson also asked questions on that equipment, and said that it had been indicated that some unfinished training had been given, but officers still did not know how the equipment worked and it was now outdated software. This also related to questions asked around border policing but the general concern was that there was clearly equipment whose ownership was debatable, as also usage and training, and nobody could quite decide where it should fall.
General Phiyega suggested that SAPS should return to the Committee with a full report on the equipment, including some of this feedback, and covering the role of the TMS, the reasons for purchase of the equipment, how it was being used now and the plans for the future. SAPS had also developed its policy and now, for example, if it was buying new laptops for staff, it would no longer work just with numbers, but each environment had to account for who it was purchasing for, and it was allocated to a person, and other approaches were also being brought in line with this. She said again that the SAPS would return with a report from TSM, SCM and the respective environments.
Mr Groenewald asked whether fingerprinting technology was linked with Department of Home Affairs.
Mr P Mhlongo (IFP) said that it was not just a question of whether new technology had been procured, but the purpose behind this and how it was being managed and how feedback was given. It was not IT that was going to do the work, but the humans driving the programmes. There had to be a follow up on the unused equipment, and whether they represented value for money. Criminal elements, like bacteria, would change over time, and even if SAPS changed its IT, then failed to come up with a system to say how it would be managed, it would not move forward. Before even deploying any equipment there had to be training on systems, through a simple and logical exercise on which the Committee must also get feedback. It did not help to have equipment that would assist in combatting crime that was not used properly.
Mr Mbhele asked about slide 106, which noted that as part of the ICDMS project, there were high volume document scanners procured. He asked how it was ensured that supply was matched with demand, so that a high-volume scanner did not end up allocated to a station that did not have the network to support it, or human capacity to operate the machine. He wanted, therefore to know what processes were followed in procurement and deployment of equipment. He wanted to ensure that SAPS did not “shoot itself in the foot” by only being able to complete part of a longer flow-chart process.
General Phiyega mentioned that governance of technology in SAPS had been discussed, and for the first time the management systems had been formalised. The partnership that SAPS had with CSIR was also aimed at trying to help SAPS remedy some of the situations, because it was clear that SAPS needed an integrated, transversal approach to manage procurement of its TMS. This had to be based on sound SAPS technology and systems, and an architectural plan, and whilst SAPS was continuing to purchase, it would have to do so in a way that matched supply and demand. She confirmed again that SAPS would submit a full report not only on the situation in Free State but on other systems elsewhere.
Lt Gen Schutte stated that in the past two years, SAPS had developed the contract-to-invoice model, so that as soon as contracts were signed, they would be uploaded and then, as orders were placed, they would link immediately. There were also links to the asset register. SAPS was concentrating on doing this for the major items so it might not yet include matters like stationery, but all capital equipment was covered and it did interface directly with the asset register.
Lt Gen Shezi said that IT procurement in SAPS was based on users requirements; so that users of scanners of e-dockets would communicate with Visible Policing. Users had given input on their requirements. This was done by discussing with the SAPS members on the ground what system was needed, and what it had to be able to achieve. Once a product had been sourced, SAPS would then introduce it to everyone and train everyone in how to use it. There were TMS representatives in all nine provinces. The station masters through the clusters were asked to do the necessary training. She explained how processes might slow down – and if this happened, people tended to discard the systems and return to their comfort zone. The key to unlocking that was the Network Upgrade Programme that SAPS was trying to achieve, to get past the frustrations around utilising the systems, and where it had been done, it had helped to get systems into use. Real performance was a challenge but SAPS was working on that, and she fully conceded that it had been unacceptable for contracts not to have been prepared before.
Lt Gen Schutte noted that SAPS had started to measure utilisation of systems.
Lt Gen Shezi stated that members from SAPS had access to the handlers' fingerprint databases and so did get the information they needed, although full integration had not been finalised. For the last two financial years SAPS had contributed funds for the upgrade of the handling system with Department of Home Affairs (DHA), but that contract had lapsed and DHA had wanted to move to new procurement, which did not integrate with the SAPS systems. HANIS would have to be upgraded for SAPS to integrate.
Mr Mhlongo called for the situation to be moved along speedily. The reported scenario could put South Africa into serious danger, if South Africa’s integrity was not well secured through these technology developments.
Report on Inspectorate
Lt Gen Khela Sitole, Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, SAPS, introduced slide 83 (see attached presentation) which reported on the number of service delivery inspections carried out at a station and cluster level. The planned target was 790, and this was exceeded by 230 inspections (29%). The various categories of inspections were also reflected, and these reflected national directives from the Office of the National Commissioner, and requests by the provincial commissioners. In the Inspectorate, there was also some transformation and remodelling, with the first female divisional commissioner being appointed to lead the Inspectorate. The turnaround strategy of the Inspectorate had been presented to the Portfolio Committee and thereafter approved by the National Commissioner. The most important point was that this strategy now focused on core business of the organisation and dealt with matters of compliance. There was also now a link between disposal of inspections, which was set for a target of 30 days, and this linked to the compliance board which General Jephta had presented on the previous day.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee had, in discussion with the Free State Inspectorate, heard that this province was more proactive with night visits. He also asked what the Inspectorate was going to do proactively, to deal with issues raised in the AG report.
Lt Gen Sitole stated that the Inspectorate inspections were also focusing on the extent to which the audit report had raised queries, how they had been cleared off and how all those particular inspections had been disposed of. If they were not disposed of, then they were escalated to the compliance board, and then to management. There were also proactive exercises where the Inspectorate workshopped with stations and clusters and educated them on how to deal with audit queries.
Maj General Sharon Jephta, Head: Inspectorate Division, SAPS, stated that the Inspectorate’s unannounced visits were really yielding results. The Inspectorate was not just issuing reports, but then made sure there were follow-ups and implementation specifically. The specific AG findings were identified as risks, so that the Inspectorate would then do specific risk-based compliance inspections on these areas and then issue reports and recommendations. It also issued an additional instruction, in addition to Standing Order 6, and was currently reviewing Standing Order 6 to make sure that compliance from line managers on findings and recommendations took place – something not dealt with in the previous wording.
General Phiyega said it was necessary to factor in the issue of combined national rates. The partners in the combined national rates included the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General selected about 30 to 35 SAPS stations to audit: it would inform SAPS of those who were potential auditees, then audit five. The other role player was the internal audit team. SAPS, in terms of the internal audit plan, looked at about an additional 275 stations, over a cycle of three years. The Inspectorate would then audit the balance, about 790; if it had capacity, it would do more and may even repeat some done by either of the others. SAPS also had management walkabouts. At the top of the agenda was a study of the findings by the AG, which identified weaknesses in the management system. There were also other issues sitting in SAPS risk matrix which had to be looked into.
The Inspectorate would also be looking at general compliance with SAPS prescripts. The walkabouts were also very structured because there was a structured questionnaire geared towards ensuring that the risks identified by the AG would be specifically raised in the stations, and this was also done by the audit committee, sometimes by the Chairperson of that committee herself. This combined assurance was meant to ensure that SAPS worked harder at ensuring that it had standardised, that there was consistency and discipline in responding to risks. This was believed to be the best governance tool and structure, and over time everyone should fully understand that SAPS wanted these risks to be managed. Rather than SAPS waiting only upon the Auditor-General, it had proactively extended the inspections to deal with the wide and complex environment, to set up a combined assurance system, and the compliance board would look at all the combined reports.
Mr Groenewald stated that this was why the Inspectorate, at station and cluster level, did have a positive effect and therefore had asked for an increase in budget. Whatever the target was for 2015/16, it thought it could probably be increased, given the 29% surpassing of last year's target, and he asked for more detail on that.
Maj Gen Jephta noted that in the previous financial year, the target was 790 inspections and this had been exceeded. This year, the target related to 790 sites, not inspections, so the new targets were site-based. She put this into context by noting that the 790 inspections last year covered around 300 sites, so already the scope had been broadened.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know if SAPS followed up on the identified shortcomings, and asked for a very specific response on this, since the Inspectorate had identified some problems but then the Committee on its visits had found the same problems.
General Phiyega stated that part of SAPS strengthening this process was to deal with that issue. The previous day SAPS had discussed the clusters, and SAPS wanted to put the issue of how to deal with these shortcomings to its own performance management team. Repeat audit findings had been seen and that highlighted risks and weaknesses. It was incumbent on her and the provincial commissioners, the cluster commanders and the stations to make sure that those were managed. SAPS was starting to try and plan these risks no only through the normal supervision, but particularly with its own performance tools. Much of the performance results was focused on crime statistics, but governance issues were now factored in, as set out in Schedule A, so that SAPS hoped to improve continuously on management of those processes, and to hold people accountable for the repeat audit findings.
Mr Mbhele said that, after the Committee received information from the flash units in Bloemfontein, ’he wanted to know whether there was a stipulated rank for an inspectorate officer who must do the on-site inspections, and if not, what the general or average rank was of officials attending to these. He had heard that sometimes officers were seconded who must then approach those in higher ranks, and he felt that it would compromise the quality of the inspection if officials doing site inspections were of lower ranks than station management; there would always be “unspoken deference” and fear of treading on toes, and he believed that quality and inspection were influenced also by the perceived authority or gravitas that the head of the team carried when conducting the inspection. He requested more details and information on that.
General Phiyega stated that when SAPS began introducing issues of governance and management, the issue of role and rank became crucial. Policing was a very rank-oriented organisation. Leadership was beginning to emphasise that each ranks had a specific meaning and importance within the organisation. Roles had to be respected. A classical example was the office of the AG – even young auditors had the authority to demand that people work with them to produce what they requested. As SAPS advanced its governance, it had to be respected, so roles rather than ranks were fully respected, lest it become “an organisation of too many brigadiers and too many chiefs and very few workers”. This system was evolving so that the two were balanced and each had a space. Members had to respect the role of the person who was there to monitor compliance with the SAP13, and not attempt to pull rank. This was crucial to its efficiency and would be a learning process.
Maj Gen Jephta stated that the Inspectorate went to business units as a team, not as individuals and they were normally led by a colonel and other officers. For every type of new inspection SAPS had developed a protocol, which was linked to a template and scoring mechanism. For every negative finding there should be extensive substantiation, and then the integrity of the finding would be backed up. She did not see it as being a problem so far.
Mr Mhlongo asked where the inspection reports were fed through. He noted complaints by the community, and hoped that it would be established what areas the inspectorate had visited, where the findings were fed through and what chain of command took action, to identify where there might be glitches in the process.
General Phiyega stated that when she gave her opening remarks, she had stated that SAPS was focusing on enhancing performance, through was leadership dialogue on performance and accountability. A report such as the report of the Inspectorate would be presented and would have a specific slot in the National Management Forum (NMF) agenda, a meeting where all the provincial and divisional commissioners, and the deputy National Commissioners would sit and discuss the quarterly report from the Inspectorate. This was also discussed at the various levels, with various executives. She wanted to assure the Committee that at highest level of decision-making, the Inspectorate report was indeed discussed. How the Inspectorate was performing in relation to the APP was discussed and the risk report was discussed, to check performance and responsibility, and this tied in to what she said earlier about the individual performance of the various leaders. This was crucial to make sure that it was not just a paper exercise to do things, but to notify leadership of where the failings were – and any areas flagged were discussed and plans for improvement laid forth.
Draft recommendations of the Committee to date
The Chairperson at this point summarised the draft recommendations of the Committee on Programme 1 and the financial statements. He said that any Member could highlight anything else to be included, over the next two days. These were recommendations that SAPS should:
- fast track the demilitarisation process and provide quarterly reports on programmes, processes and timelines for the demilitarisation of SAPS
- provide quarterly reports on the professionalisation of the service and provide the Committee with the corporate reports on the processes and timelines hoped to achieve in this priority
- provide an advisory strategy to ensure effective management control over stations and cluster stations by provincial leaders with regard to performance information
- provide action plans to the Committee around effecting the monitoring of pocket books and the implementation of SAPS protocols
- provide the Committee with a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement with the Human Rights Commission and its envisaged outcomes
- provide the Committee with a report on the committee to deal with demilitarisation
- provide the Committee with details on how the community is involved in the recruitment process and police recruits
- provide the Committee with a copy of the new Inspection strategy in terms of levels of compliance
- provide an updated accountability and supervision system to strengthen service delivery
- review the roles and responsibilities of the Cluster management system
- provide access steps for limiting the increasing contingent liabilities of SAPS
- produce action plans regarding civil claims against SAPS. An analysis of claims should be undertaken and a report must be made and submitted to the Committee
- provide a copy of the National Demographic Plan which will be used for the integration of the station profiles to review the fixed establishment
- submit monthly reports to the Portfolio Committee on interpretation of the action plans that are being implemented
- Section 6 finalisation and a timeframe must also be submitted to the Committee as raised in the discussion of the latest report.
Programme 2: Visible Policing
Gen Phiyega introduced the purpose of the portfolio, which was to enable police stations to institute and preserve safety and security, as well as to provide specialised interventions in policing in general, including SAPS support of other roles who were at the borders, to ensure that the borders also had a policing function. The strategic objective of this programme was to discourage all crimes, by providing a proactive and very responsive policing service that would reduce the level of priority crimes. SAPS duty was to, in a proactive manner, actively play a role in the prevention space to ensure focused and deliberate crime prevention. When crime had happened, SAPS should be there to be responsive and reactive to the crimes that had happened.
In Visible Policing (VP) there were three subprogrammes: proactive crime prevention, border security (where SAPS played a part with other stakeholders), and reactive specialised interventions. This VP programme took the most of the budget of SAPS.
Lt Schutte detailed the sub programmes. He noted that many facilities were vested there that had already been dealt with. They were listed here because National Treasury felt VP was the biggest user of facilities. Crime prevention was the biggest sub programmes by far , on which R28.86 billion was expended, or 98.5% of budget. In that respect there were some personnel losses, as explained, and the enlistment for replacement took place in the fourth quarter. Border security accounted for R1.659 billion budget, of which R1.625 billion or 97.9% was spent. For specialised interventions, including Special Transports, Tactical Response Team (TRT), and National Intervention Unit (NIU) there was a budget of R2.886 billion of which R2.967 billion was expended (108.2%) - the reason for the overspend here was linked to the enhancements and Lesotho deployments that took longer than expected.
Under each of the sub programmes there were other units. For instance – Crime Prevention included the police station environment with expenditure of R25 billion, mounted units with R93 million, dog units with R687 million, railway with R835 million. The 10111 centres spent R956 million and detainees meals and medical amounted to R194 million, and here he explained that this was spent on detainees in holding facilities.
Border security was R1.6 billion as a singular function.
Specialised Interventions, included the task force with expenditure of R68 million, public order policing with R2.1 billion, TRT with R281 million and Air wings with R215 million. Facilities had been dealt with. He hoped this gave members an idea of the diversity and volume that was found within the sub programmes.
General Phiyega stated that Visible Policing, in the current financial year, had a total of 25 targets that needed to be achieved. The targets had been increased. In the previous financial year, there were 23 targets. She also wanted to acknowledge that 21 out of the25 targets, or 84%, were achieved, and that was a significant improvement on 69.6% performance in the previous year – particularly significant given the increase in targets also. Four, or 16% of targets, were not achieved. The two audit findings from the VP environment related to the Alpha Bravo Charlie and the pocket books, and here SAPS would be concentrating on ensuring that more was done to overcome the issues. There were also other issues around the open recording of the illicit drugs and confiscated liquor – and these had prevented SAPS from getting a clean audit. The good performance of the VP would be further optimised to ensure that the findings were put right.
Maj Gen Sitole presented from slide 91, which was the indicator of a number of reported serious crimes. The target was 2% reduction. Unfortunately SAPS was unable to meet this target, for the reasons attached to the addendum related to crime statistics. The number of reported crimes against women was targeted for 2% reduction, which also had not been met, due to the crime statistics. For crimes against children, the planned target was a 2% reduction, and that target was successfully achieved. The number of reported crimes for unlawful possession of and dealing in drugs, a crime that was supposedly on the increase, was targeted for 13%, and that target was successfully achieved.
The next statistic, on slide 92, related to the number of stolen/lost firearms recovered as against the number of firearms, including state owned firearms, reported – with a minimum target for 84.3% recovery against reports. This target was not met. Against the limitation of recovery against total firearms stolen, the target would have been met, but the target was limited to firearms that could not be circulated due to file numbers, and some ID reports were still awaited.
Slide 93 reported the number of stolen/robbed vehicles recovered, against reports of theft/robbing. The target was to recover a minimum of 46% reported stolen/robbed vehicles, and this was exceeded by 6.9%. The next target was that the percentage of escapees from police custody, who had been arrested and charged, should not exceed 0.048%, and that target was successfully reached. The percentage of applications for firearm licences, permits, authorisation competency certificates and renewals finalised was set for 90% of applications finalised and that target was exceeded by 4.4%.
On slide 95, the average national police reaction time to Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints was set out – the average was 39 seconds, but for Alpha it should have been 19.05 seconds. For Bravo, the target of 4.33 was met and exceeded by 1.24. Charlie complaints should have an average reaction time of 21.045, but was 16 seconds under. There were other related issues, which SAPS was looking at, which were meant to increase Alpha and Bravo, and also to try to change the situation with Charlie. That was based on station profiling and environmental factors within those particular stations. SAPS was working with municipalities and other stakeholders.
Slide 96 described the percentage of police stations rendering a victim friendly service to victims of rape, sexual offences and domestic violence and abuse, based on the set criteria. The target of 100% was successfully achieved. The next target was to see a 3% increase in the quantity of illicit drugs confiscated as a result of police actions, which was achieved. On Slide 97, there was a plan to increase confiscation of liquor as a result of police action, by 3%, which was achieved. There were 100% of police stations where sector policing had been implemented, according to the minimum criteria, which matched the target.
Slide 98 set out the target for the percentage of operational Community Police Forums implemented at police stations according to set guidelines, which was achieved, at 100%. The target of 50 rural police stations implementing the minimum criteria of the Rural Safety Strategy pillars was achieved. On Slide 99, the target for closing of identified unlicensed/illegal liquor premises was an increase of 200%, which was achieved. 16 national crime awareness campaigns were conducted, in line with target.
The highlights were then presented. The Review of the Rural Safety Strategy allowed for the enhancement of implementation. SAPS had started partnerships with leadership and various houses, in line with a partnership document. There was also a strategy with the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) who were party to the fight against crime, and the partnerships had been further extended with a new effort with the SA Consumer Goods Council, particularly in hotspot areas. The Police Safety Strategy referred to the latest response being provided, which was in progress and working. Sector policing was a national instruction relating to awareness for the vulnerable communities. There were efforts to improve the functionality and optimisation of the Operational Planning and Monitoring (OPAM) system. The front-line service delivery project was aimed at police stations, to enhance service delivery, based on the identified stations, and this had resulted in massive improvements. The National Crime Combatting Forum did analysis from time to time, such as crime patterns, to help SAPS respond. SAPS had engaged in hotspot policing on identified hotspots around the country. The SAPS 13 project was introduced to address queries which were identified by this parliamentary Committee and other oversight bodies.
Domestic violence response was based on studies, and used the same communication strategy which was intended to improve the implementation. The Canine Awards were part and parcel of the system used to motivate and encourage members of SAPS, and that was also linked to the National Awards Strategy of the National Commissioner. Slide 209 set out figures for assistance in relation to external deployment in the various countries on specific interventions where SAPS was working with those countries to resolve crime. Slide 110 spoke to cable theft and the rapid rail unit, concentrating also on second hand goods. The partnership with National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) was part of the National Crime Combatting level, and included a gang prevention strategy. Imbizos were held with the Minister and SAPS, and support was provided to the Minister. Inter-departmental awareness campaigns talked to the national process and the national crime prevention strategy, and that enhanced the multidisciplinary collaboration. Also listed were the successes on confiscations, and interventions where SAPS worked with Department of Trade and Industry (dti) – another example of multidisciplinary collaboration. The Central Firearms Registry (CFR) was one sector where there was turnaround, with stakeholders from that Registry also presenting to the Committee, to illustrate improvements. Designated Firearm Officer (DFO) training was important. On slide 116, the highlight was the conference of the Southern African Regional Police (SARPCCO) which dealt with specific crimes, regional engagement and joint operations.
Slide 118 set out the percentage of crimes related to hits reacted to as a result of Movement Control System (MCS) and Enhanced Movement Control System (EMCS), screening on wanted persons and circulated stolen or robbed vehicles. The planned target of 100% was achieved. In particular, 100% of vehicles were also recovered.
The next few slides spoke to the successes proceeding from border security, and slide 123 reflected a slight change for OR Tambo Airport. Slide 124 provided a breakdown of ,the profiled vehicles, containers and cargo searched.
Specialised Interventions included the National Intervention Unit, which achieved 2 203 successes, or 100%. the Special Task Force also achieved fully and the Public Order Unit showed 200% success against target. Safe delivery of valuable and dangerous cargo was at 100% with174 cargoes. The next slide dealt with highlights on specialist interventions, and this continued on slide 128 (see attached slides for full details and breakdown).
Slide132 dealt with the public order police, and upgrading of equipment was part and parcel of the public order strategy. Public order police training figures were given. Slide 134 dealt with specialised interventions, and airwingbase operations, based on intelligence. Slide 135 was external deployment, which had been successful. Slide 136 dealt with the tactical response team, which included their successes. The tracking teams were currently working as a joint venture between ORS and detectives, and they were focused on the various categories of wanted persons, 2 262 in total.
Slide 138 and 139 set out national operation coordination, which dealt with events and other issues, and NATJOINT interventions, and to a larger extent the National Crime Combatting Operations. Slide 141 included the staff coordinated, under joint ventures. The next slide spoke to successes of various operations engaged in by SAPS. Apart from Operation Lungisa, there were also the interventions in Eastern Cape and Western Cape, and Operation Rhino in Mpumalanga, to address poaching. SAPS was currently busy with Operation Rhino 6. National Operations Coordination also continued to elections, commemoration days and State of the Nation addresses.
The Chairperson stated that visible policing was the biggest programme and the one that affected the ordinary citizens the most. He wanted to know about the vacancy of Commissioner of VP, which had been open for more than a year and a half. It was important for the Committee to know the reasons for delay, and when to expect an appointment, because it was important for the SAPS to not have people in acting positions for too long.
Mr Mbhele stated that this programme was crucial, especially given the large budget, and he agreed that questions here affected people on the ground and their expectations of the police service. The first question related to slide 91 indicators, on reported crimes against women. He had asked this question to the Minister of Police, but Mr Mbhele found the answer very vague and he was hoping that SAPS could now give a more cogent answer. He asked what analysis had been done to account for the 2% reduction in the crimes reported against women. This figure did not represent the real number of crimes against women – so it did not reflect the possibility that women were reluctant to report sexual assaults and rape because of lessened confidence in the police to solve the crimes. He asked what assurance SAPS could give him that this reduction actually reflected a reduction in the crimes committed, rather than than less victims were reporting cases.
Mr Mbhele also asked about the indicators on reaction times and Alpha Bravo complaints, as well as the targets for the liquor and drug seizures. The Auditor-General had indicated a high level of unreliability in that reporting, because the AG had been unable to verify close to 50% of those reports. He asked what would be done to improve this. Some of the reporting data and crime statistics presented by SAPS were unreliable and not able to be verified. This then meant that they were meaningless for the purpose of effecting changes, and for boosting the confidence of the Committee and the public as to whether SAPS was making strides in fighting crime.
Mr M Redelinghuys (DA) firstly asked about the number of rural police stations implementing the minimum criteria for rural safety strategy. The planned target was at 50 out of 218 rural stations, which was less than a quarter of the identified stations. He first wanted to know why the target was so low,. Secondly, although he saw that the target had supposedly been exceeded, this meant that in fact still less than half of rural stations were implementing the rural safety strategy. This was disturbing, because already in this year there had been many reports on serious violent crimes in rural areas. He wanted clarity on that point, and how to prioritise the roll-out, and when SAPS expected all 218 rural stations to implement. He also wanted a breakdown of the response rate by province, particularly for Limpopo and Eastern Cape ,where the stations were much further apart than in Gauteng.
Mr Mhlongo said that the Committee should acknowledge attempts of the SAPS, especially in Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN). He wanted to know if it was possible to have a focused programme, particularly in Umlazi and Montclair police stations, in order to get a better understanding of what made communities suspicious of the police also being involved in criminal activity. The ongoing violence in a hostel leading to the execution of people in broad daylight, was shameful, particularly in a democracy that was supposed to be upholding the right to life as a central pillar of the Constitution.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know who ensured that the liquor outlets were compliant – in her own experience, liquor outlets seldom closed or shut off their music on time, until the station commander was actually called out by the public. She also asked the difference was between unlicensed or unregistered liquor premises.
Mr Ramatlakane stated that this was an important programme, and the work of SAPS should always receive support from the Committee and communities where the services were provided. The visibility of the police counted as assurance for safety, so this programme was critical. Earlier in the year the Committee was looking at the budget and there had been issues raised around the targets based on previous achievements. The Committee had recommended that some targets, especially in this programme, needed to be increased, especially for visibility and deterrence of crime. He wanted to know what had been done around the improvements of targets, and how this might have made an impact. He also wanted to ask about the reduction of crimes against women and felt that this target in particular needed to be raised; although he admitted that the difficulties were that violence against women usually happened in the home. He too was concerned that the reported reduction may reflect reduced confidence of women in reporting. Again, he had a problem if this were to be carried over into targets for the current year. He also wanted to understand the murder problem, and the same reduction of 2%. He could talk to detective later if this would take up too much time in the meeting.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) referred to slide 133, public order police training, but wanted specific number for Limpopo, in the Vhembe District, where there had been an increase of public disorder.
Mr Groenewald referred to slide 94, the Central Firearms Registry. He had previously asked a question in this Committee about the outstanding applications, because at one stage, SAPS said that all approved applications were on the system, and there were not a lot of files lying around. He wanted to know what exactly was meant by “outstanding applications” and how many there were, and what their status was. Secondly, he referred to slide 98, and commented that the rural safety minimum criteria were implemented at 90 of the 280 identified police stations, which was very poor. The target of 50 should surely be 50%. This morning, the Committee had been told that all police stations had the minimum requirements for sector policing, and he would have thought that the rural strategy was part of that. A minimum criteria should at least be sector policing, in those stations. The contradiction was unacceptable, particularly when looking at the increase of farm murders in this year, which indicated that the rural safety strategy did not really comply with the minimum requirements of police stations.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked about border successes, asking how the reported successes on recovery of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and mandrax tablets was achieved, because the Committee, on its oversight visit, found that there was no canine unit or station at the border post, and the SAPS was short of scanners. She commented that public order policing policing faced a lot of challenges, including no vehicles, as set out in slide 133. She also asked how the figure of 23 members completing long-range acoustic device training was set, and if that was enough.
The Chairperson again raised the question of pocket books, under VP. In the last year, the Committee adopted a recommendation for SAPS to take action to address poor performance of members who did not fill out their pocket books and reports on a quarterly basis. If VP did not deal with this issue urgently, it would get the same report from the Auditor-General. It was already seven months into the 2015/16 financial year, and he had heard nothing from the presentation or annual report about what improvements were planned or what VP would do to ensure compliance.
General Phiyega dealt with the question of whether there was reduced appetite for reporting crime. SAPS reported on 21 indicators, and 17 of those involved people coming voluntarily to the station to report the crimes, including crimes against women. The other four indicators involved SAPS running operations such as road blocks or stop and search. Where people came to the station, SAPS was looking for a decrease of the crimes, because that was the most objective measure. She agreed that the nature of this crime was difficult, for SAPS could not raid houses, and people would not tell them that they were assaulted, so SAPS relied solely on people coming to the station. From SAPS side it was possible to have more communication and awareness driving, creating an environment for people to know that the police would listen to them. SAPS, however, could not account for the reduced appetite, because it could not be measured objectively. It could be linked to a perception, but SAPS could not measure this in any other way, because the crime would not be able to be policed other than by reporting. In relation to shebeens and other stop and search type situations, SAPS would be looking to see an increase in crimes actually picked up and dealt with.
Mr Groenewald could understand why the people would have to come forward to SAPS but did not understand why this necessarily proved a reduction of 2%. Because SAPS was aware that some people did not want to report these crimes, it should in fact be encouraging victims to come forward, so there should be an increase in the target for reporting, not a decrease.
General Phiyega stated that there were two parts to the discussion, because the committee may be looking for an increase in reporting, but SAPS figures were built on a baseline of how many people had come to the stations to report such crimes. The domino effect would be a reduced rate of the crimes occurring, but SAPS did not want to see an increase in the reporting. She understood that the Committee might see an increase as indicating more awareness. However, SAPS wanted to see a reduction in the commission of the crimes, and therefore a reduction in the reports of such crimes. An increase in the baseline could indicate that society was becoming more violent. SAPS worked to the outcome of people feeling and being safe. She was willing to discuss the issue further, but this explained why the indicator was drawn this way. Perhaps more research was needed to determine whether there was indeed a reduced appetite, but the bottom line was of course that SAPS wanted to see a reduction in the crime.
Mr Groenewald stated that nobody wanted more violence against women, but did agree that SAPS should do more research on how it was reported, because it was a problem that people did not have the confidence in the police to come forward and report violence against women and children. One of the reason was that, as newspapers and media had reported, there had been incidents where victims of domestic violence were assaulted or raped by members of SAPS.
Mr Ramatlakane did not know how, in practical terms, the police sought to reduce crimes against to women and children. He did not know whether it was a target that would put SAPS into trouble for the targets set should inspire confidence that SAPS was able to deal with perpetrators of this crime, and the victim support centres would make it easier for people to report. The goal of mobilising people so that they should be more ready to report had to be achieved; and people should be able to report and have their crimes recorded properly. He still maintained that an increased target should be directed to people actually reporting, rather than continuing along the current target and that could be done by managing reporting and settling of dispute before they escalated to crime.
Mr Redelinghuys appreciated that sexual crimes were not dependant on police action for detection, so the whole issue was around reporting. Low conviction rates for such crimes were another point that did not just involve the police. The reality was that research, not just anecdotal evidence, suggested that many victims of sexual crimes did not report them because they were too scared and felt the report would not lead to anything else. He thought he was incorrect to refer to this as “lack of appetite” because there was data available of victims of crimes, annually, which reflected the confidence or lack of confidence in police. He suggested it would be appropriate to have a separate indicator to show how many cases were reported and then how many sexual crimes were found in general, to reflect whether there was an empirical increase in confidence in the police, such as to say that out of 700 cases, 650 were reported and 50 were found as a result of detection, to demonstrate the trust in police. He appreciated any commitment by SAPS to look into the issue further.
Mr Mbhele added to this point by asking if the Commissioner and SAPS were aware of the phenomenon recently raised at a safety and security study group, of repeat victimisation. He hoped SAPS awareness would inform their actions and their approach. For many crime categories, people could be subjected to particular crimes several times. A typical profile of a victim of interpersonal violence was a young black male between 18 and 25, and many showed repeat victimisation. Similarly in rape cases, if there was a decline in the number of reports, there was a chance that a victim may have made several attempts to report and seek justice from the police and then withdrawn such attempts. He cited a report of a woman from Durban who was recently awarded financial compensation under circumstances where she had reported several times that her husband had beaten her, and for whatever reason the police did not take the case on. She sued and was successful. The NGOs would also give statistics about low reporting rates – what was called the “1 in 9 run”. Repeat victimisation could indicate drops in numbers of multiple incidents. This was not just an academic discussion, but linked to real people and real lives.
Gen Phiyega stated that this programme dealt with two issues. Whilst SAPS was reactive in terms of dealing with situations that were reported,, it also had some proactive interventions. Pages 171 to 175 of the Annual Report did show what the police were doing on public awareness and education campaigns. Through public awareness and education SAPS was encouraging participation in 16 days of Activism, victim empowerment programmes, the Law Society of South Africa and interdepartmental interventions, where it worked with others. The indicator was indeed based on the reactive side, and on that SAPS wanted to see a reduction in the crimes causing the reporting. However, there were joint approaches, and SAPS could increase its campaigning, perhaps through research, to see what empirical data there could be between proactive and reactive. If SAPS increased the current target it could be losing the objectivity and reliability of the data in terms of reactive interventions.
Lt Gen Sitole added that as reporting increased, the public awareness should also link to operational interventions to bring that important crime level down again. The spike would be on the awareness level. SAPS was measured as against levels of crime, public satisfaction and levels of fear, and any targets had to cut across all these dimensions. General Phiyega was correct on the approach; if SAPS were to give statistics on life sentences it would be seen that several of wanted sexual offenders had been removed from circulation and that would drop the rate of crime. Forensic matches had also increased which meant that the crimes could easier be solved. It was agreed that SAPS could deal with public awareness and crime prevention management. The last dimension was prevention. In terms of SAPS 6, Column 1 reflected the prevention column, with early warning indicators, and if that indicated that crimes against women and children were increasing, then SAPS would have to come up with immediate interventions. SAPS understood that these crimes could not be fought in terms of a hard operational approach, but multidisciplinary collaboration was needed, with SAPS implementing the national crime prevention strategy. More analysis was needed, and if SAPS succeeded in target hardening, the crime would go down.
Lt Gen Thabethe Mpembe, Free State Provincial Commissioner, SAPS, added that during the 16 days of Activism, when SAPS was conducting a lot of awareness campaigns, many sexual offences had been picked up because people did come through to report. During imbizos, people would also report. Better linkages were being done with wanted suspects, so Forensics was also dealing with that.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee had, at the end of August, given the directive that all outstanding DBA reports, three to date, had to be tabled in Parliament, but that had not happened, and he wanted to know the reason.
General Phiyega stated that she recalled that she had signed those reports. She would check what had happened between parliamentary office and the secretary.
Gen Phiyega next answered the questions around non-performance at Alpha Bravo, as well as the reliability issues raised around liquor reporting.
Lt Gen Sitole stated that SAPS was going to improve data integration as the first focus because when doing its data integrating analysis, SAPS discovered that this particular target was not ready. In two cases, the year had been recorded wrongly, so the system “lost” this. SAPS was now strengthening data integration and this was a priority of the inspectorate. The second point related to the station profiles, and what had an effect on reaction time was also environmental design. SAPS was talking about this across Alpha Bravo and Charlie. SAPS wanted to improve reaction time across all of them by working together by working with municipalities by improving the environmental design, and make sure there was strategic alignment in terms of the special processes. In rural safety SAPS was also trying to align the improvement of reaction times through the rural policing approach.
Maj Gen Michael Motlhala, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, SAPS, mentioned that currently VP and Organisational Development were working on separating the urban action plan and the rural action plan, because currently they were combined. It would be better to have the rural actions separate, and another report on this would be made shortly.
In relation to the audit queries, the main challenge was the pocket books. The sources SAPS used for reaction time included the CAS system, the GEMC3 systems and then also radios to communicate between the station and the vehicles on the ground. Another verifier was the automatic vehicle location system. Finally, the pocket book was used to verify reaction time. There were challenges, because of the nature of some of the complaints attended to, and most of the crimes were violent in nature, and in some instances members were not able to record immediately their reaction time, because there could be shooting at some scenes by the time they arrived. Sometimes pocket books were not able to be located when called for.
The Chairperson was not satisfied with the response. On the previous day, there had been a report on the inspections at the stations, where an on-duty officer ensured certain steps were taken. He would have liked to hear what was being done to address those problems, SAPS should actually be saying that there would be proper inspections, and consequence management for the station commander and cluster commander who would be disciplined,.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity on why the AVL was not sufficient and effective for the purposes of tracking and recording data. He assumed it had a geo-location function, and pointed out that other applications were available to tell anyone how long it took to get from one point to another, so he could not see what was so difficult about getting objective, verifiable data, through this system.
Ms Molebatsi asked if all commanders were able to track vehicles through he AVL as she had seen some calling on others to get the information for them, and she wanted to know if all were trained.
Mr Mhlongo stated that when SAPS members were dispatched to a crime scene, they had communication radio systems, and reported immediately and had to be able to enforce properly in any eventuality. Security of members that were dispatched was paramount, so even if the SAPS' individual communication system was not working, the command centre should extract the times, and there should be back-up. This was not the kind of response he expected from a modern and professional force.
General Phiyega stated that the problem had been diagnosed, and the answers were being given. SAPS was trying to tell the Committee what it was doing to try to ensure that the problem was addressed. The two provincial commissioners present would say what they were going to do.
Lt Gen Mpembe admitted that in terms of the pocket books, there was failure from the front line managers, the CSC commanders, who were meant to do the inspections. In future, any loss of pocketbooks or failure to record incidents or complaints properly would lead to consequence management, and that should remedy the situation.
The Chairperson noted that this had been a recommendation from the Committee last year, which was not implemented by SAPS.
Lt Gen Mpembe stated that SAPS would have to look at this again, and perhaps submit a report. It had reason to believe that implementation did not mean that the situation would immediately be corrected, because the message might take a little time to pass down. A report could be given on steps taken with the pocketbooks.
Maj Gen Thembisile Patekile, Acting Provincial Commissioner, Western Cape, SAPS for having only been able to attend the meeting now; he had been at a Standing Committee meeting. He said that command and control needed to be enhanced and strict compliance was needed to ensure data integration to capture details. It could be that some data took too long to capture, and it might be that Alpha and Bravo complaints had been prioritised, and the Charlie compliant not treated urgently enough. He assured the Committee that this would be looked into, to strengthen compliance, and also training on young members coming in.
The Chairperson wanted to know if there was a written action plan from SAPS National, to rectify the findings of the Auditor-General.
General Phiyega said that, after listening to this conversation, this needed to be even more pointed action, because she wanted an HR response. The issues spoken about sat between the provincial commissioner, the cluster commander and the station commander level, together with the various components, and all this would have to be even more pointed. SAPS would thus return to the Committee with a pointed plan, that dealt with HR and HRU performance, together with explanation on roles and responsibilities of all the provincial commissioners, the cluster commander and the station commanders.
Mr Ramatlakane asked when the Auditor-General first reported on these findings, and whether there was no plan to rectify these particular findings for the second year given that the same findings were repeated. Only now, in the third year after they were reported, was SAPS talking about growing responsibility in people, provincial cluster stations. If there was a plan, he asked if it brought these matters into account, otherwise there would be a shuttling between points.
General Phiyega stated that there was a plan. In the first year when she had met with the AG and board of commissioners, a process was developed and some of the indicators spoke to how this must be done, and what the AG would need to see, and that included the work on the pocketbook. The role of the provincial commissioners now saw heightened responsibility, including seeing to better use of the pocketbook, which must be carried daily by all SAPS personnel. Awareness levels had increased, but more was needed, to get the SAPS above the 50% compliance mark. She committed all levels to assist in having even more of an intensified plan, and factoring that into HR performance. Some of the levels mentioned would connect also to the AVL, because there were multiple platforms to corroborate what was in the pocketbook.
Mr Ramatlakane proposed that the Committee recommend that a tenable detailed plan must be presented to the Committee to indicate what the Committee must oversee.
The Chairperson stated that this was needed on a national basis. Engagement with the AG had started, but there was a strong possibility of similar findings being repeated, so the Committee wanted assurances that SAPS management would be addressing that.
Gen Phiyega answered that in relation to the rural strategy, the low targets and completion timing and response time, she would like to disaggregate the figures, because rural and urban areas showed different statistics. She would like to present another report with disaggregated figures.
Lt Sitole said that this target for rural stations did not come from this financial year. This had been a prescribed target two years ago, and the latest target had been focused on all the stations.
Maj Motlhala added that the 50 police stations dealt with annually would help to reach the target. The first pillar of the rural sector was to enhance service delivery, and have an integrated approach to deliver all the other environments. Pillar three was community safety awareness and the fourth was rural development. Nine sessions in nine provinces had been conducted, with all of the role players, to ensure that there would be improvement amongst all role players on the issue of rural safety. Still outstanding was the national rural safety consultative session.
Mr Groenewald asked if all the rural police stations had sector policing.
Lt Gen Sitole stated that in some of the areas, there was implementation of both sector policing and a rural based sector policing, but in some sectors in rural areas there may be two structures because of the vast areas, to ensure that different dynamics were accommodated.
Mr Groenewald stated that that was the problem; now it was said that perhaps the rural safety strategy was not implemented universally. This contradiction in the report was not acceptable.
The Chairperson said that this should be rectified.
Ms Mabija did not understand that statement that whilst there should be four sectors, only two were present in some areas because of the vastness of the areas. Surely the larger the area, the more sectors were necessary.
Gen Phiyega explained that some areas were not so densely populated and one village might, for instance, be situated 80 km away from the station. If six villages were covered by one sector, the special characteristics of the area, not the numbers, would determine how it was dealt with.
Lt Gen Sitole added that there was a special analysis being done for SAPS now, that reflected exactly where the population was in relation to the police stations, and the same principle was being applied to urban and rural sectors. The new National instruction was adding escalating demarcation of sectors, in alignment with municipal boundaries. This looked not just at the size of the area, but where the population was, the geographical analysis crime hotspots, and how members could respond to sector policing.
Mr Groenewald commented that the answers relating to rural safety were worrying. There was an increase in this year of farm murders, and farm attacks. Rural security had to be prioritised, because if not even the minimum requirements were complied to in terms of rural safety, then it was no surprise to see these increases in crime; people in the rural areas were soft targets. He wanted it specifically reported, in the Committee report, that this would have to be prioritised.
The morning session was adjourned.
The afternoon session began with the completion of the discussion on programme 2.
General Phiyega, National Commissioner, South African Police Service (SAPS), said there had been a question from Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) about liquor licence enforcement. This was by-law enforcement, because it was one of the areas governed by municipalities and they were primarily responsible for by-law enforcement. They were to ensure liquor outlets operated according to their by-laws. The South African Police Service (SAPS) became involved when a person came to the SAPS and complained that a liquor outlet was operating unlawfully in their area. It was an important area, and the SAPS needed to talk to other law enforcement areas.
Maj Gen M Motlhala, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, SAPS, said there were some outlets which were not licensed, but could on certain special occasions serve alcohol. That was the difference between registered and unregistered outlets.
Lt Gen K Sithole, Deputy National Commissioner: Policing SAPS, on the issue of unlicensed liquor outlets, said there was a process which was regulated by each province’s liquor board. All applications were submitted to the liquor board and they determined which unlicensed premises would be issued with licenses. It was then the responsibility of liquor officers at stations and liquor inspectors from the liquor board to ensure the enforcement of the Liquor Act. Unregistered and unlicensed outlets were more or less the same thing, and once unlicensed premises were discovered, the police and liquor boards acted immediately to close them down.
Gen Phiyega said the increasing of targets, as recommended by the Committee when the SAPS had presented its strategic documents, would be done for the next round of reporting.
Maj Gen Motlhala said the breakdown per province and per unit for training would be provided in writing. On whether the 23 members trained on the use of the long-range training device had been sufficient, he said that this was based on the 11 pieces of equipment procured during the period under review. The procurement came with training and as the procurement process moved forward, more members would be trained.
On the successes achieved in the absence of information technology (IT) equipment and canine units at ports of entry, the SAPS reported that border policing remained a labour-intensive operation. Members had to physically unpack things and so forth. In order to achieve the required success, it had implemented random searches and profiling of goods and travellers. These required members to be street smart and focus their searches. For example, with goods they would look at the manifest and analyse which goods they ought to search. They profiled travellers to or from what the SAPS deemed risk countries -- for example, the 7am flight from Sao Paulo was often successfully targeted. The SAPS also conducted intelligence driven operations and the intelligence community would indicate at particular dates and times the SAPS ought to target a particular port of entry, and these have also shown good results. The SAPS also worked closely with their counterparts from other countries through structures such as Interpol, to exchange information. The operationalization of this information had also shown good results.
The Chairperson said he had met a constable at the Union Buildings who had been a constable for 13 years, and a sergeant who had been so for 16 years. He understood the National Commissioner had recently approved a number of promotions. R300 million had been made available for fighting corruption and ensuring upward mobility. What was the strategic approach from the SAPS to ensure that persons who were in positions for long periods were proactively dealt with? Secondly, he had met a captain who had been at Musina Bridge for 13 years, and the Committee had previously referred to the issue of replacements, and had urged for rotation in the VIP protection services. In border policing and other units in the Visible Policing Unit, he wanted to know the approach of Visible Policing and how they were proactively dealing with corruption and upward mobility.
Gen Phiyega said with the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC), the SAPS had come to a point where a promotions policy had been agreed upon, because it meant as partners there was agreement about promotions. In the promotions policy, a differentiation was made between commissioned and non-commissioned officers. From constable through to warrant officer, the agreement was that a time frame was used to move people forward and what was seen last year responded to that category of people. There was a slight backlog here, partially because of the delay with the policy, and this was why SAPS was saying on a constant basis that people who had been in the service for 11 years were to be moved to the next level. The first round had been focussed on members who had 11-plus years and these were the 7 000 members who had been moved to the next level. Resources were being made available annually for promotion. The next group was about 14 000 and it had been realised that there was almost an equal number of members who were reaching the 11-year bracket. The SAPS would like to stick to this for the category of members. The policy spoke about post-commissioned officers using an application process, and they could keep applying.
The third issue was that of notches, which were used in other service careers such as teaching or nursing, but what had not been done by the SAPS was to have people move with these notches. This was an area being looked into, to ensure that while a person may be a constable for a particular number of years, their lives should not be stagnant and a sense of movement should be instilled. A further area was career pathing. Detective specialisation was a career, and the SAPS must look at how this career path was developed for specific people. The SAPS must start putting more effort into creating careers in its various service areas. Rotation had been recommended previously and the SAPS was looking into it -- for example, static policing -- and the SAPS was recommending to the DMA that there was rotation, with members being exposed to that and moved. This was for a number of reasons, including ensuring the member did not become bored, career movement and also familiarity issues, which could lead to corruption. Members would recall that the SAPS had briefed the Committee on its recruitment to retirement strategy which dealt with some of these aspects and SAPS was willing to share the strategy and what it had done with it.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) said there had been an indicator in the presentation relating to unlawful possession of and dealing in drugs. This was an indicator rooted in police action, as indicated by the National Commissioner, which was why an increased target had been aimed for. His understanding was that strategically, this action was aimed at identifying and taking out drug lords, who were the middle-level players operating in the drug environment. It should not be about what had been seen in the media recently, where 25 people in their early twenties had been arrested at a dance festival. This was law enforcement at an objective level, but it was not the smartest use of SAPS resources, given the resource constraints. Was this indicator being used to drive the right kind of anti-drug operations and activities, as opposed to every now and again running an operation which had no effect on the core of the issue?
When the Committee had been on its oversight trip to the Free State, on most, if not all of the Committee’s travels, they had been accompanied by members of the National Intervention Unit. He wanted to know what criteria and what threat analysis had been used which would result in the Committee being assigned a contingent of the National Intervention Unit when travelling, particularly considering the medium to high risk nature of the matters the unit dealt with. The response seemed completely disproportionate, and he wanted to know if there was an objective basis upon which this was decided, because this again came down to the efficient use of resources. The trouble in SAPS was not about resources per se -- it had one of the biggest budgets in government -- it was about the management and final allocation of those resources. This was a small example of the resources not being rationally allocated.
Gen Phiyega said when the crime statistics had been announced, SAPS had indicated that the country had been found to be involved in all three areas of the drug trade. Previously South Africa had been considered as a transit country, where drugs would come in from elsewhere and pass through. Now South Africa was a transit, high consumption and a production country. This was why the SAPS had stated that it had closed 57 factories producing drugs and that it believed there were many more, because the availability of the drugs told that story. Therefore, the SAPS could not close its eyes to the fact that there were small time producers sitting in front of schools. Such people could not be ignored because it was seen as a small time intervention. Such an intervention could be stunting a future mega-producer of drugs and therefore it was important for SAPS to ensure that its interventions responded to all these areas. Of course, SAPS would like to increase the numbers from 57, but it must be recognised that because of the economic situation, people resorted to making drugs such as nyope. When it was said that the SAPS had arrested students at a party, perhaps they were consumers of such drugs and the producers were in fact their peers. The response had to be balanced and certain areas ought to be emphasised, but SAPS could not close its eyes to crime. The partnerships with the Department of Education, going to schools with canine units, were still crucial.
Mr Mbhele said the point he was trying to emphasise was possession versus dealing, because dealing was obviously a very serious issue, particularly if it was outside schools and targeting children. The question was around the portion of the nominal arrest figure being given, which was due to possession, and what this said about the ability of the intervention to have an impact. If one arrested a 22-year-old for having a joint in his pocket, he would get another one literally the next week, and would not do much about the real issues of production and transit, as highlighted by Gen Phiyega. Were these figures saying something about the progress in dealing with those more serious, structural matters in this environment?
Gen Phiyega said if one looked at the Annual Report and the indications of drug busts and the closing of drug factories, it would be seen why she said the interventions have to cut across.
Lt Gen Sithole added that there were two policing methods running concurrently: conventional and unconventional. The conventional methods fed into the unconventional or covert operations. What was seen in the streets were levels one and two, but the unconventional operations were at levels three to five, and that was where the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) also came in to deal with the organised elements. While these successes were reported under visible policing, there were similar successes reported under the organised crime threat analysis, addressing Mr Mbhele’s exact concerns.
Lt Gen E Mawela, Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, SAPS, said Lt Gen Mpembe would deal with Mr Mbhele’s second question, but he wanted to put on record that the SAPS did not have an National Intervention Unit in the Free State, and they were not deployed in the fashion suggested.
Lt Gen T Mpembe, Provincial Commissioner: Free State, said it was correct that there was not a National Intervention Unit, but there was a Tactical Response Team (TRT) and he believed it was that unit that had been used for the escort. The input was noted and in future they would not be tasked, although they had been tasked on that occasion by the commanding officer, because they had been the nearest unit. It was noted that it had been a heavy deployment, and it would not be done again.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) said the Committee should not interfere with where and how the TRT was deployed.
The Chairperson agreed and said that operational decisions on risk assessment must be taken independently, as a principle.
Gen Phiyega thanked the Chairperson for his support of commanding officers making operational decisions, because where there was interference, this could cause problems.
Ms Molebatsi said the Auditor General (AG) had indicated that the reporting by this Unit had not been reliable, and asked how the SAPS intended to address this.
Gen Phiyega said this question related to the pocket books, which were at 48%. What the SAPS intended to do was to ensure that the pocket books being used for reliability purposes were kept in order, and the earlier discussion applied.
Lt Gen S Schutte, Deputy National Commissioner: Resource Management, SAPS, regarding the Sanlam Middestad building, said that according to a combined summons in the North Gauteng High Court, SAPS was not the defendant. When the audit committee sat with the AG, it had been said that this could not be classified as a contingent liability, because at this point there had been no indication that SAPS was the defendant.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) said his first question about Central Firearms Registry (CFR) had not been answered, specifically on application verification. In the presentation, it had been indicated that the application verification section was being restored and he wanted to know whether all applications were being verified on the system. There had been an investigation by the Minister on corruption at the CFR – had the Committee received this report, and what had happened to it? Usually such a report included recommendations. Did the SAPS receive the report or implement its recommendations?
Maj Gen Motlhala, on applications brought to the CFR for finalisation, said the current arrangement was that there were section commanders allocated to the provinces. Part of the process was, in an integrated way, to have these section commanders going to police stations where there might be applications. The narrative was trying to indicate that the close work with the provinces and individual stations was leading to more efficiency in finalisation. On the application verification section, one of the strategies implemented under the CFR turnaround strategy was to ensure that all applications were verified, because part of the past problems had been that applications which were incomplete would be brought from police stations, and these would have to be sent back, delaying their finalisation. Part of the work of this section was that before an application went for decision, all the necessary details were correct.
On corruption, part of the CFR turnaround strategy was a project which had already seen arrests being made and this was continuing. The arrest of Col Prinsloo was also part of this project. Further, lectures were being conducted with members to ensure there was awareness, with the assistance of employee health and wellness. Cameras had also been installed to ensure the SAPS could monitor activities in the buildings.
Mr Groenewald said the response was not answering his question, because he specifically wanted to know if the report had been received, whether any recommendations had been made, and whether these had been implemented.
Lt Gen Sithole said the corruption initiatives being reported were at SAPS’ instance, but it had not formally received the report.
The Chairperson said perhaps this was a question which should be asked at the following meeting to the Civilian Secretariat.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) asked what mechanisms were being put in place to heighten member’s morale in SAPS’s long term planning. Many members were young people who, if well nurtured and groomed in the service, could have a long career in the ranks of the SAPS, but if their morale was low this would not happen. What was being put in place to make members proud of being part of the service? He raised this because there were rules of engagement, and in the annual report it had been indicated that some members did not comply with these rules. When young members were developed, it needed to be done so that they accepted the values of South Africa and felt like they were the first line of defence. He encouraged the SAPS to pull up its socks and ensure that our men and women in blue could rise up to the challenge and ensure the safety of the nation.
Lt Gen C Mbekela, Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Service Management, SAPS, regarding the morale of members, said the SAPS had already indicated that promotions were being discussed at the level of the SSSBC, the union partners were being engaged around implementation and grade progressions were being discussed. The SAPS was investing in skills development for its members, so that they could grow within the organisation. Along with this qualification, recognition was being implemented along with the SSSBC, so that members knew that if they went through skills development there would be some form of recognition. Service medals also brought recognition for what members were doing within the organisation. This started at the provincial level and went up to the national excellence awards, so that people could see that their work was being recognised by the institution. Further, there was an attempt to bring back the culture of the organisation and improve discipline through parades, as mentioned the previous day. This was an attempt to resurrect the ethos of the organisation so that people could feel proud to be recognised within the organisation.
Gen Phiyega said some of the softer aspects included the national office working with the provinces to say each cluster must have a platoon of officers who would parade at funerals and such events. The medal parades were being made formal and serious, having members parade in a serious manner, so that they did not forget the culture and ethos of the SAPS. The national excellence and provincial awards were used to help ensure members remained encouraged. The SAPS also used internal communication, to ensure the members kept apace with the organisation and what it was about.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) referred to border policing, and said that on the Committee’s oversight visit to the Free State, a very evident concern was the lack of capacity and the inability to neutralise crime crossing the borders, including the non-existence of a fence. When the SAPS talked about these areas, they indicated their interventions, but the concern centred on the lack of capacity. There had been a lot of debate about whether there should be a separate agency and a functional improvement. He therefore wanted to know what could done, and how we could close our borders. There had been much discussion in the Free State about what was being transported over the borders, particularly the ability of the SAPS to identify criminals. The concern was over the movement of goods and people, but what reassurance could be given to the Committee that these issues were receiving sufficient attention? There were a whole lot of issues around scanners and other aspects.
Lt Gen Mawela said South Africa had a land border stretching around 4 750km and a sea border of 2 800km. The SAPS was the only government department represented at the 53 land borders, ten airports and nine harbours. At some land points of entry, the SAPS was performing the functions of other government departments such as the Department of Home Affairs. The SAPS was trying its best to ensure the national security of the country, and that trans-national crime was combated, difficult as this may be given the observations of the Members on their oversight visit. On the corruption in this area, which was a concern to all involved, the SAPS believed that the introduction of the Border Management Agency (BMA) was going to assist, particularly as when a person is hired by this agency there would be a stringent screening processes before they were accepted into that environment. Further, this process would assist in removing those who were already there who were corrupt.
The work done by the intelligence community and the DPCI was appreciated, because there were specific projects which were running which the SAPS only learnt about when they were informed that a certain number of people had been taken off the government’s payroll. The Border Management Agency Bill was out for public comment and once it began to be operationalized, the SAPS was proposing to second its members on a five-year basis, if they passed the screening tests. This would allow members to work at the borders for a particular period of time and then be redeployed, followed by another round of secondment.
Programme 3: Detective Services
Gen Phiyega said this programme had four sub-programmes: Crime Investigation, Criminal Record Centre, Forensic Science Laboratory and Specialised Investigations. The last sub-programme would be dealt with separately by Lt Gen B Ntlemeza, National Head: DPCI.
Lt Gen Schutte said Crime Investigations had spent 99.5% of its adjusted allocation, at R10.1 billion, the Criminal Record Centre had spent 101.4% of its budget, at R2.02 billion, and the Forensic Science Laboratory had spent 106% of its budget, at R1.63 billion. Overall the programme had spent 100.1% of its budget, requiring R60 million to top up the spend. The Crime Investigations budget included general investigations (R8.3 billion), family violence and child protection units (R809 million), vehicle theft units (R432 million) and stock theft units (R451 million). The Forensic Science Laboratory and Criminal Record Centre, including Criminal Justice System (CJS) expenditure, totalled R3.7 billion.
Gen Phiyega said the programme had 20 indicators, compared to the 23 of the previous year. Of 12 had been achieved. Of the eight not achieved, one had been with forensic services and others had been in the detective services. In comparison to the other programmes, it had been a low performing area, achieving only a 60% rate. This was a drop from its performance in the previous yea, which had been at 82%. This was an area which concerned the SAPS greatly and it had started focussing on it, as it formed the backbone of policing.
Lt Gen Sithole then went through each indicator. The ones which had not been achieved included:
- Detection rate for serious crimes: targeted at 41% (858405) and achieved at 37.4% (820 598 of a total of 2.19 million);
- Percentage of trial ready case dockets for serious crimes: targeted at 68.5% (261 109) and achieved at 63.63% (237 362 of 373 037);
- Percentage of trial ready case dockets for crimes dependent on police action for detection: targeted at 64.5% and achieved at 55.89% (122 559 of 219 304);
- Detection rate for crimes against women 18 years and above (murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH): targeted at 75.4% and achieved at 74.41% (144 232 of 193 832);
- Percentage of trial ready dockets for crimes against women 18 years and above: targeted at 68.15% and achieved at 63.27% (37 488 of 59 254)
- Detection rate for crimes against children under 18 (murder, attempted murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH): targeted at 69.95% and achieved at 69.45% (35 943 of 51 754)
- Percentage of trial ready dockets for crimes against children under 18: targeted at 66.65% and achieved at 60.07% (17 808 of 29 646)
- Percentage of case exhibit (entries) processes by Forensic Services within 28 working days: targeted at 93% of routine case exhibits and achieved at 69% (141 963 of 204 646).
Lt Gen Sithole said the major achievements under this programme included:
- 363 life sentences involving 288 persons were secured by General Investigations, including 258 life sentences for murder and 65 for Rape;
- 680 life sentences involving 451 persons were secured by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation;
- Stock theft recoveries to a value of R288.4 million.
Lt Gen Sithole moved on to the performance of the Forensic Services and said that since the injection of resources into the Criminal Record Centre, the performance regarding the generation of previous conviction reports within15 calendar days had been at 93%. A comparison between the evidence collected at crime scenes between 2013/14 and 2014/15 showed improvements in areas such as the exhibits processed by the fingerprint laboratory (147 731 to 160 430) and shoe-print investigations (268 to 441). Decreases due to automation of processes was seen in manual fingerprint identification and cases processed by the fingerprint laboratory.
Lt Gen Sithole said the backlog in the forensic laboratory had been reduced by 6 053 (64.7%) -- from 9 357 at the end of 2013/14, to 3 304 at the end 2014/15. As at March 2015, the backlog on hand was at 1.1%, which was below the 10% tolerance level.
Lt Gen Sithole said implementation of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act had begun to be operationalised from 31 January 2015. The reference index system had been successfully implemented to perform DNA analysis of reference samples. It had been rolled out at four forensic science laboratories, with 57 analysts appointed and trained. 4 075 serial and multiple offenders had been linked through DNA searches and 3 652 cases linked to unknown offenders through forensic intelligence.
Ms Molebatsi said the detectives had weakened and were the weakest performing programme, according to the AG. She wanted to know if this was because the head of the detectives was in the Kruger National Park. She had even said the detectives were headless at one point. One of the reasons that had been given for the weak performance from the AG’s report had been load-shedding, but a few months ago the Committee had been guaranteed that generators would be used as a solution. She wanted to know what the problem was in this regard. Regarding forensics, as far as she remembered, there had been a time when the Committee had questioned the backlog, and the SAPS had assured it that there had been no backlog. However, now there was an indication that the backlog had affected the achievement of targets, as depicted on slide 221.
Lt Gen Sithole said load-shedding was an issue that had been dealt with across the organisation, and there had been a collective response between policing and support services, also involving the supply chain. At first it had affected the systems, but later the problem had been addressed and it was no longer an issue.
Gen Phiyega said it had been listed as a problem which affected the SAPS’s performance, and she had asked her team to do that.
Lt Gen J Phahlane, Divisional Commissioner: Forensic Services SAPS, said load-shedding had affected the Forensic Services and had been advanced as one of the reasons why one of the targets had not been met. This was because the laboratory was a very sensitive environment and when there was load-shedding, there was interference with equipment which could lead to the need for repairs. This had had an impact on productivity, because the amount of equipment may not be at the level required for productivity. Unfortunately, when one was confronted with such situations, the repair work was not done by the SAPS -- it had to go through a procurement process to get a service provider to do the repairs.
Load- shedding had not been the only contributing factor. The challenges experienced with water had also been listed. Both were situations over which the SAPS did not have control. Another factor was that there were periods where the amount of work coming into the laboratory was very high and the capacity at that time had not been sufficient to process all the work. The Forensic Services did not want to hide behind these factors, but rather wanted to make known the challenges faced in the environment.
Lt Gen Schutte said a recent presentation had been made by SAPS and the Department of Public Works (DPW) in which it had been indicated that the SAPS was allowed to install generators at the 278 devolved stations, but at the non-devolved stations SAPS was allowed to perform only certain maintenance. At the briefing it had been indicated that the SAPS would have all 278 stations fitted with permanent generators, although some were portable. Although he did not have the specifics, aside from the 278 stations, all the other facilities were non-devolved and under the control of the DPW. SAPS had had many interactions with the DPW to see if SAPS could handle the installations itself, or share the contracts. At the briefing of the Committee, the DPW had presented a timeframe and indicated that some of the generators would have to be imported. New stations all had generators as part of their design, but there were a number of older stations. He did not currently have the figures and was unaware of the precise laboratories in the Forensic Services, but a list did exist and it would be provided. The basic response was that this was the responsibility of the DPW, and the needs had been provided. The water problem was a different matter which needed to be investigated, but at present if the water was not being supplied, it was not being supplied. The SAPS would report on the laboratory specifically in future.
Lt Gen Sithole said that in the absence of leadership in the Detective Services, Lt Gen V Moonoo, Divisional Commissioner: Detective Services, was no longer leading the Kruger National Park (KNP) project. Currently, Operation Rhino 6 was in place and he had personally appointed the project manager. Lt Gen Moonoo was providing support to detectives which he had deployed to KNP, and he went there only as and when required, but he was in the office full time.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) said in slide 155, which dealt with the detection rate for crimes against children under 18, what was meant by “inadequate command and control in the investigative command and control”? On slide 160, regarding community outreach programmes, the Family and Child Support (FCS) units conducted outreach only in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, but what about the other provinces?
Lt Gen Sithole, on command and control problems, said there was a gap the moment an experienced detective or detective commander left. This related to a number of command responsibilities, such as docket inspection, management and closure. At times, it would be found that the person acting in the position was a junior. This challenge then impacted negatively on performance.
Maj Gen M Botsheleng, Head: Family Violence, Child Protection Unit, Detective Service, SAPS, said the outreach efforts in the presentation were only highlights, and the FCS was involved with continuous community awareness projects. This included working with the Visible Policing division and others. She assured the Committee that the FCS was going to schools, churches and communities. Last year alone, 400 awareness events had been run, and those in the presentation were only highlights. For example, in the first week of September 2014 the FCS, along with the Detection Services, had conducted an awareness campaign in the Eastern Cape and managed to arrest more than 100 suspects. During the 16 days of activism in the Free State, more than 70 suspects had been arrested. In total during that time, more than 400 suspects had been arrested, through national management going out to the provinces to assist.
The Chairperson said he wanted to mention that during the Committee’s visit to the Free State, very high quality interactions had been had with the FCS unit’s colonel and captain.
Mr Ramatlakane said he was concerned by the percentage of achievement of targets. The National Commissioner had indicated that this was one of the important programmes for society’s confidence in the police department. If the SAPS fell flat regarding this programme, then it fell flat in terms of its effectiveness. This could result in people taking the law into their own hands, because they felt the system was failing. 2013 had been the year of the detective. There had been a conference and focus on addressing the problems with the programme. The Committee had been involved in this process and there had been lots of commitments from SAPS management to ensure this programme was turned around. This was linked to the Seven Point Plan and the CJS, towards building the capacity of the detectives. What troubled him was the degree of implementation of this aspect, including the recommendations which had come out of the indaba held in Parliament. If these recommendations had been implemented, then some of the weaknesses could have been addressed. What was not working in this programme?
Secondly, he was concerned about the backlog and having just been to an oversight visit to the Free State, information had been received that a decision had been made to close down cases that had not yet been investigated, numbering around 4 000. Surely there must be a problem if 4 000 cases were closed in the Free State alone by order of the national management. Was this a national phenomenon, and how many cases had been closed in other provinces as a result of the backlog? If these cases had been closed in this manner, was it related to achieving targets or avoiding embarrassment? Were the complainants involved in the 4 000 closed cases consulted before their closure? The answer was no, it had been an administrative decision. There had been mention of column six, and he asked for an explanation of the issues around how this programmes dealt with cases in column one to column seven. This had not necessarily been followed in dealing with the backlog. The questions boiled down to whether this programme was doing its part in ensuring their role was fulfilled regarding the seven point plan, and the integrated criminal justice system.
Maj Gen C Johnson, Head: General Crime Investigation, Detective Service SAPS, said he would explain the reason why the intervention in the Free State and at Park Road police station had happened. Members would remember that the previous year, some targets had not been achieved and an undertaking had been given that interventions would be made in order to improve. At the national office, stations had been identified which had high on-hand case loads and cases which had been outstanding for long periods -- both in court and dockets which had not made it to court -- on a continuous basis. Park Road had been one of the stations identified, and an intervention team had been sent in to see what the reasons were. What had been found was that there had been lots of dockets where the investigation had been completed in SAPS’ view, but no suspect had been identified or they could not be traced. In cases where no suspect had been identified, the intervention team ensured that the investigation had been conducted properly, and then the docket was closed as undetected in order to reduce the case load. Closing a docket as undetected did not mean that the docket was thrown away, but rather that the docket was stored and if new information came from the complainant or was discovered, then the docket was reopened for further investigation. Some of these dockets also related to known suspects who could not be traced, where warrants of arrest were obtained and circulated. The intention of the intervention was not to close dockets “willy-nilly”, but rather to identify why those dockets had been outstanding for such long periods. The records at the national office showed that they had closed approximately 2 000 dockets at Park Road police station, but he did not know the numbers closed at other stations in the Free State.
On the issue of command and control, the people there had not looked at the inspections and closed the dockets. The Provincial Commissioner had asked the national office to provide him with statements of what had happened at Park Road, so that he could institute consequence management.
Lt Gen V Moonoo, Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service SAPS, said during the abovementioned intervention, dockets had also been found which ought to have been deposited with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The intervention team had interacted with the NPA and decisions had been made on those dockets, which formed part of the 2 000 closed dockets. In some cases, charges had been laid, but others had been closed because complainants had withdrawn the charges. The other issue was that there were dockets with outstanding “SAPS 69s which should have been completed.” This was what the management at the station and provinces had failed to do and that was what the intervention team had gone in to finalise.
Lt Gen Mpembe said when the statement had been made during the oversight visit, the misconception had been created that the dockets had simply been shelved. The closure of the dockets had had no impact on the crime statistics and it talked only to the closure of the dockets and the manner in which this had been registered.
Ms Mabija (ANC) referred to the detection rate for crimes against women 18 and above, and wanted to know why the target had not been achieved, despite it being indicated that there had been an integrated approach between investigators, prosecutors and support services received from the forensic science laboratories, which had yielded positive results in securing convictions. Why was the target not met when there was this sort of support?
Lt Gen Moonoo said the comments in the last column of the presentation slide had been a mistake, because the target had not been met.
The Chairperson asked what the correct narrative was.
Lt Gen Moonoo replied that the narrative was that the target had not been met, and there could be several reasons for this. One could be that the dockets had been with the NPA for decisions, or that suspects could not be traced. When he had seen the narrative, he knew it was a mistake.
Mr Groenewald asked if Lt Gen Moonoo was saying that he was seeing the figures for the first time now.
Lt Gen Moonoo said the figures were correct, but the narrative in the comments column was incorrect. The previous Monday he had had it changed, but unfortunately the report had already been sent in.
Mr Groenewald said this was very worrying, and if one looked at the figures reported, it was one of the reasons why there were high crime statistics in South Africa. For instance, all the crimes where women and children were involved had not had their targets met. Looking at the detection rate for serious crimes, this was only at 37.4% for 2014/15. If one looked at the backlog from the previous year’s figures, then it had a snowball effect, because crimes had been committed and there had been no detection, which was why criminals simply got away with crimes. One of the reasons for not meeting targets had been reported as being due to the resignation of detectives. His first question was how many detectives had resigned in this financial year and how many detectives were in the services at the moment.
Secondly, with reference to forensics, regarding ballistics, there had been a case in the media about a person who had been accused of murder, where ballistics tests had been put forward as evidence. It appeared that the investigating officer had colluded with a person in the forensics department to swap the ballistics test. If the accused person had not been able to prove that the ballistics test was false, he would have gone to prison for murder. His question was what had happened to those officials, because they could never remain in the police service. If officials were willing to swap tests to incriminate an innocent person, then people could never have trust in the forensics sub-programme of the SAPS.
Gen Phiyega said 961 detectives had resigned in 2014, and she had asked her team to analyse why these detectives had resigned and whether their under-performance had been related to this.
Lt Gen Phahlane said South Africa prided itself on its ballistics capacity, and the contribution of Maj Chris Mangena to the Oscar Pistorius trial was well known. It was unfortunate that this case had been reported the way it had been in the media, because Forensic Services had a quality management system. There was a ballistics expert who was also a warrant officer who had initially handled the case. Following his report, and at a later stage, the case had been reviewed by Forensic Services’ own forensic expert, who was a Lt Col, and by a private forensic expert. As the outcome of these tests was different from what the initial expert had found, the internal ethics dictated that this could not be concealed. Forensic Services, for the purpose of spelling out the chain of custody, had stated that this case had initially been handled by a certain expert who was bound to testify before the court, which had happened in this case. It was not the private expert’s findings which had indicated that the test was initially flawed -- it had been found by an internal expert, together with the findings of the external expert. He felt it was excellent, if Forensic Services could be open and state where things had gone wrong and what systems were in place to deal with them. Forensic Services’ mandate was not just to make sure people were found guilty, especially if they were to be found guilty wrongfully. Part of the responsibility was to exonerate people where there was something which was unacceptable under Forensic Services’ policies and prescripts. The forensic expert who had initially dealt with the case had immediately been removed from doing any further case work. Secondly, there was an investigation under way, aimed at taking disciplinary action against that member. Thirdly, a non-conformance has been registered in terms Forensic Service’s policy. Fourthly, a review of all of that expert’s cases had been sanctioned to ensure this had not happened in any other cases. This would be one of the cases which could be taken as a lesson learnt, because the focus could not be only on the positives, because when something was found to be wrong, corrective measures had to be put in place. He reiterated that it was unfortunate that when this case was reported in the media that it was presented as though even the second internal expert who did the review had been sanctioned by the defence. This was not the case -- it had been part of Forensic Services’ protocol.
Lt Gen Moonoo, on poor detection rates, said one of the factors in command and control problems had already been mentioned, and was due to people leaving the SAPS. After April it had been discovered that there was a problem with detection, whether the cause be a lack of personnel or something else. Management had therefore drawn up a 10-point plan for the provinces, after all the provinces had been called in and shown their performance. Each point in the 10-point plan had action steps which had to be carried out. Further, it was stated that two tracing operations would be done per week in each of the provinces to try and improve on the detection rate. There had been four targets dealing with trial ready case dockets which were not met. When an investigation was done into this, it was found that a contributing factor had been that there were 245 411 cases that had been finalised in court through restorative justice or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and these had not been captured as trial ready, because they had not been part of the calculations when they were started. It had been decided that this needed to be addressed, so that if the court decided that a docket would be finalised through ADR, then it should be reflected as a positive for police. If the 245 411 had been added to the targets, then they would have been achieved.
Mr Mhlongo said in KwaZulu-Natal there had been “muti murders”, particularly of albino people in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and they were rife in Mpumalanga. He was unsure if the SAPS was afraid to report on this, because it was a rot in our society which must be stamped out. This required awareness, but if it was not reported on it may slip people’s minds and continue. The number of targets which had not been achieved brought him back to what he had mentioned earlier -- some young detectives had been pulled out of various units, but there was an academy for detectives so that they could be trained. South Africa had a very strong detective service even during apartheid. The reason he was concerned about this was because whatever good work was done by uniformed officers, if there were no arrests because there was poor investigation, it was nullified. If investigations ran for long periods of time with no tangible outcome, then the community would conclude that the SAPS was useless. What could be done, because it could not be said that detectives were being poached without stating that there was some form of counter-measure to develop those already in the ranks and retain those who were the best. He had spoken to a brigadier in KwaZulu-Natal and said that it could not be that even when people were murdered under surveillance cameras that it took months to arrest people.
Lt Gen Sithole said within the Detective Service there was a section which dealt with occult issues and those members received special training, but perhaps this training needed to be expanded.
Maj Gen Johnson said he wanted to make it clear that there was no occult-related investigative unit, as there were constant enquiries about this from the press. However, there were members who had been trained to deal with occult-related matters and were involved in training members. Further, coordinators had been trained in the provinces to assist the investigating officers in the investigation of such crimes. The general investigating officer would still investigate, with the support of the provincial coordinator or the national office. The national office had interviewed 19 victims and 15 suspects, 13 seances had been visited, 11 lectures had been presented and for the financial year, 24 files had been dealt with. SAPS was also constantly invited to schools and problem areas where occult occurrences were suspected. The national office also assisted with the training of prosecutors. It had dealt with an incident in KwaZulu-Natal, where a young girl had been attacked by her family and killed, with the case almost finalised. It was intended that more people would be trained in the provinces where problems were experienced. Further, a project was being run regarding body parts from initiates at initiation schools. Therefore, muti and ritual killings were being dealt with extensively.
Mr Mbhele said he needed to be walked through the figures reported that related to serious crimes. On slide 149, as he understood it, the detection rate was reporting on the number of charges opened in the Case Administration System (CAS), meaning that the 2.19 million had been the number of charges in the financial year. Moving to slide 150, where the baseline was 373 037, that had been the number of trial ready case dockets, and he asked for confirmation that the drop in the number had been because the dockets contained multiple charges. On slide 151, the conviction rate for serious crimes was reported and there his first question was why the baseline for conviction rates had been 175 814, when there were 273 362 trial ready dockets? He was trying to understand the drop in the figures from where a charge was registered to securing a conviction. What had happened to the other trial ready dockets, which he would assume would have formed part of the conviction rates? Further, was the conviction rate going back to the number of charges?
Secondly, on slide 162, which dealt with stock theft recoveries, as he understood it 2014/15 was the year when stock theft had been prioritised, and the Committee had had a briefing from the stock theft unit when it was on oversight. What was disappointing about these figures was the low recovery rate -- at an average of 30%. Therefore, despite this having been a priority in this financial year, the performance rate had remained low. Why was this so? What had been the challenges and what was being done to work towards improved recovery rates? On slide 226 and 227, regarding the backlog in the forensic science lab, there had been an indication that although there was a downward trend in the backlog, to 3 304 at the end of March 2015, yet slide 227 indicated that there was a zero backlog in the various areas. He asked for an explanation of this conflict and whether the five categories on slide 227 were just a subset of the work the lab did, and whether the figure of 3 304 was outside this scope.
Lt Gen Moonoo said that slide 150 showed the number of trial ready dockets for serious crimes at 237 362. On slide 149, the overall detection rate had been dealt with, which included cases where dockets had been prepared and sent to court, cases which had been investigated and found to be unfounded, or where the prosecutor had declined to prosecute. Only cases which had been sent to court were captured on slide 150 -- the 237 362 was the number of dockets, while slide 149 dealt with charges. To compare slide 150 to the conviction rate captured on slide 151, the 154 333 was based on a calculation of the cases which had been finalised with a guilty or not guilty verdict. The other cases, where a verdict had not been presented, were not captured in this figure as they were still on the court role, which gave the difference between the figures on slide 151 and 150.
On the stock theft recovery figures, one of the contributing factors was that the stock owners at times become aware of the theft of their livestock only long after it had been stolen. This made it difficult to trace the stock, because the animals were often slaughtered and sold. At this stage, it was difficult to identify where the animal originated from, because the hide had been discarded. The stock theft unit had conducted awareness campaigns in the communities, including in Swaziland. A directive had been issued requiring the stock pounds to be visited, because often stolen stock would have been sold and found in these pounds.
Lt Gen Phahlane said, regarding slides 226 and 227, that the figure of 3 304 was what was transferred into the current financial year -- it was what the Forensic Science Laboratory had opened its 2015/16 books with. The figures on slide 227 were not part of the 3 304, but rather indicated the reduction in the backlog of the previous year. Therefore, also in response to Ms Molebatsi’s question, in the forensic environment one never had a situation where there would not be a backlog, because of factors such as those enumerated above. What slide 227 indicated was that there was no case in the backlog which was older than a year. The oldest case in the laboratory was 11 months old, and it was not necessarily a routine case. Therefore, any allegations of cases existing in the SAPS’ forensic laboratory as old as six years were unfounded, and he was willing to put his head on the block and say that could never be true. The finalisation was not yet at 100%, and periodically in the processing an element of backlog would be found. It was encouraging that the backlog on slide 226 was a percentage of the cases on hand, and the 3 304 represented 1.1% of the exhibits on hand. This was an excellent performance and a comparison had been made with the performance of other laboratories abroad, and some of the best performing laboratories’ performances were between 13 and 15% for on-hand exhibits. The 1.1% spoke to the improved processing rate, but it must not be forgotten that it had been said that the implementation of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act would cause an initial backlog, because new systems were being introduced and this was bound to impact on the processing rate.
The Chairperson said one of the issues raised around the challenges was the problem of resignations and retention, which had previously been discussed with the Committee. He wanted to know what was being done to proactively combat the problem. If a person was in a stagnant position and they received a better offer from the private sector, they would likely take that offer, but what was the approach to retention to ensure that experienced persons were kept within SAPS. Particularly, as part of the problem was that there were a lot of inexperienced people working on high profile cases. Further, a policy had been announced by the National Commissioner around re-enlisting previous detectives. The information he had received was that the process was very difficult -- applicants did not get feedback and it was very difficult to join. The pool of experienced detectives in the country was very small and the process of generating experienced detectives was very slow, taking 10 to 15 years, and required a lot of investment. If the attrition rate continued at the projected rate, then he could not see how this was being addressed in the annual report.
He asked what was being done at the station and cluster levels regarding management and mentoring. If new people came in and did not receive the necessary mentorship, then they would move out of that environment. As Members had indicated, this was a critical area for proactive policing and if it was not addressed, it was going to affect the crime statistics over the medium to long term.
Further, on stakeholder communication regarding high profile cases such as the Senzo Meyiwa case, unofficial statements and unconfirmed reports did not contribute to confidence in the SAPS. Therefore, there needed to be a reassessment of how the SAPS communicated successes or progress to the public and the media.
Gen Phiyega referred to re-enlistment, and said there were 3 125 applications which were still being audited and 2 015 were being taken on. Information would be available later regarding how many of these were detectives.
The Chairperson asked what the turnaround time was from application to re-enlistment.
Lt Gen Mbekela said people who had applied for re-enlistment would be starting on 1 November 2015, because the process had run through and the SAPS was now in the final stage of auditing the applicants. These were not only detectives -- it was a mix of people.
The Chairperson asked for the detective numbers specifically, particularly as this was a long-term issue, because if experienced people were lost then it could take between three and five years to get the experience levels back up. Therefore, it was important for the Committee to know what the interim steps were.
Ms Molebatsi asked whether, for the detectives who were out of service, there was a stipulated time before they could be re-enlisted.
Lt Gen Mbekela said the applicants could not be out of the service for more than ten years, because if it was more than that their skills would be outdated. If the member was out of service for three years they became eligible for re-enlistment. On the retention strategy, there was an embargo by the SSSBC which stated that for the skills which were scarce and leaving the organisation, that there would be a scarce skills allowance aimed at retaining those people. Recently, there had a debate in the SSSBC looking at whether there was not a better way to factor in the retention strategy. The retention strategy was being re-looked in order to improve its effectiveness.
The Chairperson opened for the second round of discussion.
Mr Groenewald said he had received the information on how many detectives SAPS had in service, which was 25 125. Coming back to the ballistics case, it was unfortunate to hear it said that it was excellent, because the fact of the matter was that the average person on the street did not have the money to hire a private forensics expert, and it would have been a different story. The investigating officer also knew about the flaw in the ballistics test, but had not declared it. That officer was as guilty as the forensic expert -- what happened to that officer?
Lt Gen Phahlane said it would be wrong for Forensic Services to serve only those with money, and that was why it was important that these functions remained within the SAPS. In this particular case, it was important that the investigation which was under way was given a chance to be completed. He had already indicated what the considerations were, and the immediate response -- removing the concerned expert from casework, reviewing all their past cases, sanctioning the investigation and also ensuring that the lessons learnt from the case were implemented in the environment. The Forensic Services prided itself on having a system which was able to detect such activities, because if it was only detected by outside experts, that would have been problematic. Forensic Services had no reason to conceal anything, and as there had been wrong-doing, it had to be dealt with. The Committee had his assurance that the matter would be dealt with appropriately. He could not say much about the investigating officer, because that fell outside his scope.
Mr Groenewald asked whether the problem would have been discovered had the private forensic expert not been involved.
Lt Gen Phahlane replied that it would, because there were reviews of the findings. A case was not finalised without another expert looking at it, to make sure there were checks and balances. In this case, the defence would have questioned the outcome and the private expert would have been allowed to re-do the testing, as sanctioned by the court. That person would then be brought into the laboratory to do the testing.
Mr Groenewald said what was actually being said was that if there had been no court order, it would not have been discovered.
Mr Mbhele said he wanted to make sure he understood the explanation given by Lt Gen Moonoo. Looking at the slide 105, there were 237 362 trial ready dockets and in the same financial year, if he read slide 151 correctly, there was a total of 175 814. Looking at the difference between those two figures, did this mean that the NPA had declined to prosecute roughly 60 000 cases which were trial ready?
Lt Gen Moonoo said the dockets which were not finalised would not be withdrawn and would still be on the court role. When SAPS calculated trial ready, it took into account only dockets which were fully investigated and marked as trial ready, against the other dockets. There were dockets at the moment which had already been postponed for 2016.
Mr Ramatlakane said the response he had received was that 2 000 cases had been closed in the Free State. However during oversight, the figure which he had been given was 4 000. This figure, in fact, had gone up to about 7 000 in the province. Lt Gen Moonoo had spoken about 2 000 cases, and this was a new figure. He did not know who to believe now, given that the figures received were all on record. Perhaps, if Lt Gen Moonoo did not have the information on hand, he should state that, so that the Committee may receive an accurate response. The question also extended to how many cases were closed in other areas, and this had not been responded to. If the answer was not on hand, this should be indicated. Lt Gen Mpembe had stated that these closed cases had no bearing on the crime statistics, but he did not know what that meant. If that statement was true, then a challenge was faced. If a case was reported in the CAS system, which informed the statistics, and the case did not get wiped off by virtue of SAPS management’s decision to close cases, this affected the statistics. The Committee needed to understand the statement, because there was a problem if the statement was correct.
He understood the explanation of the consequences which management faced due to poor performance, but what were the facts? He had asked a question about the cases moving from one column to another. Perhaps this answer should be provided in writing, for the sake of time. When the Committee was in the Free State, information had been received about cases moving from column five to column six. He had also asked a question about the seven point plan and the criminal justice integration system, specifically what the SAPS had done regarding its responsibility to implement. Answers to those last two questions could be presented in writing, but he wanted to know how many cases had been closed as undetected -- was it 2 000, 4 000 or 7 000?
Lt Gen Moonoo said 2 219 dockets had been closed at Park Road police station. The team from the national office had focussed only on Park Road, but the other dockets making up the 7 000 could have been closed at the provincial level, of which he had no knowledge. He could therefore only account for Park Road. With other provinces, including the Western Cape and Limpopo, cases had been finalised. A measure put in place had been to monitor the CAS system to see which stations were not performing and this had been done by looking at column one, reported cases; column two, cases carried over; and column three, which was cases referred to court, where suspects had been arrested. If it was seen that a station received 1 000 cases, but was carrying 8 000 cases, then an intervention team would be sent in to establish why so many cases were being carried, provide in-service training and deal with those cases. It was not to say that when these interventions were done, all the dockets would be closed as undetected, because the dockets were closed in the way they were meant to be, whether they were withdrawn, false or undetected. He did not have the figures for the provinces, other than for the Free State, which he knew would come up.
Mr Ramatlakane asked whether Gen Moonoo had said he would not have had knowledge of the 7 000 cases closed in the Free State, nor would he question the closure of these dockets and he would focus only on the 2 000 cases closed by his intervention team.
Lt Gen Moonoo replied that he would not know about all the dockets closed in the country, but if he wanted to know, he would go into a station and determine how they were performing. If he were to identify a large number of cases in column 8.5, finalised otherwise, then he would enquire from the provincial head why there were so many dockets under column 8.5. The provincial head would then determine the problem and rectify it.
Ms Molebatsi said such matters were very disturbing. The Committee had been in the Free State and had been told that the dockets had been closed as result of a directive from the national office, yet Lt Gen Moonoo was now saying that he could account only for those at Park Road, and the province must account for the rest. However, this conflicted with the province’s indication that it had been following a directive from the national office.
Ms Mmola said she was disturbed by Lt Gen Moonoo’s response, because he did not know yet he was the head of the detectives, which meant the Free State was acting on its own. Who were they reporting to, if he did not know?
Ms Mabija said it was very bad that Lt Gen Moonoo did not know and did not have facts at hand, which cast doubts on his competence. Observing his responses, she was unsure whether he was not able to explain, or whether he did not have the facts, but it was not pleasing.
Mr Ramatlakane said while he appreciated the fact that there may be other information which Lt Gen Moonoo needed to get hold of, he had said that he knew the Free State was going to come up and he should have got all the facts. Perhaps it would be useful for him to establish the facts during this session, because the Committee relied on information which it received from management on the issues discussed. The Committee was writing a report and these figures had a material bearing on the content of that report, so it would be useful to get accurate information. This was particularly so, as it had been indicated to the Committee that 7 233 cases had been closed in the Free State, which had been reported in a meeting where the Provincial Commissioner was present. He asked for Lt Gen Moonoo to establish the proper facts from the provincial head, so that the Committee could have correct information. He felt that perhaps this discussion would need to be continued with the Detective Service on another day.
Mr Mbhele commented that a big part of what enflamed the emotions of the Committee in this area was the use of the word “close,” because when he first heard it used at the Park Road station, it had sounded like the dockets were “done and dusted”. Perhaps a different term could be used -- a case “going cold” would more accurately reflect what was happening. He would encourage the use of a different term which was less negative.
Maj Gen P Ramatsoele, Head: Specific Crime Investigation, Detective Service SAPS, said he would try to explain the process in summary and it would cover a number of questions. On the closing of dockets, as pointed out by Mr Mbhele, perhaps the word “closed” was the main factor causing confusion. Normally one spoke of the manner of disposal of a docket and this had a number of dimensions. A docket could be closed as withdrawn, unfounded or undetected. On who authorised the closure of these dockets, in the SAPS there were standing orders which regulated the manner in which dockets were dealt with. Standing order 325 guided how dockets must be closed. When members were sent out to a station to do interventions, they inspect the dockets and dispose of them if they need to be disposed and give guidance on dockets which require further attention. The closure of dockets was therefore not authorised by the person who authorised the intervention team to go to the station -- they were guided by the standing order. Standing order 325 indicated a number of methods for closing a docket, and explained when a docket was closed as undetected, withdrawn or unfounded. It was this standing order which then guides the members of the intervention team on what to do, and therefore those members were not told by anyone that a particular docket would be closed as undetected or withdrawn. It was guided by the knowledge they had about docket closure which was received when the members did their detective commanders’ and officers’ courses. The instruction from head office would be that it had identified a particular station as having problems, and that the intervention team must go and assist. If the docket indicated that a further investigation must be conducted, then the member would not close the docket, but if the facts in the docket indicated that it qualified to be closed in a particular manner, that was how it would be closed. If the contents of the docket indicated that the investigation had gone as far as it could go, it would be closed as undetected.
On whether a docket could affect the crime statistics, he said if a case was registered today as a case of murder, then it was recorded as a statistic in the CAS. At a stage after the docket had been investigated, if an arrest happened, then that docket would go to column three of the SAP-6, which was the crime return at a station, at the provincial or national level. Therefore, when the docket was registered and someone was arrested, the docket would go to column three, which meant that the docket has been solved.
On the question around the movement of dockets between columns, if it was the end of the month today, there would be cases which had come in during the month which had no arrests, then they would be transferred into column two of the crime return or SAP-6, which indicates the number of cases carried from one month to the next, where no one had been arrested. When the next month starts, there would be dockets which had to be accounted for from the previous month and during the course of that month there would be new cases coming in, with all of these cases accumulating in column one of the SAP-6. As an investigator, throughout a month, one would be investigating cases in column one, which were new, and in column two, which were carried over. As they were dealt with, they would move to one of the further columns. He wanted to highlight that if a docket was opened and later closed as undetected, it did not affect the crime statistics, as it did not wipe out the fact that a crime had been committed -- it only indicated the manner in which it had been disposed.
Ms Mabija said she wanted to indicate that the Committee had expected Lt Gen Moonoo to elaborate as had just been done, as he was the head of the Detective Service.
Ms Molebatsi asked whether new detectives, before they did detective work, first underwent some form of training, or did they start working and receive in-service training? Secondly, were all the stations docket complaint?
Lt Gen Mbeleka said at basic training there was a module on the introduction to investigations, and the uniformed police were trained in investigations. Graaff-Reinet was dedicated to the training of young detectives, who would start with a certain amount of basic training, and then would switch to the solving of crimes. During field training, they would then go into the detective environment. Therefore, there was a development of young detectives before they went into the work environment.
Ms Molebatsi clarified that her question was whether they received training before they were given dockets to investigate.
Lt Gen Sithole said the system in the Detective Services was one of mentorship, because following that they had to be certified as being capable of being a real investigator. That was linked to the question asked by the Chairperson about uniformed detectives, because part of their reintroduction was to create a springboard for the new detectives, who could go into the service, do investigations and thereafter be certified.
Mr M Redelinghuys (DA) said to assist the Committee in understanding the conviction rate, it would be useful to have information about how many cases were struck from the role, cases withdrawn and cases resolved through ADR. Providing a conviction rate of simply guilty, or not guilty, did not give an indication of how many dockets had left the SAPS, gone to court and what had happened then.
The Chairperson said the Committee had heard last year about the uniformed detectives, which had been indicated in the annual performance plan, but there had been nothing in the annual report. Was that project still on the radar? His question on stakeholder management and media relations had not been answered, and the Committee needed a sense of how the SAPS communicated its successes.
Ms Mmola asked who gave the instruction to close the dockets, and why.
Suspension of National Commissioner
The Chairperson said the Committee would take a recess, because the President had announced that he was suspending the National Commissioner with immediate effect.
Upon resuming the chair, the Chairperson said from the Committee’s side he wanted to indicate that the announcement by the President was welcomed. It believed this was the correct approach, particularly as the President had announced his decision to appoint a commission of enquiry. The Committee would respect the process to be undertaken and felt that it was in the interest of stability for SAPS that during that time there should be an acting National Commissioner in place. The Committee also called on the management and members of SAPS to give their full support to the person to be appointed as the acting National Commissioner. It also called on all senior members of SAPS to work together with the acting National Commissioner. Further, it believed the management of SAPS and various divisional and provincial commissioners played a very positive role, which they should continue to play. Their duty was to the Constitution and their loyalty was to the President, and they should follow through. The Committee would work with the acting National Commissioner and their team to ensure proper oversight.
Mr Mbhele said it would go without saying that from the DA’s side, this was a move from the President that was greatly welcomed. His predecessor, Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA), had long called for this. It was about more than Marikana. It was about a litany of failures and faults on the part of the suspended National Commissioner in an array of areas which formed the grounds for this being the right move. While the enquiry into the suspended National Commissioner’s fitness for office was underway, it was important that she was not in a position to improperly influence it, as he was sure that the enquiry would summon witnesses from SAPS to give their testimony. It was hoped that this was the start of a process which would produce real accountability and would result in the remedying of the situation in the SAPS with which the Committee had grappled for more than a year, leading to a situation where the South Africa had a police force which could reduce crime, and there was not a furtherance of the negative trends.
Mr Groenewald said the FF+ welcomed the decision, and at last the President had made the right decision. However, the President himself should not be excused from the whole fiasco around the National Commissioner, because he had appointed her and he should have known that when one appointed a National Commissioner, it should be someone who was experienced and came from the ranks of the SAPS. Therefore, the FF+ did not excuse the President in this entire matter.
Ms Molebatsi said the ANC supported and respected the decision by the President to suspend the National Commissioner, and would support the new acting National Commissioner once announced.
Programme: Specialised Investigations: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
Lt Gen B Ntlemeza, National Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, SAPS, said all the sub-programmes targets had been achieved. Highlights included:
- Percentage of trial ready dockets for fraud and corruption for individuals within the JCPS cluster: targeted at 40%, achieved at 70.96% (1 215 out of 1 712);
- Detection rate for serious commercial crime related charges: targeted at 62% and achieved at 94.8%;
- Value of amount involved in procurement fraud and corruption related cases: targeted as more than R5 million in assets, achieved at R2.2 billion.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza said the Organised Crime Investigation Units (OCIU) were responsible for the prevention and investigation of organised crime-related activities extending from illegal drugs; plundering of precious metals and diamonds; smuggling firearms and weapons; human trafficking; money laundering; specific violent crime; non-ferrous metals; vehicle-related crime; endangered species; and crimes against the state. During the reporting period 2 049 persons had been arrested for organised crime-related activities and 558 convictions had been secured.
He turned to specific areas of operations and here highlights included:
- On human trafficking, there had been media reports about a child stolen by an employee. That child had been found in Mozambique and the perpetrator was convicted. However, human trafficking was becoming a challenge and the DPCI would increase efforts to train members;
- Several police killings had been solved, including the imposition of life imprisonment;
- Several sentences had been handed down for rhino poaching, including a sentence of ten years for illegal hunting of protected species in a national park;
- The Hawks, members of the Special Task Force and Crime Intelligence, had broken the backbone of an alleged transnational syndicate dealing in precious metals in Johannesburg. This had come as a result of an intensive 18-month investigation. 40 suspects had been arrested and the SAPS were not ruling out the possibility of more arrests;
- In serious commercial crimes, a farmer had been convicted on 444 counts of fraud for defrauding SARS. The accused had been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment or a R2 million fine, of which five years’ imprisonment or R1 million was suspended for five years.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza said an operation had been conducted in Limpopo aimed at rooting out narcotics, in collaboration with Crime Intelligence and ordinary SAPS members, which had seen the arrest of uniformed policemen on duty. It was unfortunate that there had been media present, because he wanted to change the mentality from when the organisation had been the Scorpions. The arrests had to happen and when the accused appeared in court, that was when the media should come in their numbers.
The Hawks were going to all the government departments to inform them about efforts to combat fraud and corruption, particularly those officials who dealt with tenders. He had been in the Eastern Cape, and had warned officials that they could not be found to be driving fancy cars without having an income base which would be capable of providing such. Tenders were a cancer, and the Hawks would deal with these problems.
He said Serious Corruption dealt with instances of corruption in government departments, and said that this was a government priority, as indicated by the President at the ANC national general council. Further, that there had been an important conviction which had recently taken place, but about which he would not divulge details. A total of 199 criminal cases, involving 1 021 persons, were under investigation and a total of 63 convictions had been secured, 11 of them in the 2014/15 financial year.
The Hawks had made extensive contributions to the Criminal Assets Recovery Account. It had dealt with 3 959 serious commercial cases, involving amounts to the value of R62 billion, securing convictions in 1 616 cases involving 1 991 accused. Other convictions of the DPCI had included:
- Five persons accused of possession of ivory and abalone, who had been sentenced to 10 years’, suspended for five years’ and a R1 million fine;
- One person accused of illegal hunting of a specially protected animal, who was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment under the Firearms Control Act;
- Eight persons accused of possession and dealing in abalone who were sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, suspended for four years;
- One person accused of possession of illegal cigarettes, sentenced to a R40 000 fine or 40 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 30 months, or R30 000.
Highlights for the DPCI included:
- A lieutenant general and three brigadiers had been charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for corruption;
- Interception of five accused, transporting mandrax tablets worth R5 million;
- 24 accused in rhino-related crimes, which involved a syndicate of Mozambican and Malawian nationals linked to rhino poaching.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza said the last time he had been before the Committee, he had been instructed to be in control of a sixth programme under the SAPS, but unfortunately this had not happened and he did not have any feedback. This process involved National Treasury, and Lt Gens Sithole and Schutte would be able to answer further.
Brigadier M Reddy, Finance and Administration, DPCI, SAPS, said the allocation reflected on slide 207 was not the same as what had been presented earlier by Lt Gen Schutte, and was the adjusted amount as reflected in the annual financial statements. The DPCI had managed to spend 100% of its R1.2 billion budget. The three biggest cost centres were head office, which spent 36%, followed by Gauteng, at 17.9%, and KwaZulu-Natal, at 11.2%. The DPCI’s top three cost drivers were compensation of employees, at R984 million, fleet services, at R98.9 million, and subsistence and travel, at R34 million. The subsistence and travel spend went towards project-driven investigation, major cases and priority cases. R14.1 million had been spent on the procurement of IT equipment for digital forensic laboratory equipment, software and hardware. R11.9 million had been spent on training and development initiatives, and this was forecast to increase. The R30.8 million spent on communications included funding a suite of services for all investigators and laboratories, which included voice and data charges. The R11.2 on accounting services had been spent in respect of serious commercial crimes, because presently the Hawks did not have internal capacity for chartered accountants, so this service was being outsourced. However, the outsourcing was yielding positive results, with high conviction rates in this area.
Ms Molebatsi said she had been a bit disappointed before Lt Gen Ntlemeza spoke, but he had managed to perk her up. Brigadier Reddy had spoken of R11.9 million spent on training, and this had brought to mind the capacity issues in respect of cybercrime, which included the utilisation of equipment. Had this improved? Secondly, one of the DPCI members had been killed on the notorious N2 in Cape Town -- had suspects been arrested? It had been indicated that there had been 2 049 arrests, but in the same vein only 568 convictions had been achieved. Was this a good result?
Lt Gen Ntlemeza, on the R11.9 million spent on training and cybercrime capacity, said he was busy with capacitation of the DPCI regarding cybercrime. For example, an audit was going to be conducted regarding members who were skilled in cybercrime, and this would be spread to all the provinces. A list of members to be trained would then be compiled. The intention was to train these members abroad, so that they may return and themselves enhance other members of DPCI. He had already started having talks with Russia, because the police there had offered to train DPCI members. The previous week he had met with police from Italy, who had also promised to offer cybercrime training. When he had checked the capacity regarding cybercrime, he had found that the members were skilled in dealing only with banking related matters. However, when cybercrime was spoken of, it stretched to the issue of hacking. Recently, he had received complaints about hacking of computers and the theft of information. He therefore intended to have members skilled in dealing with such matters. He promised that the initiatives he had embarked on would bear fruit very soon, because the problem has been identified.
Regarding the N2 incident, the suspects were in custody at present. It was not that these people had killed a Hawks member, which had led to speedy action. Rather, a team had been formed adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, as had been done in Dobsonville, which had also led to the arrest of persons who had killed SAPS members. The same applied to the police officer who had been killed in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. He was sure that these efforts would secure convictions.
On the 2 049 arrests against 568 convictions, he said the environment was a criminal justice system and while many people may be arrested, the process may diminish these numbers, with some cases still on the roll.
Lt Gen Sithole referred to the cybercrime capacity, added that this was also receiving attention within Crime Intelligence and the Detective Services. On the multi-disciplinary approach, he agreed with Lt Gen Ntlemeza that the approach depended on the seriousness of the matter, because if the DPCI could provide the capacity required to address a particular case, then they were immediately brought in. This was how an impact had been made regarding the current police killings.
Mr Ramatlakane asked whether DPCI did not think the targets were relatively low. This was part of a general debate about whether targets were correctly set. Meeting all seven targets looked very good, but was the DPCI happy with these targets and going forward, would the targets be increased, given DPCI’s strategic importance? He had heard that Lt Gen Ntlemeza did not have the answer regarding programme six and he asked why this was the case, given that he was the head of the unit and therefore responsible. It was also his responsibility to ensure that the DPCI was compliant with the two Constitutional Court judgements which had been handed down regarding this area of policing. What had been done in this respect by the DPCI?
Lt Gen Ntlemeza responded on the issue of targets being low. He said he had seen the targets, but unfortunately when he had taken over they were already there, but they had now been increased. For example, the target for trial ready dockets had been increased from 40% to 53%, the detection rate for commercial crimes had been increased from 62% to 80%, and trial ready dockets for commercial crimes had been increased from 44% to 53%. Therefore, when the DPCI next presented, the Committee would be happy because the targets had been achieved and they would remain so. On why he did not have an answer regarding programme six, he said he had tried and done his part. Even what had been indicated by Lt Gen Schutte had not reached him.
The Chairperson said perhaps National Treasury also ought to account on programme six, but they had requested the Committee have a bilateral with the Minister, which would take place in the next two weeks. It should be remembered that there had been a debate between the Detective Services and the DPCI regarding programme six the previous year, and perhaps Lt Gen Schutte could give a wrap on programme six and what SAPS’s view was regarding this.
Lt Gen Schutte responded that there was a National Treasury guideline by which one went about creating programmes. In essence, when considering these guidelines, certain things needed to happen. These included a programme name which was distinct from existing programmes, a programme purpose, sub-programmes and their purposes, sub-programme activities, key programme indicators, performance targets, overall expenditure estimates per programme and expenditure breakdown per programme. The first thing was to create the structure of the programme. Meetings had taken place between Lt Gen Ntlemeza, Maj Gen Nelson and Brigadier Reddy. Interactions had taken place, and Resource Management was at one with the DPCI. A letter had been written to National Treasury, where a programme and sub-programme structure had been proposed, with all the requirements, based on the strategic framework of the DPCI. National Treasury had written back and in essence they had indicated that they could not see it as a distinct programme when compared to the detection environment, because it still remained a detection function. National Treasury’s point of departure was that if one functionally classified, then similar functions would be grouped together. Therefore, it could not be classed as a distinct programme. Secondly, they had indicated that it could be kept a sub-programme, and its budget could be earmarked. Thirdly, they had not heard any challenges as to why it could not be a sub-programme with earmarked funding. National Treasury had seen it as operational independence, rather than administrative independence, because in the empowering legislation the National Commissioner remained the accounting officer. There was obviously much more to the decision, but that was the essence of National Treasury’s position. It would be good for National Treasury to brief the Committee, but at least there was an alternative route to follow now.
The Chairperson said an interaction would shortly take place with National Treasury, and the DPCI would be invited.
Mr Groenewald said he agreed with Mr Ramatlakane on the targets set, as everything looked good with everything being achieved, but he felt all the targets should be raised. On the illegal mining, or Zama Zamas, he had heard reference to the East Rand, but the major problem with the Zama Zamas at the moment was in the Stilfontein/Orkney/Klerksdorp area and the Blyvooruitzicht/Careltonville area. Around Stilfontein, the Zama Zamas had cost Eskom R13.5 million through equipment theft, and he wanted to know what the DPCI was doing about that problem, because it seemed as though they were focussed only on the East Rand. The information was that the mining was being done by illegal people from Lesotho, and the problem was not being solved. The previous week he had received a phone call from a person in Blyvooruitzicht, where it was a huge problem, with illegal miners threatening people in communities, and faction fighting causing deaths.
On human trafficking, he saw that there had been 42 arrests, but it had also been said that it was becoming a challenge -- what did that mean? If one looked at the Department of Home Affairs, the figure was around 30 000 children involved in human trafficking. Lastly, he did not understand slides 208 and 209 -- on 208 it referred to budget expenditure per cost centre, but on slide 209, the percentages were low.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza thanked Mr Groenewald for the valuable information regarding illegal mining at Stilfontein, and said DPCI was busy in Welkom and the East Rand. He had a solution to people committing offences underground, taking into account human rights, because one simply stopped the food supply and they would surface. This was what had been done in Limpopo.
On what it meant to say that human trafficking was becoming a challenge, this was really becoming a challenge in the Free State and the Eastern Cape. He was not in a position to comment on the Department of Home Affairs, but the DPCI was doing its part. Under the multi-disciplinary approach, the Department of Home Affairs and the DPCI would collaborate. The conviction secured regarding the child found in Mozambique would serve as a message to the people of this country, that this crime resulted in jail time.
Brigadier Reddy explained that slides 207 and 208 gave a breakdown of where the budget allocation of the DPCI lay in terms of cost centres. The percentages given did not indicate the final expenditure percentage, but was the portion of the total budget which that province had spent.
The Chairperson then opened up for the second round.
Mr Ramatlakane said he was curious why the information around the DPCI as a separate programme was not filtering through to Lt Gen Ntlemeza, and Lt Gen Schutte had the information. As the responsible person, the information was important to Lt Gen Ntlemeza.
The Chairperson wanted confirmation that all the DPCI provincial heads had been put in place.
Mr Groenwald said he was not in agreement with the fact that the DPCI intended to train people in Russia regarding cybercrime, because he did not think they were the experts. If the DPCI was going to take on the cost of training its members, it ought to look at the United States, because this was where the top people were. The same knowledge available in Russia was available in South Africa.
Ms Molebatsi said the way she had understood it, Russia had been mentioned as an option.
Lt Gen Sithole said SAPS appreciated the support which the Committee had pledged regarding programme six. On the communication breakdown, he said there was a structured process informed by a feasibility study, which had led to an action plan, in terms of which explicit actions were the responsibility of the DPCI or the Detective Services. All involved were reporting in terms of the action plan, and there had been a communication breakdown regarding the report under the action plan, but it would be corrected.
He agreed with Ms Molebatsi that a final decision had not been reached on where to send the DPCI members for training.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza said the process for the appointment of the provincial heads was ongoing, and the following weekend the adverts for the posts would be run. The post of a deputy national head would also be advertised.
Programme 4: Crime Intelligence
Lt Gen Schutte said Crime Intelligence consisted of two sub-programmes: Crime Intelligence Operations and Intelligence and Information Management. The actual expenditure of the programme had been R2.88 billion (100.1%), with R1.2 billion spent by Crime Intelligence Operations and R1.67 billion spent by Intelligence and Information Management. Compensation of employees had consumed 90.7% of the total budget. Equipment and operational expenses included fuel and oil, vehicles, maintenance of fleet and telecommunication. Lastly, he said that the Secret Service Account was not part of Vote 25 (Police).
Lt Gen B Zulu, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence SAPS, said this programme had seven targets all of which had been achieved. The highlights included:
- Number of network operations conducted: targeted at 32 507 and 47 846 achieved;
- Percentage of physical security threat assessment finalised per request: targeted at 100% and achieved at 100% (142 requested and finalised);
- Quarterly intelligence reports provided: targeted at four reports, achieved at 14 reports.
Lt Gen Zulu said highlights included 16 level-13 posts being advertised, with 15 posts being filled and one post awaiting authorisation. Further, 440 level 7 to12 internal posts had been advertised, and 144 posts had been filled, 75 were awaiting authority, two were awaiting fingerprints and 219 were awaiting approval from Head Office. She noted that further highlights would be presented under the covert budget the following day.
New Acting National Commissioner welcomed
The Chairperson welcomed Lt Gen Phahlane as the acting National Commissioner and congratulated him on behalf of the Committee. It trusted that he would have a productive tenure and looked forward to constructive engagement.
Lt Gen Phahlane thanked the Committee, and said he would occupy the position until he received his marching orders.
Ms Molebatsi said in this programme there had been a lot of leadership instability. Had this been resolved? Secondly, had the capacity situation improved?
Mr Ramatlakane referred to the programme’s capacity, and said the last time the Committee had interacted it had discussed the slippage between the “left and the right hand”. Had this been addressed, specifically regarding the collection of intelligence, early warning signals, reaction times and the acceptance thereof by the arm which the intelligence was being provided to? Secondly, was the programme happy with its footprint -- for example, around the neutralising of car hijackings in the Free State/Lesotho? The response received had not been satisfactory, because of the capacity issues. Intelligence was a daily function, but there was a lack of capacity. Therefore, what must be done in order to have a strong footprint? When the Committee had interacted with the public order policing (POP), it had been informed that it dealt with informers, but how did this link with this programme, particularly considering how these informants were vetted and it was ensured that the information was reliable?
The Chairperson said that many analysts had indicated after the announcement of the crime statistics that the increase in serious crimes, and especially the “trio crimes” -- carjacking, house robbery and business robbery -- was due to the limited reach of the Crime Intelligence programme.
Lt Gen Zulu said there was stability at the provincial and national levels, considering where the programme was coming from. When she had started in an acting position in October 2013, she had started with a skeleton staff and she had been the only Maj Gen at the time. At that time only one permanently appointed provincial head had been a Maj Gen, but now there was only one province which was not headed by a Maj Gen. These Maj Gens in the provinces did not have a section head, but these had been filled in all provinces -- one responsible for operations and the other responsible for cluster coordination. This was shown in the improvement of the products produced by this programme, as there was leadership in the clusters and there was direction in the running of information from the local to the cluster level. Further, the feeding of information to units and stations had improved, although not all the posts had been filled, particularly regarding the Operation Analysis Centre, which could not be filled because of the establishment. In the current financial year, the establishment was being funded, requiring only an upgrading of the posts.
On the collection of intelligence, it would be remembered that one of the issues was a challenge with capacity and now, with the approved posts numbering around 700, 80% of which have been filled, the capacity regarding collection and reaction time had been improved. There was now a focus on the cluster, because previously a lot of capacity would be found at the head office. Redistribution of vehicles and furniture had been done, to the point that vehicles had been bought for the clusters. By capacitating the clusters, which were the first response for information collection, more collection capacity had been generated. Although, the optimal standard had not been reached through training and mentorship, the members would one day be at the required level.
Another concern was the ratio of handlers to informers, and during the formulation of the Crime Intelligence Policy and Operational Management Process for the Crime Intelligence Collection Environment one of the things done had been to stipulate how one went about recruiting a source. This type of training had been taken down to the local or station level, and this had assisted. Currently, to improve the service in the programme, it was being determined how the intelligence information provided was used.
On the footprint, some of the information would be provided to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, but looking at the issue of taxi violence and illicit mining, this was where the programme utilised a multi-disciplinary approach. For example, regarding Lesotho there was a SAPS liaison officer working for Interpol, which fell under the programme, and the intelligence could be gathered.
Maj Gen M Lekalakala, Head: Crime Intelligence Collection SAPS, on the footprint in the provinces, said this was a work in progress, and at present the capacity was not at the desired level. There had been several posts advertised and this had been geared towards the clusters, because this was the frontline and was where the money needed to go. Where it was seen that the levels of crime were very high, the capacity was supplemented from the head office level through interventions, although it was noted that this was not a sustainable approach. In a small way the results were coming through, and satisfaction measurement was being conducted with the provincial commissioners so that it could be determined whether the service being provided was useful and whether the people at that level were effective, mindful of the limited capacity. Generally, positive responses had been received and the situation was improving. Hence the performance was looking very good.
Lt Gen Zulu on how information was verified, said usually when information was received it was taken as data which needed to go through the verification process to determine whether it could be utilised, before it was processed into intelligence. Crime Intelligence worked very closely with the POP, because often the POP was on the ground and had its own information centre. Crime Intelligence was able to access the Incident Registration Information System (IRIS), which indicated the incidences, which was then processed into intelligence informing ad hoc operations, network operations or pre-operations. If need be, it was taken to the undercover operations.
Regarding the trio crimes, this had been a priority and most of the resources were funnelled into dealing with these crimes. At the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, the successes in addressing these crimes would be presented. This was not being tackled as Crime Intelligence alone. For example, with business robberies and bank-related crimes, Crime Intelligence worked with the South African Banking Risk Information Centre. Intelligence was shared, even with SDV, and through this sharing many suspects were arrested. Many of the convictions indicated by Lt Gen Ntlemeza had been assisted by intelligence. The only thing was that there was not always enough capacity to address the trio crimes, but Crime Intelligence was trying its level best. She highlighted that most of the people targeted were repeat offenders, particularly people who were out on bail.
Programme 5: Protection and Security Services
Lt Gen Sithole said this programme consisted of three sub-programmes: VIP Protection Services, Static and Mobile Security and the Government Security Regulator. There were a total of six targets under this programme, of which only one had not beenmet. The target not met was in the area of Static and Mobile Security -- the percentage of security provided in relation to security breaches, which was targeted at 100% security provided without breaches, which had been achieved at 99.99%. This had been an infrastructure problem at government buildings in the Northern Cape.
The major highlights included the provision of protection at major and special events without security breaches -- for example, the Presidential inauguration in 2014 and the State of the Nation Address 2014 and 2015. Further, protectors had been provided for the SADC intervention in support of the stabilisation of Lesotho. Lastly, there had been a reduction of security breaches ensured in the static protection environment, from six in 2013/2014 to one in 2014/2015
Lt Gen Sithole said the total expenditure of the programme had been R2.2 billion (102.7%), with VIP Protection spending R977.9 million (108.7%), static security spending R909.6 million (96.5%), the Government Security Regulator spending R107.6 million (111.2%) and operational support spending R207.6 million (100.8%). The cost drivers had included additional investment in capital equipment, such as x-ray machines and significant overtime and subsistence/travel expenditure.
Lt Gen Phahlane said from the side of the leadership of the SAPS, the Committee should expect it to do as expected. The leadership had noted the areas where performance was not at the desired level, but at least there were still six months of the financial year to improve the situation. It was not the intention to change the plan which was in place, but rather the strategies and approaches would be interrogated to see where some ground could be covered. Hopefully, at the end of the financial year, the picture would be different.
One of the key programmes where improved performance was expected was programme 3: Detective Services, and serious introspection would be done to get there. The Committee should not worry about leadership issues, because in the absence of the National Commissioner, management would steer the organisation. Further, the decision of the President was respected and due process should be allowed to take its course.
The Chairperson said when the Committee deliberated on its recommendations, it would look into recommendations focussed on improvements and would also make recommendations which would enhance service delivery. These would be communicated in due course.
Mr Ramatlakane said he felt the programme was very clear in terms of its objective, but he wanted clarity on whether the situation in the Free State regarding VIP Protection had been sorted out. The Committee had requested the situation to be dealt with immediately -- had this been done? Was there stability within the unit, given the incidents of communication between VIP members and the Sunday Times? When the Committee had engaged around the programme in the Free State, there had been revelations of corruption in the Detective Services in particular, but it was now coming out that some of those who had spoken to the Committee were now being asked to account for what they reported to the Committee by the national structure. It sounded like this was a process of victimising those who had spoken to Parliament, which was contrary to Parliament being an open platform which protected people who spoke the truth under its auspices. Perhaps Lt Gen Sithole ought to follow up on this issue.
Maj Gen S Kwena, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Protection and Security Services, SAPS, on whether there was stability in the unit, said the complaints came from head office because they were responsible for the protection of Ministers. A platform had been created so that the unit was proactive and not reactive when something happened, where members had issues. This platform was believed to be able to address issues which members may have.
Lt Gen Sithole responded on the issue of the members who were asked to account, and said in the SAPS there were protocols. If members individually went to Members of Parliament and not through the official stream, that amounted to a violation of protocol and they might need to explain anything they had said. If it was in an official sitting or gathering of the Committee, none of the members were entitled to be confronted. They may be asked to clarify for the purpose of providing solutions, and this would allow a specific member to be asked to elaborate on an issue raised in an official sitting. For that member to be requested to account beyond that, was a violation. However, as the matter had been raised it would be followed up, corrected on and reported on.
On the Sunday Times issue, the members there had spelt out their situation and experiences under the VIPs they were protecting. Looking at the level and sensitivity of the matter, SAPS has begun engaging with these members and the Deputy Minister had taken a decision to convene a protection summit or workshop, which would address Ministers. From his side, together with Maj Gen Kwena, the issues which required attention at the ministerial level would be looked into. Part of what would be brought forth was that it was a risk to be secured by a dissatisfied member. The member could resort to any form of conduct to express this dissatisfaction, or they could lose concentration. These were the issues which would be brought forward, but it would also be said that it would be better to get support to keep the members motivated. Protecting the dignitaries should not only derive from duty, but passion and patriotism.
Mr Groenewald said it was completely unfair for the protectors of Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work such long hours. There should be rules, and he did not think that the protector was there for the private life of a Minister or a Deputy Minister. If the Minister, after hours, wanted to do certain private things, then the protectors should not have to be available. It was completely unfair toward the protectors and in fact created a security threat in the end. When you were a member of the VIP unit, members should be extra proud, but about two weeks previously he had arrived at Parliament at 10:30am. An officer who was part of the VIP protection unit, as far as he knew, was fast asleep and he could have robbed that member of his firearm. When he asked the member why he was asleep, he had vehemently denied it. He had then laid an official complaint, but he had as yet not received any feedback. This was totally unacceptable.
Maj Gen Kwena said this was taken as a comment, more than a question. However, there was a rule and policy regarding VIP protection. The platform mentioned above had also seen such issues being discussed. Even when the member underwent training to become a protector, they went through the advanced VIP course, where these issues were emphasised. The unit was trying to be proactive to ensure that such incidents did not occur again in the future.
Ms Molebatsi asked how the situation in the Free State had come to be so dire. Were these people never visited by management? Secondly, members chatting on their cell phones while on duty was a problem, to the extent that they were not even observing what was happening around them. She had often told members that because they were not aware of what was happening around them, they would only react when they heard people screaming and then they might have to give a false report, because they had not seen exactly what had happened. She had a problem with members chatting at their posts, but she did not know how it should be handled.
Maj Gen Kwena, on the situation in the Free State, said he thought reference was being made to the building itself. This office had been engaged in collaboration with the DPW, because SAPS was dependent on the DPW to get the building identified by the Provincial Head. The Provincial Commissioner: Free State had also been of assistance in securing another building. However, at present the lifts were still not operational and the members were working in that environment.
Lt Gen Sithole said this was not only a problem in the VIP Protection unit -- it was across the service. It had even been identified as contributing to the police killings, because where one member was driving the vehicle, the other was often on his cell phone. However, this other member was the one who was supposed to be protecting both of them and the state property. Additional measures had been looked at during parades, and allowing only members who needed to be contacted to have cell phones had been considered. Members having cell phones on duty was not necessarily a given, and therefore the standard operating procedures were being reconsidered.
Ms Molebatsi asked how the situation at the office in the Free State had got to where it was. Did this mean that the office was never visited by management and if they did, what had been done to rectify the situation?
Lt Gen Sithole said unfortunately this situation was almost exactly the same as for the CFR building, and SAPS needed some support to address this, because SHE management reports had been received and these could disqualify a building. Following this, the DPW would be approached, but it would not be prioritised by the DPW, which led to that particular problem. A very strong motivation had been put forward by Maj Gen Kwena, but then DPW had dealt with it in terms of its own priorities. That was why he had said that he would go there himself and determine what interim measures could be put in place. Whether it required speaking to the Provincial Commissioner or the DPW, the safety of the members must be ensured. What aggravated the situation was the process which had to be followed with the DPW.
Ms Molebatsi was concerned, because she had the impression that the intention was to keep the members in that building. However, that was not a suitable building and she would like to hear that the members would be moved out.
Lt Gen Sithole said moving them out was the intention.
Mr Ramatlakane said with respect, that Maj Gen Kwena was not saying anything, because the conditions at the Free State office were terrible and the building was a hazard for everyone who worked in that building. If there were to be a fire tomorrow on the ground floor, there would be no escape for those members. The way it was being dealt with, going through the DPW, it could take another year for a solution to be found. The Committee had asked what temporary measures could be put in place and Maj Gen Kwena was not speaking to these interim measures. Maj Gen Kwena was based in Pretoria, in a different environment, but the situation in the Free State was terrible. Why prolong it and torture members like that?
Lt Gen Sithole said as the matter had been emphasised by the Committee, Maj Gen Kwena and himself would go to the site the following week and deal with the situation. A report would then be provided to the Committee.
The Chairperson said it was up to the Committee to make firm recommendations in the BRRR report and there must be responses.
The meeting was adjourned.
Beukman, Mr F
Groenewald, Dr PJ
Mabija, Ms L
Mbhele, Mr ZN
Mhlongo, Mr P
Mmola, Ms MP
Molebatsi, Ms MA
Ramatlakane, Mr L
Redelinghuys, Mr MH
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