Documents Handed Out: SAPS Intervention Plan – Back to Basics [confidential]
The Committee met with senior management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to first discuss the SAPS Intervention Plan: Back to Basics. This was intended to improve the performance of SAPS especially in Programme 3: Detective Services. The presentation covered the organisational performance of the Service for 2013/14 and 2014/15, analysing the performance indicators and how many were achieved. Members were also informed of quite substantial discrepancies in performance information, an analysis of performance information in terms of Programmes 1, 2 and 3, and the performance for each province in terms of categories of crime. The presentation also covered the detective services specifically, in terms of a docket analysis, to turn around the division and to deal with the backlog of cases, and set out and explained the top ten contributing charges for dockets older than ten years. The Committee was also told of the recovery plan for the Detective Services in terms of background for the case for change, an analysis of the performance of Programme 3, challenges and the purpose and approach of the recovery plan.
The Committee appreciated the honesty of the top management, although several commented that the revelations in terms of performance information discrepancies, picked up by comparison of the figures in the quarterly reports that did not match information in the Annual Report, were disturbing and raised issues with the strategic management unit in SAPS. Members questioned the contribution of human error in capturing information and reporting, quality control and whether there were deliberate attempts to mislead the Committee and public. If so, this had serious consequences, They were worried about the effects of the discrepancies also on the crime statistics. Other issues raised were those relating to leadership in the Programme 3 environment, plans beyond interim measures, especially in terms of additional funding, training and broader capacity from the provinces. They were interested in how the SAPS intended to deal with the immense backlog of cases and dockets, many of which cases related to matters that were relatively simple and should have been processed a long time ago. Members were concerned about the number of challenges presented, especially where it was assumed certain processes and systems were already in place, for example, the linking of dockets. The Committee welcomed the presentation as it went back to basics and emphasised that it was important that Members were briefed on progress next year. The Committee also appreciated the honesty and frankness of management for bringing the information to the attention of Members. The accounting officer had signed off on the Annual Report, and this too raised some serious concerns.
SAPS Technology Management Services (TMS) then briefed the Committee comprehensively on the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM). The presentation set out a detailed analysis of the programme, milestones and timelines, issues with the version 1x, primary issues/shortcomings with the PCEM project and system, the current status of PCEM version 1X, procurement under Schedule D and alternative procurement. Full details were given of involvement and how the contract had been altered in the process. Members questioned the current status of TETRA in the Eastern Cape, queried whether the equipment that the Committee had seen unused might now be out of date and unusable, commented on the expensive equipment gathering dust in storage, as well as larger issues relating to contract management. More pointed discussion was had on obligations of the parties in the PCEM contract in terms of protection mechanisms built into contracts in the case of non-delivery, remedies and obligations in the case of deviation from the contract. The role of the State Information Technology Agency was questioned. One Member asked whether the contract or elements of it did not amount to fruitless and wasteful expenditure but SAPS was at pains to point out that in fact benefit had been and could still be derived from it. Other questions were raised on the role of SAPS Legal Services, in terms of contracts to further mitigate risk and internal mechanisms to protect whistle blowers. The role of SAPS Legal Services was again explained in terms of the plans presented to the Committee for reorganisation within the Service.
The Office of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge then briefed the Committee on the complaints mechanism established in terms of Section 17L of the SAPS Act, and presented the analysis of complaints and figures in the Third Annual Report covering the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. The briefing looked at the primary function, task and role of the Office, the annual operational budget for the Office, investigation of complaints, the performance plan, output of completed investigations and awareness campaigns.
Members engaged on the nature of the complaints received by communities, asked what was done in the awareness campaigns and which areas were targeted, and if the Office had the sufficient staff and budget to carry out its tasks. The Committee was particularly interested in whether the Office could institute its own investigations, proactively, instead of waiting for the public or members of the Hawks to lay complaints. Other questions were raised on whether the Office had sufficient support from the Civilian Secretariat for Police and the reasons for the low volume of complaints received. The Committee felt the Office of the DPCI Judge was a very important institution and supported the effective functioning of the Office as well as ensuring police accountability. The Committee urged on the public and members of the Hawks to make use of the Office as a check and balance in the whole system of police, and felt that further initiatives should be undertaken to promote its role and visibility.
Committee Programme for 2016
The Chairperson outlined that although industrial action in Parliament meant that no draft programme was available, the Committee would resume by dealing with outstanding matters from this term in the first week. There was a possibility of an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape in the first week of February but these plans would be confirmed.
SAPS Intervention Plan – Back to Basics: Acting National Commissioner of Police briefing
Lt Gen Khomotso Johannes Phahlane, Acting National Commissioner of Police, by way of introduction noted the purpose of the briefing was to share some work being done with the Committee to improve on performance. The idea was to develop a programme of action to cover some ground before the end of the financial year, particularly in programmes where performance had been lagging. An example was Programme 3: Detective Services, where the view was that the Service was not performing too well. He was not convinced of the reasons as to why the programme was not performing and found there might be some challenges. He was committed to working closely with the programme to turn the situation around. A thorough analysis of the Detective Services programme was conducted. It had been found that targets were not achieved in some quarters but the annual performance figures would indicate that the target was achieved. The issue of outstanding and non-finalised dockets was also concerning, and this informed the docket analysis. This also informed the intervention plan focused on the detective services environment. This was not the only area given attention, but it was where intervention would start. This intervention plan went back to the basics of policing to inform what must happen on all levels, in terms of case management. The focus was for detective management to be based at the station for maximum intervention.
Brig Craig Mitchell, SAPS Component: Strategic Management, took the Committee through the organisational performance of the Service for 2013/14 and 2014/15, detailing how many performance indicators were achieved. He then moved on to highlight discrepancies in performance indicators, as brought about by a recent strategic meeting convened by the Acting National Commissioner and top management. From an analysis of performance information, comparing 2014/15 with the first two quarters of 2015/16, inconsistencies or anomalies were picked up. Examples could be provided. One was the indicator relating to the average time taken to fill vacant funded posts under Programme 1: Administration. SAPS had a target of three months, which it had not achieved, but when juxtaposed against the Department of Public Service and Administration’s (DPSA) target of six months, it made no sense for SAPS to set a target which it obviously could not achieve. Other examples in Programme 1 indicated the target was not achieved quarterly, but the Annual Report showed that it was – so some totals reported in the Annual Report for both 2013/14 and 2014/15 were inconsistent with quarterly reporting.
The Chairperson interjected to note the information was very important and quite disturbing, but he welcomed the honesty of the Acting National Commissioner and his team in highlighting this to the Committee. It was an issue which would have to be flagged for the beginning of next year, because it also raised issues about the strategic management unit in SAPS which was supposed to look at such matters.
Brig Mitchell continued with the briefing looking at the indicator, under Programme 2: Visible Policing, relating to the percentage of escapees from police custody against those arrested and charged. During each of the quarters, the target set was not achieved, but the Annual Report indicated that it had been achieved. This was because the number of persons immediately re-arrested was subtracted from the total number of persons escaping. This was a misrepresentation because it was not reflected within the performance indicator, and this should have been highlighted in the Annual Report. There were also serious inconsistencies for the total number of police stations where sector policing had been implemented (a very important initiative for SAPS) between the quarterly reports and the Annual Report and which were related to the application of minimum criteria.
The Chairperson, whilst not wanting to pre-empt the discussion, said it seemed clear that the validity of certain parts of the Annual Report tabled in Parliament was questionable. This was the bottom line and raised serious issues with the Accounting Officer signing off on it. This was a serious cause of concern for the Committee because performance information and the information relied on for performance deductions were seriously flawed.
Brig Mitchell then moved on Programme 3: Detective Services. Here there were indicators with statistical inconsistency in terms of the manner in which the reporting was done. An example was the indicator relating to the detection rate for serious crimes. Similarly there were also inconsistencies for the indicator for the detection rate for crimes dependent on police action. Performance deteriorated, particularly in the sub-programme for Crime Investigation, with 57/58% of performance indicators not being achieved.
Members were then taken through a breakdown of the performance of each of the provinces in terms of the categories of crime: namely, serious crimes, crimes dependent on police action for detection, crime against women and crimes against children, per indicator. The performance of the provinces was a matter for concern and was one of the issues informing the intervention of the Acting National Commissioner. In 2014/15, only four provinces were above the national performance of 42%.
The Acting National Commissioner added that if the SAPS did not know how big the problem was, it would never be able to deal with it. This informed the analysis and decision on the changes being proposed for the coming financial year, in terms of targets. An example was the target to fill vacant funded posts in three months. As already indicated, this target was not possible to achieve because of various processes such as the advertisement time which already ran over a 21-day period. Following that were administration processes. This explained the DPSA's directive to have posts filled within six months.
The Chairperson welcomed the honesty and sincerity but noted the bigger problems in terms of how the issues were handled in the previous financial year. At this point, he allowed Members to engage on this portion of the briefing.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) appreciated the honesty but commented that there was also negativity. In the analysis of the situation, he wondered whether it had been determined whether this had to do merely with human error in capturing or reporting information or was it an issue of quality control,l which also had human aspects. Why were these issues not picked by leadership? There should be some indicators and warning signs that something was going wrong during the quarters before going into the Annual Report. He asked if management felt that the structure that was supposed to support adequate and correct capturing by the Department had failed. The findings of this analysis were quite serious. These findings suggested there may be a deliberate attempt, in terms of capturing and reporting, to mislead SAPS, the country and Parliament and this was quite serious. There was capacity to capture things correctly, so he wondered if those responsible simply failed to see these shortcomings or whether there was a deliberate attempt to make the situation look better than it was. He thought there should be some serious consequences.
The Acting National Commissioner answered there were levels of uncertainty on what exactly the indicators were pursuing, and this in itself was a problem, for there was something wrong in pursuing a target without understanding what that target meant in practice. This meant taking ownership, but there were a number of issues that required time for interrogation. The purpose of the briefing, and the purpose of making these matters visible, was to show that SAPS was starting somewhere and was confident it would get to where it wanted to be. This was informing the next financial year. In reference to data integrity, he said that the use of a manual system did bring with it a high element of human error.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) found this very worrying because in simple terms it meant the Committee and Parliament had been lied to for quite some time. She questioned the intention behind this and what effect the discrepancies had on the crime statistics.
The Acting National Commissioner said that at this stage he could not comment on the impact on the crime statistics, because management was still in the initial stages of the investigation. If there were any discrepancies in this regard, they would be made to known to the Committee.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) mentioned that SAPS needed to take the local police stations as the base and important units because this was where things were happening. She heard about meetings with management and clusters, but it was also important to ensure things were working at local police stations. For example, Parliament approved the SAPS budget but this did not match what was happening on the ground in constituencies. She appealed that the Acting National Commissioner and others should ensure there were correct statistics, through professional data collectors, so that the data going into the system was correct. She inferred either that there had been no professional data collector, or there was no monitoring to take care that the data collected was genuine instead of ending up with wrong crime statistics. For SAPS to prove itself effective, there needed to be a lot of monitoring and supervision at the local ground level. There was no use in engaging with the Committee, if at the basic level there was not proper supervision and monitoring.
The Acting National Commissioner responded that all stations were represented by those in a command position in meetings. He agreed that stations were vital because these were where implementation took place and were the coal face of delivery. It was important to have a common understanding of what was supposed to be happening at station level. Stations were the coal face of service delivery, interacted with communities and were where resources must be pumped to make a difference in the fight against crime. This approach would be applied to all provinces to bring everyone together.
The Chairperson said that during the third week in January 2016, SAPS would have to come back on these issues, especially in relation to the crime statistics. In the meantime, the Committee’s researchers would be tasked with looking at these issues, and their implications on Committee processes. This briefing brought into question the entire governance system of SAPS and the role of Statistics SA. It was important that the information coming before the Committee was correct.
Brig Leon Rabie, SAPS Section Head: Organisational Design, Component Organisational Development, continued with the presentation. He took Members through the docket analysis as part of the solution in Programme 3: Detective Services, where performance was not very good. There was specific focus on the workload of the detective services because this impacted on the ability to perform effectively when it came to the investigation of crime. Looking at the workload of detectives, it must be understood that there were constantly new cases coming in that must be investigated and there was also a so-called backlog. The aim of the exercise was to determine this backlog in terms of numbers of dockets. An unconventional approach had begun in the sense that the team started looking at the inner workings of the system to see what was on hand. On 2 November 2015, a snapshot of the SAP Crime Administration System (CAS) was taken. It was found that there were 600 300 dockets on the system at the time that were open for more than one year – this meant cases reported in 2014 or earlier. This constituted the backlog being dealt with. There was a significant backlog of cases to consider as unresolved. In terms of the number of charges, there were 677 000, with some dockets containing more than one charge. The highest percentage of open dockets on the system was in Gauteng (25%), followed by the Western Cape (21%), KZN and Eastern Cape. It was also noted that there was a correlation between the backlog and the number of cases reported. The provinces with the highest number of cases reported also had the highest backlog. To improve the effectiveness of detectives, this backlog needed to be worked on specifically, because it added to the workload. At this moment in time, the oldest case open on the system dated back to 1978, involving a case of theft.
Members were then taken through the number of cases for each year included in the backlog - from 2014 backwards. The team was now briefing the provinces for them to look at why the cases were still open, and to unpack the backlog influencing the current workload. There were certain cases which could be resolved/ For example, in a station like Richmond in KZN, the majority of the cases older than ten years were actually less serious offences which related to, for instance, the Road Traffic Act or the Liquor Act, which could have been dealt with and off the system a long time ago. Data integrity was integral here because, as noted, strategic and operational decisions could not be taken off incorrect baseline information.
The briefing then looked at the top ten contributing charges for dockets older than ten years. He repeated that again, many of these cases involved less serious crimes such as trading in liquor, which could have been resolved and taken off the system. The main problem was found with murders. There were 48 000 cases of murder still open older than a year. Other charges involved driving under the influence, drug related offences and Road Traffic Act offences.
Brig Rabie then identified the stations in the country which, over the last seven months, had a workload of more than 1 00 cases but where their detection rate was below the national average. This was done to understand where intervention was needed in terms of stations not performing in solving or detecting crime. Interestingly the stations were clustered together geographically, which meant similar interventions could be applied. It was also highly likely that the same perpetrators would be linked to the cases.
An analysis was also done on reported crime in identifying stations where crimes were currently on the increase. Interestingly, in Gauteng, there had been a decrease in reported crime while on the border stations, it would be found that there was an increase in crimes. It was then important not to displace crime to the outskirts of Tauten. The vision and mission was to combat crime and not just move crime around. The ten top contributing stations were also identified. If there was a station in the list of top contributors and there was an increase in crime, this could have a significant impact on overall reporting rates. In order to make immediate impact, there needed to be a response to the high volumes of crime and increases in crime levels. It was important to remember that the picture of stations changed, depending on the category of crime in question. In terms of future methodology, time maps would be built, which would show that progress was occurring spatially.
Brig Mitchell then took the Committee through the recovery plan for detective services. The sub-programme had R10.5 billion of the budget, which constituted about 13.7% of SAPS total budget. This was a sizeable investment by government and the citizens of SA in the investigation of crime. Comparing Programme 3 to Programme 2: Visible Policing, the latter had a number of external dependencies while the former was largely within the control of SAPS. The performance of Programme 3 then had a lot to do with the performance of SAPS as an organisation. It spoke to justice denied and the perception the public had about the professionalisation of SAPS as a whole. It had a negative impact on the entire criminal justice system and Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster.
In order to give some context to the case for change, a thorough analysis of factors contributing to under- performance was conducted. There was a detailed operational plan which included responsibilities, timeframes, performance indicators and deliverables. The case for change included the areas of under-performance for the first and second quarters of 2015, including detection rates, serious crime, contact crime, crime dependent on police action, crime against women, crimes against children, conviction rate and percentage of trial ready dockets.
From the analysis of performance of Programme 3, a detailed process was then undertaken to identify the challenges associated with the performance of this sub- programme. The challenges were grouped into, firstly, performance management of detectives including data purification; and secondly, case docket management and the investigation of the value chain. With the performance management of detectives including data purification, there was a long-standing issue with the source system for detective datasets, to measure performance with two different systems used for performance at national and station level. The continuous updating of the system to capture actual performance was not done, and this had resulted in an annual spike of performance. The failure, for example, to capture all convictions with a case docket (where there was more than one charge) reflected negatively on the conviction rate. It was important to purify the large database of wanted suspects, for some were no longer in the “wanted” category. This affected the reputation of SAPS and so it needed to be addressed. Dockets closed as “undetected” were not commensurate with a customer-centric approach if a crime was reported to a police station and the member of the public was then told a docket had been closed after some time because it was undetected. The public did not understand this. Performance indicators were very inward looking and did not have an adequate outward looking approach from a community point of view.
Brig Mitchell then discussed challenges relating directly to the CAS and investigation process. These included:
- the current national management intervention lacked sustainability – often situations reverted back to normal after a short space of time.
- lack of defined timelines for investigating different categories of time – what was needed was standard resolution rates per type of crime
- inconsistent closure of case dockets as undetected and withdrawn where further investigation was perhaps required
- not taking volume, complexity and competency levels of investigating officers into consideration
- inadequate tracing of wanted suspects
- management of crime scenes and linking this into the broader investigative management chain
- submission of forensic evidence to laboratories by detective services within seven days of collection was not measured
- forensic evidence and leads not utilised
- taking of buccal samples was not prioritised as required by the Act and specially for persons arrested in terms of Schedule Eight
- inadequate detective response times and communication with complainants, for example, interviews not conducted within 24 hours and no regular feedback on progress to complainants
- inadequate management of cases to court led to cases struck off the roll or not even placed on the roll
- there was no system for managing of docket links based on forensic evidence leads
- there was inadequate stakeholder management in crime investigation value chain. It was important for detectives to understand who they needed to be communicating with internally and externally, to improve quality of investigations
- inadequate management of dismissed appeals had significant reputational issues for SAPS
- inadequate management of organised crime threats
Brig Mitchell then looked at the purpose and approach. The purpose of the recovery plan for Detective Services was specifically to turn around areas of under-performance within the detective service before the end of the 2015/16 financial year. The Acting National Commissioner placed emphasis on the sustainability of initiatives reflected in the recovery plan, to ensure what was turned around became part of day-to-day business. In terms of approach, implementation would be effected through the Office of the Acting National Commissioner. The Acting National Commissioner had taken direct responsibility for the performance associated with Programme 3, specifically crime investigations. The focus would be on specific under-performing stations, looking at a targeted approach. The functioning and action of the multi-disciplinary management intervention teams would fall under the responsibility to Lt Gen B Mngwena. The manner in which the multi-disciplinary management intervention teams would be working meant they would be personally led by Lt Gen Sharon Japtha (Divisional Commissioner: Inspectorate) and Lt Gen Vinesh Moonoo (Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service). The teams would be comprised of members currently in divisional, provincial and cluster levels, including the deputy provincial commissioners: crime detection, the provincial heads: inspectorate, the provincial heads: detective services and functionaries under their command and control. These would, for example, include technology management services to look at the auditing of dockets from a system point of view.
The Chairperson found it clear from this analysis that the issue was about leadership in that environment. The Committee welcomed the appointment of a national coordinator to ensure the unit was being strengthened and that there was proper control. He asked if this was considered to be an interim measure for stability for the rest of the financial year, or was it seen as extending beyond March 2016?
He noted that on the previous evening, Parliament had adopted the adjusted estimates. In terms of SAPS Programme 3, there was an additional R270 million earmarked for Detective Services. He asked if these additional funds would then be used in the specific areas of under-performance where leadership intervention was urgently needed, along with operational resources to deal with the crime detection rate.
The Acting National Commissioner explained the designation of Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya as coordinator. This was not a permanent arrangement but an immediate intervention pending the finalisation of the structures and the placement of people. Lt Gen Mgwenya was assigned to manage auxiliary services but it was decided that someone at much lower level could manage that. It was also important for Lt Gen Moonoo to also focus on the intervention and not just the division solely to address the current situation.
Mr Ramatlakane thought the presentation was quite good as it did an analysis on the problem. He wondered about broader capacity from national to provinces because ordinarily the plan, readjustment and strategy must be led by analysis. Was there general capacity, particularity at provincial level leading into clusters to undertake the work underlined in the presentation?If this intervention was not taken, these issues would drag the Service down in terms of public confidence which could result in communities settling disputes themselves. In the new year, there should be an understanding of the real capacity on the side of detectives in terms of the docket analysis. The issue of old dockets was a major one, and this backlog could well inform the closure of many cases as undetected dockets, as had been seen in the Free State. This made him question the capacity of SAPS to be able to deal with the backlog and with cases laid recently. He asked if the recovery plan would have the teeth, reach and the footprint to be able to do this? He wanted clear indications on the intervention plan especially moving into the next financial year when the Committee would have to approve budget allocations.
The Acting National Commissioner indicated that this intervention would consume a lot of resources because it required the movement of teams nationally, provincially and at cluster level, around to stations. Part of the recently approved funding would take care of this. Personnel would have to spend more time at station level to ensure the situation was corrected. In terms of capacity, some of the cases were not supposed to be carried by detectives, or cases were finalised but no one updated the system. Data integrity and purification of the system was bound to reduce the number of dockets on the system and the number that each detective was carrying. This would also improve efficiency. While there was not full capacity on all levels, there was capacity to start with, and what was there would be increased. Operations could not be done without a very clear picture of the target. There also could not be a policeman for each and every house so there was a need to work more smartly and to target and direct the interventions to resolve the issues.
Ms Molebatsi asked at what point was a docket declared “undetected”. She asked if Lt Gen Moonoo would still be based in the Kruger National Park? In the allocation of dockets, was experience considered in how cases were allocated?
The Acting National Commissioner said Lt Gen Moonoo could not be in the Kruger National Park while the detective environment was in its current state. SAPS took the approach that its officials should not be in an office, but needed to be in stations to correct the particular situation. Experience was definitely taken into account because there could not be a situation where a new detective was given a complicated case of murder or another serious case. As detectives gained experience, they could be moved into areas where they were dealing with more serious issues.
Mr J Maake (ANC) thought there were too many critical challenges coming out of the analysis of performance. He was concerned to hear that a target would be set that was impossible to achieve. An example was the lack of a system to link dockets. He would assume such a system would be key.
The Acting National Commissioner agreed there were a number of these issues that warranted attention. Fortunately, some processes were already under way to deal with them and by the end of the March there should be a fully fledged system up and running. The approach was not to exclude any challenges but to attend to them going forward so that the current situation was not experienced again.
The Chairperson noted that the Minister of Finance, in his Medium Term Strategic Framework statement, said there was a request from further funding flowing from the Farlam Commission, with the issue of training coming very much to the fore. Next year the Committee would focus on the issue of training. He enquired if training was included in the R270 million allocation.
The Acting National Commissioner responded that training was integral to the plans for the future. In engagements, it was found that people strayed far from the basics of policing, so training must be an integral part of the Back to Basics plan, and enhancing of capabilities to do better for South Africans.
Brig Mitchell took the Committee rapidly through the last portion of the presentation on the Detective Services Recovery Plan. The priorities had been identified and would include the following:
- to improve and measure the management of case dockets: conduct an analysis of system utilisation by detectives and detective commanders to check and see the extent of utilisation of available systems by members
- to conduct briefing sessions with intervention team members: these sessions had already been scheduled and would be led by the Acting National Commissioner or Lt Gen Mngwenya
- to conduct interventions at identified under-performing stations for things which should be done by detectives on a daily basis, for example, the conducting of 24 hour inspections, utilisation of informers, conducting of weekly accountability sessions between detective commanders and investigating officers
- to try to achieve effective functioning of Detective Service Centres and Colonel and Brigadier stations
In order to address the determination of the skills gap, the following would be done:
- Initiating of corrective action where required
- Assessing of role and function of detective court case officers in relation to detective commanders and group leaders
- Ensuring effective utilisation of the provincial Operational Command Centre (“War Room”) to assist in the investigation process
- Implementing measures to constantly update the system to capture actual performance
- Conducting an audit to update and discount all Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) cases in relation to detections and convictions.
- Matching complexity of dockets with experience and competence of investigating officers
- Verifying (purification) of wanted and cancelled suspects list
- Verifying manner and closure of case dockets as undetected and withdrawn
- Determining timelines for investigating of categories of crime for standard resolution rates
- Effective management of crime scenes, correct handling of firearms at crime scenes and developing adequate key performance indicators to measure the handling of crime scenes going forward
- Effective management of forensic exhibits, which should be submitted to laboratories within seven days to optimise the use of forensic evidence in leads and analysis of these leads
- Illicit support of division: Crime Intelligence to actually analyse and look for suspects that could not be identified but were linked to crime scenes
- Ensuring the taking of buccal samples in terms of Schedule 8 of the DNA Act and to ensure station commanders were doing this
-Developing system solutions to ensure case docket links based on forensic evidence based leads
- Effective management of bail applications to improve performance
- Tracking and tracing of dismissed appeals
- Reintroduction of uniform capability to reduce workload on detectives
- Addressing and activating relevant stakeholders detectives required in investigating value chain
- Conducting stakeholder analysis to understand what was needed by internal and external stakeholders within investigative value chain and implementing stakeholder monitoring tool at identified stations
- Operationalising of organised crime threat analysis and implementation plan to structure way in which organised crime threat analysis was managed
Brig Rabie then concluded the presentation by looking at monitoring and evaluation.
The Acting National Commissioner added the plan was exciting and would go a long way in gaining what was lost and would improve on service delivery.
The Chairperson welcomed the presentation and said it was important that SAPS must “go Back to Basics.” In the next two weeks, Committees would be in constituencies and Members would be visiting police stations and communities and the feedback would be important in terms of the interventions. On Wednesday 27 January 2016, the Committee would need to be briefed by Lt Gen Mngwenya, as the National Coordinator for the progress, on implementation so far.
The Chairperson repeated that the Committee appreciated the honesty and frankness in bringing these issues to the attention of the Committee. This issue was very serious because the Annual Report was signed off by the Accounting Officer and was tabled in Parliament.
The Committee’s researchers would be asked to brief Members on Thursday 28 January 2016 so that the Committee could formulate its findings on the inconsistencies with performance information and the broader issues of statistics. A resolution would then be taken and if need be, it would go to the House. It was important to look at the strategic advice environment and monitoring and evaluation because if that information filtered through the whole process, it presented a risk to the organisation.
Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM) system: Divisional Commissioner briefing
Lt Gen Adeline Shezi, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services (TMS), took Members through the comprehensive presentation on the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM) system. She started by looking at the PCEM milestones and timelines, setting these out as follows:
18 April 2008 - Request for bid published by State Information Technology Agency (SITA) for the “provision of IS/ICT goods to SAPS for the establishment, maintenance, support and continuous improvement of an automated PCEM solution within the SAPS domain, for a period of 3 years, with an option to renew.”
27 June 2008 - closing date of bid
30 June 2008 - Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) consisting of SAPS and SITA nominees commenced with evaluation process
23 September 2008 - BEC report sent to SITA Recommendation Committee
21 October 2008: SITA Recommendation Committee submission
12 December 2008 - SITA sent letter informing SAPS Chief Information Officer (CIO) that SITA approved the BEC recommendation report. SITA recommended awarding the bid to Unisys Africa (Pty) Ltd (now BYTES). 2 February 2009 - SAPS approved the recommendation by SITA and awarded the bid to Unisys Africa (Pty) Ltd (now BYTES)
5 February 2009 - Unisys letter of acceptance of awarding of the bid.
13 February 2009 - contract negotiations started. Bidding price of R262.359 million for the establishment, maintenance and support of PCEM negotiated to an agreed price of, R183. 519 million.
Part of the proposal included replacement of EMS with PCEM v1.1, containing added functionality at FSL sites and PCEM v1.1 enterprise license agreement.
06 October 2010 - agreement for the establishment, maintenance and support of a PCEM solution within SAPS between Unisys Africa (Pty) Ltd and SAPS signed for 3 years
23 December 2010 - orders issued for Statement of Work (SOW) 1 and SOW2
3 January 2011 - PCEM Project start date
11 March 2011- order issued for SOW3
12 April 2012 - Order issued for SOW4. In terms of the PCEM contract agreement and deliverables, Members were taken through the statements of work.
Looking at the PCEM v1x issues, generic systems issues included:
• Data Package sizes too big
• Message broker – down scaling the use of message broker services
• Some business rules had been omitted
• Incorrectly implemented business rules
• Include functionality in PCEM / ICDMS interface to cater for inquiries
• Include reporting requirements
• Integration between PCEM v1.x and PCEM v1.1 not satisfactory
• System design issues needed to be addressed to redesign system usability including screen layouts, user friendliness, intuitive system usage not addressed
Lt Gen Shezi then discussed the primary systems issues or shortcomings in terms of the PCEM project and system testing. These included the following concerns:
• System not user-friendly,
• It was difficult to use;
• No SAPS13 register “look and feel” as required by Visible Policing users
• Omitted or incorrectly implemented requirements and business rules – gap between BRS and actual system
• Inconsistent system performance as the system reaction times was poor in some system functions
• Data integrity not addressed and validations rules not applied correctly in the system
• Complex design and difficult design led to “lock in”, meaning only the original service provider can render support,
The following must still be addressed on any Property Item / Exhibit, in order to ensure that Chain of Custody (COC) was not compromised:
• Incorrect/ duplicated data can be entered on the Item / Exhibit Bag Barcode fields.
• The Seal number was not compulsory in the system and not managed as a unique identifier.
• The Seal number was not defaulted to the Bag barcode on Evidence bags which reflected Seal and Bag number currently as the same.
• The Package barcode and seal number was not compulsory (on bags) – must be requirement.
• Package and Seal condition was not compulsory – must be requirement.
• Data integrity on seal number.
Lt Gen Shezi then took the Committee through the current status of PCEM v1.x. A Terms of Reference (TOR) document had been compiled and presented to the Bilateral Committee by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 10 March 2015. The PCEM project, in its totality, will be evaluated by the appointed party once the necessary Order Form had been issued. The outcome or recommendations will determine the way forward regarding the Property Control and Exhibit Management project. The CSIR was to determine the level of completeness and compliance of the PCEM project, by looking at the following:
• Financial value of the delivery to date;
• Suitability of the received deliverables for use;
• Required scope of work necessary to ensure that optimal return on investment of the received deliverables was achieved
• The final remaining scope of work to complete the project.
• Revising of Business Requirements Specification (BRS)
Lt Gen Shezi then discussed procurement under schedule D, in terms of specific items and their quantity for various divisions, and then the expenditure for the PCEM Schedule D.
She firstly examined the option of alternative procurement, replacing Schedule D and establishing alternative procurement vehicles. With the cancellation of the Schedule D procurement contract, alternative procurement vehicles needed to be established to enable TMS and or the Forensic Services Business area to procure urgently needed solutions and consumables related to the detection and collection of exhibits.
Alternative procurement contracts were established for:
• 360 Image Capturing Bid (In Dispute) - 19/1/9/187 TR (13)
• Digital Capturing Systems Bid - 19/1/9/1/177 TR (13)
• Forensic Light Sources Bid - 19/1/9/1/235 TD (14)
• Fuming Tents Bid - 19/1/9/1/175 TR (13)
• Stepping Plates Bid - 19/1/9/1/228 TD (13)
• Barcode Scanners Bid - 19/1/9/1/88 TR (13)
• Tamper Evident Labels Bid - 19/1/9/1/10 TD (13)
• Biometric fingerprint scanner BID- 19/1/9/1/153 TR (13)
• Evidence bag tamper-proof bags BID - 19/1/9/1/10 TD (13)
• FSL consumables (Lab) - 19/1/9/1/87 TT (13)
• FS consumables (F/P Powders and reagents) - 19/1/9/1/182 TD (13)
• Labware – Awarded
Alternative procurement contracts in process included:
• Barcode printer BID
• Field terminal
Ms Molebatsi referred to the TETRA systems. During the Committee's 2011 oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, Members found very expensive equipment gathering dust which had not been switched on. She asked what the status was, currently, on the TETRA in the Eastern Cape? The Committee was also concerned to hear that some of the equipment might be out of date, so whatever was procured previously might not be able to be used at a later stage and she asked for elaboration on this. She asked if the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation was completed and, if so, whether consequences for those responsible would follow. Was there a cost to addressing computer illiteracy?
Mr Ramatlakane, also speaking to TETRA, noted that previously the Committee was informed that some of the equipment was paid for and purchased, but not received. A comprehensive report was completed on the investigation but the Committee still needed to engage on this report after it was made available.
Mr Ramatlakane also asked about PCEM and particularly the obligations of parties in the contract? There should be some protection mechanism built into the contract in the case of non-delivery, or delivery that was not necessarily in line with the brief. In the event of breach of contract, what remedies were available and what were the obligations of the parties? Often disputes were mediated but the money was paid in full while the contract requirement was not met in full. Was SAPS taking responsibility in terms of deviation of scope, if that scope kept moving and was not cast in stone? If so, was there acknowledgement that there was lack of delivery as a result of this shifting scope from time to time? He questioned the particular role and obligation of SITA in terms of specifications, awarding, and full compliance in terms of meeting the specifications according to its own level of competency or expertise. What was the time frame for the completion of the investigation and mediation by the CSIR? Looking at the whole picture presented and the fact that SAPS did not have some of the working equipment it required for certain operations as anticipated in terms of the contract, he felt that at least some of the expenditure was probably fruitless expenditure?
The Chairperson found both TETRA and PCEM problems were related to contract management. He asked, in relation to the new SAPS organisational structure which was presented to the Committee two weeks ago, what the synergy would be with legal services, to ensure that due diligence and contractual arrangements were addressed? The problem was that in the end, more would be paid in terms of the variation orders than the initial capital amount . This raised the question of what was being done, by management, to ensure that Legal Services came on board, and there was technical ability present to ensure a mitigation of risk?
He commented on the CSIR report on TETRA. The Committee had noted that the “cosy estimate” for completion was speculative, due to the non-existence of a contract. This was a big issue. Contract management within SAPS needed urgent attention because the risk was assessed later at R1.2 billion on one project, with only one positive user-friendly outcome. Additionally, there would have to be new costs in the new year and coming years, to ensure matters were brought into line. In terms of BITS, was there an internal mechanism for whistle blowers with regard to bidding?
The Acting National Commissioner noted that he wanted to see PCEM in three categories. Investment in PCEM v1.1 was yielding value because it was functioning optimally within the forensic science environment, so here there was value for money. With PCEM 1x the specifications did not come into play, and there remained a question mark with this version in terms of the development work. What had been done was clearly not working for SAPS. A lot needed to be rectified with this version. In terms of Schedule D, there were far too many items which, at the time, indicated there could have been more engagement with TMS when entering into this arrangement. Some of the items could be found outside Schedule D. What was procured was critical for utilisation, such as cameras and lights for crime scenes, therefore here again there could be said to be value derived. The equipment was not redundant but would continue to be utilised to benefit SAPS. The decision was taken to put vehicles in place through which critical equipment could be procured. These contracts were outside of PCEM Schedule D but they did relate to equipment similar to what would be found in the Schedule. The PCEM investigation by the SIU and Hawks, the matter was presented to the Director for Public Prosecutions, who had declined to prosecute because there was nothing found that was actually contradictory to National Treasury prescripts. The recommendation was rather to look at a better way of entering into contracts. This was done with the “purification” of Schedule D and separation of vehicles.
With PCEM v1.1, there was a mediation process where CSIR would play a part but there could not be an evaluation without the developers of version x. This meant money would be required, but this would have to evaluated to ensure there were no issues with the PFMA. In future, a decision would have to be made about the rolling out of PCEM v1.1. If this was not done, there should still be a system to assist in managing the 13 Stores, as there was a critical need in this environment.
He reminded the Committee that in the proposed organisational restructure brought before the Committee, the legal and policy functions had been taken out of Human Resources and located in Asset and Legal Management, precisely because issues of contracts were located in this environment in terms of supply chain management, IT, finances and others. There was an attempt to build capacity to deal with contract related matters, which the SAPS had grappled with for some time. In relation to the BITS, it was ensured that there was compliance on the side of SAPS, with prescript,s so that an individual outside of the space did not take contradictory decisions. Whistle blowing was entertained. A contract was withdrawn, relating to the consumables for the implementation of the Act, because of a complaint noting there was something not right with the contract. In such cases, the matter was referred to the Hawks and the processes were stopped immediately to ensure that any non-compliance was eradicated. Whistle blowing would always be critical in dealing with matters of this nature.
Lt Gen Gary Kruser, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, SAPS, added that in terms of procurement processes, when the PCEM was previously awarded, TMS had a mandate to deal with procurement directly through SITA, which meant it never came through the procurement processes of SAPS. This had been rectified some time back. TMS had to go through procurement so that the Department could satisfy itself before it was sent to SITA. Even after it came from SITA, the award went back to the bid committee to ensure SITA complied with the prescripts. Previously, there was no such process, and contracts were just signed off with addendums created, which had been the reason behind some of the challenges. Since the process had been changed, there seemed to be better control, with bids adjudicated by SITA. SAPS had no role in the awarding of the bid to PCEM, and all the technical processes were those of SITA and not SAPS. TMS provided input but it was conducted in the SITA environment. SAPS signed the contract.
Lt Gen Kruser also explained the TETRA. All the equipment was delivered and everything paid for was accounted and recorded on the system. This had been verified and signed off by Asset Management and not TMS. Products were delivered to the Eastern Cape itself and this could be confirmed.
In relation to contract management, Legal Services played a big role in assisting with legal challenges and ensured bids were dealt with in an improved manner where there was uncertainty. In relation to the scope, contracts could not be deviated from unless extensions were applied for through the bid committee. Extension was also limited to 15% beyond the price of a contract. Presently TMS may not deviate from a contract or add any addendums, unless it went back to the bid committee to ensure there was compliance with Treasury prescripts. A lot had been learnt from these contracts and most issues were dealt with. There was contention with high-value bids where companies would try to delay and this meant there were constant complaints. Many of SAPS’s big bids had to be cancelled due to this. Once a bid became too contaminated with complaints, it was cancelled and re-advertised. This had been done with the spare parts bid, which was a very big, costly and complicated bid. There were processes in place to deal with such matters.
Mr Ramatlakane noted the comment about the role of SITA dealing with the bid on behalf of SAPS, but this meant SAPS had an oversight role to play, as the authority. He asked if everything on Schedule D was put to use at present.
The Acting National Commissioner clarified that PCEM version 1.1 was fully functional and value was derived from it. Items bought from Schedule D, within the forensic environment, such as cameras, lights and others were definitely valuable, as they were deployed and utilised and were not in storage. For example, with the Oscar Pistorius case, there was the display of the 360 degree image from a camera procured which produced an image of a much larger area. While he could not speak for other environments, the items procured for forensic services were definitely being utilised. However, challenges were experienced with PCEM v1x because the system could not yet be utilised. There were vehicles outside of Schedule D to procure items required.
Lt Gen Shezi added that in last week’s TETRA presentation to the Committee, a breakdown of equipment was provided, showing what was ordered, what was paid for, what was delivered, what was installed and what was in storage. The equipment could all be accounted for. This was all contained in the previous presentation. Stock take was taken for PCEM, and SAPS was ready to commission what was already procured to utilise the equipment and enable the solution to function. In version 1x, a decision still needed to be taken on the next steps to take, pending the outcome of the CSIR report.
The Chairperson took note of the presentation and said this was an issue the Committee could follow up again on next year if it needed to.
Current staffing situation
The Acting National Commissioner informed the Committee, for the sake of putting matters on the record, that notices of suspension had indeed been issued to Lt Gen C Mbekela (Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Service Management) and Lt Gen Solomon Makgale (SAPS Head of Communication). Process dictated that the personnel be given timeframes within which to respond so their response was awaited. To those inquiring about the details, it was explained that the matter was an employer-employee one and it was felt these issues should not be aired in the public space.
The Chairperson said the Committee took note of this internal SAPS matter. The Committee would be kept up to date as the process progressed. The necessary acting persons should be in place if processes were followed through.
The Committee wished SAPS well over the festive period because they would be very busy and there were many operations running during this time.
Third Annual Report of the Office of the DPCI Judge, Complaints Mechanism, Established in terms of Section 17L of the SAPS Act
Mr Essa Moosa, Retired Judge heading the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) Judge, took Members through his presentation, which covered the Third Annual Report of the Office of the DPCI Judge on the Complaints Mechanism established in terms of Section 17L of the SAPS Act. The Report covered the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
The primary function of the Office of the DPCI Judge was to provide oversight over the investigations conducted by the DPCI (also known as the Hawks). The Office essentially investigated complaints from and against members of the Hawks. The tasks of the Office included establishing offices, appointing staff, embarking on an intensive awareness campaign, informing members of the public and members of the Hawks of the role and function of the Office, briefing stakeholders and role-players, setting up administrative systems and investigating complaints.
The annual operational budget for the Office of the DPCI Judge for the year under review was R5.278 million. The total amount spent during the year was R1.380 948 of which R795 254 was salaries and R549 687 was for goods and services.
Judge Moosa took Members through some more details pertaining to the operational budget. The reasons for the surplus on the operational budget were set out in the Annual Report. The surplus was due to the Office of the DPCI Judge not having permanent offices both in Cape Town and Pretoria and therefore not having rent to pay, no staff to appoint, office furniture to buy and equipment or print stationery and marketing material.
Judge Moosa then discussed the investigation of complaints. Three complaints which were received during the previous financial period and were carried over into the period under review for completion. The investigation in respect of these cases was completed during the current period under review. 14 new complaints were received, of which 13 were from members of the public and one complaint was from a member of the Hawks. Of the new complaints, four did not fall within the mandate of the Office of the DPCI Judge and were referred, in terms of Section 17L(5) of the SAPS Act, to other institutions, with the necessary mandates to deal with.
In terms of the performance plan, the Office of the DPCI Judge developed an Annual Performance Plan (APP) and the Strategic Plan to guide its performance and to enable the staff to meet the targets as set out in terms of the strategic objectives. The APP and the Strategic Plan only came into operation for the period 2015/16.
Looking at output, the completed investigations in respect of the cases received during the period under review amounted to 28.6%. The reasons for the low output was included the fact that the Office was in the process of setting its structure, engaging in an extensive campaign to raise awareness, many of the complaints were received towards the end of the financial year and many of the complaints could not be completed as the matters were with the Public Prosecutor for a decision on whether to prosecute or not. The three complaints carried over from the previous financial year were completed during the period under review, and thus overall the Office of the DPCI Judge achieved performance of 100%. With regard to reports to the Minister of Police in terms of Section 17L (6), the Office achieved output of 100%.
Judge Moosa then turned to awareness campaigns. These were required in terms of Section 17L (15) and the target was to achieve an output of 100% in respect of awareness to stakeholders, role-players, national and provincial offices of the Hawks. As far as members of the public were concerned, the Office of the DPCI Judge covered six provinces and still had to cover three provinces, namely, Free State, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga. In this area, the Office thus achieved an output 67%. Trends and recommendations were mainly for the purpose of policy consideration and service delivery.
In conclusion, the Office of the DPCI Judge was not fully operative with the necessary offices, staff and infrastructure and it should be able to improve on its performance with regard to the investigation of complaints.
Ms Molebatsi asked what the nature of the 13 complaints received by the communities was. She also wondered whether, by raising awareness, the feeling was that the Office was now known in the communities.
Judge Moosa answered that the Office had gone on an extensive drive to inform the public of its existence. Initial focus was placed on visiting all offices of the Hawks throughout the country. An extensive campaign was embarked on to speak to all role players and stakeholders, for example, all the Chapter 9 institutions who were in fact stakeholders and role players of the Office. Provincial and regional campaigns were embarked on with the Secretariat. He would say that overall, there was now extensive awareness amongst members of the public and for members of the Hawks.
Mr Edward Rasiwela, Chief Investigator in the Office, said the nature of the complaints from the public tended to be allegations of infringement or violation of the rights of the public during the course of investigations conducted by the Hawks. The awareness campaigns were part of a continuous, and not once -off, process to ensure the Office was known to every corner of the country. While the volume of complaints was not increasing, it was hoped that this would happen in the near future, as awareness campaigns were continuously rolled out to stakeholders and members of the public.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) questioned the progress on the complaint laid by a member of the Hawks. She also asked when the Office would be able to cover the three outstanding provinces in terms of awareness campaigns?
Judge Moosa hoped the outstanding three provinces would be dealt with early next year. Most of the interaction so far had been in urban areas but there were requests for some focus on some rural areas and it was hoped this would be done sometime during the coming year.
Mr Rasiwela added that in respect of the complaint laid by a member of the Hawks, an investigation was conducted and a report was completed and compiled. The report was submitted to the Minister for consideration. While he could not divulge the facts of the case, some weaknesses were identified within the SAPS and recommendations were made to the Minister to remedy these weaknesses.
Judge Moosa added that many potential complaints from members of the Hawks were not received because they sought guarantees that they would not be victimised. Unfortunately, such guarantees could not be given and this was made clear.
Mr Ramatlakane thanked the Judge for the presentation on the fairly new Office. Benchmarking would come into place in terms of Committee oversight as the years went on. He asked whether the present staff complement and current structure was sufficient to carry out the task of the Office?
Judge Moosa said the Office had a full staff complement and did not need additional staff now. Initially there was only one investigator and it was decided a second investigator would only be added if the volume of work increased. All offices and infrastructure within the offices had also been set up. Also, unless the volume of work increased, additional staff would not be added
Mr Maake asked if the annual operational budget was the complete budget for the Office or if it was only for operations. He asked if the Office in the position to initiate investigations or whether it had to wait for complaints to be lodged. The answer then would tie in with the operational budget.
Judge Moosa responded the budget was the entire funding including operations, staffing and equipment. As he was seconded, his salary came from the Department of Justice and was not included in the budget. The budget covered other staffing costs and administrative costs.
The Chairperson questioned if the support from the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) was sufficient or if there was something else the Committee could do to assist with support moving forward. He too asked if there were any proactive investigations from the side of the Office or if it only reacted to complaints.
Judge Moosa said that both as far as the public and members of the Hawks were concerned, the essential mandate was to investigate complaints emanating from members of the public and members of the Hawks. The accounting officer of the Office was in fact the Secretary of Police, so there was interaction with the CSP as a whole. Most of the Office's administrative work was handled by the CSP, such as the appointment of staff, procurement and so forth. The Office also worked closely with the communication unit of the CSP for awareness campaigns, so there was a very close relationship.
Mr Rasiwela said that, in regard to proactive initiation of investigations, the SAPS Act currently only provided that members of the public and members of the Hawks could report complaints to the Office, so in this way it had to be reactive. He did not think, however, that there was anything in principle to stop the Office from initiating its own investigation if it involved the Hawks, but legislation would have to be amended to empower the Office in this way instead of simply waiting on complaints. He thought the current support received by the CSP was sufficient to enable the Office to deliver on its mandate.
Judge Moosa added that as he interpreted the law, the Office could not initiate investigations now because it was specifically confined to receiving complaints from members of the public and members of the Hawks. In addition, those complaining had to provide evidence to enable the Office to investigate the complaint. This set the bar quite high for members of the public and was something the Committee might have to look at to possibly improve the powers vested in the Office. There were other units which had a similar mandate to the Office such as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), so there could be duplication of complaints. The Office received many complaints which did not fall within its mandate and these would have to be referred to other complaints units. It might be useful to interact with other complaints units to find out whether some of the complaints meant for the Office went to them as this might explain the low volume of complaints received by the Office. Perhaps initiatives could be coordinated between the units in terms of investigations.
Mr Ramatlakane thought the low volume of complaints received by the Office might be due to the fact that members of the Hawks could not be guaranteed protection of victimisation if they laid complaints. He thought assurance should be given, as the approach was to protect whistle-blowers. He asked if there had been any engagement with the lead agency protecting whistle-blowers in various departments, including the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Those providing information in confidence should be protected against victimisation from the employer.
Judge Moosa said the Office had not gone this particular route. The individual laying the complaint was a complainant and not a whistle-blower in a sense because he/she was directly involved. It was unknown whether the Act protecting whistle-blowers also applied to complainants. It was indicated that if someone was defeating the ends of justice, this crime could be reported to the police for purpose of investigation, or to the NPA if a senior interfered in an investigation or process. Such assurance could be provided but no guarantee could be made that the complainant would not be victimised.
Ms Molebatsi asked what was done in the awareness campaigns.
Mr Rasiwela replied that in the campaigns, members of the public and stakeholders were told of the role and function of the Office of the Judge. Many stakeholders, entities reporting to the Minister, community structures, municipalities, faith-based organisations and members of the public were invited to explain their understanding of the role, purpose and function of the Office of the Judge. The process of lodging complaints were explained, along with the powers the Office had in terms of legislation.
The Chairperson, in closing, noted the Office of the DPCI Judge was a very important institution and the Committee supported the effective functioning of the Office. The Committee called on the public and members of the Hawks to make use of the Office as a check and balance in the whole system of police. The Office played a role in ensuring police accountability in terms of the Constitution. The Committee supported the activity of the Office and wished it well in the new year. Another opportunity for interaction could be arranged. The role of the Office should be further publicised and further initiatives should be taken to let the public know of its work.
Concluding the last meeting of the year, the Chairperson thanked everybody, especially the Members both present and absent, for their hard work during the year. He thanked the Committee staff in their absence, civil society institutions, PMG and the media. The Committee would reconvene on Tuesday 26 January 2016 at 10:00, where outstanding minutes and reports would be adopted. He wished everyone well over the festive period.
Mr Ramatlakane, speaking on behalf of the Committee, wished the Chairperson well and thanked him for his leadership which maintained the direction of the Committee while navigating the difficult road of 2015.
The meeting was adjourned.
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