The Committee met with senior management of the SA Police Service, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and unions to hear an update on the training of members and investigators in relation to the professionalism of the Service as keenly emphasised in the National Development Plan and recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry and in relation to the Back to Basics approach. The SAPS began by briefing the Committee on foreign training by looking at focus areas of the international development strategy and international training provided in 2015/16 in terms of countries, specific courses, the number of members trained and budget. The presentation also covered Southern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation training provided, Africa development assistance provided, study visits hosted by SAPS and international development requests pending.
SAPS then provided feedback on the Police Paarl Academy and training programmes by discussing key objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding with UNISA, key objectives of the Police Paarl Academy and training focus areas. The presentation also covered training programmes in terms of programme type and provider, target and accreditation status, return on investment and the way forward.
The Committee engaged in discussion on the criteria used to determine which foreign countries, programmes and courses and members who would provide and attend the training with the aim of understanding the strategies behind these decisions. Other discussion related to the post training value, value for money, variances between the cost of courses, and the reasons for this. There were concerns about non-accreditation and the ad hoc approach to training at various levels. Members wanted to know about the training in crowd management and particular models used in this regard, and about training of officials in cyber crime. There was engagement on contingency planning, given the depreciation of the rand, and discussion around the importance of foreign training for skills development, capacity building and maintaining international partnerships without compromising other spending priorities. Other questions were asked about opportunities to specialise in the Bachelor of Arts in Police Science, enrolment of postgraduates in the Academy although it was not yet a university, intake and enrolment figures, funding of the Academy and the current governance model between SAPS and UNISA.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) then provided comment on the evaluation of the training programmes at the Paarl Academy. The Union welcomed the opportunity for SAPS members to obtain a Bachelor Degree and were hopeful of the partnership between SAPS and UNISA. However, it had particular concerns about some of the operations of the Academy regarding disciplinary procedures, claiming that the proper steps were not followed. It was highly critical and quite emotive about deployment of student constables over the festive season to increase visible policing, claiming this was done without proper concern for the safety of the students, and accusing SAPS management of paying only lip service to ensuring safety of all SAPS members. It was also critical of some of the restructuring, claiming there was a covert agreement between the Acting National Commissioner and Solidarity pertaining to the promotion of members. Members expressed their discomfort at the line the presentation had taken, saying that they were worried that it did not bode well for relationships between SAPS and POPCRU. Several Members pointed out that they had felt that the restructuring so far had shown excellent results.
The Committee was largely uncomfortable with and concerned about the tone and relationship between SAPS and POPCRU given the issues the Union had raised. Members emphasised that the issues must be ironed out. The parties engaged on the use of trainees over the festive season and the mitigation of possible risks and it was noted that there would be workshopping in the following week on the risks facing the SAPS, including use of force against SAPS members.
Independent Police Investigative Division (IPID) then briefed the Committee on the training of its investigators for 2015/16. The presentation gave a detailed report on the training plan for investigators, setting out names and ranks, the priorities in training, how the training was conducted and the measures for the future. Challenges and corrective measures were also outlined. Members briefly questioned the use of foreign investigators as an option, making use of best practice from other jurisdictions and the Directorate’s plans to decrease reliance on SAPS capacity to develop independence.
Mr David Bruce, an independent researcher, then made a presentation on the implications of the Farlam Commission report into the incidents at Marikana, particularly in the light of the National Development Plan call to professionalise the SAPS. The basic facts on fatalities and the division of responsibilities between SAPS and IPID were outlined, and the responsibility of SAPS to handle disciplinary conduct issues and compliance with the firearms legislation was outlined. Mr Bruce outlined some of the findings of the Marikana Commission report, which had pointed to possible criminal conduct or misconduct by SAPS members at Marikana. It was reported that in Scene One and Two, some officers may have exceed the bounds of lawful private defence. There was discussion on the position of Brig Calitz, Maj Gen Naidoo, Gen Phiyega and Lt Gen Mbombo: authorising the operation on the day of 16 August, the conduct of Lt Gen Mbombo, Maj Gen Annandale, Maj Gen Mpembe and Brig Calitz and allegedly dishonest evidence, and other SAPS commanders and members implicated in that dishonesty. The presentation also covered SAPS disciplinary obligations, public order policing issues, systemic issues raised by Marikana, other issues relating to SAPS professionalism and explained and measured the conduct of SAPS against the McCann principles dealing with situations where use of force may be required.
Members questioned the whether SAPS officials implicated in Marikana had been suspended, what the plans were for any disciplinary action, and how SAPS was dealing with people proving to be an obstacle in learning lessons from Marikana to improve in future. It was also noted that some of these matters were likely to be raised in further discussions the following week and in the lead up to the budget process.
Chairperson's opening remarks
The Chairperson noted that the purpose of the meeting was to hear an update on training of the South African Police Service (SAPS). In order to meet the National Development Plan (NDP) aims that people living in SA should feel safe at home, school and work and to enjoy a community life free of fear, SAPS should be well-resourced and professional, and have highly skilled staff who valued their work, served the community, safeguarded lives and property without discrimination, protected people against violence and showed respect for equality and justice. The NDP placed significant emphasis on the need to professionalise the SAPS through training. It stated that police training had to be well informed on current developments in crime trends, and that partnerships with the private sector and universities would increase police competence.
The Committee had previous interactions with the police Paarl Academy, and this meeting would look at this training in relation to Back to Basics training. It was important to look at the gaps, what was being done to ensure that police men and women did the task efficiently and that members were aware of the current trends. The Department budget in March must provide the necessary budgetary support and necessary “ingredients” from a strategic and tactical point of view to ensure SAPS members were able to fulfil their duties effectively. The Committee had also identified that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) needed SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) affiliated training to assist its members. IPID should not only rely on SAPS for their training but look at other avenues. Finally, the Chairperson asked SAPS to assure the Committee that all was in order for the 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA)
Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya, Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management, SAPS, relayed an apology from the Acting National Commissioner. She assured the Committee that all systems were in place for a safe SONA and there was an operational plan. SAPS would execute its mandate within the confines of the law and would appeal to all who attended to abide by the law. SAPS looked forward to delivering a safe SONA.
Foreign Training: SAPS briefing
Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya outlined that the training for the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) was still coordinated within SAPS as DPCI did not yet have its own budget for purposes of training.
Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Divisional Commissioner: Human Resource Development (HRD), SAPS, began the presentation by noting the challenges of globalisation and its impact on transnational crime, which led to the need for cooperation and liaison on knowledge, training and development.
SAPS international development strategy was grounded on four focus areas, namely:
1. External Training
2. Development Assistance
3. Participating in seminars, conferences and workshops
4. Participating in study visits
International training provided for in 2015/16 was conducted over a number of countries, including China, the USA, Belgium, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Hungary, in respect of number of courses such as, Criminal Investigative Techniques, Cyber Security Studies, Crowd Management.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi then went through the Southern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) training provided for 2015/16, which took place in a number of African countries in courses such as environmental crimes, trafficking in human beings, and data protection.
Africa Development assistance was provided in 2015/16 in SA for courses including detective commanders' learning programme, crime intelligence gathering, advance VIP protection
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi also pointed out that there were study visits hosted by SAPS in a number of countries such as in Qatar for the establishment of police training colleges and K9 training, in Namibia for capacity building on organisation structure and police training, in Bangladesh for the reconstruction and development of the Bangladesh police. There were international development pending requests for Lesotho, the Ivory Coast, Somalia, Niger, Congo Brazzaville and Kenya. In short, SAPS remained committed to partner and join efforts with regional continental and international counterparts in the fight against transnational crime.
Paarl Academy and Training Programme
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi began the presentation by providing some background information on the Paarl facility. It was established in 1990 and accredited as the SAPS Paarl Academy by the Sector Education and training Authority SASSETA in 2008. In 2013, the process to have the Academy become a university began with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of SA (UNISA).
Members were then taken through the key objectives of the MOU and the progress made with each objective. The objectives were:
- to build capacity for academic development, teaching and learning
- To establish research capacity that will engage high quality and creative studies that will impact positively on policing
- to build capacity and enhance community outreach
- to establish an optimal campus for the SAPS Paarl Academy with the appropriate administrative and infrastructural support
- to transfer and build skills
- to enhance police education and training towards a professional police service
- to facilitate the accreditation of the SAPS Paarl Academy as a training provider for higher education
The SAPS Paarl Academy overall intended to develop the desired profile of leaders for the SAPS, to develop an ongoing talent for professional policing that would ensure the preservation of police culture in SAPS, ad to provide training and development to police agencies from international cooperating countries
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi then outlined the training focus areas as generic, operational management, leadership and management programmes and academic development. He then went on to discuss the training programmes in terms of objectives, programme type and provider, level targeted and accreditation status. He said that moving forward there would be a review of the approach to establishing a police university, assessment of the return on investment and value added on all outsourced programmes, a review of all police directed leadership programmes for impact and continuous impact assessments.
Lt Gen Mgwenya reminded Members that the need to professionalise SAPS had been identified in the NDP and therefore there was no choice but to implement this. SAPS members in all levels would be trained because everyone, from the lowest to the highest, was to know what was expected of them in executing the role of SAPS. Members should also recognise the role they played in contributing toward the bigger picture of the organisation. Continuous evaluation was very important to ensure that the training paid for delivered what was expected, and that it spoke to the Back to Basics approach.
The Chairperson wanted to know how SAPS management decided on a foreign course, and whether there was a specific mechanism to determine the need, benchmarking of various courses in various jurisdictions and then a cost analysis before a decision was reached, or whether there was an advertisement calling for courses or presentations. He wanted to understand the strategic thrust behind these decisions and if there was some evaluation system or criteria in terms of countries chosen. He also wanted to know the value of the training, and if a train-the-trainer approach was taken to ensure a trickle-down effect. He reminded SAPS that the Committee had been concerned about non-accredited courses last year, and about the then ad hoc approach to training at various levels. He asked if there was a master plan to ensure the development of appropriate leadership for SAPS.
Lt Gen Mgwenya said there were criteria which informed foreign training which included the global trends in transnational crime. In terms of criteria for the choice of country and members, the Annual Performance Plan was informed by the Strategic Plan, emanating also from the NDP, and from there, priorities were identified, then identification of the needs was done, speaking to the priorities of the different programmes. In the following week's meeting, there would be a presentation on the different courses and programmes for training. There would be an assessment soon on the impact of the training and to assess the return on investment for the money spent on the courses.
The Chairperson asked if there was analysis or weight given to certain factors before a training programme/jurisdiction was decided on. The emphasis was on an objective model to weigh up certain jurisdictions over others for specific programmes before a decision was taken.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi replied that SAPS looked at the priorities of the organisation to determine training programmes. SAPS also belonged to different associations and attended seminars and conferences by the various agencies. There were then often engagements and discussions to compile information about countries which might have strategies to target specific crimes similar to what was faced by SA. This was decided by management, but it provided an idea of how prioritisation was dealt with, to ensure that SAPS members would be capacitated to fight crime locally. Although countries would be identified, the objective was not for the foreign countries to train SAPS members indefinitely, but instead to develop in-house capacity and to then also develop internal curricula. When signing a performance agreement, at various levels, the supervisor of the SAPS employee would have to identify training or development programmes that the specific employee was to undergo. The HR division then arranged and facilitated this training, evaluated training programmes, could advise management on accreditation and whether particular programmes were aligned with the objectives and priorities of the organisation.
Mr M Redelinghuis (DA) asked about the cost calculation and what influenced discrepancies in the cost between courses. He was happy to see the focus on crime intelligence, gathering analysis and counter-terrorism, which were critical, and hoped that this would help to address the serious need to capacitate crime intelligence. He was concerned about the training in crowd management, since only four employees were trained in this, and asked if there would be a specific focus in the coming financial year on crowd management and public order policing (POP), given its emphasis in the NDP and by the Farlam Commission report into events at Marikana. There were also some concerns about the French model, expressed by the Institute for Security Studies and others, who found that it was very confrontational, militaristic and with emphasis on command and control. He therefore wanted to know what other models were being considered and what influenced the final decision to go to France? He thought there should be focus on intelligence gathering when it came to crowd control, to prevent situations from reaching the levels they did. He was very excited about the Bachelor in Police Science and the work being done in this regard, but wanted to know what were the plans for incorporating POP and community engagement as the foundation of the curriculum? Would students be able to specialise in a specific area of policing, for example through electives in the third year?
Lt Gen Mgwenya responded that POP was a priority within SAPS. The Service was continually being criticised and this showed there was a need to enhance training for POP and crowd management. The expertise of other countries would also be looked at. The report of the Marikana Commission also made a recommendation on this point. The Minister had already put together a committee to assist SAPS in implementing these recommendations. POP and crowd management would continue to be a priority until there was assurance that SAPS members were policing crowds as required by the Constitution.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi explained that the differing costs were all-inclusive, so they involved aspects of travel, accommodation, subsistence and allowances expenses which were added to the cost of the training programme. The value of the rand was also an influencing factor. With POP, the intention was have the SAPS members sent elsewhere to learn and provide input into the internal curriculum development of SAPS. The approach and models of other countries were not necessarily directly taken over, but instead it was a learning exercise.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) wanted to know what the content of the UK “initial sovereign” course was. He also questioned the cost of the course, compared to other courses. Given the short to medium term depreciation of the rand, he asked if there was contingency financial planning in SAPS to take into account this depreciation and the relative strength of the foreign currencies. Foreign training was important for skills development, capacity building in SAPS and maintaining international partnerships, but must not impinge upon correct spending or other priorities. He wanted to understand the intake and enrolment figures, with a detailed explanation of numbers across the various years of study.
Lt Gen Mgwenya said contingency plans were a standing priority. SAPS was aware of what was in the country and so planning was continuously informed by these changes. SAPS were ready to police the country with the budget provided – there would be prioritisation to ensure policing did not suffer.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi explained that the initial sovereign training was a pilot’s programme. A SAPS sovereign jet was bought a few years ago and it was mandatory that the pilots underwent this refreshment training with the service provider, to avoid any incidents, given that the jet was very expensive and heavily utilised within SAPS for operational purposes. With other different aircraft and vessels SAPS members also underwent mandatory training. Training abroad would usually be for only one or two, to learn something and return with information, to direct the development of internal SAPS curricula, and part of the cost containment was cutting down on members sent abroad. The numbers quoted related to intake and enrolment figures per year, and specifically the numbers that passed from the one year to the next.
Maj Gen H K Senthumule, SAPS Component Head: Leadership and International Development, Division HRD, added that SAPS was using the UNISA approved curriculum for the BA in Police Science, with a special focus in law. Learners were taught English, ethical information, investigative principles for policing and crime prevention for policing as the compulsory courses. Electives covered management, public administration, law and criminology. SAPS was currently reviewing the curriculum to speak to police-specific competencies with an option to specialise, for example, in cyber crime, forensic and forensic psychology. It was also important for members to understand the communities within which they worked geographically and culturally. In terms of selection criteria, there were the UNISA-specific requirements and the SAPS requirements.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked if there were too few officials training in cyber crime, particularly since this skill was very much needed in SAPS. She wondered if it was possible to enrol post-graduates, even though the Academy was not yet a university. She asked if there was any foreign funding in the Academy and if so, she wanted to know more about it. She had heard about courses for station commanders but none for cluster commanders. who needed a lot of training.
Lt Gen Mgwenya explained that SAPS was currently engaging on the concept of the cluster commander, including identifying the needs and gaps and this then would inform the training needs of the cluster commanders. Most of the cluster commanders were at senior management level and were seasoned members of SAPS who would have undergone a number of training programmes.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi explained Paarl was accredited as an exam centre for UNISA, but not yet as a free-standing university of police. The Academy could be seen as a type of satellite facility, working under the UNISA accreditation status. The Academy received no foreign funding.
Lt Gen Yolisa Matakata, Deputy Head, Directorate for Priority Crimes, explained that DPCI did set aside funds for specialised training. For cyber crime there was a budget of R2.6 million for local-based service providers to train DPCI members. The aim was to train all investigators in the DPCI. As the first initiators of an investigation, they would be exposed to basic cyber crime investigation so it was important to broaden scope, experience and skills.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) also wanted to know the criteria used to determine which countries would be conducting training. Was there any impact seen on the ground that matched the money spent on training in this financial year?
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi said impact studies still needed to be done on international trips to see if there was value for money and that the training curriculum had been developed as expected.
Lt Gen Mgwenya added that there were some areas in which a positive impact was already seen, such as crowd management during the Fees Must Fall protests.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked why some of the courses were so expensive and why some training budgets were noted as zero. She asked what was meant by police “below sea level”? When was the MOU with UNISA signed?
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi responded that the MOU was signed in 2013 by the then-Minister of Police. Most of the costs of the programmes were not necessarily funded by SAPS as countries giving the training provided donations. The costs included the cost of sending the SAPS member. Where countries also came to SA to facilitate/provide the training programme, there would not be costs involved. The “below sea level” training referred to crime taking place within the sea, such as abalone poaching.
Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted to clarify whether the officers being trained were of a senior rank, who could then train other people. He did not see the length of the courses outlined in the presentation– this might explain the disparity in amounts.
Lt Gen Mgwenya affirmed that in some of the programmes senior officials were trained as trainers, and were expected also to share their knowledge, after attending training, with other environments to ensure knowledge dissemination within the organisation. This applied to both international and local programmes.
The Chairperson wanted to know about the current governance model in SAPS to deal with Paarl and other academies, and who within SAPS was managing this. He asked about the governance arrangements between SAPS and UNISA and whether there was a joint board?
Lt Gen Mgwenya indicated that there would be a meeting soon where, amongst others, the issues of governance would be discussed.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi added there was a Board in Paarl to assess and review the progress of the project between SAPS and UNISA. The responsibility was given to the Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Services in the old structure but in the revised structure, this was now the responsibility of Lt Gen Mgwenya as the Deputy National Commissioner: HRD.
The Chairperson thanked SAPS for the report, noting that this was work in progress and more would be heard during the budget hearings. It was critical that there must be a broad philosophical swing to deal with the professionalisation of SAPS
South African Policing Union (SAPU) Input
Ms Thandi Mkhize, SAPU First Vice President, noted that the formal presentation was not received yet – they would be provided at a later stage.
Ms Molebatsi expressed that this was unacceptable – Members were to receive documents before hand for perusal to come to meetings prepared.
Ms Mkhize provided some oral input by noting that SAPU applauded the fact that SAPS members were being taken seriously by partnering with UNISA to ensure that policing was taken back to its basics. The Union anticipated the full implementation of the NDP as it spoke to the professionalisation of policing in SA. SAPU appealed that programmes also benefitted junior members at station level because they were the ones on the ground on a day-to-day basis. SAPU looked forward to the Paarl Academy being fully accredited with the assistance of UNISA. The Union appealed that POP was fully equipped in all respects especially when it came to crash courses in conducting their duties.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) Input
Mr Nkosinathi Theledi, POPCRU General Secretary, commenced by highlighting that POPCRU appreciated the established partnership between UNISA and the Paarl Police Academy. The Union was hopeful that this partnership, if effectively managed, could improve the calibre of police professionals, with enhanced knowledge and skills to better serve SA with diligent, commitment, and of course a great sense of professionalism. POPCRU believed that the reskilling of the SAPS members was essential as this would address the long standing concerns of inadequate training in certain divisions such as public order policing.
POPCRU applauded the realisation of a need to upgrade the level of education for men and women in blue, who were mostly only in possession of Grade 12. These members would be proud to be given the life changing opportunity of acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree, and it was believed that such upgrading was certainly a most decent weapon to help transform SA into a crime free country, impacting positively on the goal of transforming SAPS into a professional service as stipulated by the NDP. This initiative will play a greater role in rebuilding good relations between the police and the community when the transformed SAPS would have more integrity and a sense of respect. It further embraced the Academy's slogan which said “through these doors shall come men and women who will serve the country with pride, dignity and professionalism”.
Mr Theledi then noted there were a few concerns about the operations of the Academy, more especially with regard to the disciplinary procedures. The Union took into consideration the fact that one of the Academy’s objectives was to help to instill discipline, police culture and patriotism among the members of SAPS, but was not happy how discipinary procedures had been conducted in November 2015 when student members were expelled without proper procedures being followed under the SAPS Discipline Regulations of 2006.
POPCRU was certainly not advocating ill-discipline among its members, yet, it believed in adherence to proper rules and procedures. The Union therefore urged the leadership of SAPS and the management of the Academy to follow the proper disciplinary procedures and not treat members unfairly by intimidating, humiliating or victimising them when they contravened the Academy’s guidelines. It also called upon the management to promote sound labour relations within the institution, establish proper channels of resolving grievances, moreover also to allow union activities and processes to take place. Compliance with all signed agreements and other regulations was also key in the proper administration of this institution.
The Union also noted a challenge of inadequate personnel at the Academy and therefore submitted that the management should prioritise filling all vacant positions with qualified employees to ensure that the programmes ran effectively at all times.
Mr Theledi said that POPCRU was shocked when the student constables were deployed to work at various malls during the festive season, apparently with the aim of increasing police visibility. Although POPCRU regarded police visibility as one of the most important factors in minimising criminal activities, it objected to the fact that SAPS exposed student constables to danger and risk, instead of properly capacitating well experienced members with relevant armaments to effectively execute this task. POPCRU had attempted to engage with SAPS management on this issue, but management had been very arrogant and proceeded with their illegal actions of exposing unqualified students, sending them into the streets. This appeared to indicate that whilst the management pretends to be shocked at the killings of police officers, its own actions were contradictory, when deliberately exposing the inexperienced students to hardhearted criminals. Management failed to recognised that these students had only completed the theoretical learning, with insufficient basic knowledge and skills for responding properly to criminal acts. This was tantamount to sending the students on a suicide mission.
POPCRU was also concerned that the management had deliberately provided these students with incomplete Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) (with the exclusion of Clause 12 and 13). POPCRU now felt that the exclusion of those clauses apparently condoned “the barbaric action of exposing members to risky conditions”. The Union therefore called upon SAPS to amend this MoA through the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council, the mandatory platform to resolve these issues.
The latest restructuring was also of concern. POPCRU wanted to categorically put it on record that SAPS contravened a collective agreement 02/2009 of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC), in particular, clause 4.1 and 4.4 which required the SAPS to have meaningful consultation prior to the implementation of changes relating to restructuring and changes to the organisation of work.. He noted that POPCRU had previously made submissions on the implications of these contradictory top sub-structures within the SAPS, which included unnecessary duplication of functions, fruitless expenditure and paralysis of efficient policing operation at the grass root level.
Lastly, POCRU was concerned with the covert agreement entered into between the Acting National Commissioner and Solidarity pertaining to the promotion of members, which related to a litigation by Solidarity on the transformation agenda within SAPS, particularly affirmative action.
POPCRU applauded all men and women in blue for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that SA and its citizenry were safe at all times and urged the dedicated SAPS members to continue being professional, uphold the Constitution and show respect for human rights at all times.
Ms Molebatsi asked POPCRU why it thought SAPS management was only pretending to sympathise with police killings. The Committee had seen the fruits of the restructuring already.
Mr Mbhele noted that there was nothing surprising about the two big issues that POPCRU had raised as bones of major contention, for both the restructuring and deployment of student constables over the festive season operations had come up in the media. He too, when first hearing of the student cadets being used in the festive season operations, was concerned about their practical lack of experience and how this could jeopardize operations, but also recognised that it could be valuable experience. He wanted an explanation from SAPS as to how this structure was used over the festive season and what measures were in place to mitigate the risk to these student constables to ensure there was a balance.
Mr Redelinghuis thought it was clear that there were legitimate concerns by POPCRU but he was very uncomfortable with the tone it had taken with SAPS management. To date, the Committee had seen incredible improvement in the policing service as a result of the restructuring, so it was clear that it had benefited everyone at the end of the day. He found it difficult to imagine that engagement between POPCRU and SAPS took place in good faith because accusations were made without necessary substantiation. In relation to the cadets, he pointed out that it was best to provide students with on the job training and it actually made the job of a senior police member easier because it meant there were more feet on the ground to render the service the public deserved. He did not know whether the issues could be resolved, that was up to SAPS management, but he found it uncomfortable to listen to the presentation.
The Chairperson clarified that some of the issues would be dealt with again during the budget hearings.
Mr Theledi responded that the ill-equipped students were placed in various circumstances and environments which opened the students to a risk of being butchered by criminals, and repeated that this was not something that would minimise police killings. This was a major negative in the eyes of POPCRU. He was well aware that the Committee gave the restructuring the nod, but there were processes for proper and meaningful consultation, which he said had not happened, with only two meetings and no consultation. POPCRU always approached the negotiations in good faith and hid nothing. There were no unsubstantial accusations levelled from POPCRU.
Another POPCRU official added that the students deployed over the festive season had no guns and this was a dangerous situation.
Mr Redelinghuis thought it was dangerous to assert that SAPS management only “claimed” to be concerned about police killings. The Acting National Commissioner had told the Committee last week that the students were not deployed to high risk and violent areas, but were deployed to shopping malls. As seen during the FIFA World Cup, the fact of having police officers on the ground minimised the opportunity for crime and the more SAPS numbers the more the risk of crime was reduced. He asked whether any students were under fire, and if any police killings over the festive season happened in the shopping malls. There seemed little evidence to back up POPCRU's claims.
The Chairperson highlighted that in the following week, the Committee would have a seminar on the risk factors and the issue of police killings would arise then. He asked that these matters be held aside until then, although it was good to hear various viewpoints in robust debate.
Lt Gen Mgwenya applauded SAPS members again for delivering a safe festive season. She could proudly say there were no incidents of students being attacked or anyone being shot at. SAPS was committed to working with social partners and to abiding by the regulating MOUs and agreements. Police killings remained a sensitive point, and she appealed to the social partners and communities to work together with SAPS to fight against police killings. She noted that the revised disciplinary code, which was compiled together with the social partners, would be implemented. In relation to the members expelled allegedly without the necessary process, there would be engagement with the partners to provide specific information so that they could collectively look into the matter. The safeguarding of communities and South Africans needed to be done with SAPS holding hands with the social partners and to make it easier for the members to conduct their duties.
Ms Mmola wanted to know if there was a stable relationship between POPCRU and the Acting National Commissioner.
The Chairperson reiterated that it was important to ensure the relationship between the various role players was strengthened. There must be more and more regular communication to evade unnecessary tension.
Mr Theledi said the relationship between POPCRU and SAPS was not about individuals – it was a well outlined relationship as to how to deal and interact with issues.
Lt Gen Mkhwanazi explained the deployment of the trainees during the last festive season. The basic policing programme was divided between the Academy (10 months), the field training phase (12 months) and two months integrated assessment within the Academy. This programme had been in existence over the past year or two so it was nothing new that the trainees were taken to the field, and it was strange that the December exercise was now being queried. There was a MOU between the unions and the SAPS on the trainees which basically spoke to giving authority or permission to the unions to recruit the trainees. SAPS also had a memorandum of agreement with the trainee specifically, and discipline management was outlined during the training programme. Not having a firearm did not mean inability to enforce policing. During the fitness programmes during the training, the trainees were taught to subdue a suspect without the use of a firearm. There was also a focus on the culture, discipline and protocol to be adhered to within the organisation. The trainees were taught to be competent in three different types of firearms; handguns, shotguns and rifles. There was also a need to understand the criminal laws applicable in enforcement and administrative training. It was important to maintain this training to ensure officers remained competent. Management would not deploy anyone to the street who was not competent to be able to serve the community.
The Chairperson appealed to the social partners and management to walk the extra mile to meet each other half way. At the end of the day, the assurance was needed that the SAPS was doing its job effectively and was supported by the social partners to ensure safe communities.
Training of Investigators in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate: briefing
Mr Israel Kgamanyane, Acting Executive Director, IPID, began the presentation by noting that the IPID (also called the Directorate) was mandated by the Skills Development Act of 2003 and the Directorate’s Human Resource Development (HRD) and Workplace Skills Plan, among others, to make provisions for the upskilling and capacitation of its workforce. The Directorate’s Training Plan (2015/16) was developed but owing to budgetary constraints, the Training Plan (2015/16) was re-prioritised in July 2015 and priority was given to critical skills such as in the area of “investigations”. The Directorate’s “Investigator Recruitment” drive aimed to ensure that it recruited investigators with courses in “Basic Detective”and “Resolving of Crime”. The budgetary implications of the re-prioritised Training Plan (2015/16) amounted to R1 267 853. The Directorate engaged with the University of Pretoria for the training of 28 investigators on “Systemic Corruption” at an estimated cost of R434 700, which constituted 34% of the re-prioritised budget, (R1 267 853).20 investigators had been sent to the Paarl College of Police for training on the “Detective Commander Leadership Programme- DCLP” since the beginning of the 2015/16 financial year. Further training to one investigator had been provided in the area of “Resolving of Crime” in the year under review (2015/16).
This was in addition to a total of 51 Senior and Principal Investigators who were trained in the National Diploma on Policing offered by HJN at a total budget expenditure of R570 894 since 2012/13. Furthermore, based on the implementation of the Directorate’s Bursary Scheme, four investigators had been currently studying towards a LLB Degree since 2012/13. One Deputy- Director (Investigation), who was in middle management, attended an “Advanced Management Development Programme" offered by the National School of Government (NSG).
Mr Kgamanyane then provided a detailed report on the training plan for investigators for 2015/16, setting out the names and rank/position of the investigators trained.
The Chairperson took note of the courses and level of employees trained but asked that the presentation focus on challenges and corrective measures.
Mr Kgamanyane moved on to the challenges and corrective measures. Firstly, the Directorate acknowledged slow progress in the training of investigators. Some of the reasons for slow progress included budgetary constraints and inability of training institutions to customise training according to IPID’s needs.
Corrective measures in response to the above included:
-Submission of IPID’s Training needs to SASSETA for funding considerations.
-Engaging with academic institutions (such as UNISA and University of Witwatersrand) to customise investigator training to suit IPID’s needs.
-Engagements with the FBI National Academy on accreditation of the Training Manual that was developed for IPID.
-Consideration of SAPS training proposals in various investigation areas (such as “Firearm Training”, “Statement Taking”, “Human Rights in Policing”, “Evidence Management”, to mention just a few).
Implications of the Marikana report for professionalising the SAPS: Independent Researcher David Bruce presentation
Mr David Bruce, an independent researcher, began his presentation by noting that it was initially set down to follow the IPID presentation on the Marikana investigation and criminal investigation against SAPS members heard by the Committee last week. The presentation would focus on policing issues emerging from Marikana and the report of the Farlam Commission, particularly in relation to professionalising the police and POP.
In terms of the division of responsibilities, SAPS investigations related to alleged criminal conduct by the strikers, while the IPID investigation focused on possible criminal conduct related to the killings by SAPS at Scene one and two on 16 August, especially that of Mr Sokanyile, as well as SAPS dishonesty before the Farlam Commission. IPID indicated it would investigate some of these issues although it was not clear if this was comprehensive and the investigation would presumably take place under a discretionary mandate in terms of the IPID Act. SAPS was also responsible for “administrative measures” to ensure adherence by SAPS members to the Constitution and Code of Conduct, for consideration of the disciplinary matters and compliance with firearms legislation, as well as systemic issues such as police training. regulations, management and resources.
Looking at the “administrative” responsibility of SAPS, particularly in regard to the discipline and compliance with firearms law, he said that SAPS must address:
- Possible disciplinary violations related to the use of force by SAPS members at Scene One and Scene Two.
- Whether any SAPS members should be regarded as having demonstrated that they were unfit to possess and use firearms (particularly in an official capacity).
- The evidence of systemic dishonesty by SAPS members in dealing with the Scene Two crime scene after the killings (notably, tampering with the crime scene including planting of weapons on at least six victims).
- The evidence of widespread dishonesty and lack of cooperation by SAPS members in providing evidence to the Commission.
Mr Bruce then outlined the findings of the Marikana Commission pointing to possible criminal conduct or misconduct by SAPS members at Marikana in relation to Scene One and Two . Some police officers may have exceeded the bounds of lawful private defence. He noted the actions of Brig Calitz, Maj Gen Naidoo, Gen Phiyega and Lt Gen Mbombo, relative to authorising the operation on 16 August. He also pointed out the implications of Maj Gen Annandale's, Brig Calitz's and Maj Gen Mpembe's conduct during the Marikana operation, and alleged dishonest evidence to the Commission on this point. There were various other SAPS commanders and members implicated in this dishonesty.
In line with its disciplinary obligations, SAPS needed to demonstrate that it had addressed these issues in a systematic way. As a preliminary step, SAPS members implicated should be suspended pending completion of disciplinary processes. Where punitive measures were not justified there should at least be corrective discipline. Even if IPID concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute SAPS members, or that prosecutions may only succeed on lesser charges, it was important to remember that disciplinary processes relied on a lower evidentiary threshold than criminal matters, since these must be decided on the balance of probabilities. Additionally, any failure of SAPS to respond to issues such as professionalisation would undermine authority and credibility of other professionalisation measures.
Looking at POP, Marikana was partly a product of militarisation of the police. Causes included the debilitated condition of the POP units and the elevated status of “tactical units” and their increasing use in POP. Subsequent to Marikana, National Instruction 4 of 2014 addressed the question of command and control in public order operations. Other questions included, but were not limited to, the type of weapons and tactics used by the police in dealing with armed and potentially violent crowds and the generalised use of the R5 rifle in SA policing and POP, adherence by POP units to the principles of the Regulation of Gathering Act and the failure to make effective use of intelligence. There was a need for a systemic approach to addressing deficits in POP and for an approach that was based on analysis and strategy rather than just “throwing money at it”.
Mr Bruce then discussed other issues regarding SAPS professionalism and noted that there was a dominance of an “authority based” as opposed to a “values based” culture within SAPS. SAPS members needed to respect the authority of their commanders. However, this needed to be based on respect for the fact that these commanders upheld the values to which SAPS was supposed to adhere. The ability of the Minister of Police to influence operational decisions by police management was done in an unaccountable fashion, and there was an “open finding” by the Commission with regard to the possibility that the Minister of Police may have influenced operational decision making. There were precedents in other countries for greater oversight on interface between the Minister of Police and the Police Commissioner. Professionalism of the senior level of SAPS was also an issue that the NDP emphasised. Police had an obligation to minimise the use of force and there was a need for a “use of force” policy. There was also an absence of meaningful accountability by SAPS for the use of force. Marikana had exposed chronic problems with major tactical units. There was also a tendency to neglect the provision of first aid to injured suspects, but this may be a problem of police culture rather than standing orders.
The report of the Commission referred to what was called “the McCann principle”. This required the planners of policing operations, where force may possibly be used, to plan and command the operations in such a way as to minimise the risk of using lethal force. The report indicated that the principle was part of SA law including the SAPS Act. The Farlam Commission had concluded that the decision to launch the operation breached the McCann principle: and he quoted: “put simply, a decision to implement a plan to use more force on Thursday than would probably be required on Friday will, in the absence of compelling circumstances requiring action on Thursday, be an illegal decision”. The Commission also acknowledged that the McCann principle was part of SA law and required that SAPS review its Standing Orders. This highlighted the value of having a comprehensive police around use of force.
Mr Bruce summarised that the issues requiring SAPS and government response thus included:
- Disciplinary issues and questions of Firearms Control Act compliance
- Public Order Policing
- Other issues regarding police professionalism
Ms Molebatsi said one of the Committee’s recommendations, in its Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, was to look at foreign investigation as an option. She asked how far the IPID had moved on this. She asked SAPS if the police officials implicated in Marikana were still at work, or were suspended, and what would be done next. She asked if the entry-level police training include basic first aid?
Mr Kgamanyane said IPID was still in the process of engaging with particular foreign institutions on training. It was vital that the institutions and equipment be vetted by the State Security Agency, given the nature of IPID’s work, and IPID was engaging with the Agency's senior management.
Mr Redelinghuis felt really strongly about the role of the Directorate. He was pleased to note that although there was an Acting Executive Director, the core mandate was still fulfilled. The Directorate stood at the centre of maintaining public confidence in police and that there was accountability if the police were found guilty of misconduct. This made it a crucial entity. He was pleased to see that investigators were being capacitated to do their job. The “ghost of Marikana” would haunt the country for a very long time, particularly if the country did not learn from the lessons. He had recently seen sincere attempts by the police to deal with these issues, but at the same time the IPID presentation in the previous week had highlighted that there were uncooperative witnesses and budget constraints. He asked how SAPS hoped to deal with people proving an obstacle for the police in learning the lessons, so they could move forward wiser and better equipped?
Lt Gen Mgwenya said there was work into professionalising SAPS, but professionalism could not be removed from discipline management, which was in itself another SAPS priority. On 24 January 2016, the Minister of Police announced the establishment of a committee to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission. An official at a very senior level had also been appointed. A lot of work was put in to ensure that disciplinary steps were taken, although SAPS could not disclose much more at this stage. SAPS remained committed and, together with the Ministry, would ensure the recommendations were implemented. Discipline was corrective and progressive and these principles would guide processes. SAPS had a strong commitment to professionalism as required by the NDP. POP also remained a priority, with all operations to occur within the confines of the law. Where SAPS members were deployed to protests, there were continuous briefings and remainders, as also during the parades, as to what was expected.
The Chairperson asked about the plans of IPID to reduce reliance on SAPS and develop independence. He did not see anything in the presentation of IPID about best practice from other jurisdictions and said that it was vital to have benchmarking. He asked what IPID would do to address shortages in its environment.
Mr Kgamanyane responded that IPID attended the 2015/16 international police oversight conference in Indonesia and Morocco, where the Directorate learnt from other international police bodies. Presentations were done on the SA oversight perspective. In fact, the other countries were very much impressed with the strides SA had made. IPID was also the only oversight body worldwide with so many powers conferred, as most other international bodies did not even have policing powers to investigate cases. Kenya and Nigeria had learnt from IPID and there were discussions to share best practice in respect of exchanging investigators. There would be vigorous engagement in an attempt to learn from each other. In some instances IPID had no other choice but to rely on SAPS, although IPID was also intending to ensure that its own investigators were groomed. The learnership programme had begun with the learner investigators in each province for two years. Eventually the learners would be absorbed as entry-level investigators.
The Chairperson thanked everyone for their contributions and noted that progress was made on some of the issues. The Committee would continue to interact with civil society. In the following week, the Committee would have a workshop on the risk factors in policing, especially in relation to police killings. This issue was a major focus for the Committee last year along with technology, operational issues, the role of station commanders and lifestyle issues. During the budget process in March, the Committee needed to ensure that there were enough resources and protocols in place to address these issues. Social partners, the executive authorities and other role players were also invited to contribute.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Training of IPID’s Investigators: 2015/16 briefing
- Attendance List 9 February 2016
- Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (hereafter POPCRU) submission
- David Bruce on his research
- Foreign training on professionalising of Police: SAPS & DPCI
- Paarl Police University and training programmes by SAPS, UNISA, SAPU, POPCRU and Institute for Security Studies
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