The Committee met with the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge to briefed on the 2015/16 Annual Report of the Office. The presentation covered the operational budget of the Office, Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), launch of the Office of the DPCI Judge and the development of the strategic plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP). The presentation then covered specific output of the Office in terms of:
- Case management system
- Public awareness campaigns
- Meeting with stakeholders
- Performance management system
- Investigation: reasons for the target not being met and remedial measures to meet the target set for cases which did not fall under the mandate of the DPCI Judge
- Reports to the Minister
The Committee was not pleased that the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) was not present as it was the accounting officer and responsible for financial management of the Office – this absence was despite having been invited by the Committee and having access to the programme of Parliament. This issue would be flagged for further discussion at a later stage. Key discussion was held on the lack of original and enforcement powers by the Office – the Committee wanted to know if such considerations were raised with the Secretariat in terms of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Act. There was also concern about the number of complaints laid with the Office but were not within the scope and mandate of the Office – the Committee questioned whether this was linked to awareness campaigns lacking effectiveness or the Office depending on the communications unit of the CSP. Further questions were raised about the providing of regular feedback on the processing and outcomes of cases to complainants, staff complement, capacity and vacancies in the Office, cases closed as unsubstantiated and expenditure on goods and services.
The Committee was concerned that some of the key targets of the Office were not met due to under-spending linked to a cost-containment circular sent by the Secretariat – the Committee wanted to know if the Office negotiated the curricular with the Secretariat or tried to oppose it. Another pertinent concern of Members was that the Office, for the year under review, did not receive any complaints by members of the DPCI themselves – this was linked to discussion on what the Office was doing to better ensure that Hawks members, especially those on a junior level, were protected against victimisation to create a safer environment for them to come forward with complaints. Members probed whether the Office received any particular complaints regarding the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Hawks in light of recent media reports on cases involving these agencies. Other questions were asked about the outcomes or actions taken in terms of cases referred to the Minister of Police, or if the referral of cases was simply a formality, protocols in the MOUs in terms of referral of cases between the different institutions, stakeholders and role players and vetting of investigators in the Office. The Committee highlighted that the Office of the DPCI Judge was imperative for oversight and accountability, that Members should consider policy questions in terms of the powers of the Office but that the Office continue building on visibility and extending its outreach.
The SAPS research division then comprehensively briefed Members on the research agenda of the division for the period 2016 – 2020. The presentation outlined the purpose of the SAPS research division and purpose of the 2016 - 2020 research agenda, research methodology, the process of developing the SAPS research agenda for 2016 – 2020 and the SAPS Management Intervention framework. The presentation then addressed the SAPS research and development model, the approach to the SAPS Policing Body of Knowledge and research pillars and themes of which themes which included:
- Enabling human resources for policing
- Enabling access for policing
- Better service delivery
- Building an ideal policing system
The Committee was largely pleased by the comprehensive research agenda but noted that emphasis was being placed on seeing results and what would actually be done differently this time to bear fruit – Members were also pleased that the agenda covered areas raised by the Committee historically and well as those topics in the general policing discourse. Questions were asked about the resourcing of the research division and integration of research work with other institutions particularly the Civilian Secretariat for Police. Discussion was also had on human resources in terms of the importance of police members on the ground having adequate pay, protection and access to benefits to ensure morale was boosted and suicides linked to this were reduced or eradicated. The Committee highlighted the research agenda could not be once-off but needed to be a continuous effort - it welcomed the agenda, approach and topics on the table noting that there would a need for a follow-up briefing next year.
The Chairperson outlined to Members that the Committee would today meet with the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) Judge to be briefed on its 2015/16 Annual Report. Thereafter the Committee would meet with the research division of the SA Police Service (SAPS) to be briefed on its agenda for the coming years. The Committee was due to meet with the DNA Board but this had been postponed to a later date due to some logistics.
Next week Wednesday, the Committee would meet with the audit committees of the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
Briefing by Office of the DPCI Judge
Mr Essa Moosa, Retired Judge heading the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) Judge, opened the presentation by noting that the vision of the Office was to achieve an SA society free from crime and free from corruption. The mission of the Office, in achieving the vision, was to execute an oversight role in respect of the investigations conducted by the Hawks, promote and protect the basic human rights of members of the public, secure and safeguard the members of the Hawks against improper influence or interference and create a environment in which the Hawks can conduct its investigations without fear, favour and prejudice. The objectives of the Office of the DPCI Judge were to maximise the integrity of the investigations done by the Hawks and safeguard their independence from improper influence and interference, political or otherwise. The Office subscribed to values of freedom, equality, human dignity, accountability, transparency, impartiality and independence.
During the year under review, the Office became fully operational with two offices functioning in Cape Town and Pretoria. On 15 March 2016, the Minister of Police officially launched the Office of the DPCI Judge in Parliament, Cape Town. Since this launch, more complaints were received. There was a saving of R507 000 given that during the last three months of the year under review, the accounting officer introduced cost cutting measures throughout the department because of the real possibility of overspend during the end of the year under review. The only provinces the Office did not visit during the conducting of public awareness campaigns for the current financial year were Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and the Free State – they would be covered during the remainder of the current financial year. A series of meetings were held with role players and stakeholders. Within the year under review, a number of shortcomings were observed within the structure of the DPCI Judge including the lack of enforcement powers unlike a Constitutional body where its recommendations were enforceable if the findings and recommendations were not challenged on review. The Office also did not have original powers to institute an investigation without receiving a formal complaint from a complainant whether a member of the public or a member of the Hawks. The law placed an onus on the complainant to produce evidence in the case of members of the public in a serious and unlawful infringement of his/her rights caused by the Hawks and, in the case of members of the Hawks, any improper influence or interference whether political or otherwise exerted on him/her.
Mr Edward Rasiwela, Deputy Director: Investigations, Office of the DPCI Judge, then took the Committee through the presentation to the Committee on the fourth Annual Report (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016) of the Office of the DPCI Judge established in terms of section 17L of the SAPS Act. The primary function of the Office was to provide oversight over the investigations conducted by the Hawks - essentially investigating complaints from and against members of the Hawks. In terms of operational budget, the annual operational budget for the year under review was R5, 581 000. The total amount spent during the year was R5, 073 921-00 of which R1, 970 112-00 was for salaries and R2, 903 861-00 was for goods and services. The balance was R507 079.
Looking at the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), for the period under review, 14 MOUs were concluded with various stakeholders informing them of the role of the Office and function and to regulate working relationships in terms of referral of complaints. 13 MOUs were signed with SAPS, DPCI, CSP, IPID, Public Protector, SA Human Rights Commission, CRL Commission, Commission for Gender Equality, Independent Electoral Commission, the Auditor-General of SA, Independent Communications Authority of SA, National Prosecuting Authority and the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services - the MOU with the IGI was still to be signed.
In terms of the launch of the Office of the DPCI Judge, on 15 March 2016, the Minister of Police, Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, officially launched the office at Parliament, in Cape Town. The aim of launch was for the Minister of Police to formally inform the key stakeholders, role-players and public of the existence of the DPCI Judge and to proclaim it fully operationally. The keynote address by the Minister and inputs by other speakers including the messages of support were well received. More than 100 representatives from across sections of society attended the occasion.
Mr Rasiwela outlined that the Office of the DPCI Judge developed the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP) to guide performance and to enable the Office to achieve its objectives and targets. The APP and the Strategic Plan came into operation during the 2015/2016 financial year.
Looking at the case management system output, during the period under review, 28 new complaints were received, 11 were from members of the public in terms of S17L (4)(a) of SAPS Act and 17 complaints fell outside the scope of the mandate of the Office. All complaints were registered within 48 hours upon receipt in compliance with the APP. Files were opened and allocated to the investigators. The target was 80% and the output was 100%.
Mr Rasiwela indicated that with regard to the output of awareness campaign as required in terms of Section 17L (15), the Office conducted two public awareness campaigns in Limpopo and North West. In terms of the APP, the Office was required to conduct four awareness campaigns per annum. The target was 70% of awareness campaigns conducted but a 50% output was achieved. Reasons why the target was not met was firstly, the accounting officer implemented cost cutting and saving measures to avoid overspending on the budget for the financial year under consideration, and secondly, the Communication Unit of the Civilian Secretariat for Police was not only burdened in marketing the Office of the DPCI Judge but also the Ministry of Police.
Looking at the meeting of stakeholders, the Office was required to have six meetings per annum with stakeholders in terms of the APP. The Office was able to have nine meetings with stakeholders. The target was 70% and the target was exceeded - the output exceeded the target. Another output was that of investigations, where the Office received 28 complaints and completed ten. The target was to complete 70% of complaints received – the output was 36% so the target was not met. This was due to:
- In some of the complaints, the complainant was charged criminally and the Office was obliged to wait for the outcome of the court case, as it did not want to pre-empt or influence the outcome of the criminal case in accordance with the principle of separation of powers
- In some of the complaints, the docket was submitted to the NPA for a decision and the Office had to wait for the decision of the prosecutor before finalising the complaint
- Most of the complaints did not fall within the scope of the mandate of the Office DPCI Judge and to make a definite finding, the Office had to conduct preliminary investigations and wait for further information to determine whether it fell within its mandate or not.
As far as the investigation of complaints of the previous financial year, the Office was required to complete 50% of such complaints. Seven complaints were carried over from the previous financial year and of those five complaints were completed while two were still pending. The output was 70% exceeding the target of 50% as set out in the APP. Remedial measures to meet the targets set for cases which did not fall under the mandate of the Office of the DPCI Judge included:
- The Office requested other complaint units which refer complaints to it to scrutinise such complaints carefully to determine whether they fell under the jurisdiction of the Office or not and if not to refer it to the complaints unit which in fact had the mandate to deal with them.
- The Office introduced a rule of practice that where a complaint on the face of it did not fall within its mandate, it was explained to the complainant, firstly what the mandate of the Office was - if she or he was of the view that it did fall under the mandate of the Office, to furnish the Office with such evidence within 10 days, failing which the Office would finalise its report without any delay.
Mr Rasiwela said with the performance management system, a total of six performance agreements, bi-annual performance assessment reports for staff employees, operational plan and procurement demand plan were submitted to the Secretariat for Police timeously. 12 monthly reports, four quarterly reports, two bi-annual reports and one Annual Report were submitted to the Head of the Office of the DPCI Judge timeously. The target was 100% to comply to submit the above reports and the output was 100% in accordance with the APP.
In terms of reports to the Minister as an output, the Office of the DPCI Judge submitted 15 reports of findings comprised of 10 complaints for the period under review and five complaints from the previous financial year. The Reports were submitted to the Minister, complainants and respondents respectively within 30 days as set out in the APP. The target was 80% and the output was 100%. Of the 15 Reports, 10 were closed as unsubstantiated, there were five referrals to other institutions, two complaints were referred to IPID, two were referred to the National Commissioner of Police and one was referred to DPCI (Anti- Corruption Unit).
Mr Rasiwela concluded with trends and recommendations noting that it appeared that the Complaints Inspectorate of the SAPS did not screen the complaints to determine which complaints structures had jurisdiction to handle the matter. The Office of the DPCI Judge was receiving a lot of complaints of service delivery against SAPS from the Complaints Inspectorate which did not involve members of the Hawks. The complaints structures must properly screen the complaints to determine which complaints structure had authority to investigate such complaints to avoid duplication of work and refer such complaints to the appropriate complaints structure.
The Chairperson was not pleased that the CSP, as the accounting department, was not present. Although the Secretariat was invited, the parliamentary programme was available and widely published so the Secretariat really should have been present to address questions regarding the financial management of the Office of the DPCI Judge – the Committee would meet with the CSP next Wednesday.
Mr Essa asked if the Secretariat was invited.
The Chairperson affirmed that there was such a directive issued on his part but either way the Secretariat should have been present as the Office of the DPCI Judge formed part of its core mandate in terms of responsibilities.
Judge Essa was not sure whether the Office of the DPCI should also have indicated that the Secretariat accompany it today.
The Chairperson outlined that was not the onus of the Office – the Secretariat should have been present anyway for accounting on financial management. He thought the retired Judge made a pertinent observation in his introductory remarks regarding the lack of original powers. During 2016, the Constitutional Court made a number of findings with regard to legislation for example governing IPID – going forward the Office of the DPCI Judge could perhaps make a formal recommendation to the Committee regarding the SAPS Act. Had the concerns around the lack of original powers also been conveyed to the Secretariat? The CSP was responsible for ensuring the legislative framework of SAPS was effective. Section 17L of the SAPS Act was very clear that the annual budget of the Office of the DPCI Judge must be prepared by the Secretariat in consultation with the retired Judge for the specific and exclusive use for the Office of the retired Judge and may not be used for any other purpose – did the Office agree that part of its budget was used for other purposes apart from what was originally appropriated? Were concerns in this regard directed to the Secretariat? Ring fenced money for the Office of the DPCI Judge could not be shifted or have any virement to ensure the Office functioned effectively.
Ms Moosa replied that some of the shortcomings were raised with the Minister – there was no specific request to amend the legislation to address the shortcomings. It was uncertain if the power to do so resided with the Office or the legislature to in fact introduce legislation or amend it. Shortcomings would be raised with the Secretariat for them to in fact look at the issue of further empowering the Office.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked if the Office had ever seen an approved template from National Treasury regarding the reporting to ensure compliance. In terms of complaints brought to the Office but which did not fall within its mandate, this brought into question awareness campaigns – was the Office sure the awareness was adequately done? She asked if the Office indicated possible legislative amendment to the Secretariat.
Mr Rasiwela indicated that he did not have the Treasury template but further follow up would be made. Awareness campaigns were yielding results although the campaigns could be intensified to further raise awareness of the Office of the DPCI Judge.
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) wanted to know if the Office had received any complaints about Shaun Abrahams. He noticed that there was under-spending of about 10% due to cost cutting measures in addition to this being the reason some targets were not yet met – he recently heard that while departments were being encouraged to save money, the money saved was being diverted to other purposes which questioned what was truly being achieved. He noted the targets of the Office were quite low and he asked if this was due to challenges with capacity or resources. There seemed to be confusion around what the Office should and should not be handling – perhaps workshops were needed with the other role players to ensure there was clarity on the role and responsibilities of the Office of the DPCI Judge because matters coming to the Office but not in its mandate were a waste of time and energy.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) questioned if the investigators provided regular feedback to the complainants on the progress and outcome of investigations. Did the investigators have any challenges with obtaining information from the National Director of Public Prosecutions in terms of subsection 17L (7) of the SAPS Act? What steps had been taken to investigate the recurrence of complaints which fell outside the scope and mandate of the Office of the DPCI Judge? Had the Secretariat or Minister of Police be approached in this regard?
Mr Rasiwela said the complainants were kept up to date with progress on cases as well as the outcome once the case was finalised.
Mr J Maake (ANC) noted that some of the performance indicators under public awareness campaigns were not met because of the communications unit of the Secretariat – did this not necessitate the need for the Office to have its own communication unit? Depending on the Secretariat meant the Office might not be able to meet all its targets all of the time. Had the Office received any complaints from the members of the Hawks itself? If so, what types of complaints were received? He was interested in the staff complement of the Office in terms of how many posts were filled – were the allocated posts adequate?
Mr Rasiwela answered that for the year under review, the Office did not receive any complaints from members of the Hawks. There was not enough protection for members of the Hawks – until that issue was resolved, the members of the Hawks would continue to be afraid to report complaints of influence or interference on investigations.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) asked what the Office of the DPCI Judge had done to negotiate the cost cutting circular sent by the Secretariat as the Office had the responsibility of carrying out its responsibilities such as that of public awareness. What had been done to make it known to the Secretariat that the circular would have a negative impact on the duties of the Office of the DPCI Judge?
An official from the Office of the DPCI Judge said there was engagement with the Secretariat which did result in an improvement with the awareness campaigns of the Office of the DPCI Judge.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) questioned if the 17 complaints which fell outside the scope and mandate of the Office of the DPCI Judge were all referrals from the SAPS or if they were from members of the public. In terms of the awareness campaigns, what informed the selection of Limpopo and North West for the provinces in which the campaigns would be run for the 2015/16 financial year? One would think the Office would start with the more popular provinces to ensure it received more “bang for its buck” and to reach more people. He asked if there was any discussion with the Secretariat about having combined awareness campaigns to piggy-back off the awareness campaigns the CSP conducted to get the multiple streams of information out to the public. This would allow also for the sharing of costs. It would have been useful for the Office to include in the presentation a breakdown of the cases in terms of what provinces they came from, nature of the complaint, date lodged etc. Trends and patterns to come out of such disaggregated information could prove useful in pointing to the way forward – this was something to consider in presentations moving forward. He wanted more clarity on how cases were closed as unsubstantiated – did this point to members of the pubic perhaps not fully understanding the mandate or were they vexatious and frivolous complaints? He was also interested as to why there did not seem to be complaints lodged by members of the DPCI themselves.
Mr Moosa indicated that a number of local campaigns were carried out to raise awareness among members of the public and there was interaction with other structures where input was provided on the function of the Office of the DPCI Judge so there were joint initiatives in all the provinces. The Office also had extensive consultations with all Chapter Nine institutions which explained how the necessary MOUs were drafted to ensure effective interaction. The Office thus conducted extensive awareness campaigns both with regard to members of the Hawks and members of the public.
Mr Rasiwela added that the 17 complaints not falling within the mandate of the Office were those from SAPS and members of the public but he did not have an exact breakdown of the figures currently. With the awareness campaigns, the Office did first have meetings with partners and the communication unit of the CSP to agree on where to conduct the campaigns. Unsubstantiated cases were those where the complainant did not furnish the Office with evidence of violations/allegations as provided for in the Act.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) questioned if some investigations could be initiated by the Office directly without necessary being referred but still informed by public information. With the media reports involving the Hawks, such as the recent story of Hawks officials holding a SA Revenue Service (SARS) employee hostage, what did the Office of the DPCI Judge do? Did the Office have to wait for a report to come by the offended person or what happened in such a case regarding Hawks conduct and behaviour? Was there a plan moving forward to address the capacity of the Office? As more awareness was done, the volume of complaints received by the Office would increase. He was interested if the cases reported to the Minister resulted in any disciplinary action or outcome or if it was merely a formality to send reports to the Minister.
Mr Moosa noted that when he was appointed three years ago, the Office of the DPCI Judge had nothing and was started from scratch and it took a minimum of two years for the Office to reach the place it currently occupied. Systems were put in place, staff were appointed, offices were located etc. all taking about two years to achieve. Thereafter, the Office conducted extensive awareness campaigns within all structures of the Hawks throughout the country. One of the key issues to come out of these efforts was assurance from the members of the Hawks that they would not be victimised if they laid complaints against their seniors. The statutory powers of the Office did not allow for the guarantee of any particular person against victimisation – if there was evidence of victimisation, the Office could refer it to the appropriate authority to deal with. Protection against victimisation was a common theme to come out of the awareness campaigns in terms of members of the Hawks.
Mr Rasiwela added that with the staff complement, the Office currently had six employees with three officials in Cape Town and three in Pretoria. The Office looked forward to growing this complement.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) wanted to know if someone else could lay a complaint on behalf of an aggrieved person or if the person affected him/herself needed to lay the charge. He requested a breakdown of the cases with the NPA awaiting decision. On the budget, he requested a breakdown of the expenditure on goods and services in terms of what was specifically referred to under that category.
Mr Moosa explained that as a statutory body, the Office did not have the power to investigate claims other than those formally lodged with the Office by a complainant. The mandate of the Judge was clear that complainants must in fact produce evidence of violation of his/her rights so it placed the onus on the complainant. The founding document of the Office did not make provision for other people laying cases on behalf of a complainant – perhaps if the other person had authority or authorisation from the complainant, the Office could then investigate the case. For example the Office could investigate claims of violations of rights by the Minister of Finance arising from the Hawks investigation if the case was brought by the Minister but such complaint was not lodged so it was not investigated. An institution laid a complaint to the Office concerning the fitness of the head of the Hawks to hold the position but when the authority of the institution to lay such a complaint was questioned, the case was withdrawn and it was not investigated by the Office of the DPCI Judge. The Office could not out of its own initiative institute any investigation – this was strictly limited to complaints by members of the public where rights were violated and evidence of such violation was provided and members of the Hawks who would also need to provide evidence of improper influence or interference on an investigation. The mandate of the Office was thus limited in terms of this specific scope. Perhaps the question of this scope could be raised with the Secretariat to bring about some form of legislation to equip the Office with greater power to be more effective.
An official from the DPCI Judge said that with the awareness campaigns, the full staff complement of the Office needed to travel together at times with some members of the Secretariat. This added to the expenditure in terms of travel and subsistence. Expenditure was also linked to getting the Office of the DPCI Judge established.
The Chairperson questioned section 17L and if the savings, or balance, of funds was used by the Secretariat, yes or no. The Act was very clear that funds of the Office was ring fenced and could not be used for any other purposes but if the Secretariat used it the Committee needed to know.
Mr Moosa answered that according to the Secretariat, the balanced was returned to Treasury as unspent funds.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know if there was communication between the Office and the Secretariat on proposed legislative amendments.
Mr Shaik Emam was concerned about under-spending and that some targets were not achieved like the conducting of awareness. Did the Office personally need to be in the provinces or could some sort of electronic awareness be conducted for example through the media to make the mandate and responsibilities of the Office known? He was also concerned that the Office was leasing premises when the emphasis should rather be on purchasing property to save money – had the Office perhaps costed what could be saved through purchasing a property or an alternative to leasing?
Mr Rasiwela answered that the finance department of the Secretariat was approached in terms of understanding if the circular was also applicable to the Office of the DPCI Judge – it was affirmed by the Secretariat that the circular also applied to the Office of the DPCI Judge. There was not much the Office could do to challenge the circular.
Mr Maake wanted clarity on whether those present were the full complement of the Office of the DPCI Judge or if there were still some vacant posts. He asked if it would be easier for the Office to ask for enforcement powers in terms of its mandate. He was concerned that there were no complaints from the Hawks themselves due to non-protection especially of junior members - what was being done about this? If nothing was done, the Office would never receive complaints from Hawks members. What was the Office doing to ensure some guarantee of protection could be made to complainants from the Hawks that they would not be victimised?
Mr Moosa indicated the current delegation was the full capacity of the Office – the only current vacancy was for a driver for the retired Judge as the driver resigned and so the post was re-advertised.
Mr Rasiwela added that two additional posts were requested for the Pretoria office for a cleaner and security officer – approval was awaited for this request.
Ms Mabija sought more information on the circular issued by the Secretariat on the cost-cutting measures which negatively hindered the Office from implementing its programme as expected. Public awareness was of importance to the Office in terms of making the public aware of its role and function. What did the Office do when it realised the circular did not auger well with the duties it was expected to do? She wanted to better understand this.
The Chairperson added that if the money was ring-fenced then the circular on the cost cutting measures was not applicable –the pertinent question was if the Office challenged the circular.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity on what was specifically meant by the Office not having enforcement power – did this refer to the power to arrest by investigators or what exactly was the lack of enforcement powers referring to? Of the 15 reports submitted to the Minister, he noticed that none of the reports were referred to the NPA and he sought clarity on this.
An official from the Office of the DPCI Judge clarified that no cases were sent to the NPA.
With the enforcement powers, Mr Moosa explained that the Office was obligated to report recommendations or findings on an investigation to the Minister but the Office could not enforce its findings. This did not motivate the complainant to lay complaints with the Office because findings could not be enforced; only referred to the Minister.
Mr Mbhele then asked if the Office of the DPCI Judge was then similar to IPID where referrals could be made to the NPA, for example, to take cases further as an avenue of enforcement in the criminal justice system.
Mr Moosa said that if a crime had been committed referrals could be made to the NPA but as such the Office could not effect an arrest or charge someone as a result of findings made. IPID had a similar mandate to the Office but the Directorate could enforce its findings where as the Office could not. IPID could also investigate any complaints against members of the Hawks, make arrests and then ask the NPA for prosecution – the Office of the DPCI Judge did not have those powers.
Mr Ramatlakane was not quite satisfied with the answer to the outcome of the 15 reports – did the reports suggest consequence management, disciplinary or other action to be taken? In relation to the legislation, was there any conversation with the Secretariat around the shortfalls, weaknesses and gaps of the mandating legislation of the Office going forward? He wanted to know if there was clear protocol in the MOUs with the different institutions in terms of the referral of cases. He also wanted to find out where the investigators of the Office of the DPCI Judge came from – were they former or resigned police officers? Were all the investigators compliant with vetting processes or was this not a requirement?
Mr Moosa confirmed that the MOUs specifically set out the protocol between the Office of the DPCI Judge and the various role players and stakeholders and appointed officials from both sides to interact in respect to any complaints whether from the side of the Office or the other institution. The investigating officers did undergo vetting in terms of security by the State Security Agency (SSA) – this had happened but the outcome was still awaited from the SSA. The personnel department of the Secretariat prepared adverts to set out the criteria for the appointment of the investigators for the Office of the DPCI Judge. Applicants would then also be interviewed by the CSP before appointment based on the criteria.
An official from the Office of the DPCI Judge added that with the reports referred to the Minister, so far no action had been taken but some recommendations were made.
Mr Gronewald did not see the final outcome of the investigations –the Committee needed to see this to ascertain what really happened in the cases investigated.
Mr Rasiwela said that with all reports sent to the Minister there was no recommendation for action to be taken – 10 of the 15 complaints were unsubstantiated. Where there was a case, five referrals were made, for example, a case of assault sent to IPID, a case of bribery referred to the anti-corruption unit and another referral to the office of the National Commissioner of Police. Overall with the reports sent to the Minister there was no recommendation for action to be taken against a member of the Hawks.
Ms Molebatsi noted that one of the recommendations of the Office was to impose sanctions on people who did not comply – what kind of sanctions did this refer to?
Mr Moosa explained these sanctions related to cooperation between members of SAPS and the Office itself – the sanctions were provided for in the founding document of the Office of the DPCI Judge. While there were no sanctions for the NPA, the Office could request documents from the Authority. There was also a general clause that if anyone did not cooperate with the Office in any manner there was certain criminal sanctions which could follow.
Mr Maake wanted to understand why cases outside of the scope of the Office were still included in the targeted performance. What was the process of the budget allocation of the Office of the DPCI Judge?
Mr Moosa indicated that with the budget process, there were certain consultations between the Office and the Secretariat to develop the particular budget. The budget was then included as part of the budget of the CSP when submitted to the Minister for parliamentary approval.
Mr Rasiwela added that the Office did pick up that complaints not falling within its mandate was not supposed to be included but the APP had since been amended to exclude the complaints not falling with the mandate of the Office.
Mr Groenewald questioned if the Office of the DPCI Judge was really needed.
Mr Moosa too had thought about that in terms of whether the Office should instead amalgamate with IPID in terms of extending powers to include investigating cases from members of the Hawks. It could also avoid the question of duplication of resources.
In closing this item of the agenda the Chairperson noted the Office of the DPCI Judge was important for oversight and accountability. Interesting policy points were raised in terms of powers which was something for the Committee to consider in terms of the SAPS Amendment Act. It remained important that the Office continue its work especially in terms of outreach and improving visibility.
SAPS Mismanagement Intervention “Changing the Narrative”
Brig. R John, SAPS: Management Interventions, proceeded to take the Committee through the strategic focus of management intervention, who management intervention was, why management intervention was in business (vision) and values. The presentation also addressed the strategic approach, methodology, management intervention projects and the Mount Road cluster.
The Chairperson interjected to note that while the information on the management intervention was useful it was however not the topic on the agenda today. The presentation on the management intervention was also quite lengthy and it might be useful to postpone that portion of the presentation to the end of the month.
SAPS Briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Police Management Intervention Division: Research SAPS Research Agenda 2016-2020
Lt. Gen. (Dr) Bongi Zulu, SAPS executive Head: Research, began by noting that the purpose of the SAPS research division was to ensure institutionalisation and maintenance of research in SAPS, for the commission of high quality, independent, and relevant evidence-based research, directing and integrating research by, for and about the SAPS and to influence the South African policing agenda towards a common vision. Further purposes included supporting knowledge-exchange between researchers and practitioners, improving the research evidence base for policing policy and practice, expanding the research capacity in the SAPS with other research fraternities and to serve as a pinnacle for promoting the development of national, regional and international links with policing, research fraternities, and policing policy development communities.
In terms of the specific purpose of the SAPS 2016/2020 research agenda, which was a product of the 2016/17 APP, the agenda assisted to identify those areas that required new scientific knowledge in the medium and longer term. It assisted to create new knowledge and methods that will support the departmental programmes, operational strategic priorities and organisational support priorities, it outlined an agenda to guide the SAPS research function through the next five years and it helped research institutions, individuals and independent researchers to understand how they can contribute towards the enhanced Policing Body of Knowledge (PolBok) and discover their role in the bigger research picture in policing in the South African context.
Gen. Zulu then turned to research methodology outlining the process of development of the SAPS research agenda 2016-2020 and SAPS management intervention framework. Looking at the SAPS research and development model and the basic step by step approaching towards contributing to the SAPS POLBOK, emphasis was placed on:
- Comprehension: describe the problem
- Knowledge: understand the problem
- Evaluation: execute and measure the effectiveness of the solution and improvement
- Synthesis: design and develop solutions, e.g., strategies, models, frameworks etc
- Application: provide solutions, e.g., rules, standard procedures, techniques, strategies, ideas, facts etc.
- Analysis: indentify and analyse the motives, causes and evidence
Pillars of the SAPS research agenda included:
- Enabling human resource for policing where themes included:
- Human resource solutions
- Effective allocation and utilisation of resources
- Enhancement of a culture of learning and development
- Advocating a transformation agenda
- Building a culture of high performance
- Establishment of a management and leadership model for SAPS
- Enabling assets for policing where themes included:
- Allocation and management of assets
- Technology solutions for human, assets and crime management
- Better service delivery where themes included:
- Supporting service delivery
- Climate surveys
- Moral regeneration in SAPS
- Building ideal policing system where themes included:
- An ideal policing model to effectively deal with crime
- Supporting strategies for an ideal policing model
- Improving policing protocols and standards
- Enhancing an operational response service
- Enhancing protection security services
- Strengthening and enhancing detection and resolving of crime through scientific and forensic research studies
Mr Shaik Emam commended Lt. Gen. Kruser and Lt. Gen. Jephta for the immediate intervention at the Bay View police station. The plan for the research agenda was brilliant but the question was when some results could be seen in terms of pilot projects in some areas such as with the brilliant working happening in Mount Road. Buy-in of human resources was very important but there was usually failure in terms of instituting consequences. Human resources also involved taking care of staff and he did not think enough benefits were given to police officers. For example housing should be provided to such civil servants protecting the nation in the areas they worked so they were safer and protected. This also applied to taking care of families when police officers were killed. Because of this lack of benefits officers were leaving the force and this needed holistic attention. Another issue to consider was the success rate of convictions. What could also be included in the plans was fostering the passion for policing and perhaps starting such curricula at school level to attract the right kind of people to the job. He was interested in finding out how far SAPS was of making use of DNA to solve cases especially in terms of expertise and knowledge. If the research agenda was implemented, it would make a massive difference in policing in SA and would contribute to the ultimate goal of making SA safer for all – this would also require collective responsibility.
Lt. Gen. Gary Kruser, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Management Interventions, indicated that some projects had already begun such as challenges with service terminations which was a massive challenge – there was immediate intervention and the backlog of 28 000 was reduced to 6 000 within three months using simple research and processes. Other projects put in place could also be spoken to.
Lt. Gen. Zulu added that SAPS had the DNA expertise and capability in terms of analysis but the Service was looking at improving services.
Ms Mmola wanted to know if there were meetings of the SAPS research division, if members were meeting or if any challenges were experienced. She requested a detailed breakdown of the resourcing allocations required by the division.
Lt. Gen. Zulu answered that the division was national only and did not have provincial components. In terms of the capacity the division, there was only herself, two Major-Generals, two Brigadiers, three interns and support staff from the office of the Divisional Commissioner. Meetings occurred in the office where the meeting was more like a dialogue to engage and advice on research proposals in terms of content. Required resourcing was more in regard to getting buy-in from other research institutions to support the SAPS research agenda.
Mr Maake wanted to be taken through the process of developing the research and development model so that he could visualise what the division was doing.
Using the lack of upward mobility in SAPS as an example, Lt. Gen. Zulu outlined the research went through the various phases beginning with the description of the problem and writing of a research proposal to outline how the research would be conducted in terms of which sampling methods would be used, the methodology which would be used. Thereafter the information would be collected followed by analysis and processing of the raw data to identify the causes of the lack of upward mobility by example. Recommendations and solutions would be then be provided, for example, amending policies or national instructions to address the initial problem. The personal management division would then design a solution using the research findings and recommendations to address the problem. After three years or so the issue would be evaluated to assess whether there was an impact.
Mr Mbhele appreciated the comprehensive nature of the proposed research framework where many issues discussed by the Committee and in the general discourse were included for research – the agenda would however ultimately come down to implementation. Given that many of the topics were not new but had been raised before, was there an assessment of why they were not taken on board before to be included in the interventions or previous turnaround plans? He wanted to understand what would be done differently this time around to ensure the research actually bore fruit and yielded an impact. It was crucial that improvement be experienced at the coal face i.e. at station level. As he had previously made mention of, challenge at station level related to under-staffing, under-resourcing, under-utilisation and under-equipping and if this was not fixed meaningful key changes would not be made to change the value of police service delivery. He recently read a research report to come out of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry which outlined that the theoretical human resource requirement could not be fully funded – this already presented a handicap on what was theoretically required to have a grip on crime in SA. A further constraint was that not enough of the fixed establishment was on the ground – this necessitated major changes to reallocate and divert some desk-bound posts onto the field to start making the dent needed. If these issues were not addressed the research agenda would not make a difference in actually permanently and meaningfully reducing crime.
Lt. Gen. Kruser pointed out that this was the first time SAPS had a research division – results were being seen in the areas where there was intervention with the help of all research institutions SPAS would try it best to carry out all priorities on the research agenda. While the job was enormous there was an appetite for it.
Lt. Gen. Zulu added that the agenda was broad and long, spanning five years, but some matters had already been finalised like the performance monitoring and evaluation model which was used for combined assurance and management intervention. Currently the division was busy with the policing model and climate surveys for the customers and morale of the police.
Mr Ramatlakane thought that while the research agenda was comprehensive he was concerned about the magnitude of the task and the diversion of resources. He also questioned the overlap of some of the research work with other institutions like the Civilian Secretariat. Connected to this was how the transformation task team and panel of experts under the Ministry would be brought on board with the research division in terms of forward-looking integration. While he remained concerned about how all these areas would be connected he appreciated the emphasis on problem-solving policing. What resource allocation would be put to the research division? Would there be partnership with other existing institutions to perhaps ease the load of the work and resources required in terms of a common agenda? He emphasised that there must be assurance that parallel work would not be done especially in terms of the Ministry, its projects and setting the policy direction of the Department. The research agenda would not be a once-off task but a continuous effort.
Lt. Gen. Kruser explained the issues in the research agenda came about through internal and external consultation and the issues being addressed where major in nature which would be prioritised over the next five years. The approach was not to have a massive research division. There would be a national colloquium with all universities and institutions concerned with policing research to further look at the research agenda presented to fit everyone in so that issues were not duplicated – there were already many interested parties in assisting SAPS with the research agenda. Options would be considered such as contracting a doctoral research candidate for a period of six months or something like that to try and fulfil the objectives of the agenda and to be inclusive. He did sit on the task team under the Minister and those issues were being brought into the research environment.
Lt. Gen. Zulu added that SAPS could not carry the research agenda along but would require integration with external research institutions, universities and others. The research agenda was widely disseminated
Ms Molebatsi questioned if the resource allocations would be done differently to someone just sitting behind a laptop in an office for example. On Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) and the specific issue of SAPS suicide, she asked if the organisation had a way to address the issue of suicide. How far with the matter of police culture be stretched? When she was growing up, police officers in uniform would not even smoke but today these police officers did all manner of things in uniform.
Lt. Gen. Zulu explained that research findings would go to strategic management in terms of the fixed establishment in terms of prioritisation and improving planning for the fixed establishment. Organisational development would also be involved in this regard while the research division simply made findings and recommendations. In terms of the suicides, the aim was to scientifically understand the causes. Research findings would be used to address the issue.
Ms Molebatsi asked if the research division would verify with the stations with the fixed establishment to ensure there was a better spread of resources.
Lt. Gen. Zulu responded that research did consult and talk with those on the ground. In some cases members of communities would also be interviewed for research purposes – different research approaches would be used to get the information, make proper findings and recommendations. The research would also address the issue of a SAPS culture to define the basics of what was and what was not allowed.
The Chairperson asked if the SAPS research division looked at any international models of research and development. In terms of cooperation with the Civilian Secretariat he wanted to know if this would also involved joint projects.
Lt. Gen. Zulu answered that SAPS was dealing with the execution and operational matters while the Secretariat dealt with policy issues. Evaluation of the operationalisation would inform if the policies would have to be reviewed or not.
Mr Maake questioned who would be sifting through all the research findings of the different research institutions to reach what was practical for SAPS. It would be a problem if no one was doing this sifting.
Lt. Gen. Kruser said that research findings and outcomes first came to management intervention before presentation to the national management forum for adoption before processing as a final document.
Mr Shaik Emam asked if there was a belief that SAPS officers were well, reasonably and adequately paid, if they were enjoying the benefits they were entitled to and if they had enough security and protection from the state. He found the low morale among police officers to stem from not being well taken care of in terms of benefits etc and this also contributed to police suicides.
Lt. Gen. Kruser found this to be a difficult matter – if he was asked if he was pleased with his payment he would be satisfied but people on the ground may not answer in the same way but it was something that would be looked into to make recommendations to management.
Mr Shaik Emam followed up there was a problem of some members being afraid to carry out their duties – would the research division look at why the jobs of some SAPS members were so difficult to carry out because they were too scared to act which also added to low morale.
Lt. Gen. Zulu added that there were climate surveys on police morale to look at some of the concerns raised by the Member.
Lt. Gen. L Mothiba, SAPS Regional Commissioner, Region C, pointed out that the police environment was inherently risky and dangerous – research could look at what the organisation could do to mitigate risk. On a regular basis, criminals shot at members who then shot back and the organisation would need to look at assisting members especially if they did something wrong or make a legitimate mistake. Some of these occurrences were in the operational environment where the line managers must assist the members.
In closing, the Chairperson thought the briefing on the SAPS research agenda was very valuable and allowed for greater understanding of the methodology and approach for the next five years – generally the agenda, approach and topics on the table were welcomed. A further engagement would be required next year. During the end of November, the Committee would look at allocating space to be briefed on the management intervention presentation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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