The Committee received briefings from the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CPS) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on the Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) implementation plan. IPID also briefed the Committee on a number of ongoing high profile cases in the country.
CSP highlighted that it would include a section dedicated to the functioning of the National Forensics Ethics and Accountability Board in the 2016/17 Annual Report. Furthermore, a section dealing with the Board would be included, starting from the third quarter. This was to comply with the Committee's recommendation on the need for the entity to provide annual and quarterly reports on the functioning of the DNA Forensics Ethics and Accountability Board. The Committee also recommended that CPS needed to resolve the incurred expenses with the IPID by adhering to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). CPS was doing everything it can to have these fees paid as soon as possible in order to fully comply with the PFMA. CPS was also committed to have all future tenders advertised on the Civilian Secretariat website. The funding model for Community Police Forums has been included in the holistic policy proposal for CPF’s. The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) identified a total of 42 findings and 19 (45%) of them had already been implemented, 14 (33%) were still in progress while 9 (22%) had not been implemented.
Members wanted to know if there is a declaration of interests in place for the top management and whether the Committee could be provided with those declarations in document form. CPS should also brief the Committee on the corrective measures that had been provided to the police in the last twelve months as required by the Civilian Secretariat Act. It was also unclear as to how long the turnaround strategy was going to last as it was mentioned that CSP was in a process of the turnaround plan. What are the main reasons why the 9 findings by the AGSA had not been implemented? A Member requested assurance that the public would be given an opportunity to make further comments or inputs on the amendment that was made on Firearms Control Act. The vacancy rate of 24% within CSP was quite concerning and sounded totally unacceptable as it was above the Treasury stipulated threshold of vacancy rate that is acceptable. It is more appropriate to utilise community policing forum as this is an integrated approach in dealing with crime rather than dependent on the reaction programmes of Community Policing Forums (CPFs). The matter of funding for CPFs should be dealt with more seriously as it is recognised by the Police Act.
IPID firstly clarified that the report on consolidated performance, particularly in the third quarter, is greatly affected by budgetary constraints facing the department due to the following reasons, among other things including: Budget cuts and ceilings placed by National Treasury on compensation of employees, expenditure incurred by the department as a result of, among other things, restructuring/ transfers that took place. Consequently, some of the activities in Investigations and Stakeholder Management have been deferred to the next financial year. IPID reported that it was unsuccessful in obtaining funding to fund the implementation of the Farlam Commission’s recommendations. The investigation team is incurring expenditure that was not budgeted for in the current budget allocation, which has resulted in spending pressure being experienced in goods and services. At this stage the investigation cannot be completed without IPID being able to source additional funds
The 2015/2016 AGSA review report for IPID identified a total of 28 audit findings which comprised of compliance and internal control issues.15 of the 28 audit findings had been addressed. The process of reviewing Performance Agreements is already in progress to achieve accountability on senior managers in respect of payment of invoices within 30 days. The budget constraints will have adverse impact on the achievement of targets on finalisation of cases in Programme 2 and Programme 4 targets. As a result, four (4) case classifications were prioritised for investigation; which are death in police custody, death as a result of police action, rape by police officer, rape while in custody and systematic corruption. The financial constraints will remain and continue to hamper the Directorate` ability to implement the IPID Act, which was promulgated in 2012/13. The reality is that IPID had been consistently underfunded and had number of posts frozen and this level of underfunding was making it extremely difficult for IPID to achieve full independence.
Members asked about the amount of money that was being required by IPID in order to be able to execute its mandate. Some Members felt that the presentation lacked a clear plan on how to implement the recommendations in the Farlam Commission. It was concerning that the recommendations by the Farlam Commission were stalled due to funding and this was a matter that the Committee would need to take into consideration.
IPID also briefed the Committee on a number of high profile cases including that of the Acting National Commissioner Mr Phahlane. IPID was in possession of several documents, statements and banking statements that indicate corruption, money laundering, fraud and defeating the ends of justice as it relates to the Acting National Commissioner of Police and other police members. The case against the Acting National Commissioner was at an advanced stage as it was important for the case to be finalised. IPID also investigated was fraud and corruption and the defeating of the ends of justice against General Ntlemeza. The matter was currently sitting with the Director of Public Prosecution and IPID was still waiting for the final decision to be taken on the matter. There was also an investigation on the drugs at OR Tambo International Airport involving both members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). The investigation came out as a result of the death of the two officials, as it is alleged that the one DPCI officer killed the SAPS member and then killed himself.
Members wanted to know asked about Mr Paul O’Sullivan’s part in the case against Mr Phahlane as this was not clear from the reports that were mentioned even on the media. It would be important to know how Mr O’Sullivan “posed as IPID” as this was the matter that seemed unclear in the whole case. Some Members commented that there seemed to be a brush wiping all the heads of IPID as this was clear from the purging of Mr Anwa Dramat. It would be important to hear from Mr McBride if IPID was receiving all the necessary support or backing from the Minister. One Member said that the Minister was present during the briefing by the Acting National Commissioner and not during the IPID presentation was highly suspicious and also raised this question of uncooperative nature of the Minister.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and mentioned that there had been serious allegations of impropriety against senior officials in the police environment and these allegations have mostly surfaced in the media. These have an impact of undermining the public trust in the police, especially since these are top officials in the police who are supposed to keep communities safe. It is important from an oversight perspective to look into those issues and ensure that they are dealt with effectively. The Committee welcomed President Zuma’s visit to Nyanga Police Station as this is an area where crime fighting should be taking place, at the station level. The Committee had highlighted the issues of management of clusters and police stations and it must be made clear that the station and cluster commanders would be called to appear before the Committee whenever there are serious issues of mismanagement.
Briefing by Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP)
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretariat, CSP; mentioned that the purpose of the presentation was to brief the Committee on the recommendations that had been made in the Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR). It must indicated that CPS had already developed an action plan through the internal audit unit that dealt precisely with the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) findings and this was presented to the Committee on 9 November 2016. The AGSA recommended that the CPS needed to provide an action plan to address the implementation of internal financial controls to substantiate commitments, accruals and employee benefits. A strategy, with an action to address AGSA findings had been developed through the internal audit unit and presented to the Committee on 9 November 2016. A plan has been put in place to fill all vacant critical posts before the end of the financial year and overtime has been approved for staff in Human Resource to accelerate the processing of all applications. The AGSA proposed that the entity needed to develop a plan on the skills and training of the senior management team and provide the Committee with a report. The Department workplace skills plan has been developed and is being implemented. Part of senior management team attended the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) and last group is due to attend the training.
Mr Rapea said that CSP will include a section dedicated to the functioning of the National Forensics Ethics and Accountability Board in the 2016/17 Annual Report. Furthermore, a section dealing with the Board will be included, starting from the third quarter. This was to comply with the Committee's recommendation on the need for the entity to provide annual and quarterly reports on the functioning of the DNA Forensics Ethics and Accountability Board. The Committee also recommended that CPS needed to resolve the incurred expenses with the IPID by adhering to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). CPS was doing everything it can to have these fees paid as soon as possible in order to fully comply with the PFMA. CPS also committed to have all future tenders advertised on the Civilian Secretariat website. The funding model for Community Police Forums has been included in the holistic policy proposal for CPF’s. The project is continuing and the SAPS has requested that further consultations be made in four provinces on the policy and the funding model is to be finalised in the second quarter of 2017/18 financial year. The AGSA identified a total of 42 findings and 19 (45%) of them had already been implemented, 14 (33%) were still in progress while 9 (22%) had not been implemented.
Mr Rapea noted that the Department of Police as at the end of December 2016 spent R69.625 million, which is 63.0% of its 2016/17 total budget. The departmental cash-flow drawings required the Department to have spent 74.1% of the total budget. The Department has spent R48.630 million or 61.2% on Compensation of Employees budget. This expenditure is below the cash flow drawings of 74.3% mainly due to the fact that the full SMS notch increments for 2015/16 financial year has not yet been paid. It is quite clear that the management of the Department would thus need to re-evaluate their current spending trends, and reprioritise spending against the planned activities for the remainder of the financial year.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) expressed concern about the use of the security service against Members of Parliament as this was likely to escalate to the communities as it was evident in some communities in KwaZulu-Natal in the past few weeks. We also know what happened in the past when the Nationalist Party oriented police forces used to act against certain members of the liberation movement and many people lost their lives in the whole process. This matter had been taken further to IPID in order to conduct an investigation. It was sad to hear that the members of the police force are being poached and deployed to the National Assembly for the short-term in order to deal with Members of the EFF.
The Chairperson interrupted and pointed out that the matter that the matter had been referred to the Rules Committee and would be looked into there.
Mr Mhlongo said that he was raising this issue precisely because it would be very wrong for the Committee to remain quiet while it was clear that there is an abuse of the security service in the National Assembly. It would be prudent for the Committee to exert its authority and utterly reject this abuse of the security in the National Assembly so that it could be made clear that EFF Members are actually doing their oversight work by being in the House and therefore should not be ejected. It is sad to observe the police service being used for narrow political gains.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) pointed out that Mr Mhlongo was in fact raising his own opinion and not the fact. The opinion of Mr Mhlongo still needed to be tested and there is a different process that would need to be followed in order to arrive at that conclusion. It is totally not a fact that the security force was being abused but an opinion that could not be argued here until arriving at such determination. The Committee should rather suspend the discussion that was being suggested by Mr Mhlongo until concrete facts are presented.
The Chairperson ruled that the discussion that had been brought up by Mr Mhlongo could be discussed next week as the top management of SAPS would be appearing before the Committee dealing with matters related to criminal statistics.
Mr Mhlongo agreed with the proposal but wanted to make it clear that it was not an opinion but a fact that security force was being used against Members of the EFF.
Mr J Maake (ANC) rose on a point of order and said that the Chairperson should not entertain the argument that was being raised by Mr Mhlongo as it was not even on the agenda. We cannot allow this platform to be used for political gains.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) accepted the ruling of the Chairperson but further suggested that the Committee should next week also discuss the allegation that was made that the police force was being controlled by foreign forces.
The Chairperson noted and promised that this would indeed be taken into consideration in the meeting scheduled for next week. It would be important to know if there is a declaration of interest in place for the top management and whether the Committee could be provided with those declarations. The CPS should also brief the Committee on the corrective measures that had been provided to the police in the last twelve months as required by the Civilian Secretariat Act. There should also be assurance that all the top managements within the security cluster do the necessary declarations of interest and that must include everything including assistance, sponsorship or even gratitude.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) wanted to know when the post of the Secretariat for the CSP was going to be filled as this was not reflected in the presentation. The Committee should also be provided with the exact dates for the filling in of the vacant posts. It was also unclear as to how long the turnaround strategy was going to last as it was mentioned that the CSP was busy with the turnaround plan. What are the main reasons why the 9 findings by the AGSA had not been implemented? What was the timeframe for the implementation of the findings? In relation to the 36 posts that had not been filled, it would be essential to know if these posts are funded or not.
Mr Groenewald requested assurance that the public would be given an opportunity to make further comments or inputs on the amendments to the Firearms Control Act.
Mr Maake asked if the funding for community police forum would be part of the White Paper on Police. Was there a possibility of getting funding from the security cluster on additional or extended mandate of CSP? This question is linked to the fact that there should be an alternative available funding that would be able to accommodate the extended mandate.
Mr Mhlongo wanted to know how was the research on the demilitarisation of Public Order Policing (POP) and Tactical Response Team (TRT) units going to impact on the project of Integrated Combative Method against hardened criminals as observed during the oversight visit in the Nelson Mandela Bay. The reality is that TRT unit is not much closer to civilians as this is a “reactive” kind of unit that would be called on a need-basis. The question around the funding of the extended mandate of CSP was critically important and needed to be taken into consideration.
Mr Z Mbhele (ANC) said that the vacancy rate of 24% was quite concerning and sounded totally unacceptable as it was above the Treasury stipulated threshold of vacancy rate that is acceptable. It was a relief to hear that there are plans in place in terms of advertising posts and allocated funding for overtime in order to expedite the process. It seemed like there is this problem of complacency within the public sector in terms of not dealing with the problem as urgently as possible. It would be interesting to hear what was in place before the introduction of quarterly procurement plans as recommended by the Committee. It was already shown by the recent Statistics South Africa crime survey that the level of public trust in the police to address community grievances was declining. The public would need to be provided with an independent and separate service that would be able to address their grievances about SAPS. What was the progress in regard to the establishment of this independent body?
Mr Mbhele stated that the programme that was mostly affected by the vacancies within CSP was the administration programme as it had the largest under-spending. The administration programme could be the one that could house those complaints or grievances from the general public and then capture them in the database in order to be investigated further. It seemed like there is a misunderstanding based on the action plan that had been provided to deal with recommendation number 14. This recommendation stated that the secretariat must look to and improve its own budget analysis and performance monitoring so that it could set great standards for SAPS in conducting the oversight on them. It is quite clear that the operational footprint of the secretariat lied in the provincial secretariat as they are the ones who are doing much of the ground work like conducting oversight work.
Mr Ramatlakane indicated that the community policing forum had an important role to play in the fight against crime as this is important structure that had the capability of bringing together all the structures that are focused on fighting crime. It is more appropriate to utilise community policing forum as this is an integrated approach in dealing with crime rather than dependent on the reaction programmes of CPFs. The matter of funding for CPFs should be dealt with more seriously as it is recognised by the Police Act. It looked like CSP was heading for a qualified audit opinion because of the failure to address some of the problems like the high vacancy rate. The presentation failed to highlight the proposals be implemented in order to offset some of the challenges that had been pointed out.
Mr Rapea responded that there is a declaration of interest in place for the top management and this was done within the stipulated timeframe. The declaration of interest is now done electronically and this was making things much easier. The Committee could be provided with the document with all the declaration of interests as requested.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee should indeed be provided with the documents detailing declaration of interests from the top management as this was an issue of oversight. It is the priority of the Committee to ensure that SAPS was able to act within the stipulated framework in terms of the law and the top management in terms of the prescripts as there are no shortcuts or exceptions.
Mr Rapea replied that the Cabinet approved the appointment of the secretariat of CSP on 7 December 2016 but there is a process that needs to be followed. The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) will be involved in the process and provide the Minister with the letter of approval of the appointment. The Minister of Police effected the appointment of the secretariat from 21 December and this is a five year term. In relation to the filling of vacant posts, there is a detailed report that could be shared to the Committee that is focused on the closing dates for certain posts and the status of other posts including the interviewing date for the posts. All the posts are funded and therefore it is crucially important to ensure that these posts are filled in as soon as possible.
Mr Rapea highlighted that the turnaround plan is directly linked with the strategic plan and therefore the turnaround strategy will be completed at the end of March 2017 but this is not to say that the entity will deliberately wait for March for the finalisation of the plan. The CSP had already identified certain weaknesses that would need to be addressed and the plan could be presented to the Committee as soon as completed. The CSP had already asked the Cabinet to go for public comments on the Firearm Control Act and therefore it is still up to the Cabinet to decide whether to inform CSP to go for public comments on the amendments that had been made. The Committee could perhaps also provide a way to go on the matter of public comments. There are two ways of dealing with this matter - some felt that CSP needed to go back for public comments on the Bill while others felt that this could perhaps be a time-consuming process.
Mr Groenewald said that the preferred option would be for the Bill to be sent back for public comments as this was following the entire prescribed route for the passing of any bill.
Mr Rapea added that his preferred option was that the Bill should be processed through Parliament as the public had already been asked to make their inputs.
Mr Groenewald suggested that Secretariat need to reconsider his preferred option as this was an important Bill and this was to avoid the situation where the Bill would be taken to court. The Secretariat should ensure that the public was given an ample time to deal with the Bill.
Mr Rapea clarified that the CPFs are not part of the White Paper on policing and this was something that needed to be distinguished. In other words, the CPFs are informed by the White Paper on policing but not part of the White Paper. The CSP was looking into the funding model for CPFs and this was to look into the common approach to fund the CPFs. It would be important to look at how various provinces are funding the CPFs so as to ensure that there is uniformity in the country. SAPS was clear that there is need to consult three more other provinces on the funding model of CPFs. CSP was working with the provincial secretariats to find a common approach. It is indeed true that there is need to include all the role players in the fight against crime including the involvement of all government departments as mentioned by Mr Ramatlakane.
Mr Rapea agreed that the 24% vacancy rate was a real concern and this was one of the reasons there was an approval of overtime and the allocated budget for that. The target for the next financial year was to reduce the vacancy rate to 10% as this is a minimum requirement from the DPSA. The reality is that the process of approving posts was taking a while and it is important to wait for the whole process of the approval of the candidate to be appointed. The Committee could be provided with detailed information on the platform that had been created for the public to submit service delivery complaints. The positions that are being filled are meant to strengthen finance but at the same time there was a realisation that there is no capacity for the people to do the assessment of the budget of SAPS. The CSP welcomed the proposal for the integrated approach in dealing with CPFs as this was an approach that was being considered. CSP could present to the Committee on the research on the demilitarisation of POP and TRT units. In relation to the question on vetting, it is quite clear that this whole vetting process was taking very long time, especially for top secrets.
Mr Rapea replied that there are 9 findings that had not been addressed as at the date of reporting and it is important to take into consideration that there are findings where it was impossible for them to be corrected as the Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the 2016/17 financial year had already been published and implemented. The Department had recently appointed the Chief of Information Technology (IT) to deal with the findings that had been identified on IT.
Briefing by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Mr Robert McBride, Executive Director: IPID; stated that The purpose of this briefing is to present IPID’s progress with regards to implementation of the Committee's BRRR recommendations including the AGSA Action Plans and consolidated performance for the period 01 April to 31 December 2016. It is important to clarify that the Report on consolidated performance, particularly in the third quarter, is greatly affected by budgetary constraints facing the department due to the following reasons, among other things:
Budget cuts and ceilings placed by National Treasury on compensation of employees
Expenditure incurred by the department as a result of, among other things, restructuring/ transfers that took place
Consequently, some of the activities in Investigations and Stakeholder Management have been deferred to the next financial year
IPID was unsuccessful in obtaining funding to fund the implementation of the Farlam Commission's recommendations. The investigation team is incurring expenditure that was not budgeted for in the current budget allocation, which has resulted in spending pressure being experienced in goods and services. At this stage the investigation can not be completed without IPID being able to source additional funds. An urgent request for intervention has been sent to National Treasury for assistance in this regard. The timeframe for achieving this particular objective had been deferred to the next financial year. With regard to the action plan to reduce under spending in all its programmes for the current financial year, IPID has made considerable improvements in its spending trends. IPID spends most of its budget appropriation and as a department, consistently meets its spending trends. IPID spent 99% of its budget allocation. IPID spent 99% of its budget allocation in the 2014/15 financial year; 99% in the 2015/16 and 87.1% as at 31 January 2017 for 2016/17 (its 99% for both 2015/16)
Mr McBride mentioned that the current percentage of females at Senior Management at the end of January 2017 is 47% (15) compared to males at 53% (17). There are five (5) vacant Senior Management positions that can be considered to address the gap between males and females at Senior Management. The target of employment of females in senior management is expected to be addressed and finalised in the next financial year. Financial management was incorporated in the Senior Management Staff (SMS) Performance Agreement for 2017/18. The monitoring of identified cases was being done at MANCO meetings. There are a number of disciplinary actions and criminal case that had already been initiated. It would be difficult for IPID to cut down reliance on SAPS for equipment's and tools of trade as the entity has never been adequately funded. The Accounting Officer will consider expenditure incurred and initiate disciplinary processes in consultation with HRM&D were warranted, to ensure that consequence management measures are implemented.
Mr McBride highlighted that the training of investigators remains a priority despite dramatic budget cuts, in order to ensure that IPID delivers on its mandate. During 2016/17, a total of 78 investigators were trained. The Directorate has planned to train a further 75 investigators during 2017/18 financial year. In relation to the recommendation to report on systematic corruption issues to be addressed within SAPS and MPS, the Department is aware of two cases under investigation of systemic corruption related to drug dealings involving the police. IPID and the NPA had a meeting in September 2016 to fast track the processing of feedback on referrals. NPA can only trace cases by CAS numbers and police stations. IPID is currently updating its registers to include CAS numbers dating back to the 2012 / 2013 financial year. The next meeting with NPA will be held before the end of February 2017. A number of engagements have been held with the NDPP at national level to discuss matters of mutual concern. The provincial meetings with Provincial NDPP’s will be held to discuss and monitor reduction of backlogs.
The 2015/2016 AGSA review report for IPID identified a total of 28 audit findings which comprised of compliance and internal control issues.15 of the 28 audit findings had been addressed. The process of reviewing Performance Agreements is already in progress to achieve accountability of senior managers in respect of payment of invoices within 30 days (ensuring that invoices are forwarded to the relevant processing units i.e. SCM and Finance). A process of review of senior manager’s PAs began in Dec 2016, to be finalised before year end. The AGSA recommended the need to address the problem of fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by advertising of a position which is not on the approved structure. The recommendation was that the expenditure shall be disclosed in the fruitless and wasteful register. IPID was in-progress with achieving this action plan and once supporting documents are received, it will be reflected in the register as at 28 February 2017.
In conclusion, Mr McBride indicated that the budget constraints will have adverse impact on the achievement of targets on finalisation of cases in Programme 2 and Programme 4 targets. As a result, four (4) case classifications were prioritised for investigation; which are death in police custody, death as a result of police action, rape by police officer, rape while in custody and systematic corruption. Furthermore, some of the engagements under Programme 4 were put on hold until the end of the financial year. The trend of extensive budget cuts experienced by the IPID occurs in the context of the IPID consistently meeting its quarterly and annual spending targets. Therefore the financial constraints will remain and continue to hamper the Directorate` ability to implement the IPID Act, which was promulgated in 2012/13. The reality is that IPID had been consistently underfunded and had number of posts frozen and this level of underfunding was making it extremely difficult for IPID to achieve full independence.
Mr Groenewald asked about the amount of money that was required by IPID in order to be able to execute its mandate.
Mr Ramatlakane stated that the presentation lacked a clear plan on how to implement the recommendations in the Farlam report.
Mr Mhlongo expressed concern that the recommendations in the Farlam Commission were stalled due to funding and this was a matter that the Committee would need to take into consideration. It is quite clear that certain things within IPID required political will in order to be dealt with.
Mr McBride responded that it was impossible to have ideal plans in place where there is a perennial problem of underfunding within IPID. The reality is that certain investigations appear in the media because they actually have a far-reaching impact. It is extremely difficult to make a detailed planning when there is a “snowball chance” of actually getting funding. The approach of IPID is generally transparent. It must be emphasised that senior managers have been warned about the matter of sponsorship but what is amiss is clear policy on it. IPID was forced to redirect its “normal” budget into implementing the Farlam report, without getting more funding.
Briefing by IPID on High Profile cases
Mr McBride mentioned that there are several documents, statements and banking statements that indicate corruption, money laundering, fraud and defeating the ends of justice as it relates to the Acting National Commissioner of Police and other police members. It was also discovered that there had been a pattern where whistleblowers, witnesses including the police officers and IPID investigators who are being harassed or victimised. The case involving the Acting National Commissioner was at advanced stage as it was important for the case to be finalised.
Mr Matthews Sesoko, Head: National Investigations, IPID, indicated that there is also a high profile case where members of the DPSA are also involved in allegations of kidnapping, assault and intimidation and the victim here is a member of South African Revenue Service (SARS). This investigation is at the advanced stage. IPID was also investigating torture (death in custody) where a person was killed and it is alleged that the person was killed through torture. This was a long-standing investigation and IPID started investigating the matter in 2013 but there was no breakthrough in the investigation at the time. There is now new evidence that was produced recently and was proving to yield positive results. The new information suggests that there was evidence of torture. The investigation is at advanced stage and IPID should be referring the matter back to the Department of Police shortly.
Mr Sesoko said that IPID had also investigated allegations of fraud, corruption and the defeating the ends of justice against General Ntlemeza. The matter was currently sitting with the Director of Public Prosecution and IPID was still waiting for the final decision to be taken on the matter. One of the cases that were currently being investigated by IPID is a suicide where the cop apparently shot himself twice, below the chin and then on the side of the head, which was quite odd and highly suspicious. The investigation had picked up that there is problem of drugs at OR Tambo International Airport involving members of the SAPS and members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). It also appeared that there is a sort of a war as to who would get to the drugs first and those drugs mules that are bringing drugs to the country are never arrested and only drugs are taken. Once the drugs are taken, there is then an issue of the value of the drugs that is being accounted for.
IPID also discovered that some of the drugs are not even weighed at the airport as the normal standard requires. IPID recently went to view footages at OR Tambo International Airport and there was damning evidence which proved once again that there was a tug-of-war about access to the drugs between members of the SAPS and DPCI. There are cases where drugs would arrive from “international arrivals” but they would be moved out to the “domestic arrivals” by SAPS with the assistance of some of the members who are working at the airport. The drugs in this case would end up not going through proper processes and this was concerning to IPID. There was an ongoing investigation on the matter and IPID was getting information and sources from different people on some of the things that are going on around drugs at that particular airport. It would be impossible to state exactly how long the investigation was likely to be completed. The investigation came out as a result of the death of the two officials, as it is alleged that the one DPCI officer killed the SAPS member and then killed himself.
Mr Sesoko mentioned that IPID was also looking into the issue where SAPS members are alleged to be targeting foreign nationals for drugs and then demand cash from them and if they do not get the cash they demand those drugs but those drugs do not end up at the police station.
Mr Groenewald asked about Mr Paul O’Sullivan’s part in the case against Mr Phahlane as this was not clear from the reports that were mentioned even in the media.
Mr Ramatlakane also wanted to know how Mr O’Sullivan “posed as IPID” as this was the matter that seemed unclear in the whole case.
Mr Mhlongo said that there seemed to be a brush wiping all the heads of IPID as this was clear from the purging of Mr Anwa Dramat. It would be important to hear from Mr McBride if IPID was receiving all the necessary support or backing from the Minister.
Mr Mbele wanted to know if Mr Nhleko was still “waging a cold war against IPID” by being uncooperative. The Committee should also be briefed on the arrest of Mr Sullivan and whether this could not constitute interference in the investigation of Mr Phahlane by IPID. The fact that the Minister was present during the briefing by the Acting National Commissioner and not during the IPID presentation was highly suspicious and also raised this question of uncooperative nature of the Minister.
The Chairperson asked if all high profile cases are dealt with within the law and whether the President and the Minister of Police was being informed of these cases.
Mr McBride replied that the assumption could be that the Minister would have loved to be here in the meeting and support IPID. It is difficult to envisage that the Minister would take IPID’s recommendations very seriously as the recommendations of IPID normally returned. IPID will continue to do the right thing and raise issues that are threatening national security and community at large. Mr O’Sullivan is the complainant in the case; he has knowledge of the case and he was also able to raise the case while most of the people at IPID were on suspension. It is untrue that Mr Phahlane did not know about the case that was being investigated against him. IPID had signed documentation proving otherwise. It must be clarified that at no stage did Mr O’Sullivan presented himself as an IPID investigator or a police officer. Even if Mr Phahlane felt threatened, he should have called protection service, rather he called a unit from North West.
Mr Sesoko added that Mr O’Sullivan is not contracted to IPID, as IPID only got the information from him and then started conducting a follow up. IPID was not saying Mr Phahlane is guilty of an offense as that was not the terrain of IPID. IPID was simply saying that there was wrongdoing and at least there should be an explanation that is provided. Mr Phahlane did not provide proof to IPID, but just an e-mail but IPID was requesting bank statements regarding the equipment. IPID never said that it needed to remove the items from Mr Phahlane’s house; the intention was just to confirm if those items were there. The search was granted and legally followed all the proper procedures and this was the reality of the investigation. The wish was to finish the case as soon as possible by investigation on corruption was complex and therefore it was difficult to say exactly when the investigation would be completed but whatever that was being done was in compliance with law.
Mr Ramatlakane expressed concern about the fact that it looked like a complainant was investigating the case against Mr Phahlane as there are parameters that should be observed.
Mr Mhlongo wanted to know how it was possible for people who are being investigated for high profile cases could be allowed to remain in power.
Ms Mmola asked exactly who this Mr O’Sullivan was as it was difficult to get a proper response about the specific role of this individual.
Mr McBride replied that the arrest against Mr O’Sullivan was an attempt to disrupt the investigation that was ongoing and this was also in contravention of the IPID Act.
Mr Sesoko commented that if there is an issue on how IPID was conducting its own investigation then there could be a judge to look at how IPID was doing investigations rather than having interferences.
The Chairperson concluded that the Committee would monitor developments on the case as they happen in order to stay up to date.
The meeting was adjourned.
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