The Committee met to consider the Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and budgets of entities within the ambit of the police portfolio, namely, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DCPI), Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). The DPCI, for the first time, presented its budget independently of that of the SA Police Service (SAPS) in complianc with the SAPS Act. The presentation was made by Acting DPCI Head, Gen. Yolisa Matakata, following the suspension of Lt. Gen. Berning Ntlemeza. The presentation provided the mandate and objectives of the DPCI, DPCI priorities over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and operational support functions. Members were taken through an overall analysis of the DPCI over the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE), expenditure trends and estimates, estimate expenditure for the Directorate within SAPS programme three (Detective Services) and estimate expenditure per economic classification. The presentation then covered estimate expenditure for sub-programmes (for SAPS programme three), economic classification year on year, component breakdown and provincial budget breakdown.
The Committee raised sharply the issue of governance in the DPCI and how public trust would be restored in the Directorate given allegations of political interference. Questions were asked about vacancies in the DPCI, with the passing of DPCI Judge Moosa – the Committee highlighted this process of a new appointment would need to be expedited as it was critical for the DPCI members, and public, to have this recourse – this would be included in the recommendation report of the Committee. The Committee sought clarity on allegations of the Minister requesting a docket be moved – there was a need for clear distance between the DPCI and the Executive Authority in terms of operational matters. Members welcomed Gen. Matakata to the acting position and asked if she was receiving the necessary support from SAPS and the DPCI and if there was a handover. Further questions were asked about the process of making DPCI a separate budget vote, if the finding of the Auditor-General of SA (AGSA) around the manual recording of data was being addressed, progress made with securing alternative accommodation for the Directorate and why the target on the detection rate of cybercrime related activities was so low. It was noted that the DPCI investigation rate was high but this was not matched by the conviction rate – what was the challenge in this regard? Debate then ensued on the changing of charges, and relationship with the National Prosecuting Authority, in reference to the alleged coup plotter case. There was discussion about the high budget allocation for compensation of employees, what informed the provincial budget breakdown, and final budget allocation of the DPCI, why there was no target on illegal firearms and challenges in adhering to targets on public sector campaign.
Members questioned allegations around Gen. Ntlemeza related to DPCI devices (laptop and cellphone) as there was concern of cases on these devices and information could then be removed. Members also sought assurance of contingency measures should the suspended Head want to return to the DPCI offices. There were other questions on the state of provincial DPCI offices in terms of functionality and operations, last minute dropping of the charges against Pravin Gordhan (previous Minister of Finance) and at what taxpayer expense, when the case involving Paul O’Sullivan would be finalised, the percentage of registered serious organised crime project investigations terminated and allegations of a biased stance against complaints from the City of Johannesburg – from this there were questions on the centralisation/escalation of cases to the office of the DPCI Head. Discussion was had on resourcing of the two units – this was urgent as drug-related crime and the role of illegal firearms in gang violence and syndicate crime were some of the biggest drivers of rising violent crime. The Committee wanted to know when there would be finalisation of resourcing and posts between the Directorate and SAPS Programme Three, purpose of community outreach programmes and an update on the case of Pastor Omotso in PE (and allegations that he was being fed information from the DPCI in the run up to his arrest) and the case of Senzo Meyiwa. The Committee highlighted the importance of getting the regulations in terms of the SAPS Act to inform the exact processes, policies and procedure for investigation of cases between the SAPS and DPCI. The National Assembly would also still need to consider the salary scales of the DPCI Head and Deputy Head.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) then presented its APP and budget to the Committee. The presentation looked at the 2015/2020 strategic plan of the CSP before moving into the purpose, strategic objective, sub-programmes, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets for the programmes of the CSP, namely, Administration, Intersectoral Coordination and Strategic Partnership, Legislation and Policy Development and Civilian Oversight, Monitoring and Evaluation. The presentation was concluded with outlining of ministerial priorities.
The Committee commended the CSP for complying with its deadline for the submission of declaration of interests. It then questioned the AGSA finding that some KPIs of the CSP were not well defined and targets were not specialised and measurable, for example, visits to police stations when it was not clear what the aim of visits were and the process behind it. The Committee welcomed the view of the CSP being the strategic advisory body of the Minister but questioned if it had the capacity to carry out the ambitious priorities of the Minister over the two year timeframe. The Committee was particularly displeased with the slow pace of legislation to come before it especially the SAPS Act – if this continued, the Committee would have to look at initiating a Committee Bill. There was concern about the Use of Force policy and the need for debate on it, implementation of the White Papers to prevent them sitting on the shelf, no improvement in the employment of disabled persons and the AGSA finding around lack of stability at top and senior management of the Secretariat.
Members questioned public-private partnerships, vetting, CSP office accommodation and increased budget allocation for venues, facilities and consultants. It was also said that it was important for the CSP to lead the environment on digital and e-policing in the future given that there might not always be funds for appointing more personnel. Members probed the ring fencing of funds for the DNA Board, measuring of the school safety programme and Single Police Service.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) then presented its APP and budget for 2017/18 – the presentation began with outlining matters discussed with the Minister at a meeting on 18 April 2017 before moving onto financial information of the Directorate. This section of the presentation covered MTEF budget allocation, MTEF budget allocation summary, MTEF budget allocation per economic classification and MTEF budget allocation for the programmes of IPID, namely, Administration, Investigation and Information Management and Stakeholder Monitoring and Stakeholder Management – it was highlighted that Programme Three of IPID, Legal Services, was unilaterally removed as a programme of IPID by National Treasury. The presentation looked at budget breakdown per programme, IPID MTEF budget baseline assessment, non-funded activities and human resource management. The purpose, strategic objective, sub-programmes, performance indicators, targets and where targets were adjusted were then presented for the IPID programmes before concluding by looking at non-funded activities.
The Committee was greatly concerned about the effects of budget cuts on the investigations of IPID particularly the Marikana investigation for which R5 million was required – there was agreement that funding for the Marikana investigation was non-negotiable. Members were also concerned by how Treasury could unilaterally remove a departmental programme and the effect of losing this particular programme on the work of IPID especially in light of the litigation-intense environment IPID operated it. There were questions on the feedback process to complainants, challenges of underperformance in the legal services programme experienced last year, the situation of the police fingered in the Marikana investigation and vacancy rate of IPID. Members then discussed shifts in relations between the IPID Executive Director and Executive Authority, what constituted high-profile cases, current case intake of IPID and the improvement of police culture at the unit and station level. There was much discussion on the investigation of corruption into the Acting National Commissioner of Police, Gen. Khomotso Phahlane – the Committee wanted to know when the case would be finalised and felt there was need for urgent further discussion stemming from what was raised by IPID during this meeting.
Chairperson Opening Comments
The Chairperson summarised that the Committee had this week worked through the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan (APP) and budget for all programmes of the SA Police Service (SAPS). Today the Committee would hear the budgets and plans of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), or the Hawks, which was currently a SAPS sub-programme. Thereafter, the Committee would hear from the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Next week Wednesday, 10 May 2017, the Committee would meet to hear the budget and plans of the Private Security Industry Authority (PSIRA). The week thereafter the Committee would adopt its reports on the budget hearings – Committee requests for further information and documents from the departments needed to be submitted before then.
In terms of today’s meeting, the Committee requested the briefing be conducted by the DPCI itself – in terms of the SAPS Act, the Head of the DPCI is to provide Parliament with a briefing on its annual budget so it is important to comply therewith.
Budget Hearing Briefing: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
Lt. Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, Acting National Police Commissioner, prefaced the DPCI presentation by noting that SAPS would always respect and implement policies. The SAPS Act spoke to the DPCI outlining that there was direct accounting to the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner as Accounting Officer of the Department. DPCI remained a sub-programme within SAPS programme three, Detective Services, but the agency was dealt with in line with the directives as a separate presentation.
Lt. Gen. Yolisa Matakata, Acting DPCI Head, took the Committee through the presentation noting that its purpose was to provide the Committee with the financial information of the DCPI and key performance indicators as aligned to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE). The mandate of the DPCI was to prevent, combat and investigate national priority offences, in particular, serious organised crime, serious commercial crime and serious corruption. Section 17A of the Act defined “national priority offence” as organised crime, crime that required national prevention or investigation and crime that required specialised skills in the prevention or investigation thereof as referred to in section 16 (1) of the SAPS Act. The objective of the DPCI was to contribute to the successful prosecution of offenders by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence.
Turning to DPCI priorities over the MTSF (2014/15 – 2019/2020), performance indicators included:
-percentage of trial-ready case dockets for fraud and corruption by individuals within the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster measured against the total fraud and corruption cases not finalised in court
-number of serious corruption related trial-ready case dockets where officials were involved including procurement fraud and corruption
-detection rate for serious commercial crime-related charges
-percentage of trial-ready case dockets for serious commercial crime-related charges
-percentage of registered serious organised crime project investigations successfully terminated
-percentage of identified clandestine laboratories dismantled
-detection rate for cybercrime related cases
Lt. Gen. Matakata outlined the components/sections established to support the operational environment as:
-Priority Crime Management Centre (present the priority offence threat picture that will direct threat based investigations and management information and strategic planning)
-Priority Crime Serious Investigation (financial and assets forfeiture investigations, cyber crime and digital forensic investigations)
-Integrity Management Unit (maintaining professional standards through effective integrity management within the DPCI environment)
-Support Services (finance and administration, supply chain management and human resource management)
In terms of an overall analysis of the DPCI estimated budget, for the 2017/18 financial year, the Directorate received a total of R1.528 billion which was 1.7% of the total SAPS national budget. The DPCI received the smallest allocation within SAPS programme three, at 8.5%, which was R1.528 billion from the total R17.934 billion allocation. There was an increase of 9.3% in this current financial year.
The presentation then looked at expenditure trends and estimates. Estimate expenditure for sub-programmes and estimate expenditure for the Directorate within SAPS Programme Three. In terms of estimate expenditure per economic classification for the DPCI:
-0% transfers and subsidies
-2% payment of capital assets
-20% goods and services
-78% compensation of employees (bulk of DPCI allocation)
Lt. Gen. Matakata then outlined the budget breakdown per DPCI component:
-Serious Commercial Crime: R13 500 million
-Serious Organised Crime: R15 700 million
-Priority for Specialised Crime Investigation: R14 700 million
-Serious Anti Corruption Investigation: R13 800 million
-Integrity: R4 500 million
-Priority Crime Management Centre: R7 500 million
-Corporate Support: R85 300 million
Budget breakdown per DPCI provincial office:
-Gauteng: R31 200 million
-North West: R15 700 million
-Limpopo: R14 500 million
-KZN: 29 500 million
-Mpumalanga: R15 500 million
-Eastern Cape: R29 000 million
-Western Cape: R17 600 million
-Free State: R15 500 million
-Northern Cape: R15 500 million
In summary, the national head office of the DPCI was responsible for purchasing resources such as machineries and equipment. Compensation of employees will remain the largest cost driver of spending, constituting nearly 78% (R1.1 billion) of the total 2017/18 which was paid by the national head office. The DPCI, nationally, was responsible for the payment of overtime which was a R6.7 million allocation and formed part of compensation of employees. Cost containment measures announced by the Ministers of Finance and Public Service and Administration (DPSA) would be taken into consideration. The DPCI would conduct community outreach programmes. Fuel, communications and subsistence and travelling expenses were regarded as the major cost drivers.
The Chairperson noted that the DPCI presenting its own budget to the Committee, independent to that of SAPS, meant there was compliance with the SAPS Act. DPCI is a very important institution in fighting organised crime and so there must be trust in the organisation – the Committee would continue to monitor events in the environment very closely. With the passing of Judge Essa Moosa, there was a vacancy of the DPCI Judge. While noting the commitment by the new Minister on the process, it was very important for the Committee to include this in its budget report to the House to ensure it was clear the Minister needed to expedite the process in consultation with the Chief Justice and Minister of the Department of Justice so that the appointment of the inspecting Judge could be made as soon as possible. It was critical for members of the DPCI to have recourse if there was any interference as well as for members of the public. He reiterated that the Committee called on the Executive Authority to expedite the process to also enhance oversight and good governance in the DPCI environment. It was critical that there was trust in the governance of the DPCI – over the weekend in media reports, it was alleged there was a certain docket that was requested by the Minister. If this was true, this would be extremely concerning and unlawful. The Committee required clear answers on the matter for accountability and to prevent Executive interference. What was the exact situation in this regard? There must be a clear distance between the Executive Authority and the Directorate in terms of operational matters.
Lt. Gen. Matakata stated that the docket in question was never requested by Minister Mbalula but was sent from the Free State province to her office – the docket was receiving the necessary attention.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) welcomed Lt. Gen. Matakata to the position of Acting Head of the Hawks and asked how far the process was to make DPCI a separate budget vote. One of the findings of the Auditor-General of SA (AGSA) was the DPCI manually recording data – how far was the process for addressing this? She observed that arrests made by the Directorate were high but this did not match the conviction rate. This made her think of the case of the Soshanguve boys who were to charged with murder conspiracy but the court changed the charge to something lighter – did this mean there was a problem with the way the DPCI investigated cases or what was the challenge in this regard? She was interested in cybercrime training and if the Hawks members were up to the task.
Lt. Gen. Matakata noted that the issue of the separate budget vote for the DPCI was receiving the necessary attention – it was looked at by the office of the previous Minister of Police but she was unsure of whether there was handover to the office of the new Minister. However when she meets with the new Minister this could be one of the issues discussed. In terms of the AGSA finding regarding the recording of manual data, it was being looked into in terms of the provinces where the finding was located but there was an implementation plan committed to dealing with the audit findings nationally to ensure the findings were never repeated. In terms of arrests vis-a-vis the conviction rate, she could not speak to conviction rates because at times some matters took too long in court – this side of the process the DPCI had no control over. With the Soshanguve case, the charges were preferred by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – the DPCI investigated while the NPA decided which charges would be preferred. The initial charge in the case was conspiracy to commit murder but this was changed by the NPA in terms of its preferred charges. There was no such coup plot.
Ms Molebatsi interjected to note that her question was why the initial charges were wrongly formulated by the DPCI.
Lt. Gen. Matakata explained that the NPA decided on what the court charges were once the case was handed over from the DPCI – the NPA decided on which charges the individual/s faced in court and not the DPCI.
Ms Molebatsi noted that when an individual/s was arrested, that person/s must be charged within 48 hours – was this correct? The DPCI charged the Soshanguve individual with conspiracy to commit murder – why was this charge wrongly formulated?
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) also sought clarity on the notion that the NPA decided on the charges – his understanding was that when a docket was forwarded to the NPA, after the investigation was finalised, the NPA determined the prospects of prosecution and not to decide what the charges were. Cases were based on charges and the investigation centred on finding evidence to back up those charges. He did not buy the story that there were never coup plot charges. Clarity on the matter was required.
Lt. Gen. Matakata responded that when there was an investigation, especially of a complex nature, from the onset, investigators would work with prosecutors from the beginning to decide what the individual/s would be charged with. DPCI did not decide on the charges – this was the responsibility of the NPA. The NPA would know which charges would stand in court and therefore decided on the charges – this was not the decision of an investigator.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) felt it was misleading to suggest the NPA decided on the charges – the fact was that the SAPS laid the initial charge, after an arrest was made, while the NPA decided on whether to prosecute based on those charges. It was misleading to suggest otherwise – this would mean the NPA took on policing functions. What was the reason for the existence of the SAPS and Hawks then? The Hawks may as well be disbanded if that was the case.
Lt. Gen. Matakata responded that prosecutors did not investigate cases – this was the mandate of the DPCI but the Directorate worked closely with the NPA as a multi-disciplinary team. From the onset of cases, DPCI worked with the NPA in terms of guidance but ultimately the NPA decided which charges would be winnable in court – this was not the decision of the DPCI.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) requested an update on the progress made with securing appropriate office accommodation for the Directorate country-wide. With the performance indicator “percentage of registered serious organised crime project investigations successfully terminated”, why were the projects terminated? She questioned why the target for “detection rate for cybercrime-related cases” was so low. Why was the 78% budgeted for compensation of employees not used for the investigation of crime? Why did some provinces have low budgets in terms of the provincial budget breakdown?
Lt. Gen. Matakata said that with cybercrime, because DPCI did not have a big dedicated capacity for this crime category, investigators would be trainednas first responders so that capacity was built throughout the chain. This training was ongoing – there was support from other international law enforcement agencies which further empowered the environment in terms of new developments and trends emerging. In terms of accommodation, a task team was formulated between the Department of Public Works, SAPS supply chain and the DPCI. Feedback could be provided to the Committee in terms of progress made in securing appropriate accommodation for the DPCI. With the target related to termination of projects, “termination” referred to projects finally investigated, where arrests were made and the individual/s was taken to court.
Mr Groenewald suggested that the term “termination” was misleading as it suggested the project was simply ended. “Completion” or “finalised” might be better terming.
The Chairperson agreed that “termination” implied the project could have been stopped halfway. It might be best to relook the term.
Lt. Gen. Matakata acknowledged that the wording of the indicator would be reviewed. Answering further questions, she noted the target around cybercrime was reviewed after the Committee pointed out that it was too low in a previous engagement. 34% was thus the reviewed target – if this was still too low it would need to be reviewed again.
Ms Mmola noted that 34% was still low for the target – the target needed to be in the 50% to 60% region to ensure there was long, hard work on the target. A target under 50% was low and would need to be reviewed.
Lt. Gen. Matakata said the target would be reviewed.
Mr Groenewald asked why the target was set at 34% in the first place.
Lt. Gen. Matakata pointed out that the indicator was a new one – certain things were taken into consideration along with capacity and progress seeing as the indicator was new. It was initially set at 18% when the Committee requested the review.
Mr Mhlongo suggested that it might be useful for the DPCI, and SAPS Detective Services, to brief the Committee on the kind of cases it actually dealt with and how cases were transferred from SAPS to DPCI. It would also be important to know the volume of cases transferred to DPCI from Detective Services – the information would provide context for indicators and targets – without this, targets seemed as if they were a thumb suck.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee did request the Acting National Commissioner update Members on the progress of work between Detectives and the DPCI – this was important in terms of resourcing. The emphasis was on DPCI focusing on organised and commercial crime instead of getting bogged down by other investigations.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) welcomed Lt. Gen. Matakata to the position of Acting Head of the Hawks.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) noted that while there was compliance with the SAPS Act with the DPCI presenting its own budget, independent of the SAPS, to the Committee, he reminded Members that there was long discussion last year on the budget of the DPCI and how the Directorate arrived at its final budget allocation. Last year the answer was not clearly articulated to Members – it was important for the Committee to know how the final budget allocation was arrived at and what the “wish list” of the DPCI had been based on its mandate. In the media there were allegations that Gen. Berning Ntlemeza, previous Head of the DPCI, had returned the cellphone with all cases on it wiped of – this made him wonder how cases found their way onto a cellphone if the cases were under investigation. Clarity around this allegation was required. In terms of the target relating to public sector corruption, yesterday the Committee had lengthy discussion with SAPS on the matter. He was pleased to see that this was a target of the DPCI but the question was if challenges in adhering to this target were experienced. He was curious to know why there was no target in the 2017/18 APP dealing with illegal firearms – this required explanation. Turning to the budget, while he appreciated the provincial breakdown of the budget, he wanted to know how those provincial budgets were arrived at. Was it based on the work schedule of the province? What was the state of the DPCI provincial offices in terms of functionality and operations? What was the problem with data limitations in terms of the manual capturing of data?
Lt. Gen. Matakata explained that with the provincial budget allocation, the allocation was based on historical expenditure of the provinces, volume of work and levels of capacity. These were some of the factors to balance when determining budget allocation for the provinces. With the overall DPCI allocation nationally, in short, no additional input was provided to Treasury – Treasury decided and determined the national allocation of the Directorate.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane added that with austerity measures, government coffers were low so only critical submissions would be considered. Once the relocation was complete, the submission could be made more concrete in terms of required capacity as informed by the organisational and functional structure. Budget growth was informed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The Chairperson pointed out that there were two new units expected which required additional capacity – was this communicated with Treasury when discussing the allocation for the current financial year?
Lt. Gen. Matakata replied that the total DPCI establishment was taken into consideration and not the two units separately. The units formed part of the overall Directorate structure. Breakdown of capacity for the two units was also still required to further inform the budget allocation needed within the overall Directorate structure.
The Chairperson asked if the two units would then be funded through savings. How else would the posts be funded if there was no additional money? The Committee requested that additional resources for the units be included in the presentation. It was critical that the two units were properly funded –if this was a priority, why was it not included in the MTEF presented?
Lt. Gen. Phahlane said the issue came down to determining which levels of cases would be dealt with by the DPCI. The SAPS Act was clear on the DPCI mandate in terms of its investigating serious corruption, serious organised crime and serious commercial crime. There were cases not falling within these categories investigated by the Hawks but this had historical ties – when the DPCI was established, there was capacity in SAPS to deal with organised and commercial crime. This capacity was simply relocated to the DPCI. Purification of cases dealt with by DPCI vs. those dealt with by Detective Services would assist in further distinguishing capacity. The units might then be funded from the current baseline. Purification of cases however was being expedited because the matter was long overdue. Purification of the cases dealt with by the DPCI would enhance efficiency of the Directorate because priority attention could be given to the serious cases falling within the mandate of the DPCI. By the end of June the position should be finalised.
Answering further questions, Lt. Gen. Matakata said with the allegations around Gen. Ntlemeza and the cellphone, cases could not be housed on a cellphone – DPCI operations did not work like that. She could not answer on whether the phone was cleaned out or not but no cases could be on anybody’s cellphone as this was not procedure.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane added that in the SAPS Detective Services environment, “trial ready” was removed but was retained in the DPCI environment.
Lt. Gen. Matakata said with the lack of target on illegal firearms, the DPCI did have an internal operational plan where such matters were monitored especially with the newly established unit. In terms of the state and functionality of the DPCI in the provinces, all provinces had appointed leaders in the form of provincial DPCI heads – the only province where the head was vacant was the Free State but the Minister would decide on when the post would be advertised. The provinces were performing operationally in terms of the work which needed to be done.
Mr Mhlongo noted that yesterday the Committee dealt at length with the perceived lack of capacity in the SAPS detective services programme. When looking at the DPCI budget for the KZN office he thought about the unresolved murder cases such as the Chief who was gunned down in broad daylight. These acts could be referred to as a terror in these communities - seeing a person of that stature executed in cold blood, in broad daylight, in such a way showed there was no respect for the rule of law. At the time he personally saw Gen. Ntlemeza visiting the family. He noted that many of the criminals had money themselves at times far exceeding the fiscus of government. This made him question what informed the provincial budgets given the scale of some of the challenges he referred to. Another such example was the heist at OR Tambo International Airport in the Gauteng province. Members needed to know what informed the provincial budgets especially to ensure there was no fiscal dumping in the police portfolio if was not good returns on the money spent on most of the programmes. He was very concerned about the imminent arrest of the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, but the case was dropped at the last minute – this was at the cost of taxpayers, created drama and brought unnecessary terror to the country. Another example was the so-called coup plotter – this made him question if the Guptas by chance had any influence in the matter.
Lt. Gen. Matakata said the cases in KZN referred to were receiving the necessary attention and SAPS was part of a task team on the matter. DPCI was working on some of the serious cases and there were some arrests as had been relayed in the media. Regarding the alleged coup plotter and involvement of the Guptas, there were two complainants in the matter both which were companies. The DPCI worked on the basis of these letters of the complainants.
Mr Groenewald asked if he understood the matter correctly that the investigation began after a complaint was received, one which came from the Guptas.
Lt. Gen. Matakata clarified that the company approached by the alleged plotter was the company which laid a compliant with the DPCI. She did not want to get into the merits of the case as it was before the court but the company was a private one, not necessarily the Guptas.
Mr Mhlongo felt it was clear there were no grounds on which to charge the alleged coup plotter – the stupidity of the matter showed there was madness in the individual in question. To have an elite agency like the Hawks investigating the case was laughable. It was an embarrassment not only to the DPCI but the rank and file of men and women in blue some of whom gave their lives for the country.
The Chairperson requested that Members concentrate on the agenda at hand.
Mr Groenewald asked if Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was also on the list and if this was the basis for her receiving presidential protection.
The Chairperson noted that there was agreement yesterday that Gen. Phahlane would return to the Committee with a report on that matter.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane pleaded with the Committee to allow the matter of the alleged coup plotter to be processed by the courts as that was where the matter was. The individual in question would be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation.
Mr Groenewald was pleased to hear that the Committee was no longer asked to allocate funds to procure a helicopter as requested by the previous Head of the DPCI. The perception of the DPCI in the eyes of the public was that the Directorate was a political instrument in the hands of the Executive –what would the new Acting Head do to build trust from the public back into the DPCI. Surely there must be policy, doctrines and procedures when it came to the handling and storage of files and information – the media was reporting on files in the boot of the car of the outgoing previous Head of the Hawks while there was also a cellphone and laptop in his possession. Was there a breach on these procedures? If so, what were the steps taken by the DPCI against the person who had breached those procedures? He then wanted to know about the saga with Paul O’Sullivan and how long the matter would still continue for – the Committee required this final update to know how many arrests were still expected, how many more court applications would be launched etc. In terms of the alleged coup plotter, it was clear something went awry yet resources were still used on the matter. Turning to more technical issues, he wanted to know how many projects were envisaged for termination under the performance indicator “percentage of registered serious organised crime project investigations successfully terminated”. He was concerned by the high percentage of budget (77%) allocated to salaries especially given that overtime was not paid from the DPCI budget but by the national department. This was not to say that salaries should be lowered but Members should be informed of why the allocation was so large and what steps would be taken to lower the allocation.
Lt. Gen. Matakata said the DPCI would change the perception that it was a political instrument by focusing on its mandate at outlined in the legislation i.e. corruption and serious, organised, commercial crime. By working hard the public would see successes in deliveries – DPCI should not be judged by the matters which seemed to be political in nature. Turning to other questions, she did not know about any alleged files in the boot of Gen. Ntlemeza’s car.
Mr Groenewald clarified that his question was about the procedures for the handling of files and information on portable devices like a laptop on which sensitive information relating to cases could be stored. Would the laptop be locked away every evening?
Lt. Gen. Phahlane explained the procedure and policy with office devices was for the device to remain at the office. Handover processes, when there was change in personnel, did not happen overnight because stock take needed to be conducted where the outgoing individual would have to sign off on what he/she was given and what was then left behind.
Mr Groenewald then questioned whether any information from devices were possibly be removed by Gen. Ntlemeza as there were tests to determine whether any information was removed from a device. If there was removal, this would be a contravention of the procedure. Were such checks done? If information was found to be removed, what would be done about it?
Lt. Gen. Phahlane said the matter was not at that level yet especially seeing as Gen. Ntlemeza had launched an appeal. There was also an application before the court attempting to interdict the Minister on his decision taken to remove Gen. Ntlemeza from office. Tests were not yet done then on any devices but devices which were state property were returned. At the opportune moment such testing could be conducted.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know what was taken back from Gen. Ntlemeza at the current moment.
Speaking under correction, Lt. Gen. Phahlane said it was the vehicle, the official cellphone, laptop and iPad. Gen. Ntlemeza was however still in position of his appointment certificate – this would be returned once services were terminated.
Mr Groenewald asked if the laptop and iPad would be scrutinised to assess whether any information was removed.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane reiterated that the matter was not at that stage yet – it could only be done once all other processes were concluded. With the high budget allocation for compensation of employees, this category always took the largest chunk of the budget. It was believed that through the relocation, it would enable better management of the allocation for compensation. This was not to say that any funds would be removed from the DPCI – the total budget allocation was specifically earmarked for the Directorate.
Speaking to the matter involving Mr O’Sullivan, Lt. Gen. Matakata could not say when the case would be finalised as there were some investigations still not finalised. At a later stage she might be able to better inform the Committee of when the cases under investigation would be finalised.
Mr Mbhele echoed the sentiments of the Chairperson around restoring and reinforcing public trust and confidence in the Hawks. Damage to the reputation of the Hawks, and diminishing public trust, was as a result of a governance crisis at the top of the institution since, arguably, the suspension of former DPCI Head Gen. Anwar Dramat. The hope was that the tenure of the now acting Head would see some turnaround and improvement. Escalation in the governance crisis was seen last Monday with the former head, Gen. Ntlemeza’s, defiance. He sought confirmation from the Acting Head that Gen. Ntlemeza had not since attempted to access Hawks premises, offices, information or systems. If this was the case, it would be a matter for the Committee to take up. Related to that, if Ntlemeza were to make that attempt again, what contingency plans were in place by the Hawks to prevent even further escalation? He was aware of complaints by administration of the City of Joburg, along with media reports, about how certain fraud and corruption cases from the City were not receiving the due treatment. There were allegations that this was a politically biased stance – he sought assurance from the Acting Head and her team that going forward there would be impartial and merit-based treatment of cases forwarded to the Hawks regardless of what the political affiliation of the source was. Ultimately the key pint was to strengthen accountability and it was through the investigation of the Hawks, resulting in convictions, that this would be ensured. Linked to this complaint was that there was a tendency of Gen. Ntlemeza to centralise certain cases by moving them from provincial offices to national. These cases also tended to be politically sensitive and this was a way of stymieing and suffocating cases resulting in the cases not going anywhere. He sought clarity from the Acting Head and her team around established procedure for the centralisation/escalation of cases from provincial offices to national – he imagined the procedure was a way of prioritising urgent cases. What was the track record when such cases were centralised? The contradiction was that urgent cases were centralised from provincial to national to ensure its investigation was given top priority yet those cases took the longest to complete in terms of results. Last year, the DPCI informed the Committee that in terms of the full establishment of the two specialised units, as announced by the President in the 2016 State of the Nation Address, additional funding would be required. Treasury was not forthcoming with the full request and cost containment was a strong consideration – in light of such resource constraints and the urgent need for the full capacitation of those two units, what was the DPCI planning to meet this need as far as possible? This was an urgent matter as drug-related crime and the role of illegal firearms in gang violence and syndicate crime were some of the biggest drivers of rising violent crime – this was something which could not be left lingering.
Lt. Gen. Matakata noted that the only way for the Hawks to improve public perception was to work and address mandated cases in terms of the legislation. This would be able to yield successes. It would however not be easy to salvage the perception and image of the Hawks but it would be worked on. It was clear that Gen. Ntlemeza would not be attempting to return to the Hawks offices after he had already attempted to do so once before. Other than the one incident, Gen. Ntlemeza had not attempted to return to the Hawks head office. There was therefore no need for contingency plans. In terms of complaints from the City of Joburg, she confirmed that there were cases referred to the DPCI from the City of Joburg. The cases were investigated and some were already in court. The provincial DPCI head in Gauteng had met with the officials from the City of Joburg to clarify the complaints of alleged non-investigation. The Head of the Hawks did have the discretion to centralise cases in head office. There were instances of cases requiring necessary skills from the serious economic offences unit which was located within the commercial crime division – not all provinces had this capacity. The DPCI head also had the discretion of formulating task teams to deal with prioritised cases centralised at head office – she did not know of other reasons which would explain why certain cases were centralised at head office. In terms of capacitation of the two new units, the DPCI structure was approved and organisational development was currently working on the breakdown to inform what the full capacity would be. It was also vital to know what breakdown was required per province.
The Chairperson noted that one issue still outstanding from the Gen. Phiyega/Dramat era was the finalisation of resourcing and posts in terms of Detective Services vs. DPCI. It was expected that DPCI focused on levels four and five but there were many level one to three cases slipping in to DPCI when they actually needed to be located in SAPS Detective Services. When would this distinction, and resource allocation in terms of posts etc, be finalised?
Lt. Gen. Phahlane, answering a question from earlier in the week on whether the Head of the DPCI was a stumbling block for the provision of resources etc, noted that he asked for the question to be deferred because he did not want to speak about the Directorate without being in its presence. He placed it on record that the DPCI was not a foreign entity to SAPS – the Directorate was after all located in the SAPS Act. The Act provided further for only one accounting officer which was the National Commissioner of Police. This was also in line with the Public Finance Management Act. SAPS supported the DPCI in ensuring there were resources for the Directorate to execute its mandate – there was no reason for SAPS not to do this because it would go against government policies and would do SAPS itself a disservice. At a previous engagement with the Committee last year, the then Head of the DPCI, Gen. Ntlemeza, when questioned about resourcing and the structure, said was working with the National Commissioner and would send the establishment for the Commissioner to sign off on – the National Commissioner had yet to see this finalised plan. Lt. Gen. Phahlane said he would work to ensure there was compliance with the Act because there was no need for the SAPS and DPCI to work against each other – there was more reason to work together to ensure processes were expedited. With making the DPCI a separate budget vote, he was not aware of any new submissions. The last documents received from Treasury on the matter were from July 2015, when Gen. Phiyega was still National Commissioner, where the proposal for a separate vote was not viewed favourably. In June 2016, after Gen. Ntlemeza submitted to have DPCI made a separate vote, Treasury communicated to maintain the status quo. He was not privy to any further communication.
Mr Mhlongo asked if special projects, like in the Kruger National Park, were catered for.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane said the rhino poaching project remained to be funded – the project was conducted through a multidisciplinary team including specialised members of the Hawks so the budget was not necessarily solely located in the Hawks but the wider investigation environment.
Mr Ramatlakane was interested in finding out the foundational, preparatory work done in terms of the DPCI budget. The SAPS Act directed the DPCI head to prepare a budget estimate which would then be submitted to the National Commissioner in terms of the normal government MTEF process – what was this budget estimate as presented to the National Commissioner? This cycle began in April already. He could not understand the response earlier that Treasury decided on the budget estimate. The National Commissioner did not indicate whether the DPCI had made this estimate presentation to him or not. There was a legislative obligation on both the DPCI Head and National Commissioner on the budget – was this complied with? There was long discussion about the issue of who decided on charges between the NPA and the Directorate – the job of deciding on initial charges could not be that of the NPA. The NPA decided on whether charges had a chance of succeeding in court. The DPCI was the charging authority who instituted charges upfront.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane stated the allocation presented to the Committee was informed by a submission made for the MTEF and was not informed by an annual submission i.e. there was no additional submission made last year for the current financial year. The final establishment and capacity requirements would find itself in submissions for the coming years.
Ms Mmola asked if Lt. Gen. Matakata, as the new acting head of the Hawks, was receiving the necessary support from SAPS and members of the DPCI in the new position. When was the last time the DPCI conducted a community outreach programme?
Lt. Gen. Matakata said she was receiving support from the SAPS especially from the Acting National Commissioner and Deputy National Commissioners. She also received support from within the DPCI as work needed to continue.
Ms Molebatsi highlighted the case of the infamous Pastor Timothy Omotoso who was arrested in PE last week who was allegedly receiving constant information from the Hawks before he was arrested, according to media reports – was this correct? She then requested an update on the Senzo Meyiwa case and if arrests would be effected soon. Did Lt. Gen. Matakata receive the necessary handover?
Lt. Gen. Matakata responded that the case of Pastor Omotoso could not be discussed in detail because processes were still ongoing. She asked not to disclose any information around the case. She did not yet have any handover due to matters which were not yet finalised.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane added that the media was responsible for reporting that the Senzo Meyiwa docket was with the DPCI – the case remained investigated by Detective Services within SAPS and there was a team dedicated to investigating it under the leadership of the Detective Services Divisional Commissioner. There was no handover to the Acting DPCI Head as yet – at the opportune moment such processes would ensue.
Mr Groenewald noted that before the Hawks there was the Scorpions and the main reason for the latter’s success was the coordination and joint investigation between members of the then Scorpions and prosecutors to ensure cases were successful before court - was this relationship still intact currently in terms of the DPCI?
Mr Mhlongo thought the meeting could not become a workshop on what the Hawks should be doing – the Committee should instead be questioning whether the Directorate was truly well positioned and ready to deal with the sophisticated nature of criminals today in their organised forms. Given some of the answers to some of the questions by Members, it was clear there still a long way to go in terms of capacity especially when the house was burning. As much as he differed with Gen. Booysen, at least he went toe to toe with the criminals in the KZN province and the criminals at least had something to be fearful of. The disorganisation of the Hawks meant they would cry to the police in uniform. He asked that the Chairperson endeavour to take the matter up with the powers that be on behalf of the Committee so that there was an elite crime busting unit which actually worked.
The Chairperson said the Committee would make recommendations in its report.
Lt. Gen. Matakata maintained her earlier explanation in terms of how the DPCI worked with prosecutors including in the cases Members referred to. There were prosecutions-guided investigations. There were prosecutors dedicated for organised and commercial crime – such investigations involved these prosecutors and they decided on the charges at that point as displayed in the charge sheet which then informed the court case. This applied to all DPCI work – the Directorate worked closely with the prosecutors from the outset in terms of having prosecutions-guided investigations. The prosecutors also advised the DPCI investigators on where further evidence was required etc.
Mr Mbhele thought the alleged coup plot case was an isolated one but was an example of, what he called, system failure – there was a clear breakdown of a series of filters and checks to detect that something was not quite right with the case. What was being done to review how the investigation unfolded in order to fix and strengthen the system to prevent such occurrence again. He compared it to Members receiving calls and complaints from the public but it became clear over time that some people were just attention seeking, maybe unhinged and because one was a somewhat public figure, there was that attraction. After a while one figured out how to identify such individuals – ultimately it came down to systems management and quality of leadership. These two elements were central to the functioning of any organisation – when systems failed it was important to learn the lessons. In terms of planned community outreach, he sought a brief outline of the content and purpose behind the community outreach. He imagined most of the DPCI cases were picked up from interception and other intelligence work but asked if cases were escalated from SAPS. Would it be correct to assume then that very few cases came from the public on the ground directly to the Hawks as opposed to being referred to it by SAPS? Going off this assumption, he then questioned the value of community outreach unless there was another purpose behind the target. If there was pressure for the establishment of a full and specialised unit he would then think community outreach was not the most important priority and that trade off then needed to be reviewed.
Lt. Gen. Matakata said in the current financial year there was no awareness campaigns yet conducted. The awareness campaigns targeted prevalent crimes in each community as informed by the provincial head. Each province would have its awareness campaigns to ensure the public was informed and for them to understand some of the challenges. There were also interviews with media houses. With the coup plot, gaps were certainly being identified along with issues for further clarity required in the environment. She would still need to time to dig into this but decisions would be taken based on shortcomings identified.
Lt. Gen. Phahlane added that a lesson learnt was to refrain from conducting investigations through the media – people often make baseless, unfounded allegations in the public domain which the media then just ran with. It was important to determine which information would be released to the media especially before a prima facie case was established by the competent authority.
In wrapping up this agenda item, the Chairperson noted that the outstanding regulations, in terms of the SAPS Act, were required in terms of exact processes, procedures and policies to be followed in the investigation of cases – this was something to be prioritised this term. The National Assembly also still needed to consider the salary scales of the DPCI Head and Deputy Head.
2017/18 Budget Overview of the Civilian Secretariat for Police
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary of Police, began the presentation by noting that it would cover the revised 2015/2020 Strategic Priorities for the CSP, the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan (APP) targets and budget of the Civilian Secretariat and the priorities of the Minister for 2017/19. To put the presentation in context, Members were informed that the Minister, as a Cabinet member, was responsible for directing, guiding, supervising and determining policy, doctrine, posture and standards. The Minister also oversaw police performance, operations and compliance especially to the Constitution. The Minister did this through the CSP drafting policies, as directed by the Minister, providing credible research, policy reviews and impact studies - the CSP was the body responsible for providing the Minister with informed and considered advice and capacity to oversee the police – the Minister had emphasised this role of the CSP. SAPS was then directly accountable to the Minister as it delivered on its legislative mandate by implementing policy and ministerial direction in accordance with agreed regulations, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), National Instructions (NIs) and articulated operational values. The CPS provided the following to SAPS as part of the Department of Police:
-progressive policy and legislative regime that informed NI and SOPs
-monitor, evaluate, guide and learn from policy implementation and impact
-credible evidence-based research that informed and directed decision making
-established, nurtured and maintained partnerships with stakeholders, role-players and critical institutions both private and public
-determined doctrine, posture, standards and operational values
Mr Rapea outlined that the Strategic Plan of the CSP was reviewed due to:
-the approval by Cabinet of the White Paper on Policing and the White Paper on Safety and Security in April 2016
-the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry
The White Paper on Policing, for example, gave effect to the following additional responsibilities for the department:
-a strategy for monitoring the entities reporting to the Minister of Police, as well as strategic forecasting and envisioning for the Ministry (to assist the Minister with all the entities reporting to him)
-knowledge management which incorporated proper packaging and management of knowledge for the Ministry of Police
-the oversight role on SAPS on contract management, financial and institutional analysis, amongst others, which will require the department to enhance its skills and capacity
-administrative support to the Minister
-coordination of the Integrated Justice System and the SAPS transformation process
To ensure the Secretariat was able to conduct its job effectively, the following focus areas will be prioritised for the years 2017/18 to 2019/20 period:
-repositioning of the CSP as the new Department of Police which will require a new organisational structure (the CSP was currently working on this)
-organisational renewal and strategic leadership and the enforcement of the CSP Act
-repositioning the CSP as the primary policy advisor to the Minister
-strengthening the capacity of the Secretariat to influence international developments for the Ministry of Police
- facilitate the creation of a technological policing environment
-strengthening the Heads of Departments Forum and Senior Management Forum in order to monitor progress of the department’s oversight functions
-establishment of self-directed project teams in order to give effect to the implementation of the plans
-development of a coherent partnership and Marketing and Communication Strategy to strengthen engagement with key stakeholders and galvanise communities on crime prevention initiatives
-building a strong Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for the department
-development of an integrated human resource strategy
Mr Moeketsi Mashibini, CSP Chief Director: Corporate Services, then took the Committee through programme one of the Secretariat: Administration. The purpose of the programme was to provide support, strategic leadership and management for the department while the strategic direction was to enhance corporate governance in ensuring that the Secretariat achieved its mandate. In terms of the department management sub-programme, where the purpose was to provide strategic support to the Secretary of Police, performance indicators included:
-number of Joint Consultative IPID/Secretariat forum meetings held per year in compliance with the CSP Act
-number of quarterly performance reports against predetermined objectives submitted within 30 days after the end of the quarter
With the corporate services sub-programme, where the purpose was to provide reliable and efficient corporate secretariat, performance indicators included:
-number of Workplace Skills Plans approved by the Secretary
-reduced vacancy rate to 10% of the total post establishment
-an approved corporate governance of ICT framework
Mr Mashibini then took the Committee through the salary levels per business unit within the Secretariat. In terms of the total population of CSP employees, the total approved post establishment was 151 – up from 107 from last year as 44 posts had since been approved. The total staff compliment was 124 – up from 99 last year. The total currency vacancy rate for the CSP was 18% - up from 12% last year.
In terms of employment equity, 92% of the CSP’s employees were African, 3% was Indian, 2% was coloured and 3% was White. Looking at a further breakdown, 92% of the CSP’s male employees were African, 3% were White males, 2% was Indian males and 3% was Coloured males. In terms of female employees, 94% were African females, 3% were Indian, 2% were White and 1% of female employees were Coloured.
The CSP had filled a total of 124 posts comprising of 63 (51%) females and 61 (49%) males. The Secretariat had not however met the national target in terms of employment equity and was working on filling vacant posts in the Senior Management Service (SMS) with women to reach the 50% gender equity target. Preference for posts would also be given to Whites with a view to reduce over representation of Blacks in the CSP and ensure there was a balance of racial demographics.
Mr Takalani Ramaru, CSP Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, then took the Committee through programme two: Intersectoral Coordination and Strategic Partnerships.
Ms Bilkees Omar, CSP Chief Director: Policy and Research, then presented programme three: Legislation and Policy Development, noting that the purpose of the programme was to develop policy and legislation for the police sector and conduct research on policing and crime. The strategic objective of the programme was for constitutional compliance of legislation, research and evidence-led policies for policing and safety. In terms of the policy development and research sub-programme, where the purpose was to develop policies and undertake research in areas of policing crime, performance indicators included:
-National Policing Board policy framework (discussion document was already being circulated while the Board was being conceptualised)
-Single Policy Service (SPS) framework (discussion document to ensure better synergy between SAPS and Municipal Police Service)
-Finalised CPF policy
-State of Policing study (as advised by the Committee)
-Study on demilitarisation of the police focusing on Visible Policing and stations (methodology of the study was currently being finalised)
Adv Dawn Bell, CSP Chief Director: Policy and Research, took Members through the legislation sub-programme noting that the purpose of the sub-programme was to provide legislative support services to the Minister. The strategic objective of the sub-programme was for effective policing legislation and legal advice and support to the Minister. Performer indicators in this sub-programme included:
-Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill (approved by Cabinet and would be advertised for comment before coming to Parliament)
-Firearms Control Amendment Bill (in final stages of being approved by the Minister)
-Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill (would be submitted to the Minister for approval at the end of October 2017)
-Animal Movement and Animal Produce Bill (communities were being consulted. Would be submitted to the Minister at the end of the 2017/18 financial year)
Mr Rapea then outlined the priorities of the Minister in terms of policy implementation, namely:
-development of implementation plans and rollout of the White Paper on Policing and White Paper on Safety and Security which were approved in 2016
-ensure the improvement of the quality and functioning of the SAPS Detective Service
-ensure proper coordination and collaboration by all existing structures to solve serial rapes and murders in a consistent manner
-rooting out gangsterism through the implementation of the anti-gang strategy approved by Cabinet
-approval of the Use of Force policy to provide all members of SAPS with clear and consistent guidelines regarding the use of force in the discharge of their duties
-finalisation and approval of a policy on removing barriers to reporting on sexual offences and domestic violence
-public discourse and consultation on the initiative to establish the Single Police Service guided by the draft discussion document
-development of the e-policing policy that will guide SAPS on the use of technology to fight crime
In terms of the legislative programme, the Minister prioritised the following Bills for introduction to Parliament in 2017/18:
-Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill
-Firearms Control Amendment Bill
-Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill
Bills to be introduced to Parliament in 2018/19 included:
-Animal Movement and Animal Produce Bill
-South African Police Service Amendment Bill
-Protection of Constitutional Democracy and Terrorist-Related Matters Amendment Bill
Ministerial priorities for crime prevention and support to the SAPS Back to Basics approach included:
-ensure specialised units trained in medium to high risk operations did not get involved in frontline policing
-ensure SAPS VISPOL was strengthened and sufficiently resourced to deal with citizens and use was not made of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) to augment capacity
-implementation of recommendations of the panel of experts which was established as a result of recommendations emanating from the Farlam Commission
-ensure shifting of administrative responsibilities from SAPS Act members employees appointed in terms of the Public Service Act
-assess the capacity and functionality of the 10111 call centres and enhance its functionality
-undertake study on the economics of policing and economics of crime
-development and implementation of SAPS fleet management turnaround strategy to ensure the correct fleet was used in the appropriate terrain
-Ensure full resourcing of the Forensic Science Laboratories to ensure effective and efficient services
-development of Cybercrime Regulations within six months of the Cybercrime Act coming into operation
-ensure remaining 2010 amnesty firearms were destroyed
-ensure turnaround strategy for Central Firearms Registry was implemented (strategy completed some time ago)
-ensure fully resourced Employee Health and Wellness Programmes (EHWP) were established at cluster level (currently only established at provincial and local level)
-development and implementation of a comprehensive partnership strategy to mobilise role players and stakeholders to strengthen service delivery by the police service and to ensure safety and security of communities
-identifying and concluding Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs) with strategic stakeholders in a fight against crime
-enhancing stakeholders and community participation in safety and crime prevention programmes through imbizos, workings groups, Community Safety Forums (CSFs) and Community Policing Forums (CPFs)
-organising and facilitating provincial and national dialogue conferences to deliberate on combating crime and making communities safer
-strengthening school safety committees and forums to curb crime and violence
-establish safety committees at institutions of higher learning to curb crime and violence
-assess and monitor trends in litigation ensure to reduce systemic causes that lead to litigation
-development and implementation of a sustainable and multi-disciplinary strategy to address the problem relating to the involvement of youth in crime
-enhance existing community volunteer programmes against crimes and/or conceptualise additional volunteer programmes, including police reservists
-enhancing SAPS Excellence Awards through introduction of police station level Selfless Service and Bravery Awards
-visits to crime hot spots by the Minister and Deputy Minister
-assessment and intervention in poor performing police stations
Mr Tumelo Nkojoana, CSP CFO, then took the Committee through the financial management and budget information of the Secretariat. Included in the discussion was budget per programme of the CSP. In terms of audit findings, some of the high level root causes that led to a qualified audit opinion during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 included:
-lack of stability at top and senor management levels
-general high vacancy rates at senior and middle management but also at junior levels
-lack of implementation of Supply Chain Management systems, namely, LOGIS, to manage supply chain management and financial management activities (transactions)
-lack of sound financial management policies and procedures
-inadequate skills of current staff
-lack of adequate and effective ICT
Processes initiated to address the audit findings to ensure the CSP obtained a positive audit outcome in the 2016/17 financial year included:
-filling of almost all senior management posts e.g. Secretary, CFO, Chief Information Officer and Director of Knowledge
-ongoing training on existing staff
-establishment of Management Audit Steering Committee to address negative audit findings
-internal audit review of management action plans to address all such findings
The Chairperson commended the Secretariat for complying with the Committee timeline for declaration of interests – it was the only entity within the Committee’s ambit which complied with the deadline. On Monday evening, the Committee met with the AGSA to look at all departments under the Committee’s ambit. The AGSA highlighted that some key performance indicators of the Secretariat were not well defined and some targets were not specialised and measurable. Looking at the example of visits to police stations per year, there was no clear indication what the aim of the visits were and the process behind it – attention on these issues were required going forward. He welcomed the view of the Minister of the Secretariat as a strategic advisory body – the CSP could not be the Minister’s super chief of staff as it would not work, as demonstrated in the past. Priorities of the Minister were very ambitions – did the Secretariat have the capacity to achieve it within the two year time span? In terms of the broader legislative framework, the Committee was not happy with the snail’s pace of the legislation due to come before it – the state of policing document was welcomed especially as many of the priorities put forward by the Executive Authority would depend on analysis specifically in areas of perception, general visibility and community outreach of the CSP. Fundamentally, broader issues around demilitarisation of the SAPS, issues of conduct , professionalism, in terms of the state of policing, would effect the change required within the Service. This explained why the SAPS Amendment Act was so critical – in the next few months, there would be appointment of a National Commissioner and DPCI Head and many of the challenges in leadership stemmed from the inadequate old SAPS Act where processes were not efficient. Civil society had already indicated it would challenge the legislation with the appointment of a new DPCI Head and they might get it right. Leadership and structure could not be dealt with unless the legislation was dealt with first. Why was there a two year lag between the White Paper process and the Amendment Act? This would mean even the appointment of the National Commissioner would not be in line with recommendations of appointment from the national board. Why was the White Paper not being prioritised? Additionally, the Secretariat and IPID Act also needed to harmonise with the SAPS Act to effect further changes required.
Mr Rapea outlined that technical information at the back of the APP explained what some of the indicators meant such as visits to police stations – this visit was to exercise civilian oversight over SAPS towards improving police performance and service delivery. Two oversight reports would be produced per year based on the information collected from the visits. He was a proponent of having qualitative targets but Treasury was very much stuck to the idea of having numbers – this was when things became difficult.
The Chairperson differed noting that the business manager from the AGSA indicated that with the particular target for police station visits, it was not clear what was being measured and there was no indication of how the target of 22 stations was reached.
Mr Rapea noted this and said there was discussion with the AGSA but it was clear there was a need for further engagement as the matter kept reoccurring.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity on what was meant by the statement in the presentation, under strategic priorities, “repositioning of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) as the new Department of Police which will require a new organisational structure” – did this refer to renaming? In terms of discussion on vacancies per business unit and salary level, it was not accurate to say there were zero vacancies in the office of the DPCI Judge because if the APP was finalised in April 2017, the vacancy created by the passing of Judge Moosa would mean there was indeed a vacancy – was this an error in the report or were the numbers finalised before the passing of the Judge?
Mr Rapea explained the statement, “repositioning of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) as the new Department of Police which will require a new organisational structure”, referred to the White Paper on Police which said the CSP needed to support the Minister fully. It did not mean there would be a name change but was about ensuring the Secretariat fully supported the Minister in terms of advice etc so that the value chain was rethought. All policies etc would have to come through the Secretariat so that it was signed by the Secretary for Police and not the National Commissioner for quality assurance.
Mr Mhlongo thought that it might important for the Committee to meet with the Minister to understand the use of force matter in light of the ministerial priority for approval of the Use of Force Policy. This was something for the Committee to guard against given deplorable effects of calling for the use of force when Gen. Bheki Cele was the National Police Commissioner, particularly in KZN. He was also reminded of seeing the execution of a civilian on ENCA by the Joburg Metro Police.
Mr Ramatlakane was concerned about the slippage of language which could result in matters going down the wrong road – he was referring to the ministerial priority around the Use of Force Policy. He pleaded for the CSP, as policy gurus, to tread carefully on the issue of language to ensure matters did not slip back into the wrong direction given the country’s history. This was an issue for serious engagement. He was pleased with the presentation but noted that while plans seemed wonderful on paper, capacity was needed to implement what was spoken about including financial compliance. On the issue of priorities and what came first, he thought it was a bad thing that the SAPS Act was coming before Parliament on the back of a political mandate – why was this particular Act not being prioritised policy-wise? Why was the Act being delayed? He would not be surprised if the Act shifted to after 2019. The main concern was the constitutionality of the SAPS Act. In terms of vetting of personnel, this was always a long stand-off between the CSP and SAPS in terms of access to information – how was vetting progressing? He then questioned implementation of the White Paper and the importance of alignment with the new Act. Without targets for implementation of the Paper, it might just end up on the shelf. Additionally without such targets, how could the Committee oversee the process involving the White Paper? Looking at the budget he observed some increases which he needed assistance in understanding. If the timeframes for legislation kept changing it would prove a problem for the credibility of the Committee and the Secretariat. Also, without sticking to the timeframes, plans would not be adhered to. Additionally there were constitutional issues at hand with the legislation.
The Chairperson added that without the legislation, Members would seriously need to consider introducing a Committee Bill.
Mr Rapea noted that the legislative drafting unit of the Secretariat was very thin and required further capacitation – the unit currently had three people excluding the Secretary. The priority was to initially ensure the CSP was stabilised and operating, thereafter, programmes which were thin in terms of capacity would be prioritised in terms of organisational establishment. It was also not easy to acquire additional capacitation given government cycles. All the chief director posts were however filled so the unit was stabilised in terms of top and senior management level. Regarding prioritisation of legislation, the process of consultation at times took longer than expected as was the case with the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill – although approved by Cabinet, the process of getting approval from relevant departments was taking longer than anticipated. Such instances were outside of the control of the Secretariat but programming was something which could be looked at again especially with the SAPS Act. The Use of Force Policy would clarify when the SAPS was allowed to use force, under which circumstances and to avoid abuse of the use of force. Unnecessary use of force made the litigation contingency of SAPS high – the policy would assist in mitigating this. The policy was submitted to the Minister and Panel of Experts. There was also a UN specialist on the use of force analysing the policy. With the illegal firearms, of concern were the firearms handed in from amnesty which were still at police stations and so could land up in the hands of criminals. Vetting of senior level staff was done – vetting of lower level staff still needed to take place.
Ms Omar added that the White Paper indicator was removed from the APP because the Paper was adopted last year. The Paper was however very much on the CSP agenda and operational plans. Implementation plans on both White Papers were being developed. There was a 200 page implementation plan for the White Paper on Safety and Security for national government departments – the Secretariat was working on the plans for provincial and local government. Government technical advisory services were assisting with the implementation plan for the White Paper on Policing because it required specific plans for SAPS and another for the business case of the Secretariat in terms of new structures and functions. The Use of Force policy did not imply using more force but using minimum force – the policy articulated a very human rights-based complaint approach.
On the issue of vetting, Mr Mashibini reminded the Committee that the reason all senior management of the CSP were vetted was due to intervention by the Committee. All applications of non-SMS levels were submitted but the State Security Agency (SSA) informed the CSP it was understaffed and that the CSP would have to wait.
Ms Mmola was disheartened to see that there was no improvement on the number of disabled people employed – last year the Committee was told it was because of the unfriendly building but this had still not been addressed. When would EHWP be introduced at cluster level? Timeframes for this implementation was required. She was also interested in filling the vacancy of the DPCI Judge given the passing of Judge Moosa. The AGSA found lack of stability at top and senior management – was there now stability? Why were there no public-private partnerships?
Mr Rapea clarified that the DPCI Judge was not paid by the Secretariat but was paid by the Department of Justice i.e. the vacancy was on the side of the Department of Justice and not the CSP. The target related to EHWP related to SAPS and not the CSP itself – the Secretariat would monitor that SAPS was implementing the programme at cluster level. Some public-private partnership work was being done like with Business Against Crime who was assisting the CSP with improving its financial management .There was also partnership with GIZ on the issue of safer spaces and development of an implementation plan for the White Paper on Safety and Security. He agreed that it was important to identify who the CSP would be partnering with and entering into MOUs with.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know how CSP planned to overcome the vacancies in the SMS level. Were the CSP offices still located within that of SAPS? There was a need to explain increased budget allocation for venues, facilities and consultants. What led to the removal of the indicator on the funding model for the community safety forum?
Mr Rapea answered that CSP had very few SMS level vacancies. Appointment preference at that level would be given to women to ensure the gender representivity target of 50% was met. This was also in the CSP’s employment equity plan along with ensuring the target for people with disabilities was met. There were processes with the Department of Public Works to ensure alternative accommodation was found for the Secretariat because its current office was overcrowded. The space identified was in the building currently occupied by the Department of Arts and Culture – the Department could only fill 10 of the floors and it agreed the Secretariat could occupy the rest of the space. The CSP was desperate because at the moment an IT server could not even be procured because the current space was not appropriate in terms of temperature and space etc. This challenge was raised with the Minister.
Mr Mashibini added that the CSP was in the process of moving into the building with the Department of Arts and Culture. Last week the CSP met with the Department to discuss floor plans. The CSP hoped to move out of its current building by the end of June.
Mr Nkojoana said that with the budget increases, most of the amounts displayed were originally sent by the different programme managers in the CSP. The budget committee however would go and review the allocations. Audit fees allocation was relatively low so some of the savings to be made from cost containment would cover these fees. Savings would also go towards training. With venues and facilities, the expenditure for the current financial year was much lower than for the 2015/16 financial year. Allocation for consultants was mostly in the form of contractors for events in relation to partnerships and community outreach. Most of such a budget would come from the programmes themselves. The expenditure on consultants for the current year was much lower than the previous year and was hoped to be even lower next year. Savings would also be made from advertising – expenditure on this item was also much lower in the current financial year than the previous one.
Mr Rapea clarified that if there was reprioritisation of the legislation, the CSP might have to contract external legal drafters to assist the team
The Chairperson indicated that it might be important for the Committee to engage with the Department of Public Works on challenges outlined with the accommodation. E-policing and digital policing came out strong in the priorities of the Minister – challenges experienced already in SAPS with ICT may be linked to governance. There might be a need for a digital policing board and external companies to look at these issues independently. Looking at the future, e-policing would be the ultimate tool because there might not always be enough funds to appointment more personnel. CSP would then have to play a key role in terms of governance and analysis of the environment. Without amendment of the SAPS Act, relations between the SAPS and CPFs could not be strengthened, and crime would not be dealt with effectively, as contained in the White Paper. This was even more reason to prioritise the SAPS Act. Financing and the effective functioning of the CPFs was the key issue. Was the Treasury assistance group still involved with the Secretariat?
Mr Rapea answered that the Secretariat was still working with the government assistance group, which was part of Treasury, on the White Papers. There was also assistance of Business Against Crime in improving the finances of the Secretariat.
Ms Omar noted the point of the Chairperson on e-policing and CPFs.
Mr Mbhele highlighted the concern of the Committee last year was the lack of ring fencing for the DNA Board to ensure it was properly resourced to carry out its mandate – what measure was in place to secure, demarcate and ensure the intention of the Board was fulfilled and it could carry out its work without fear of resources being poached, to meet spontaneous ministerial requirements, as experienced last year?
Mr Rapea replied that ring fencing of funds was not the decision of the Secretariat but that of Treasury. There were challenges when the capacity to spend was lacking while other programmes were stifled. When funds were ring fenced, the individual responsible for that budget would then have to account to Parliament. A director responsible for the DNA Board was now appointed and that director would support the Board should it apply for having its budget ring fenced.
Mr Nkojoana added that the DNA Board, and Office of the DPCI Judge, was asked to provide the CSP with a detailed demand management plan – these plans would be closely monitored to ensure the entities reached their aims with the budget allocated.
Mr Mhlongo still cautioned the CSP against the Use of Force Policy – there might be need for further debate on the matter. Europe and other countries were declaring war against its people – would SA follow? He noted the saying that the road to hell was paved with good intentions.
The Chairperson said such a debate could take place.
Mr Rapea indicated that the policy could be sent to the Committee but the issue was still being considered by the panel of experts.
Mr Ramatlakane asked if the Committee could access the working documents containing the implementation plans of the White Papers even though it was not part of the APP and other documents tabled before the Committee. With the school safety programme, how would the CSP measure the programme? If there was acceleration of the turnaround of the legislation, was the CSP budget adequate such as for advertising? Would this require readjustment of the budget to meet this particular need? With the Single Police Service, this debate had been coming on for a long time and discussion thereof was exhausted. He did not know why a SPS was feared when it was envisioned in the Constitution. Why was the CSP hesitant to move on implementing a SPS? While there might be some resistance from some municipal police services, the Constitution was clear on the matter. This would also be raised in the SAPS Act. Did the budget review committee include the BAC?
Mr Rapea heard the concerns of the Committee around the urgency of the SAPS Act. Also the SPS matter could not be addressed until the Act was amended. The discourse needed to be finalised so that there was common agreement that all issues around the SPS would either be addressed through amendment of the SAPS Act or through separate legislation. The discussion document would contain these different arguments. He emphasised however that amendment of the SAPS Act was priority. There was budget for the advertising of legislation for public comment - advertising costs were cut on promotions and other unnecessary advertising. With the school safety programme, this was a MTSF target – the indicator was looking at reports produced each year and the percentage of police stations implementing the programme. Here was still room for improvement with the intersectoral coordination and strategic partnership unit in terms of this programme.
Mr Nkojoana said the budget review committee was made up of the programme managers from the Secretariat and not the BAC. Some items, like catering and communication, would still be reviewed to ensure any savings made could go to other priorities.
Ms Mmola asked if the Secretariat had a long term capital assets plan. She also questioned the compliance of SAPS with DVA
Mr Ramaru indicated that the compliance forums were revived, together with the social crimes unit in SAPS, to discuss all findings made by the Secretariat during its oversight visits. The same structures would also be revived at provincial level. The aim was to look at the root causes of non-compliance instead of simply dealing with the “symptoms”
The Chairperson, in wrapping up this item on the Committee’s agenda, noted that the Committee would be finalising its report, and recommendations, on the budget hearings next week. The Secretariat could make further information available to the Committee if it so wished. The SAPS Budget Vote debate would take place on 23 May 2017.
IPID Briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Police
Mr Robert McBride, Executive Head, IPID, began the presentation by outlining that IPID made a presentation to the Minister on 18 April 2017 where matters discussed included the Constitutional Court Judgement, amendment of the Act, the Farlam Commission and recommendations of the AGSA. Also discussed were budget issues, including accruals of R18 million, the IPID building, high level investigations and tabling of the APP and section 9 (n) of the report.
Mr McBride then briefly outlined the budget allocations and growth for IPID over the MTEF significantly highlighting that Treasury unilaterally removed programme three (legal services) from IPID without considering the work done by the programme and the litigation-heavy nature of the work of the Directorate.
Ms L Ngcongo, IPID CFO, took Members further by looking at the MTEF budget allocation and growth in more detail. It was pointed out that the IPID budget grew by 0.04% from 2014/15 to 2015/16 which amounted to no real growth. This growth was also less than CPI thus only covering contractual obligations and escalation of the annual wage increase. With such negligible growth IPID would not be able to stay afloat or remain effective. Although the budget growth was declining, IPID was still expected to grow in terms of implementation of the IPID Act.
Budget allocations increased from R197.9 million in the 2012/13 financial year to R255.5 million in 2017/18 at a growth rate of 29% - a significant increase due to implementation of the IPID Act. Since the implementation of the IPID Act, with additional responsibilities, the budget allocation had been showing insignificant growth. Over the 2017 medium term, expenditure was expected to grow from R255.5 million in 2017/18 to R285.8 million in 2019/20 at an average growth rate of 11% mainly to accommodate operating costs but without capacity increase. 11% growth on the IPID budget did not cover any expansion of functions on the IPID Act and only accommodated contractual obligations annual escalation fees ranges from 5% - 10% per annum and the regulated annual wage increment up to 7%.
Ms Ngcongo then presented the budgetary baseline allocations to IPID over the MTEF noting that the increase over the MTEF period, year on year, was far less than the projected CPI. The presentation then looked at the MTEF budget allocation per economic classification, namely, compensation of employees (bulk of the allocation), goods and services, transfers and capital assets. The presentation outlined the MTEF budget allocation and budget breakdown per IPID programme, namely, Administration, Investigation and Information (core service area meant bulk of the allocation) and Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management.
Looking at the IPID MTEF budget baseline assessment and what IPID was able to do prioritise in the baseline for the current financial year, the prioritisation of the baseline allocation had been done to ensure alignment with government priorities as expressed in the National Development Plan. Reallocation of funds had also been done from non-core to core activities of the Directorate in order to achieve more with little resources. Investigation capacity had always been prioritised within the limited baseline for continuity on the investigation of the reported cases. In general, IPID was experiencing capacity constraints however the following functions were extremely affected:
-integrity strengthening and protection
-legal services and contract management
-service delivery coverage and accessibility
-accounting, compliance and reporting responsibilities
-strategy and performance management
-monitoring the quality of recommendations
Non-funded activities of IPID included
-implementation of the IPID Expansion Strategy to accommodate the demand placed on IPID for additional regional and district offices
-full implementation of the Marikana Commission report recommendations
-implementation of section 23 of the IPID Act
-replacement of ICT infrastructure and equipment due to the warranty expiry
-Disaster Recovery Plan for the entity
-implementation of recommendations of a security analysis report for security measures at both Head Office and provincial offices.
Ms Ngcongo then outlined human resource management within IPID noting that in 1997, the DPSA determined that the ideal human capacity for the, then Independent Complaints Directorate, should be 535 posts. Even though IPID directly investigates considerably more cases than its predecessor, the revised human capacity was reduced to 388 posts, far below the 535 posts that the ICD needed. This reality put considerable pressure on the few human resources that had to deal with the heavy workload.
Ms N Netsianda, Programme Manager: Administration, IPID, took the Committee through this programme noting that its purpose was to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to IPID. The programme consisted of:
Performance indicators for the programme included:
-number of strategic training areas undertaken as per IPID’s training plan
-percentage vacancy rate per year
-percentage implementation of annual internal audit plan
-number of reports on risk maturity level produced
-number of performance reports on implementation of APP submitted to National Treasury and the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation within stipulated timeframes
Mr Matthews Sesoko, Programme Manager: Investigations and Information Management, IPID, took Members through the programme noting that its purpose was to coordinate and facilitate the Directorate’s investigation processes, through the development of policy and strategic frameworks that guide and report on investigations. The programme will also enhance efficiency in case management and maintain relationships with other state security agencies, such as SAPS, the NPA, CSP and community stakeholders, through on-going national and provincial engagement forums.
The programme consisted of:
Performance indicators of the programme included:
-number of investigators trained on specialised services as per the Investigation Training Plan
-percentage of decision ready cases completed from total cases received
-percentage of cases registered and allocated within 72 hours of written notification
-number of statistical reports on investigations generated
-percentage of investigations of deaths in police custody that were decision ready
-percentage of investigations of death as a result of police action that were decision ready
-percentage of investigations of rape by a police officer that were decision ready
-percentage of investigations of rape while in police custody that were decision ready
-percentage of investigations of torture that were decision ready
-percentage of investigations of assault that were decision ready
-percentage investigations of corruption that were decision ready
-percentage investigations of other criminal and misconduct matters referred to section 18 (1) (h) and 35 (1) (b) of the IPID Act that were decision ready
- number of approved systemic corruption cases that were decision ready
-percentage of all backlog decision ready cases completed (excluding cases of systemic corruption)
-percentage of dockets referred to the NPA within 30 days of being signed off
-percentage of disciplinary recommendation reports referred to SAPS and/or Municipal Police Service within 30 days of recommendation report being signed off
Mr Sesoko outlined that adjustments were made to the following indicators and targets:
-number of investigators trained on specialised services as per the Training Plan (target was reduced from 400 to 350 due to budget cuts)
-number of systemic corruption cases identified, referred and approved (indicator was too operational and therefore moved to operational plan)
-percentage of decision ready cases completed from total cases received (indicator was a duplication)
Ms M Moroasui, Programme Manager: Legal Services, IPID, presented the programme to the Committee noting that its purpose was to provide overalllegal advice, guidance and support, manage legal obligations and ensure constitutional, legislative as well as regulatory compliance by the Directorate. This programme provided support to IPID as a whole and to investigators in particular. The programme consisted of the following sub-programmes/components:
-legal support and administration
-litigation advisory services
-investigation advisory services
Section 8 (1) of the IPID Act stated that composition of the national office consisted of the Executive Director, Corporate Services, Investigation and Information Management Unit and the Legal Services Unit, and any other unit established, subject to approval of the Minister and Parliament. The current ENE excluded Legal Services as a budget programme structure. IPID is a litigation intense department stemming from the core programme of investigations. Management would continue to engage Treasury to review the budget programme structure.
Strategic indicators for the programme over the MTEF, and financial year, included:
-percentage of legal advice provided to investigators from the total request received
-percentage of written legal opinions provided to the Department within 21 working days of request
-percentage of contracts finalised within 30 working days of request
-percentage of civil and labour litigation matters processed
-percentage of arbitration dispute matters attended to within regulated timeframes
-percentage of oral legal advice provided to investigators within 24 hours of request
-percentage of oral legal advice provided to investigators within 48 hours
-percentage of Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests finalised within 30 days, as per the legislation
Ms Moroasui pointed out that the programme maintained its targets even though a number of key personnel were lost in the programme. Adjustments were made to the following targets/indicators:
-percentage of application of policing powers processed within 10 days for investigators (moved to operational plan)
-number of practice notes and directives issued to provinces to assist investigators (moved to operational plan)
-percentage of contracts finalised within 30 days of request (indicator was now separated from “legal opinions” as performance was not measured the same)
Ms M Molope, Programme Manager: Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Engagement, IPID, outlined the purpose of the programme was to safeguard the principles of cooperative governance and stakeholder relations, monitor and evaluate the relevance and appropriateness of recommendations made to SAPS and Municipal Police Services in terms of the IPID Act. Sub-programmes included:
Indicators in the programme, over the current financial year and MTEF, included:
-percentage implementation of the integrated communication and stakeholder engagement strategy
-number of community outreach events conducted per year (provincial competency)
-number of formal engagements at national level held with key stakeholders
-number of formal engagements at provincial level held with key stakeholders
Targets/indicators adjusted included:
-number of media statements and responses issued (moved to operational plan)
-number of station lecture training conducted (indicator was removed as it was not in line with the IPID mandate but was the concern of the police academy)
Mr McBride concluded the presentation by noting that there was regular monitoring of expenditure and there was continuous reprioritisation of core activities. The AGSA action plan was being implemented and monitored and cost containment measures continued. However, IPID required the support, assistance and intervention of the Ministry and Committee for:
-full implementation of the Constitutional Court (in terms of amendment of the IPID Act)
-full implementation of the Farlam Commission recommendations
-full implementation of the AGSA recommendations especially structural and operational independence of IPID
Without adequate financial and human resources IPID will not be able to fulfil its mandate. Thus IPID will not be able to make an impact on the reform and evolution of post-apartheid policing.
The Chairperson wanted to know if there were any categories IPID was now not able to investigate in light of cost constraints. It was critical that money be made available for finalising the Marikana investigation – if the baseline stayed the same, could savings of the previous financial year be used for the purpose of this investigation? In terms of the feedback to complainants and stakeholders, the Committee had, since last year, made certain referrals to IPID but there was no feedback on the matters some of which contained serious allegations of police corruption – was there a template, stakeholder referral system and timeline for complainants to receive feedback? Urgency in this regard was imperative to ensure feedback on referral of cases by the Committee, and the public at large, was communicated. If there was no feedback the impression was that the matter was not attended to.
Mr McBride was honest in saying that not many of the referrals were worked on because the Directorate was caught up in other high profile cases while having limited resources. Additionally, some key officials from the National Specialised Investigations Team (NSIT) had left the Directorate.
The Chairperson stressed the importance of providing feedback on cases to stakeholders. At times when he forwarded complaints received from the public to some provincial commissioners, within 24 hours he was informed that matters were resolved. As the oversight institution IPID was to set a high standard.
Mr McBride responded that within 24 hours, when complaints were referred to his office, there was a response provided to the complainant and it was copied to the relevant province for allocation of an investigation team.
Mr Sesoko added that at times with a number of cases, information needed to be drawn and verified from the provinces which resulted in delays. This however was not an excuse – cases referred from the Committee would be worked on and addressed within the coming week.
Ms Molebatsi was reminded of certain challenges of underperformance experienced with the legal services programme of IPID in the previous financial year – had the situation changed? What type of capital assets would be procured during the 2017/18 financial year? What was the situation of the police officers fingered during the Marikana incident? Were these officers still at work, suspended or criminally charged?
Mr McBride responded that a SAPS General said there was a disciplinary process for the officers implicated in Marikana but none were found guilty – with 34 people dead, he could not understand how no SAPS officials were found guilty. IPID investigated torture and assault, and murders in scene two, there was evidence, officers had been identified but nothing was done from a disciplinary point of view. This seemed to be the trend in senior ranks of SAPS, for example with the hostage drama of Vlok Symington, IPID recommended immediate suspension of the unit involved but it was not informed of any disciplinary action taken – this was happening in post-apartheid SA. There was a team committing torture for the past, at least, 11 years and the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) was engaged on it and in 2012 there was a decision taken to prosecute all the cases yet this had not taken place. These torturers went through disciplinary processes but they were found not guilty. There were two dead people as a result – how this passed judicial scrutiny was astounding. In 2006, one person was shot in the back while handcuffed in full view of everyone. The matter would be raised again with the current NDPP.
Mr Sesoko added that quite a substantial number of the SAPS members involved in Marikana had left the Service.
Ms Moroasui answered the question on performance of legal services over the past year by noting that in the 2014/15 financial year, legal services was supposed to end the year with a legal staff complement of five but it ended up with only three individuals. In 2016/17, this was the same picture.
Mr McBride added that November 2016 to March 2017 was the period for the most requests for investigative information ever in a similar period in IPID. The programme coped by working weekends and public holidays – social lives were non-existent because this was the only way the work would get done. This was not sustainable as burn out would be faced.
Ms Mmola sought more information on the adjusted indicator “number of reports on risk maturity level produced”. What was meant by the statement “in general, IPID was experiencing capacity constraints”? What was the current vacancy rate?
Mr Sesoko explained the identification of the indicator was moved to the operational plan but the indicator of completion of the reports was still in the APP.
Ms Netsianda added the indicator referred to systems generated reports relating to the control environment, if there were policies to regulate the environment, controls in place to assist in detecting when there were problems and information and physical security. The system was fed with information on the environment of IPID in terms of maturity of good governance. From there recommendations were made.
Mr Ramatlakane did not understand how Treasury could unilaterally make the decision to cut a departmental programme – this was an internal matter for the department. There must have been engagement between Treasury and IPID on such a serious matter. He did not see how IPID could survive working in a legal environment without internal legal assistance. Without this in-house capacity, IPID would have to look outside but it did not even have the funds to do so. Without funds, R5 million to be precise, recommendations made by the Farlam Commission would never be fully implemented – this was another serious matter. With savings from the compensation of employees, why did IPID not motivate Treasury to use that money in the Marikana matter instead of simply returning the money? How would the budget cuts in goods and service affect service delivery? The work of IPID was critical in terms of human rights and constitutional compliance so what impact would this particular budget cut have? On the budget submission, he questioned if IPID motivated Treasury in the midterm adjustment for further allocation? Was there evidence of this motivation and Treasury response? He did not think Treasury would intentionally block the progress of the Directorate especially when it came to implementing the recommendations of the judicial commission of inquiry following Marikana. How would civil claims be addressed especially those occurring from the work between IPID and SAPS? The Committee wanted IPID to work and succeed as the work the Directorate did was important. With sufficient proof of motivation from the side of IPID, the Committee could assist in taking some of the matters up. It would be useful to know more about the communication between IPID and Treasury, face to face, and who was communicated with, to result in Treasury shutting the door on the Directorate.
Mr McBride acknowledged that Mr Ramatlakane was the one pleading for IPID to get the R5 million for Marikana but he would recall there was a deathly silence coming from the former Minister – nothing was done. He was hopeful that with the new Minister, assistance and support would be provided to IPID for the things that had to get done. Lack of adequate funding will affect the operating of IPID. For example, IPID was signatory to a number of international treaties where it was obligated to visit police cells and look at the conditions in which detainees were kept – the Directorate was unable to do this currently. This meant the Directorate’s international obligations were at risk.
Ms Ngcongo added that there was evidence of the motivations from IPID to Treasury – this included vigorous face to face interactions between the IPID Executive Director and senior management of Treasury to ensure it understood the basis of the motivations. Engagements would continue. It was also good for the Committee to get a sense of the reality IPID faced because at times numbers in a report did not reveal the true message. This was needed for understanding the impact of financial decisions on IPID.
Mr Mbhele wanted to get a sense of the shift in relations between IPID and the police ministry, or in particular, the IPID Executive Director and the Minister. It was reported in the media that there were cooperative relations between the two which was in contrast to the previous Minister where relations were “frosty”. He was interested in understanding the real implications of the Treasury decisions and budget cuts – was the budget allocation increase year on year as a result of the removal of the legal services programme? The Committee was concerned, since last year, that budget constraints was preventing IPID from implementing its expansion strategy which was crucial for IPID to optimally utilise its function and mandate in the policing environment. What were the implications of the budget constraints for investigation of systemic corruption and high profile cases? Would some investigations be diluted, have less attention or be completed in a longer period of time?
Mr McBride replied that IPID, in light of fiscal constraint, had been forced to freeze posts one of which was a Director for Investigatory Advisory Services. The decision was taken to plough all resources into systemic corruption cases to make an impact – this was not to undermine any other offences. The argument was about the impact IPID was to make – if the highest level of police member was corrupt, attitude and conduct would never change because the subordinate would see that his/her superiors are getting away with corruption. A thousand investigations on common assault would not make the same impact as a high-level investigation against systemic corruption would. There would be no reason for a constable to stop using unnecessary force when senior officers were torturing people to death. There would no reason for an officer on the side of the road to stop taking a R200 bribe when senior officers were taking millions – this was the crux of the issue. Budget constraints also meant the speed at which investigations were being done in the provinces. Level A – F cases were being compromised because resources from provinces were being drawn for investigations into systemic corruption. This was the kind of impact which could be survived in the short term but it was not sustainable. A number of posts were frozen which also demonstrated the impact of the budget cuts. In the absence of a handover report from the previous Acting IPID Executive Director, Mr Israel Kgamanyane, (now General) there was evidence of why there was agreement to terminate Legal Services as an ENE programme – maybe at some stage this could be explained but it was done in the crucial time of IPID fighting for its independence. The issue was raised desperately with Treasury on many occasions begging and pleading for a sympathetic ear but there was none. IPID simply could not survive without a functioning legal services programme. So far the litigation of the investigation of Acting National Commissioner Phahlane, for IPID to defend against Phahlane’s application to declare the search warrant of IPID invalid, although no items were removed from the home, was in excess of R900 000. In terms of time, it had taken up the entire months of March and April to deal with the matter. The Acting National Commissioner had however, at his disposal, a huge litigation budget, crime intelligence and a unit from North West that counter-investigated IPID and interfered with the work and witnesses of the Directorate. Gen. Phahlane further launched civil ligation against IPID. It was important to remember that this was a normal IPID investigation in response to a complaint received. IPID had a small litigation budget with three individuals in the legal services unit – this was not fair. Those abusing power were launching a legal war on IPID – sending a unit from the North West into Gauteng for counter-investigation of the Directorate was a flagrant abuse of power in a democratic SA with a constitutional democracy. IPID was the proverbial David fighting Goliath with a big, long pocket of litigation. The mandate of IPID was made almost impossible under these circumstances.
Mr McBride said relations between himself and the Executive Authority had improved exponentially – relations were no longer “frosty” but warm and he looked forward to it getting really hot. The only reason why high profile cases were not suffering was because IPID was pulling resources from provinces but the provinces then suffered. IPID would not release its foot from the accelerator when it came to systemic corruption and high level cases.
The Chairperson noted that another option was to look for additional funds within the cluster, with support by the Executive Authority and Committee, if savings could not be relied on.
Ms Ngcongo, in answering budgetary questions, outlined that IPID received a budgetary cut in the adjustment budget of the 2016/17 financial year. This cut was R4 million in the area of compensation of employees. It was made because Treasury, in its analysis of historical spending trends, felt IPID was not fully utilising its budget appropriation particularly in the area of compensation of employees. In an effort to prevent the Department from overspending, the allocation was reduced by R4 million on the baseline. IPID did respond to Treasury in writing, along with numerous other engagements, to bring them on board with the actual reality the Directorate was facing. In 2012/13 and 2013/14 there were indeed savings in the compensation of employees but in all subsequent years, IPID spent its allocation fully. Reductions in the baseline from 2014/15 meant IPID was facing pressures in the area of compensation to the point where certain posts were frozen to ensure IPID remained within the ceiling. There were then pleas to Treasury to use the R4 million cut for the Marikana investigation but this was rejected – she was not sure if this was because of lack of understanding of the core work of IPID. IPID management sat for weeks on end looking at contractual obligations deciding which would be serviced and negotiating with those to whom the Directorate owed money. This meant IPID sat with accruals of more than R180 million which was worse than the R4 million cut the entity faced. All in all, the reflection that the Directorate would overspend was not true but unfortunately due to misunderstanding of the work of IPID and historical spending trends, R4 million was cut from the budget when IPID sat with accruals of more than R180 million after implementing further cost containment measures and curtailing operations as much as practically possible to remain within the ceiling set. Further motivation was provided to Treasury after the budget cut was made to ask for assistance with funding for Marikana – the matter was still within the engagement phase. Support was also sought from the Executive Authority particularly at the cluster level engagement stage especially for core work of IPID and sustaining operations to be able to finalise the Marikana investigation. These issues were on the table of the new Minister.
Ms Netsianda added that when Mr McBride returned to IPID in October, there was a meeting with Treasury where no amount of convincing was successful. This was also the time when government was looking for funds for “Fees Must Fall” – as far as management of IPID was concerned, Treasury was looking for an excuse. IPID was one of the departments targeted to fund “Fees Must Fall”.
Mr Ramatlakane questioned what constituted a high profile case vs. a less profiled case. A description would also be useful – into which category would someone raped in a police cell fall?
Mr Sesoko responded that high-profile cases were often widely reported on in the media. These were serious cases involving senior police officers. IPID took a strategic decision, in light of budget cuts, to prioritise cases such as death in custody, death as a result of police action, rape by a police officer, rape in custody as well as corruption. Matters such as assault would fall below on the list.
The Chairperson agreed with Mr McBride that investigating high profile cases would be an effective deterrent and related to better SAPS conduct. He wanted however to get a sense of the current case intake of IPID – a few public incidences were seen around the country and there was a huge increase in the amount of civil claims against SAPS. In terms of IPID’s own assessment, was there an improvement in police conduct at the unit and station level? When was the highest high priority case expected to be finalised for submission to the NPA? In its study tour, the Committee saw that the IPCC in the UK had a choice as to whether it ran a disciplinary committee itself, monitored it or referred it. Looking at amendment of the IPID Act later in the year, was this an option to contribute towards better police conduct? He was pleased to hear relationships were currently good but he noted that things quickly changed – were there additional measures to further strengthen IPID’s independence against possible interference? History taught one that things changed. The emphasis was also on the long term for securing independence.
Mr McBride noted that there was no best practice for IPID to copy because it was the best practice which the rest of the world looked at as an example of a true independent investigative body. There were certain matters legislators did not foresee when the IPID Act was developed but this explained why there was need for amendment. Underfunding and police resistance was about poor police management, that police did not want to ruin relationships with colleagues (some of whom had been together since college) and so a “behind the blue curtain” decision was taken to “sort things out” for colleagues in a disciplinary hearing – officers would be found not guilty even though there were 34 dead bodies. IPID had become victims of its own success in the sense that there was now an unprecedented amount of complaints coming forward. IPID also did not have an intelligence service to provide information, like Gen. Phahlane had – most of IPID’s information came from police men which showed policemen were given hope by investigations into their seniors – the vast majority of the police wanted to do the right thing and this was to be respected. IPID was making an impact and change was being seen.
Mr Sesoko added that IPID’s statistical information showed there was no change in behaviour because it was picking up an increase as opposed to a decrease. The increase in the 2016/17 financial year was exponential compared to 2015/16. This could also be attributed to increased reports to IPID because of its successful investigations. It should also be pointed out that people tended to remain quiet if they perceived there to be no consequences for wrong action but as soon as that person saw that there were consequences, they would speak out. While the stats were a mixed bag, it did not demonstrate a decrease. He hoped to finalise the investigation of Gen. Phahlane as soon as possible but it was a complex one. IPID would be assisted by a unit in Treasury on the forensics of the investigation to analyse transactions etc. It would thus be hard to put a timeframe to this process, because it was time consuming, but investigators were working around the clock to finalise the investigation – the case was important not only for IPID but the entire criminal justice cluster of the country. There was another related case of defeating the ends of justice which IPID had completed and provided to the NPA. The NPA evaluated the case and because of the, what IPID regarded abuse of power by the suspect in the case for interfering in the case and approaching witnesses in the case, the NDPP decided to look at all the cases all at once i.e. the case of corruption and defeating the ends of justice. The aim was to get the matters on a court roll as soon as possible. The issues of murder and torture, which the Executive Director referred to, were long outstanding.
Mr McBride noted that IPID investigators, involved in the Gen. Phahlane case, yesterday were counter-investigated and given warning statements by the North West unit. There was no need to make IPID investigators suspects because they were investigating a senior official but this was what happened and continued to happen. These were the conditions under which IPID worked. In essence, IPID’s independence was being compromised by the very suspect on top instructing people to counter-investigate the Directorate.
Mr Sesoko added that this was a critical area for Committee assistance especially in light of amendment of the IPID Act– when senior SAPS officials were being investigated, it could not happen that they in return initiated investigations against IPID and witnesses simply to counter the IPID investigation. This defeated the whole purpose of the creation of IPID because state power was being used to deflect the investigations. This kind of problem was not experienced when junior members were investigated.
Mr Ramatlakane was very concerned about these insights and felt the Committee needed to act on it immediately. There was a need for further urgent discussion on it to get to the bottom of what was occurring. His greatest fear was that people were reminded of what happened yesteryear. These tendencies needed to be nipped in the bud because he could only imagine what occurred at night. These occurrences could not reoccur.
Mr Ramatlakane remembered previous discussion with the former Minister of Police – the impression of the Member at the end of the meeting was that there was commitment to securing funds for Marikana investigation. In fact Lt. Gen. G Kruser had said, at the engagement, officials could meet to resolve the problem. The firm recommendation of the Member was that IPID evidence of engagement and communication, particularly on funding for the Marikana investigation, should be made available to the Committee. There should furthermore be a meeting between IPID and Treasury on this matter – he failed to understand how someone could block progress being made on implementing the recommendations of a judicial commission of inquiry. He was also concerned that IPID was referring to “Treasury” and not particular officials which would be more tangible. The Committee would need to make a recommendation its Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) on the matter although it might be fair to have an engagement with the affected parties before recommendation was made. This should include the Executive Authority because the matter was critical – lest one forgets, 34 people were killed in Marikana so the investigation needed to be resolved. This was his firm recommendation.
The Chairperson said that this could definitely be included in the Committee’s recommendations.
Mr Mbhele was concerned about the irrational exercise of power – given the importance of legal services to the core work of IPID, the action on the part of Mr Kgamanyane would be an irrational action or decision of the powers of office as Acting IPID Executive Director in terms of getting the legal services programme removed. It was becoming more salient, and more enforced, that the exercise of public power must be rational ad aligned to fulfilment of legislation or the Constitution. Projecting current trends going forward, IPID was looking at an unsustainable future – something had to give at some point either in terms of the ministry becoming very cooperative going forward or the Committee needed to be more proactive assisting departments with Money Bill amendments – departments only drafted budgets and Parliament could amend it before it was approved. It might also give in the judicial space where IPID could seek the retrospective invalidation of irrational decisions which led to the current situation. The irony was that because the legal unit of IPID was so constrained, the very capacity needed on this point was lacking. Could such litigation to invalidate the decisions of the former Executive Director, at least insofar as it led to the situation IPID currently faced, be pursued?
Mr McBride responded that litigation might not be necessary – while idealistic, he hoped Treasury would see the irrationality. There were a series of irrational decisions in the policing sector, for example, in the DPCI and the removal of Dramat on spurious grounds, then the appointment of Gen. Ntlemeza and also the suspension of Gauteng Hawks provincial head, Shadrack Sibiya. The same events occurred in IPID – there was no innocent explanation for what occurred. Mr Kgamanyane was appointed in an acting position and then suspended Mr Sesoko and Innocent Kuba (IPID investigator). This action was systematic – Mr Kgamanyane said that all action he took was with the blessing of his political principal. The moment McBride was suspended and launched civil litigation, IPID withdrew its action to assert its independence – all these decisions made up a series of irrational decisions. He was of the view this was not a coincidence – there was no innocent explanation. He hoped not to resort to going to court and launching litigation to get Treasury to revoke its approach.
The Chairperson requested IPID provide the Technical Indicator Description document to the Committee as soon as possible because the Committee required it to finalise its report next week. Some of the issues raised in the engagement were of huge concern – looking at amendment of the IPID Act, the Committee would have to look at various options. It was also a matter for the Executive Authority as the supervisor of some of the role-players. The Committee would discuss this further next week Wednesday – IPID needed to do its job effectively without interference and undue pressure mindful of dynamics in the environment. IPID also needed to be properly resourced to do its job effectively. Funding for the Marikana was non-negotiable and must be made available. It was also important to look at the core functions of IPID and Treasury would have to explain its reluctance – the Executive Authority was also to provide IPID with the necessary support in this regard. Ultimately the work of IPID was about human rights and ensuring the police force was professional and demilitarised – this was the end goal to ensure there was public trust in SAPS.
The Committee would meet next Wednesday, 10 May 2017, to hear the APP and Budget of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
The meeting was adjourned.
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