National Development Plan recommendations for Policing: SAPS, Civilian Secretariat for Police & Civil Society briefing

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12 September 2017
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by the South African Police Service (SAPS), Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Corruption Watch (CW) on implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP).

The CSP explained its role and outlined recommendations from the NDP it had already begun implementing. Focus was placed on policies and research of the Secretariat, its Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and two of the White Papers, adopted in 2016, as evidence of implementation of the NDP. The CSP explained its research into demilitarisation, which was currently in its second phase. Further research will be carried out in 2017/18 to explore the extent of SAPS militarisation/demilitarisation at police stations and a state of policing study will also be conducted to assess the state of policing in democratic SA and provide mechanisms towards an ideal police service. The CSP also explained the benefits that would come from setting up a National Policing Board and what steps were currently being taken to establish such a board. The Secretariat estimated the level of implementation was currently around 30%.

SAPS then delivered a detailed presentation looking at the NDP and current progress in terms of implementation from a policing point of view. The presentation focused on a variety of areas including strengthening the justice system, professionalising the Service, demilitarising the Service, increasing rehabilitation, building safety using an integrated approach, increasing community participation in safety and the annual safer festive season operation. Focus was also given to the Short Messaging System (SMS) used to keep complainants up-to-date with their case.

The Committee was keen to know if there was an online system in addition to the SMSs and if the system was going to extend further than just letting people know that a case was closed. Members were interested in knowing if pilot schemes were implemented yet and, if so, where, timeframes for processes not implemented, timeframes for establishment of the National Policing Board and barriers delaying creation of the Board.

The ISS explained the need for more stable leadership in both SAPS and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) as well as detailing the process that should be followed in order to ensure fair and transparent appointment of a National Commissioner. Corruption Watch furthered this by highlighting how the best possible candidates for the role of National Commissioner could be found.

The Committee asked if the ISS felt it was best that the Acting National Commissioner came from within SAPS or from outside. Members were also interested in the status of the Rural Safety Strategy and the situation with farm murders. Full implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy reducing the number of attacks on farmers was also questioned.

The Committee then briefly considered its Study Tour to the UK Report making minor amendments. As time had run out, the Committee decided to adopt the Report at its following meeting. 

Meeting report

Committee Business

The Chairperson noted there were two Draft Committee Reports for Members to adopt this week. The Fourth Term Programme of the Committee would be finalised later in the day – the schedule for October was already tight. It was suggested the Committee make full use of the first week of the Fourth Term, i.e. Monday to Friday, to deal with Reports but this would be confirmed at a later time.

The Critical Infrastructure Bill may also be dealt with during the Fourth Term.  

The Chairperson highlighted the importance of today’s meeting as it had been five years since the National Development Plan (NDP) was adopted. It was important for the Oversight Committee to reflect periodically on where progress was with the NDP and to note any stumbling blocks which must be addressed. Today’s meeting was to evaluate progress of implementation of the NDP. Parliament published a document on parliamentary oversight of implementation of the NDP, focusing on the Portfolio Committees of Defence, Police, Justice and Correctional Services, Security and Justice. Today would allow the Committee to see where the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP) were in terms of the five critical areas of the Plan. In the Fourth Term of Parliament, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) can be invited to address the Committee on its progress in this matter. The focus of the meeting today was on strengthening the justice system, professionalising the Service, demilitarising the Service, increasing rehabilitation, building safety using an integrated approach and increasing community participation in safety. These areas were important as highlighted by Parliament’s report.

Presentation by the Civilian Secretariat for Police

Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary of Police, explained the presentation would focus on core issues dealt with and would not go into operational issues. The CSP looked at the journey of the country in terms of the 2030 NDP included slides which would look at current problems including poverty and inequality, where SA wants to be as a nation, fighting corruption, quality healthcare for all, quality education for all, being an economy which used clean, renewable energy, building strong new infrastructure and creating 11 million jobs.

Mr Rapea explained the role of the CSP in relation to the Minister and SAPS before detailing recommendations from the NDP. The NDP called for a modernised, transformed and efficient criminal justice system and a professional and highly skilled police service. The Plan also set out priorities relevant to both the CSP and SAPS and recommended setting up a National Policing Board and two streams of recruitment.

The Secretariat already commenced with implementation of the recommendations of the NDP which was evident in policies, research, Monitoring and Evaluation reports and the Department’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020. At high macro level, the White Paper on Safety and Security and White Paper on Policing, both of which were adopted in 2016, implemented the NDP.

Demilitarisation of SAPS was at research and recommendation phase and was conducted in stages. 

In 2016/17, a study was conducted to assess whether Public Order Policing (POP) and Tactical Response Teams (TRT) were demilitarised or not, and if so, to what extent. Findings showed specialised units can be paramilitary in nature as they relied on rank structure for command and control, their members wear the same uniform, they have access to substantial weaponry and were all working towards a common purpose. However the Constitution required the police service to adopt a democratic policing posture that was community-centric. The creation and use of specialised units must be controlled and regulated.

In 2017/18, research will be conducted to explore the extent of SAPS militarisation/demilitarisation at police stations. The objectives of this study was to analyse SAPS transformation history in relation to demilitarisation and remilitarisation, determine elements of policing that contributed to SAPS militarisation, determine if SAPS VISPOL was complying with the legislative framework governing policing in SA and analyse progress made regarding SAPS VISPOL demilitarisation. In the same period, a state of policing study will also be conducted to assess the state of policing in a democratic SA and provide mechanisms towards an ideal police service.

The NDP recommended professionalising the police by enforcing the code of conduct and a police code of ethics, appointing highly trained / skilled personnel and establishing a body to set and regulate standards. It also clearly articulated the need for a ‘multi-sectoral’ and ‘multidisciplinary’ National Policing Board to set standards for recruiting, selecting, appointing and promoting police officials and officers, developing a code of ethics and analysing the professional standing of policing based on international norms and standards.

Mr Rapea explained the benefits of having a National Policing Board as well as outlining functions it would fulfil, how it would be composed and established.

A draft discussion document was being utilised to facilitate discussions with key stakeholders, such as SAPS and the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster. The first round of consultations on the draft discussion document was completed in March 2017. The next round of consultations was currently underway and results will be used to guide finalisation of policy guidelines for establishment of the National Policing Board.

Mr Rapea noted there had previously been a question of how much was done in terms of implementing the NDP. He estimated that around 30% of recommendations were implemented but ultimately the vision was to have it completed by 2030. There were some stumbling blocks and the CSP was now looking into using a service provider to assist in an attempt to accelerate and improve progress.

SAPS Implementation of the National Development Plan

Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Head, Strategic Management, SAPS, explained the vision of the NDP. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019 formulated 14 broad strategic outcomes which served as a guide to implement fundamentals of the NDP. Two of these outcomes were directly relevant to SAPS, namely:

  • Outcome 3: “all people in South Africa are and feel safe”
  • Outcome 11: “create a better South Africa, a better Africa & a better world”

Maj Gen Rabie then outlined some of the research priorities responding to the NDP highlighting the research on SAPS’ ideal policing model and research on the Operational Command Centre (OCC) concept and validation of SAPS OCC concept. The Operational Command Centre concept was established to sustain crime combatting initiatives with the aim of affecting crime reduction and enabling an environment where the community felt safe, there was absence of fear and restoration of trust in the SA Police Service. The presentation looked at the concept and command structure of the different levels of the OCCs

Maj Gen Rabie briefly discussed the National Trio Crimes Action Plan, illustrating the top 20 Crime Clusters and Individual Trio Crime Positions as well as key actions involved in the geographic approach taken. The presentation also discussed the Annual Operation Safer Festive Season which focused on reacting to crime threats and statistical trends which peaked during the festive season.

In terms of the Draft Framework for a Firearms Strategy, SAPS was in the progress of developing a strategy which aimed to reduce proliferation of firearms for use and availability in crime and violence in SA.  

Maj Gen Rabie noted the rural safety strategy was fully implemented at 859 stations, with partial implementation at a further 10 stations which left 14 stations without any level of implementation. Classification of rural and rural-urban police stations was revisited at request of the provincial offices and a total of 883 of 1 144 police stations were reclassified as rural or rural/urban mix police stations.

Tackling domestic violence linked into the section of the NDP which focused on the safety of women, the girl child, children and the youth. The background of the current situation with domestic violence and SAPS efforts to tackle it was then explained along with introduction of designated victim friendly rooms for private statement-taking.

Maj Gen Rabie drew attention to the Short Messaging System (SMS) - the JCPS Cluster identified the need for SAPS to inform victims of crime of the critical stages of the investigation process. This requirement was included in the MTSF. The SMS was designed to target this by keeping complainants on par with what was happening in their case. A Task Team was appointed and the first meeting took place on 30 November 2016. Subsequently a project plan and Business Requirement Specification (BRS) was compiled and approved by the Task Team. There was problem with the SMS due to changes to the current Vodacom SMS contract. The Technology Management Services (TMS) Division was addressing this issue but none of the SMS notifications can be implemented until the Vodacom Contract was addressed.

The Chairperson asked if there was also an online system where people could go online and type in their case number and then get an update report.

Lt Gen Adeline Shezi, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services, SAPS, answered that there was not an online system at present but it was currently in the development stage as it was being done in modular form. At the moment if one wanted that information, one could call any of the police stations and receive the information but it was not available online as yet.

Maj Gen Rabie explained that it was considered necessary to professionalise the police, establish a rapport with communities, develop confidence and trust in the police and promote positive community-police relations. Police discipline was based on command and control, whereas discipline in a modern police organisation was based on self-discipline and leadership. The community-based recruitment strategy, which dealt with recruitment, selection and enlistment of new police officers, was piloted in 2014 and 2015. This was revised during 2016. The revised Strategy included engaging communities, through imbizos/meetings, in the advertisement of posts in their local communities, briefing communities about SAPS in general, explaining the requirements to become a police officer and all steps in the recruitment process. Successful applicants were formally presented to their local communities who can then report anything detrimental that was known about an applicant that can negatively impact on that applicant being enrolled as a police officer. Provincial police and Community Recruitment Boards were engaged, including representatives from community structures, to make final recommendations to the National Commissioner for approval. Police trainees, who successfully completed the prescribed basic police training, signed the Code of Conduct and took the prescribed Oath of Office at the colleges before being deployed to stations for duty.

The presentation then highlighted the learning programmes contributing to professionalism and what programmes were offered at each level

The Chairperson asked if the two stream recruitment process, which was envisioned in the NDP, was now part and parcel of the recruitment process and, if not, what the timeframes were for that being introduced.

Maj Gen RJ Mokwena, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, SAPS, replied that SAPS had not yet begun implementation of the two stream process. Focus so far was on entry level although there were plans for implementation. Assistance from the Panel of Experts and the Secretariat will ensure that SAPS was able to implement it effectively.   

The Chairperson asked for clarification – was the two stream process still awaiting implementation?

Maj Gen Rabie said that SAPS established an Integrity Management Service (IMS), in compliance with Chapter Two of the Public Service Regulations, 2016. He detailed the areas of focus of the IMS and gave the status of each focus area. He detailed how management intervention was being used to promote ethics and professionalism as well as the mechanisms that will be used to deal with complaints against SAPS members. Discipline and Consequence Management was regulated by the SAPS Discipline Regulations, 2016.

The Chairperson noted the large number of SAPS members with alleged criminal matters who were still in service and asked if this was being dealt with specifically in line with recommendations of the NDP or if this was still a work in progress.

Maj Gen Mokwena responded that there was the 1448 project and there was a court interdict which came from that. SAPS still ensured there was a task team that looked into each case to figure out what happened. Some of those members approached the Department for expungement of records over ten years old. SAPS will be able to account for the 1448 but it was not able to take steps based on the court interdict. 

Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) understood that someone with a negligent driving case cannot be dismissed but there were cases of murder, rape, forgery, bigamy which were serious crimes. She noted a case where a SAPS member with an allegation against them was promoted to Brigadier - major crimes should not be related to anyone working in the SAPS.

Gen Mokwena requested that a presentation be made on another day to account for the 1448.

Maj Gen Rabie then discussed demilitarisation of SAPS. He highlighted the lack of understanding of the definition of demilitarisation as different perspectives had different views of what demilitarisation entailed. SAPS subsequently initiated an additional research project relating to demilitarisation of the Service with intent to clarify the concept. Consultation on demilitarisation was widened through three additional seminars during 2016/2017 involving academics, business professionals, tertiary institutions, human rights organisations and a wide range of SAPS members.

In order to target the Build Safety outcome, using an Integrated Approach, including an increase in community participation, sector policing was being used - this implied a practical policing approach to compliment community participation, in accordance with policing needs and community requirements. A total of 769 of the 772 identified police stations implemented sector policing while three had not.

Ms Kohler Barnard asked for clarity on whether once implemented, each station would need to have the ideal number of sectors. Did implementation mean full or partial implementation?

Lt Gen NP Masiye, Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, SAPS, said it meant full implementation i.e. all pillars of the policy should have been implemented. At the moment a station will be divided into four sectors. The challenge was that it was not always possible to deploy two vehicles at the sector or one vehicle at that sector but in that case, all available vehicles in those four sectors were deployed and policing in the four sectors was continued.   

Maj Gen Rabie explained the seven point plan to revamp the criminal justice system. He also talked through the Action Plan on gender-based violence and protection of vulnerable groups, highlighting priorities, key actions, responsibilities and timeframes.

ISS and Corruption Watch: Civil Society Initiative in Support of the National Development Plan – Overcoming the Serial Crises of Top Management in the Police in the Interests of Public Safety

Mr Gareth Newham, Head: Justice and Violence Prevention Programme, Institute for Security Studies, explained the importance of police leadership. He noted that the NDP recognised “the serial crises of top management” was having a negative impact on SAPS.

Mr Newham illustrated the impact the leadership crises was having on performance of SAPS, the Hawks and on public safety through a variety of graphs demonstrating declining performance of both the Hawks and SAPS. He discussed the 18 criteria which must be met in order to become a SAPS Constable compared to the three criteria required to become a SAPS National Commissioner. In order for police leadership to be effective, individuals in office must be ethical, act as a role model, be a good communicator, be a critical and creative thinker, be a decision maker (process and outcome), be trustworthy and legitimate.

In order to improve policing and public safety, Mr Newham suggested the NDP recommendations were followed. The NDP recommended the National Commissioner be appointed by the President on competitive basis. A selection panel, established by the President, should select and interview candidates for these posts against objective criteria. The President should appoint the National Commissioner and Deputies from recommendations and reports received from this selection panel. This would enhance the incumbents’ standing in the eyes of the community and increase respect accorded to them by their peers and subordinates. Consideration should be given to using the Civilian Secretariat for Police and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Police and Justice to assist with the process.

Ms Kavisha Pillay, Project Manager, Corruption Watch, explained the campaign being run by the ISS and Corruption Watch (CW) which aimed to promote awareness about implementation of the NDP as it pertained to appointment of the SAPS National Commissioner and Deputies. The two organisations were calling for a transparent process which elicited public participation. Merit-based criteria for the SAPS National Commissioner and Head of the Hawks were crucial.

ISS and CW believed that in order to get the best possible candidates for these positions, the following steps should be followed:

  • there should be a panel of experts to develop key criteria for the leadership position
  • after the panel was established, there must be public advertisement for the position and criteria should be made known
  • shortlisted candidates’ CVs should be released into the public domain for comment and/or objections
  • hold public interviews and objectively assess candidates against merit-based criteria
  • present no more than five of the best candidates for the President and the Ministry of Police to appoint an individual from

The organisations believe that Parliament had the authority to play an important role in the appointment processes of both the National Commissioner and the Head of the Hawks. Constitutionally, Parliament had authority to exercise oversight in the appointment process of both the National Commissioner and Head of the Hawks in the interests of transparency and accountability. Parliament’s participation in the appointment process will not remove the President’s prerogative to make the final appointment of the National Commissioner. Instead it will add an extra layer of transparency and accountability in this critical selection process. The same benefit would accrue to applying this process in appointing the Head of the Hawks.


The Chairperson asked for an indication from SAPS on the percentage of implemented recommendations. Did SAPS agree with the Secretariat’s estimate of 30%? In terms of research mandate, was there co-operation between SAPS and CSP? What was the ISS’s view on where the Police Commissioner should come from? Should it be a candidate from inside SAPS or from outside the organisation? On its recent study tour, the Committee learned that in the UK context any civil servant could be appointed as Commissioner until the 1950s but this had since changed - what was the ISS’s view of that in a South African context?

Ms Kohler Barnard queried if the President was aware of and prepared to follow the NDP’s recommendations on appointment of the Police Commissioner. She expressed concern that the NDP would be sidelined altogether and a new Commissioner would just be announced without consultation of a selection panel. The NDP did not elaborate on the panel or its composition which was an area of concern. The Plan also did not make it clear that the panel had responsibility to select, interview and create subjective criteria but said the criteria was to be developed by the National Policing Board which did not yet exist. In the time between now and creation of this National Policing Board, the President could announce a decision tomorrow. Everyone knew that Riah Phiyega would be allowed to stay and work out her full five-year term and then go off with full pension and medical aid. It was the same with former Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi. What were the delays in establishing this Board? In priority four of chapter 12 of the NDP, it stated a rural safety strategy was to be established - five years down the line there was increase in farmers being murdered and tortured to death on a weekly basis along with their wives and farm workers. The presentation today said the strategy was partially implemented. At stations, where this strategy was rolled out, were the attacks under control and dropping in numbers? If there was no change or an increase despite rollout then it would be a waste of time. During the rollout period, farm murders were increasing. According to AfriForum statistics for 2016/2017, there were 357 recorded attacks and 74 farm murders over the last year. There would be a problem with food security if every farmer in the country was murdered. Was the strategy working where it had been rolled out? Looking through the parliamentary review of implementation of the NDP from March 2017, it seemed as though SAPS adherence to the NDP ranged from poor to ignoring it completely. SAPS did not measure cross border smuggling of counterfeit goods, rural safety or intelligence-led policing which meant targets cannot be set. SAPS failed to reach its targets in terms of detection rates for contact crime and serious crime and there were negative results in terms of incomplete case dockets, training, draft cybercrime policy and the number of government officials convicted for corruption was 18. Even the school safety programme had only been rolled out in 1 000 out of 26 000 schools – this was not marvellous and it was in exchange for R87 billion.  What was the latest on this?

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked if the TRT was regarded by some members of the community as a “skit and donner” unit. Did the CSP research see an improvement in this approach? Five years down the line there was no sign of demilitarisation - what was the hiccup from SAPS’ perspective? Where were the 1448 members? Were they still at work? What was happening with this?

Dr P Groenewald (FF+) stated the Police Commissioner was supposed to be someone that everyone in the Service looked up to as an example. It was sad if one looked at previous National Commissioners and what the country ended up with. There was a real crisis if one looked at statistics, increase in murder rate, 20% in aggravated robbery and 21.5% in everything. These were serious crimes directly linked to the people of SA. If one looked at roadblocks and cordon and searches, why was there such a decrease? In 2010, around the World Soccer Cup, everything went well. More members of SAPS were employed and these members were still there - what happened? What was the explanation for that decrease specifically? There was much talk but no follow through which was frustrating. There must be specific targets for specific dates and then this must be complied with. Each time there was talk of dealing with a problem but the problem appeared to be escalating. There was now a situation in Limpopo where SAPS confirmed organised crime was taking place in farm murders. However, during the previous Hawks presentation, the Acting Commander said these murders were not priority because no Provincial Commander asked for intervention. It was stated a murder in a shebeen was the same as a murder on a farm - this was a shocking perspective. Of course every murder was serious but there were so many arguments and facts put on the table about farm murders specifically. A full explanation on this was needed.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked the CSP about the notion of a single police service as mentioned in the White Paper on Policing which was referenced in the presentation. This issue was contentious for a long time and at times the White Papers and discussion documents were contradictory. The discussion document released by the CSP earlier this year focused on establishing a single police service and said the right things but, on the other hand, in terms of constitutional principles, the document proposed some reforms that need to happen, particularly in legislation. For instance, that the National Commissioner be responsible for regional command and control of municipal or metro police departments and a municipal council shall appoint a chief of a municipal police service after approval from the National Commissioner was obtained. Section 41.1 (G) of the Constitution said that ‘All spheres of government and all organs of state within each sphere must exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere” - can clarity be given on what the idea of a single police service actually entailed? The question was asked before and the answer given said a single police service was about the uniformity of standards, harmonisation of operations without impeding on institutional or functional autonomy, given that they operated in different spheres. However sections of the discussion document appeared to contradict this. Command and control began with the National Commissioner and extended all the way down to the lowest ranks of the metro police service which was not allowed as they were in different fields of government – clarity on this was needed. In the SAPS presentation, ethics officers and establishment of the integrity management service was obviously a crucial issue to the overall drive for accountability and consequence management because it will be impossible to professionalise the police Service and strengthen integrity of the police leadership without there being strong, clear and swift consequences for misconduct as well as rewards for excellent performance. There seemed to be flaws in the design because the highest ranking of those three officers, which seemed a small number in itself, was a Brigadier. Should the highest ranking not at least be a General, as a Brigadier may be outranked by the person in question who ranked as a Major General or Lieutenant and this may dilute his/her ability to carry out his/her function? It had often said that one can tell the level of priority that an organisation gave to a function based on seniority of the person assigned to manage that area. This was a big concern for the ethics enforcement function to pursue ethics issues to the highest level if that was the allocation being made. The SAPS presentation also spoke to the approach to tackle violence against women, children and vulnerable groups and the need to provide aggravated crime statistics. With this in mind, and the fact that release of crime statistics was a key component in building or facilitating community participation in safety building, which was one of the pillars of the NDP, when will the next crime statistics be released? The stats were meant to be released on a quarterly basis so they were currently overdue. Could the Committee, and public, be assured it would have ample notice and awareness as to when the statistics would be released?  

Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked the CSP about what was meant when it said it did not have capacity to implement the NDP. The SAPS presentation mentioned the national dialogue meant to take place with SAPS management earlier this year. Did the national dialogue happen and were top management in attendance? The presentation also mentioned that successful candidates were presented to their communities in order for the community to report anything which might prevent the applicant being enrolled in SAPS - where and when had this happened? The Member said she had seen no such instances in her local community.

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked about demilitarisation and what exactly this entailed as it was a concept brought up regularly without any mention of what it actually was. There was a serious problem in the analysis of demilitarisation - was it possible to demilitarise the TRT units because these units appeared to be paramilitary in nature? The presentation noted findings that suggested TRT was being normalised into general policing and was known to provide support to POP in crowd situations – was this actually the job of TRT? One could not place TRT in crowd situations – this was more dangerous as it was not the role of TRT. What type of training did TRT members need to have? Discussion on demilitarisation seemed to be going in circles – the point now was to say what needs to be done. The SAPS presentation did not mention any appeal process for someone who was analysed by the community – was there any appeal process? There may be grievances within communities going back generations which should not actually impact on one’s ability to work for SAPS - was there any appeal process in position?

Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) thanked the Deputy National Commissioner for intervention on an issue which was discussed last week which was dealt with accordingly. Five years had passed since the NDP was developed but SAPS was still grappling trying to find its feet in terms of the NDP and MTSF. How much longer will it take to successfully implement these plans? It should be taken into consideration that current plans may be outdated as criminals today were far in advance of the police and for every plan made to counter crime, criminals had their own plan and were always one step ahead of the game. By the time these plans were achieved, it might be of no use. Gender-based violence was one of the priorities of the NDP but one must admit the situation was worsening rather than improving. One of the matters identified was that in many cases, where there were fatalities, there were prior instances where victims were victims of prior crimes. Often these prior crimes were never reported or were reported but withdrawn and the only time one found this out was when the case became fatal. There was weakness in the police wanting to achieve all of this on its own - this cannot be achieved in isolation. Should there not be some sort of register so that when a crime of gender-based violence was committed there can be some sort of follow-up to monitor the situation over a period of time? There was talk of organised crime but as mentioned, criminals were far in advance of us. There were new crimes currently implemented, such as kidnappings and ransoms, and while these crimes were being dealt with, more were arising. Will SAPS have capacity to effectively deal with these crimes and implement what it was supposed to? The current SMS system was very effective - the moment a case was reported one got that SMS. However what system was in place for when cases were closed to follow through and inform complainants of what occurred?

Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) was worried that what was being presented might look good but there were reservations over whether this was the reality. Without TRT or the National Intervention Unit there would be severe issues - this was highlighted with recent developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the serious violent crimes waged by criminals in the region. Some studies were not necessarily taking into consideration the situation society was being confronted with. Demilitarised forces which had no capacity will be underequipped. This was a pipedream which was unsubstantiated by facts on the ground or failure to understand historical factors that had led to the situation was now. Cutting edge research needed to be done to understand the key factors required to bring about transformation of SAPS to suit the democratic dispensation moving forward. Sufficient, joint effort studies had not been carried out on this field. Looking at the CSP, instability at political level had a direct bearing on its expected outcomes. What were the barriers encountered in carrying this forward? What bearing did instability at top management level have? Recently the head of Crime Intelligence spent weeks redeploying members from headquarters to provinces, without being informed by anything. The Acting National Commissioner then said he would command this until further notice. A week later a man was appointed but, according to the media, his matriculation certificate was under question – what was happening here? The Committee received all these good documents but where was the problem actually? Can one confine the problem to being within the administration or was the problem escalating from administration to even the political level? What about the problems with state capture where the police could not even go there as some top guns in the country were involved? What was the problem? When these issues were discussed, was there any commitment was it simply theoretical? There did not appear to be any success in this until something was done practically at both a political and administrative level.

Ms L Mabija (ANC) asked what the challenges hindering the implementation of the rural safety strategy were. Was it that the strategy was not yet implemented because there was a programme of action being followed?

Mr Rapea noted there was co-operation with SAPS in terms of research. When research was carried out, the CSP makes ensured SAPS was involved. He was surprised that SAPS had said it was doing research on demilitarisation as the CSP was already in phase two of its research on this. It was an issue which will be discussed with the Acting National Commissioner. These tasks cannot be duplicated and this was a concern. It was not possible to speak on behalf of the President in terms of his awareness of the NDP’s recommendations for appointment of the National Commissioner. The issue of change in leadership can result in things not moving and this was one of the obstacles to establishing the National Police Board. The draft document and consultation took place by March but the change of leadership impacted on and delayed establishment of the Board. There was no consensus on it and agreement needs to be reached on the approach before one can go into details however the process had begun. The CSP research did not go into perception of the TRT unit. The research was confined to if the unit was militarised and what were the challenges these units were having. One of the issues in the findings regarding the TRT was that it said its members were not clear on its role and function in the task of providing tactical support to the POP units. The issue of TRT being normalised into general policing contributed to the image of SAPS being militarised. Cluster Commanders raised the concern of day-to-day demand on policing intervention which forced them to deploy TRT units to make up for the deficit in general policing. These units were highly trained and should not go into highly dangerous areas. This issue was coupled with the fact that research said the paramilitary element of these units cannot be gotten rid of. One could not expect general police, such as Visible Policing, to go and confront cash-in-transit heists or hijackings – such situations would require specially trained SAPS members. At the same time, this service should not be abused. Their skills were being trained and sharpened on a daily basis. Some of the issues raised were already being implemented by SAPS so it could respond to these issues further.

The CSP research also discussed what was meant by demilitarisation – the concept was not about ranks but rather that it was a military model consisting of a set of beliefs that stressed the use of force and threat of violence as the most appropriate and efficient means to solve problems. It emphasised the use of military power in solving problems. The research did outline why demilitarisation should take place and at no point did it state there cannot be any militarisation in the police especially in terms of TRT and POP- the paramilitary function of these units was important. The discussion document drawn up was designed to provoke discussion around issues and the document was based on other documentation. Section 64 of the SAPS Act also talked about the issues of the single police service and how it will be managed. Once all discussions took place, it will be translated into a proposal which will be debated. Without amendment of the SAPS Act, it will not be possible to implement all issues in the NDP as the SAPS Act was key. There was a legislation unit in the CSP with three people however one of the Directors was retiring at the end of the year. Year in and year out, there was a list of legislation to address but these never get dealt with fully. Legislative drafting was very time consuming and there had to be consultation with a number of stakeholders. Perhaps the researchers should engage the Committee on the second phase of the research on demilitarisation so that there was one consolidated research report after the second phase was completed.

Lt Gen Lesetja Mothiba, Interim Acting National Commissioner of Police, stated some of the issues in the NDP can be implemented with immediate effect while others were medium or long term. Implementation of the NDP was taken very seriously by SAPS. Overall implementation sat at around 52% at the moment. Much was done in terms of crime fighting and strategies such as for rural safety. There was still much to be done on the issue of demilitarisation although much progress had been made in this area especially since 1995. Oversight over the police with the CSP, IPID and the Portfolio Committee, demonstrated these gains in accountability. It must be understood that it was not possible to demilitarise the entire police, for instance with Programme One on the support background, it was almost already completely demilitarised. Programme Two, Visible Policing, POP and TRT must be divided and the areas that need to be demilitarised must be defined. There were certain units that should remain paramilitary so that they can meet fire with fire in terms of challenges being experienced on a daily basis. The final document will explain the areas that need to be demilitarised and those that should remain paramilitary. It was estimated that around 52% of recommendations were implemented including those which were achieved with other bodies in the Criminal Justice System. There were areas which need to be tackled with the JPCS and not as SAPS alone. There were stations where the rural safety strategy was fully implemented while in others there were still challenges to implementation but the SAPS team was working very hard to fully implement this strategy. Historically the rural stations were not prioritised in resource allocation and this was an international trend not specific to South Africa. There were no specialised units like K9 or TRT in these areas but they assisted when called.  

Lt Gen Masiye said the rural safety strategy was implemented. Implementation was based on adherence to the four pillars of the strategy so some of the pillars cannot be crossed off, for example if there was a lack of interest from the local community – there were 14 stations where the strategy was not fully implemented. The pillar encountering the most challenges was co-operation with members of the community. In some of the rural areas where farm workers were seasonal, it was very difficult to get the community to engage. Rural communities were being policed but the strategy was not fully implemented yet however SAPS was ensuring it was being implemented by engaging with a number of stakeholders on a quarterly basis so that challenges were discussed and potential solutions were raised. There were improvements in terms of some of the pillars but full implementation did not mean that a crime will not take place in a rural area. Instead the idea was to fight and engage in order to decrease crimes happening in these areas. Crime in rural areas was a priority for SAPS and although crimes were still taking place, they were decreasing.

Ms Kohler Barnard reiterated her question on where the strategy was rolled out. The murder rate had increased while this was being rolled out. At the stations where it was fully implemented, was the situation under control? This had not yet been addressed.

Dr Groenewald asked about the Transvaal Agricultural Union as it was not mentioned as being a stakeholder.

Lt Gen Masiye only mentioned a few stakeholders from a long list and these stakeholders would be engaged on a quarterly basis on the upcoming rural safety summit. The crime in rural areas was happening - currently she did not have the list where the rural strategy was fully implemented in order to compare and see if attacks against farmers were increasing or decreasing. She asked if it possible to submit this in writing to the Committee at a later date.

Lt Gen Mothiba stated that SAPS was working hard to finalise the document on demilitarisation as was the Secretariat.  

Gen Mokwena noted that some of the 1448 members would still be at work while some retired or had records expunged. A breakdown accounting for each and every member can be forwarded at a later date.

Lt Gen Mothiba said SAPS had never done a study on the organised nature of farm workers.

Dr Groenewald interrupted to clarify that his question was not about farm workers but rather that there was an investigation into farm murders and the police said that around 11 or 12 criminals were involved and it was part of organised crime.

Lt Gen Mothiba said that it might have been that particular crime but, with permission, SAPS will give a written response with analysis on how many farm murders were organised and how many were not. That being said, the overwhelming number of farm murders were not organised.

Lt Gen Masiye noted cordon and searches were informed by intelligence received. An application must take place in order to carry out the cordon and search for a specific flat or block of flats for instance so this must be directed by crime intelligence.

Dr Groenewald highlighted the decrease in the number of cordon and searches since 2010/11 as given in the presentation by Mr Newham - was it because of a lack of crime intelligence that these cordon and searches were not being done?. If so was this as a further result of the imploding of Crime Intelligence?

Lt Gen Masiye did not have the relevant statistics so could not confirm that those statistics were from the SAPS report. With the cordon, searches and roadblock held for 15/16 and 16/17, there was an increment.

Dr Groenewald asked Mr Newham to clarify where his research came from.

Gen Mokwena stated that with establishment of the integrity unit, three people were appointed. These three resort under the Divisional Commissioner: Personnel Management who was first appointed ethics officer.  Now recommendations for establishment of an ethics committee were forwarded to the Acting National Commissioner. That committee will also be championed by the Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management.

Lt Gen Mothiba indicated the annual crime statistics will be released this month and immediately thereafter the quarterly statistics will be released for those quarters that were not yet released. The national dialogue involving SAPS senior management took place engaging top management and many other stakeholders on the issue of gender-based violence.

Gen Mokwena said it was confirmed last week by Lt Gen Masiye that there was community-based recruitment conducted in all provinces. It was a pilot project which necessitated SAPS to look at gaps that were identified. Subsequently the project was revised and it as currently before the Acting National Commissioner for approval. In terms of recruitment for this financial year, the project might not be able to be utilised as it was yet been approved. Recruitment of Constables was currently taking place.  

Lt Gen E Mawela, Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, SAPS, said that in relation to blurring lines where members of TRT were not sure about roles, engagement with members was beginning to take place in order to address these issues. As part of this, directives were being developed as well as a National Instruction which was currently being dealt with by SAPS Legal Services and policy committee. Once they were happy it met all requirements, the Acting National Commissioner will sign it off. Chapter Two also discussed the operational mandate of the TRT and the role was clearly defined there. Paragraph nine also discussed the operational function of the TRT so these members will know exactly what they need to do and that these tasks were not done by another police unit. The training TRT received was over and above normal basic training. It included rural policing, urban terror and advanced ways of using firearms. This unit cannot be used simply as a first line service of the police as it was needed for medium to high risk situations.

Gen Mokwena stated there was no appeal process at the moment for community feedback as part of the recruitment process however this will be looked into.

Lt Gen Mothiba said SAPS had until 2030 to implement the NDP. There was good progress being made in some areas whereas other areas were slower. The ever changing tactics of criminals was a problem as new crimes were being developed. Police were now closing gaps but at the same time, criminals were opening other holes. SAPS were on top of these developments in co-operation with the JCPS so there will be remarkable progress made in implementation.

Lt Gen Masiye noted there was a proposed way forward in terms of monitoring and following through on victims of gender-based violence. Currently cases were recorded. It was true that many of the victims were the ones withdrawing cases based on different reasons. Cases of domestic violence were not withdrawn with station level but rather at court. It would be good to have follow through on all reported cases to check the status of the victims and see if they were still secure or were receiving more challenges to their wellbeing. Such a system was not in place currently but there was a register that captured all reported cases and how they were finalised. If need arose, a breeched protection order will be dealt with.

Maj Gen Tebello Mosikili, on behalf of the SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Detective Services, stated there was progress in implementation of the SMS system. There were a number of priorities which were identified and handed over to TMS for implementation. It was being done in phases and the intention was that, at the end of the day, there should be progress given on the status of the case for instance if it was in court, investigation was proceeding, the case was under trial or how the case was finalised. The presentation showed the phases and where spending was taking place on all identified priorities. On the issue of gender*based violence cases withdrawn, cases were referred to court and then before the case can be finalised at court it will be withdrawn for other reasons. There was a multi-sectoral process undertaken so some of the cases will also be finalised in terms of Alternative Dispute Resolution but it will be after this process and engagement with social workers.

Lt Gen Gary Kruser, Deputy National Commissioner: National Management Intervention, SAPS, highlighted the largest proportion of complaints SAPS received was feedback from detectives. Based on this research was done, complainants were engaged and crucial areas for intervention were identified. The team was currently testing the completed research and there was a new contract with Vodacom to implement the SMS. This was tested and it worked quite well on the test so it was ready to be rolled out once the SMS bundle issue was sorted out.

Lt Gen Shezi confirmed that 50 modules were tested and were implemented since April. There was email communication for the transfer between stations or between units right through to notifications for the warrant for arrest. For all other categories of SMSs fed back to complainants, finalisation of the Vodacom contract was concluded on the SMS bundles. Cost centres now need to be implemented so that SMSs will be paid back from the account they were generated from. Other than this, the bundles were finalised and the Vodacom contract was approved so it was ready to implement.

Mr Newham clarified the statistics in the ISS presentation came from SAPS Annual Reports which were presented to Parliament. There was no data for the 16/17 period at present so that data will become available once the next Annual Report was made available in October. Looking at BRICS countries on whether the National Commissioner should come from within SAPS or not, in Russia China and India the Commissioner must come from within SAPS but in Brazil they do not. Brazil stated that if a person wanted to become Commissioner, they must have a degree in law and must have a Bachelor’s degree to join the Federal Police Force. ISS thought there were members within SAPS who would make very good National Commissioners and there was no objection to candidates coming from the Service itself. However as there might be a situation where one was in the Service for 10 to 15 years and had gone on and worked very successfully in another organisation or environment but now wanted to come back to the Service and bring new thinking and new innovation. While there needs to be a transparent process, one would want all candidates who thought they were fit for the job to apply. The selection panel can then decide if the best person for the job right now was someone who had only ever been in the police for their entire career or if that person was someone with police experience but also other experience. There should be caution to thinking that someone with absolutely no police experience could take over the role.  Challenges faced by the police on the ground and all throughout the organisation, as in all policing agencies, would really require someone who had some exposure to that environment. It was not impossible however to have someone who was an excellent manager and was able to bring different groups together to help solve problems. From the ISS’ perspective, if there was a fair, open, transparent process then there would be people within SAPS who would fit the bill.

Ms Kohler Barnard expressed concern that the Department was sitting and waiting until 2030 to implement the NDP. Was there a document that can be shared with the Committee that actually dealt with specific timelines? On other areas, timelines were given for the implementation – was this also the case with the NDP? If so, this needed to be shared with the Committee. In relation to post- Marikana POP, there was a report from a member of the Defence Force to a panel of experts on crowd control and the member was appalled the army was so far ahead of the police in weapons, ammunition and approach. Lt Gen Kruser was there and pointed out the SAPS budget was cut and therefore there was doubt that SAPS would ever be able to increase the POP strength up to 14 200. This was a huge issue as protests were increasing and not going away. In terms of the NDP, where was this situation? She expressed concern about the situation predicted where the country will be pulling in the army to deal with crowd control – she did not want to ever see that situation arise.

Lt Gen Kruser was not sure what the Member said was a true reflection - discussion was that there was reduction in the budget and that realistically this might affect all units because if there was a reduction. One must look at the cost centres of the entire police. This was still being looked at and the Committee will make its final recommendations – emphasis was on looking at what was realistic in terms of what SAPS had available. 

The Chairperson highlighted that much still needed to be done for implementation of the NDP. Some policy decisions still needed to be made by the Executive - the Committee will continue to monitor the situation. By November there must be an update in terms of the Parliamentary Report. This will allow the real percentages of completed implementation to be determined. The final test was to see the NDP implemented on the ground at individual stations at all levels – this was not simply about ticking the box of the Parliamentary Report but rather positively effecting leadership and service delivery.

Draft Committee Report on its Study Tour to the United Kingdom

The Committee made minor amendments to the first 15 pages of its Draft Report – further consideration and adoption of the Report would be completed at its following meeting. 

The meeting was adjourned.


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