There was a problem of instability in the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS), and this was something that needed to be dealt with. There had been a decline in the levels of violence, but the declines in crime were not significant as the country was yet to witness a decline in categories of crime by more than 10%. Contact crimes had increased by 1.9%. TRIO crimes – robbery with aggravating circumstances, which included carjacking, house and business robbery - had also increased. This was the background sketched by the Committee’s Content Advisor ahead of the SAPS presentation on its budget and administration, visible policing and crime intelligence programmes.
SAPS provided details of its 2018-19 budget, and drew attention to the significant funding levels for the Criminal Justice System revamp and for the hosting/network infrastructure upgrades within the Technology Management Services (TMS) environment. It said it aimed to maintain a minimum workforce at 98% of the approved establishment of 192 431.
Members wanted to know what progress that had been made with lifestyle audits, as this had been raised in previous engagements with the Committee. Contract management within SAPS was still problematic, as there was an issue of mismanagement of a contract of around R5 billion involving Forensic Data Analysts (FDA). They also expressed concern about former employees of SAPS who became involved as service providers, and this needed to be avoided by all means. They wanted to know if psychological help was available to traumatised police officers, many of whom ended up committing suicide. Another issue raised involved the myriad of complaints from female police officers who were being harassed by their male colleagues within SAPS.
In its visible policing programme, SAPS spelt out its targets for reducing serious crimes, highlighting those involving women and property. Its objectives included tougher action to deal with unlawful possession of and dealing in drugs, and there was a target to increase the number of stolen/lost and illegal firearms recovered..
Members asked whether the structure of SAPS was adequate to deal with visible policing. Were members being provided with effective equipment, such as bullet-resistant vests and body-worn cameras? They wanted an update on the status of lost or stolen police firearms, and why there had been a proliferation of detainees escaping from custody, without those responsible apparently being held accountable. What was being done about installing scanners at the borders to reduce illegal trafficking?
Crime Intelligence said that compensation payments usually made up the largest portion of the budget, while the operational costs were primarily for fuel, fleet maintenance, and travel and subsistence. There was a target of generating 21 720 early warning reports for proactive policing operations, and a target of 98 277 profiles generated for reactive policing operations.
Members said there was a need to ensure that CI was corruption free, and asked what was being done to turn the entity around. They pointed out that many foreign posts which used to provide intelligence information had been closed, so it was important to establish whether there was any possibility of reopening them. The Committee welcomed the new Crime Intelligence head, and suggested he should give urgent attention to bringing stability to the organisation. The increasingly violent protest actions and recent land grabs meant that gathering intelligence was essential, so that measures could be taken before situations escalated.
The Chairperson indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to continue with the budget hearing, focusing on the different programmes of the Department. The Committee would need start with Programme 1, as this had not been dealt with yesterday because of time constraints. It was important for the Committee to get a briefing by the Committee’s Content Advisor on the overall analysis of the Annual Performance Plan (APP) of the Department.
SAPS Annual Performance Plan: Briefing by Content Advisor
Dr Irvin Kinnes, Committee Content Advisor, said there was a problem of instability in the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS), and this was something that needed to be dealt with. There had been a decline in the levels of violence, but the declines in crime were not significant as the country was yet to witness a decline in categories of crime by more than 10%. Contact crimes had increased by 1.9%. TRIO crimes – robbery with aggravating circumstances, which included carjacking, house and business robbery - had also increased. SAPS had reported that robbery at residential and non-residential places had also increased. The National Commissioner had indicated that he was putting together a task team to deal with TRIO crimes.
There had been an increase in criminal attacks against police officers seeking to combat and investigate crimes, especially in places like Engcobo in the Eastern Cape and other parts of the country. There had been a downward trend in the ability of the police to rebuild public confidence and this was a serious concern. The morale of the police was something that the Committee needed to look into.
Dr Kinnes said that the Department needed to align all its Annual Performance Plan (APP) targets to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targets in order for SAPS to meet the National Development Plan (NDP) goals. There had been a recommendation from the Committee that SAPS should invest in CCTV cameras, and that body-worn cameras must be worn by front-line police officers. There had also been a recommendation that SAPS should reduce its targets, especially those that had not been achieved, while those targets that were too extensive should be aligned to the MTSF.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) targets were also extremely low, and this was something that had been flagged by the Committee before.
The Committee had encouraged Crime Intelligence to gather more early warning reports, especially those in relation to service delivery protests and public order violence.
It had also raised the issue of lifestyle audits as something that needed to be undertaken by all SAPS senior management.
Programme 1: Administration
Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Component Head: Strategic Management, SAPS, said the purpose of Programme 1 was to develop policy and to manage the Department, including administrative support. The Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP), as a designated department, was reflected as a transfer payment in the Vote: Police amounting to R131 million in the 2018/19 financial year. Corporate services consisted inter alia of human resource development (R2.319 billion), technology management services (R3.621 billion), and supply chain management (R4.072 billion). There were significant funding levels, especially for the criminal justice system (CJS) revamp initiative (R747 million) for the information technology (IT) portion vesting under Programme3:Detective Services, Integrated Justice System (IJS) projects (R254.9 million), and hosting/network infrastructure upgrades within the Technology Management Services (TMS) environment.
SAPS aimed to maintain a minimum workforce of 98% in terms of the approved establishment of 192 431. There was also a target to fill 90% of vacant funded posts within six months from the date of advertisement. SAPS also aimed to finalise 90% of disciplinary cases within 60 calendar days. There was a target to ensure that 99% of legitimate invoices were paid within 30 days.
The Chairperson wanted to know about the progress that had been made on the issue of lifestyle audits as this was a matter that the Committee had raised in previous engagements. The issue of contract management within SAPS was still problematic, as there had been an issue around the mismanagement of a contract of around R5 billion involving Forensic Data Analysts (FDA). The matter of contract mismanagement within SAPS was likely to be a potential risk to the Department. There should be an agreement on what would be done to resolve the problem involving the management of contracts within SAPS. It was unclear as to whether the National Treasury (NT) was involved in trying to resolve this problem. What was the progress on the issue of former employees of SAPS who ended up becoming involved as service providers for SAPS?
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) also expressed concern about former employees of SAPS who ended up being involved as service providers, and said this needed to be avoided by all means. The Committee should be updated on the problem of police officers who ended up committing suicide, and whether there was any psychological help that was provided to them. There should be a focus on improving staff morale within SAPS, as the problem of recurring suicides by police officers was directly linked to the problem of low staff morale. Was there any mandatory psychological help within SAPS that was provided to police officers? It seemed impossible to justify the Bullet Resistant Vests (BRVs) that cost R33 000 each, as this was indeed a lot of money. It had also been indicated that these BRVs were procured from an Indian company. Was this company linked to the Guptas?
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) said that the current morale of the police was extremely low and the Committee should be briefed on what to do about this problem. It was also clear that there was a huge problem of corruption within SAPS’s management. What could be done to address this problem?
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked why Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape had been allocated less budget.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) said that the target of providing 15 new mobile police stations seemed pretty low, judging by the demand for more police stations on the ground. Were there any collated figures on the actual demand for satellite police stations on the ground? It was unclear if the targets on Information Communication Technology (ICT) included the provision of CCTV cameras and other technological equipment to be used by SAPS members.
Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted to know about the objective of the internships, and whether these people were all absorbed within SAPS after completing the internship. It must also be made clear whether these people in the internship programme were given any stipend or any form of income. What was the main focus of this internship?
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) said that the Committee should be provided with a breakdown of the number of SAPS vehicles, including those in government garages. The use of consultancy for fixing SAPS vehicles was problematic, as this was supposed to be done internally. The use of consultancy really was destroying the capability of SAPS, as there was a lot of corruption in the utilisation of consultants. There was a particular problem within the human resource (HR) department of SAPS, where former employees who had resigned did not receive any pension -- this was inhumane and insensitive to people who had served SAPS their whole lives. There were people who had rendered their service to SAPS but now found it almost impossible to get their pension funds, and this was something that SAPS should deal with.
There was an indication that police officers were complicit in the killing of people in Glebelands, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Committee should hear to why SAPS still continued to pay Detective Sergeant Mdweshu, who was alleged to be complicit in the killing of people in KZN? Although Det Sgt Mdweshu had not been sentenced, it was quite clear that the man would be protected by SAPS. Would SAPS be likely to follow the route of Capt “KGB” Tshabalala, who had been paid a salary by SAPS despite being a hardened criminal?
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) said that it seemed fashionable for National Commissioners within SAPS to be investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), as this problem had persisted since 1999. The Committee should be provided with an update on what the current National Commissioner was investigated for. What was the difference between a legitimate and illegitimate invoice? How was it possible to have an illegitimate invoice? There had been an indication that there was an information communication technology (ITC) company that had complained about not being paid what was due for a period of five years. What was the update on this?
General Khehla Sitole, National Commissioner: SAPS; clarified that IPID had written a letter to the legal service of SAPS, asking him personally, as a National Commissioner, to be interviewed. The letter had also been clear that he was not a suspect but a witness, and this was written in black and white. The interview was about the national security threat which was operationally driven, and the National Commissioner was allowed to report this only to the Minister and the President. He had made it clear that he could not go to the interview, and had shared that gathered information. It was difficult to determine at this stage whether IPID was investigating the National Commissioner or any other person involved.
There had been a commitment to undertake a project on the lifestyle audit, and this was being implemented. The details on the exact progress would be provided in the progress report. This was an integrated project, because there were various areas that were being dealt with. The lifestyle audit of five senior officials had been completed, and the rest of the process was also linked to the vetting process.
Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya, Head: Human Resource Management, SAPS, said that SAPS had conducted a lifestyle audit of 80 members, of which 16 were Senior Management Staff (SMS), and it had been finalised. There were 25 lieutenants-general with a top secret clearance which entailed the lifestyle audit. There were 118 officials that had been subjected to lifestyle audits, and 14 within the SMS that were issued with security clearances. SAPS planned to ensure that 40% of members were subjected to a lifestyle audit. It would continue to subject other members to lifestyle audits, like those who had been identified through other measures such as ‘whistle blowing.’
The Chairperson said that the lifestyle audit was additional to other measures to be put in place to prevent corruption. It would be important for the Committee to ascertain whether there was a new form that had been developed for the lifestyle audit.
Ms Molebatsi asked about the number of SAPS officials who had been identified to have committed any wrongdoing during the lifestyle audit.
Ms Kohler Barnard also wanted to know about the number of SAPS officials that had been identified to have done any wrongdoing, as this was the part that the Committee was interested on. The lifestyle audit was not just a “tick the box” exercise -- Members wanted to know those who were involved in corruption and the ultimate action that would be taken against them. The Committee would like to know those SASP officials who were earning R100 000, but were spending R500 000 on expensive cars like Ferraris.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know about the methodology that was being used when conducting a lifestyle audit, as this was something that the Committee needed to take into consideration. The main question was to find out about the principle of the lifestyle audit.
Mr Mhlongo said that the case of former acting National Commissioner, Lt Gen Khomotso Phahlane, had happened under Members’ noses, and he had looked innocent when he came to the Committee, despite being corrupt to the core. How many SAPS officials had been found to be corrupt or involved in wrongdoing? There was a need to move with men and women in the police service who had been cleared by the system, like the lifestyle audit.
Ms Molebatsi asked what the situation was regarding suspended crime intelligence Brigadier Phethle.
The Chairperson suggested that the issue of Brigadier Phethle should be addressed when the Committee was dealing with Programme 4: Crime Intelligence.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) also wanted to know about the Guptas who had left the country without being held accountable. The Committee should be provided with a response on the BRVs that cost around R32 000 each. Who was the supplier of these BRVs?
General Sitole replied that the lifestyle audit was an over and above the vetting process. The principles of the lifestyle audit were applied when SAPS was doing vetting, but a lifestyle audit was completely separate. The implementation of the lifestyle audit project was in progress, and the project team was reporting monthly to the National Commissioner. The progress report would provide detailed information on the lifestyle audit, including those that came out questionably, and the actions to be taken to those individuals.
There was a value chain forensic investigation that had been commissioned, as well as a criminal investigation, on the issue of procurement involving FDA. The National Treasury was involved in this process, as well as the DPCI and the internal forensic team of SAPS. There were a few case dockets that had been opened. There was an instruction that there had to be a lifestyle audit conducted on all the questionable officials involved in FDA procurement scandal. The National Commissioner had requested an opportunity to give a formal progress report that would address what the Committee would like to hear in regard to the lifestyle audit.
The Chairperson said that the priority of the Committee was to see the project running efficiently, and without any shortcuts.
General Sitole responded that what Lt Gen Mgwenya had been responding to was that the principle of the lifestyle audit should be applied to any vetting process. A person with any questionable issue arising from the lifestyle audit should be disqualified from vetting. Contract management within SAPS had been identified as a grey area and this was also the highest strategic risk. There would be a review of whole contract management system within the organisation, as this had created more problems for SAPS. The risk management of SAPS addressed only operational risk at present, but there was a strategic risk in this area. SAPS would present a review of the contract management strategy, together with the risk management.
There would be a total review of the technological requirements for policing in the country. The types of systems within SAPS were outdated for its methods of operation, and therefore a review was needed. The capability of Crime Intelligence (CI) was to a large extent minimised by technology. The crime detection framework did not only talk to the detective, but also to the DPCI. The current technology did not fully cover cybercrime spots and this was also the area that called for the review. There was a performance management gap on the optimal utilisation of technology.
The Chairperson mentioned that a lot of challenges within SAPS were related to technology. There were systems that were not talking to each other within SAPS. Who was going to be doing the review of the existing technology within SAPS? Was this going to be done internally, or would this be the responsibility of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)? The review of technology was also looking at the issue of policing within a period of 10 years.
General Sitole responded that it was SAPS that was responsible for the drafting of the user requirement for policing. SAPS was the one with the knowledge on the issue of policing and therefore it was ideal for it to be responsible for the drafting of the user requirement. There was an agreement to work together with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to provide assistance on how the user requirement could be responded to. He had also approached the National Treasury on the issue of technology, and this was an important step that needed to be undertaken. SITA had to assist SAPS on the understanding of the required technology. The technology that was being required from SITA needed to respond to policing. There were certain service providers who provided technology to the state to retain critical information, and there were certain institutions that would be consulted to assist SAPS.
Lt Gen Adeline Shezi, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services, SAPS, added that there would be recruitment of IT specialists to assist SAPS on technology. There was a major problem of a lack of IT expertise within SAPS, and the organisation was almost fully dependent on SITA expertise in the technological environment. The issue of bodily-worn cameras by police officers and other technological equipment was provided for in the current APP. The Committee could be provided with a progress report on the specific IT projects to be undertaken within SAPS.
General Sitole said there was a policy gap with regard to the issue of leaving SAPS and then becoming involved in the procurement process, and this was part of the risk and control measures that were being put in place. Investigation was being undertaken into some contracts issued, and this was affecting payment to those companies. SAPS would first need to get the outcome from investigations on some of the contracts that had been issued before effecting payment to the companies involved. The original contracts were entered into between SITA and the suppliers, and SAPS was a user of the service. SITA had discovered that there had been a certain conduct of the suppliers which was not in compliance with the original contract. The service of SITA was obviously affected. This matter was currently being addressed in court and the court outcome would have a bearing on whether SAPS should make payment to the companies involved. It could be confirmed to the Committee that there was a new development in the matter involving the contracts, and SAPS would like to dispose of the matter as soon as possible.
There was an organisational study that had been commissioned which would report on why there had been an increase in police suicides, including recommendations.
Lt Gen Mgwenya added that SAPS had made it mandatory for police members in specialised units to be provided with psychological debriefing. The problem was that there was a shortage of psychologists. However, there was an engagement with SAPS medical aid to provide psychologists for police members in the specialised units. The Committee could be provided with detailed information on the psychological help that was provided to SAPS members, including social workers. Pillar 4 of SAPS strategy addressed wellness management. SAPS was in the process of implementing psychological help for its members. There was a first responder counseling for those SAPS members outside the specialised units, especially in cases where they came into contact with a traumatic situation. There were cases where some SAPS members were reluctant to go and consult counseling, to be provided with assistance.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked about the number of psychologists that were currently left within SAPS, as the indication was that it was only a handful. It was pleasing to hear that SAPS had made it mandatory for police members in specialised units to receive psychological debriefing, as this was long overdue and it was a progressive step to curb the suicides. It would be important to hear whether the suicides were coming from the lower ranks or specialised units.
Mr Mhlongo expressed concern about the myriad of complaints from female police officers who were being harassed by their male colleagues within SAPS. The challenges that were being experienced by female police officers were also affecting their families. The Committee would need to look into this matter. Some police officers ended up committing serious acts of violence because of the guilt they felt in witnessing their colleagues being abused.
The Chairperson said that there should be assurance that assistance would be provided to those police officers at the lower levels who were being targeted for harassment.
Ms Mabija wanted to know what was being done to prevent the harassment within SAPS, as there had been reported casualties.
Lt Gen Mgwenya responded that there was a proper procedure to be followed in cases where there was a reported case of harassment. There were timeframes that had to be followed on the reported grievances. SAPS had presented an agreement that described processes that needed to be followed whenever members were subjected to sexual harassment within the organisation. The Deputy National Commissioner was very passionate about addressing the issue. There was a SAPS Women’s Network that had been established since 2003, and this was a platform where women were engaging on how to deal with challenges facing women within SAPS.
Ms Kohler Barnard wanted to make it clear that women within SAPS were dealing with harassment on a daily basis.
Lt Gen Mgwenya responded that since the SAPS Women’s Network had been established, there had been an improvement in the way women were being treated by SAPS. There was a total of 110 psychologists within SAPS.
General Sitole said that he was sanctioning a study on the cost of policing in the country. This was an important study that needed to be undertaken. SAPS was spending far more than it could deliver to the client. Public order policing (POP) was currently doing well when they were called to intervene in service delivery protests. The elections were coming and there would be a lot of events, and one event could cost about R5 million to R10 million, which would sometimes need funds to be diverted from the APP.
SAPS did not plan for the number of civil claims to be expected, and this was a matter that it needed to manage. There was a plan in place to reduce the number of civil claims. The priority now was not merely to achieve the targets, but to reduce the cost of achieving those targets.
Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Divisional Commissioner: Human Resource Development, SAPS; said that SAPS needed to conduct research in an attempt to improve the working conditions of SAPS members. Some of the items that were being researched might not be necessarily available in the country, and therefore might need to be imported. The Committee had already spoken about police killings and the fact that SAPS members were dying like flies. SAPS needed to conduct research into why SAPS members were being killed in this manner, and to review the training that was provided to police officers. It also looked at all the equipment that was being used by police officers, which included firearms, gloves and BRVs. It had decided to visit some of the international exhibitions to see the variety of equipment that could be imported to be used by SAPS members. SAPS officials had happened to visit the exhibition in France, and this was where it had discovered a BRV that was half the weight of what was currently being used by police officers. It was said that the vest could stop all weapons that were being used to commit crime in the country.
Lt Gen Mkwanazi added that SAPS had been using a BRV that was made up of a ceramic plate for 23 years. This plate usually broke after one bullet and therefore it could not take a shot. The BRV that was on the exhibition was said to take seven shots on one plate. A panel of ballistic experts from the Western Cape had gone to evaluate this plate, and had found that not even one of the seven bullets shot had gone through the BRV. A number of European countries were currently using this BRV. The company that provides these BRVs had some bases in India, but it was an international company. The 200 BRVs that had been procured were basically for evaluation and the huge cost was related to the fact that these vests needed to be imported.
Lt Gen Phalaphala Ramikosi, Divisional Commissioner: Finance, SAPS, said there had been complaints from police officers that the current BRVs were heavy and hot, especially for female police officers. These complaints had started as far back as 2006. Due process had been followed in terms of the supply chain prescripts for the acquisition of new BRVs for evaluation. The request had been presented to the bid adjudication committee, and the committee had agreed that this requirement may or could be approved. The cost implications were about R6.5 million, and the Treasury had been informed by the decision that had been taken. and had agreed with it. It had not approved a request to have a second round of trials of these new BRVs.
Mr Groenewald asked if any contact had been made with Denel for the acquisition of new Nyalas.
Lt Gen Ramikosi responded that Denel was part of the process, but it was currently operating under financial strain and this was making things difficult for SAPS.
Gen Sitole said that SAPS had been encouraged by the Committee to be innovative in policing, and this was something that was being taken into consideration. SAPS was trying to move at international pace in terms of innovation. It was conducting awareness campaigns to try to create a conducive environment for policing and also to win the confidence of the general public. It was using the service charter and service promise and going out to the communities, and all planning incorporated the communities in order to consider their inputs. There were many issues that still needed to be corrected, like questions of ethics and correct policing, in order to regain the confidence of the communities. There was also a need to provide feedback to the communities on the investigations that were being undertaken. There was need to transform the violent attitude in many communities towards police officers. There were many young people in the country, and there was a youth crime prevention strategy in place to create platforms for young people.
There was a need to draw a difference between satellite police stations and contact point police stations. A contact point police station was attached to sector policing and was not a permanent police station structure. The work study investigation into links with contact point police stations included the graduation of contact point stations to satellite police stations. SAPS was compelled to graduate contact point police stations to satellites because of the demand on the ground. The graduation from contact point to satellite police stations meant there would be a change in the structure of police stations to becoming semi-permanent, or continuing to be mobile but with increased capacity. There was a need to conduct a review of all satellite police stations because some of those stations were also expected to become fully fledged police stations.
The setting of the targets should not necessarly be driven by needs, but linked to available resources to execute those targets. There were cases where SAPS would set high targets that were unattainable. SAPS needed to adopt resource-based target setting. The turnaround strategy for ICT should actually include bodily-worn cameras and CCTV cameras.
Mr Mbhele said that he was aware of the constraints within SAPS, but there was a need to be innovative and this included forming partnerships and collaboration with counsellors who could take up the load of people coming to police stations for certification of documents. This would mean that SAPS could focus on its core mandate rather than being saddled with people who were there only to do the certification of documents.
General Sitole mentioned that the input that had been made would be taken into consideration, as this was indeed a problem that SAPS had already identified.
Lt Gen Mgwenya said that the internships were to resolve the government’s problem with the shortage of a qualified and skilled workforce. The internship was to equip young people with skills to be competitive in the workplace. There was a stipend that was provided on a monthly basis. The business unit within SAPS was the one to identify the needs and priorities. SAPS had decided last year to prioritise the interns, and they were still being subjected to HR processes like interviews. SAPS had been able to employ 474 Public Service Act employees and 21 SAPS employees, and this was because of the experience that was gained by the interns.
General Sitole said that SAPS was trying its best to ensure that most of the interns were being absorbed by SAPS, and this was part of the plan. The outsourcing of SAPS vehicles to external service providers posed a potential national security risk, and this was an area that needed to be addressed. There were discussions to look at working with government garages while trying to improve SAPS’s own.
Lt Gen Mokoena said that SAPS was on target in terms of vehicle availability. The target was to have 85% of the vehicles available out of the total of 42 000 vehicles. The infrastructure of the SAPS garages was really old, and this was a hampering factor. It was impossible to have 100% vehicle availability, as some of the vehicles needed to go for servicing and others might be involved in accidents. The number of vehicles continued to increase, while the infrastructure remained stagnant.
Mr Groenewald said that there was an understanding that we could not have 100% availability of vehicles. However, the problem was that there were always some vehicles that were parked the whole day without being used.
The Chairperson asked if cluster commanders were able to monitor these vehicles.
General Sitole responded that indeed there was a plan to zoom into the 86% of SAPS vehicles available. The priority was to see which of these vehicles were for hotspots and which garages were servicing these vehicles. The review of the performance management system would also look into what the cluster commanders were doing in order to monitor the availability of SAPS vehicles. It had previously been indicated that SAPS no longer wanted to pay for people who were not working in the service, as the priority was to pay only for those in the service. It had also been highlighted that expeditious process must be applied immediately where people were accused of misconduct. Were cases warranted expeditious process, this would be applied as it was critically important.
Lt Gen Ramikosi said that no illegitimate invoices had been captured in the system. The invoices that the Department accepted were all correct and legitimate. It had achieved 99.72% in terms of the invoices paid within the 30 working days.
Lt Gen Mgwenya replied that the officer in KZN had been suspended, and his salary had been stopped as the expeditious process was currently under way. The acting provincial commissioner in KZN was on top of the case. There was still challenge with service termination, and this had been indicated in previous engagements with the Committee.
Programme 2: Visible Policing
Maj Gen Rabie said that the purpose of Programme 2 was to enable police stations to institute and preserve safety and security, provide for specialised interventions and the policing of South Africa’s borders. This was the biggest programme in Department, and included Crime Prevention (R31.2billion), Railway Police (R1.124billion), K9 Units (R828 million), Mounted Police (R130 million),Youth, Children and Gender-Based Violence (R46 million), Flying Squad (R1.15 billion), detained persons (R268 million), and border security, including ports of entry (R2.1 billion). The specialised interventions included the Special Task Force (R76 million), national intervention units (R343 million), tactical response tTeams (R351 million) and public order policing (R2.401 billion). There were facilities to provide for municipal services (R1.165 billion), leases (R1.522 billion) and accommodation charges(R1.42 billion).
SAPS planned to reduce the amount of reported serious crime by 2%, to 1 651 436. There was also a target to reduce the number of reported contact crimes by 7.2%, to 556 493. SAPS planned to reduce the number of reported crimes against women by 11.90%, to155 107. There was a target to reduce number of reported property-related crimes by 2%, to 497 831. It aimed to increase the number of crimes reported for unlawful possession of and dealing in drugs by 47.36%, to 480 385. There was a target to increase the number of stolen/lost and illegal firearms recovered by 1%, to 5 350.
Maj Gen Rabie said SAPS aimed to reduce the number of SAPS-owned firearms reported as stolen/lost by 5%, to 637. There was a target to increase the number of identifiable stolen/lost SAPS-owned firearms recovered by 10%, to 142. There was a target of 100% (1 146) of police stations rendering a victim-friendly service to victims of rape, sexual offences, domestic violence and abuse. SAPS had a target of 90% for applications for new firearm licences to be finalised within 90 working days.
Amendments had been made to Programme 2: Visible Policing. Under the objective of contributing to the reduction of serious crime, the following crime categories had been removed from the strategic objective annual target table and were now reported under the programme performance indicator table, which referred to contact-related, property-related and other serious crime. The old objective statement had focused on the safeguarding of valuable and/or dangerous cargo. The new objective statement was the safeguarding of valuable and/or dangerous government cargo.
The Chairperson asked about the structure of SAPS and whether it was adequate to deal with visible policing, especially the role of cluster commanders and station commanders to ensure the effectiveness of visible policing. Where was SAPS in respect of providing equipment for visible policing in accordance with the recommendations of the Farlam Commission? It was important for SAPS to stamp the authority of the State.
Ms Mmola wanted to know why SAPS had reduced the target on reducing serious crime, considering that it had failed to achieve this target in the 2016/17 financial year. What measures were in place to prevent the loss of firearms in SAPS firearm stores? The issue of scanners at border level was reported to be problematic in previous engagements. Had it been sorted out?
Ms Kohler Barnard suggested there was need to review the reporting process and also to avoid cases where people were being turned away at police stations because station commanders were trying to prevent an increase in reported crime at their police stations. It was quite clear that SAPS had failed to achieve the target of reducing serious crimes, and this was a concern. It was unclear if SAPS was working with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development when setting targets. What was the update on the stolen or lost firearms? There was this new phenomenon, where many detainees were escaping from custody. It was evident that detainees still escaped from police stations without anyone being held accountable. How many escapes had been recorded currently? Was there anyone that had been held accountable for any escapees detained in order to prevent this phenomenon? The Committee had been notified of a backlog in the renewal of gun licenses. What was the current backlog? Were SAPS even dealing with the backlog? How many service delivery protests had been recorded throughout the country? It was unclear if the Visible Policing Unit was well equipped with the right equipment to deal with the protests that were often accompanied by violence.
General Sitole said he had already explained to the labour unions about the intended rationalisation and reorganisation of SAPS. There had been agreement on the need to turn around the pyramid of the SAPS. A work study had been commissioned on the review of the SAPS structure and this not only talked about the top structure but the entire structure, up to police stations. There was a need to consult the DPCI as well on the review of the structure. It would be important for SAPS to start on police stations, and this was to look at the stations falling under a captain’s ranking. The divisional commissioners would need to earn the money that they were getting, and SAPS did not want any under-utilisation of divisional commissioners. SAPS would come to the Committee to present the reorganisation of the SAPS structure, and the process was supposed to start in May. The reorganisation was to ensure that there was a drastic change in policing. The intended function of the regional commissioners was to be fully integrated into the review of the cluster concept with the aim of streamlining authority.
Lt Gen Elias Mawela, Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, SAPS said that SAPS had received money for equipping public order policing, as recommended. It was currently on course for the procurement of resources. There were 97 vehicles that had been procured for POP, including second generation Nyalas. It had also procured the latest video cameras. The only areas where SAPS was still lagging behind were the procurement of protection gear for members of POP, and water cannons.
The Chairperson wanted to know about the radio equipment for POP members, as this had been one of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission. Regarding the second generation Nyalas, it was unclear if the first generation had now been phased out. What about the video cameras to be used in helicopters?
Lt Gen Mawela responded that SAPS had already installed cameras in helicopters to be linked to the command centres. Technology Management Services (TMS) would need to assist SAPS to have a massive storage facility for all the videos that had been collected so they could be stored and used for evidence
There had indeed been an increase in crowd activities like service delivery protests, and this meant that South Africans were aware of their rights and expressed them on a daily basis. There had been 10 854 peaceful crowd activities, and 3 540 unrests. The deep rural areas were also engaging in service delivery protests and this was linked to the fact that most South Africans were now aware of their rights. SAPS was phasing out the first generation Nyalas. There were currently 120 old Nyalas that were grounded, and SAPS needed to dispose of them.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know about the training that was being provided for POP members, as this was also important.
Lt Gen Mawela replied that training was being provided to POP members, although there were no figures currently, but this information could be provided to the Committee.
There were different departments operating in the border environment. SAPS had tried to procure baggage scanners and this was a challenge that needed to be addressed. There was no movement currently on the procurement of new scanners at the border level.
Ms Kohler Barnard said that the issue of scanners had been flagged for a while, and this needed to be addressed as there was lot of criminal activity along the borders. There was no security at the borders.
Ms Mmola wanted to know if SAPS had had any meetings with South African Revenue Service (SARS) to address the issue of scanners.
Lt Gen Mawela replied that SAPS was aware of the challenges at the borders, and there had been meetings where the focus was on how to stop the movement of illegal goods. SAPS was now profiling all the vehicles that were coming in and out of the country to prevent the movement of illegal goods. South Africa’s borders were not 100% secured, but SAPS was currently dependent on intelligence, communities and the profiling system.
General Sitole said that SAPS was looking into ways of dispose of the old Nyalas.
When the meeting resumed after the lunch break, Lt Gen Mgwenya said that first aid training was included in the curriculum. The 6 000 members who underwent basic training had crowd management training for two weeks, and therefore there was capacity to deal with public order pPolicing.
Mr Maake requested further clarification on the issue of BRVs, and whether SAPS was currently using outdated BRVs. Who was responsible for making the determination on the ideal BRVs to be used by police officers? Was there any expert involved in the process of making a determination of the ideal BRVs?
Mr Mhlongo said there were many police officers who had mentioned that the current BRVs were extremely hot and really not user friendly. The border management system looked like it was not effective, as the Guptas had been able to escape without any detection. The important question was whether the country’s border control was effective in dealing with a number of challenges.
The Chinese government was very effective in dealing with corruption, as they even executed corrupt officials. The DPCI should be doing a follow-up on the Al Jazeera documentary which had fingered the former Minister of State Security, Mr David Mhlobo in the smuggling of rhino horns. Had South Africa formalised its diplomatic relationship with China so as to be assisted in the fight against corruption, as this was a threat to our country.
Mr Groenewald said that target setting was sometimes problematic, since the target for reducing crime was sometimes misused when police officers did not record some cases with a focus on reaching the target. The target for reducing the number of firearms stolen or lost should be absolute zero, as it was completely unacceptable for police stations to continuously have cases of lost or stolen firearms. The issue of land grabs or invasions was often a challenge for SAPS, as it needed to obtain a court order before intervening in a case of land invasion. It was unclear if there were enough resources to respond to land grabs in the country. How did one ensure that station commanders knew exactly what to do when a land invasion was taking place? What was the situation in regard to SAPS reserves? How many reserves were there currently?
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know about those police stations that had been identified as not being suitable for community policing forums (CPFs). The Committee should be provided with more information on the replacement of skilled and competent personnel in cases where a skilled individual decided to resign from SAPS.
Ms Mmola asked about the last time SAPS had undertaken an unannounced visit to police stations, as this was an important oversight mechanism.
Maj Gen Rabie replied that it must be noted that the crime targets were primarily served within the MTSF. The crime targets would take into consideration the levels of crime, crime statistics and variances. It was correct that SAPS had not achieved the target on certain crime categories for three years, but this did not mean there had been no reductions in other crime categories. SAPS was also using a statistical method to determine the targets, where the three-year trend was considered. It was impossible currently to know what the reduction in crime had been in the previous financial year, as those figures still needed to go through the verification process. There had been some successes when it came to reducing some categories of crime, but contact crime was problematic. SAPS had achieved the target on serious crime because it was doing very well in the property crime environment. There were five categories of crimes against women and crimes against children, and SAPS had not done well in both these categories. The targets on those categories were therefore higher because it wanted to compensate for its failures in the previous financial year.
General Sitole said that SAPS was interacting with Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in the criminal justice cluster.
Lt Gen Nobesuthu Masiye, Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, said level 1 and 2 inspection was taking place at the station level, where visible policing commanders inspected the SAPS 13 stores on the daily basis to ensure that firearms were not lost. The station commanders also conducted level 2 inspections on a weekly basis. There was an intensification of security in any cases where there was a foreseeable security threat. Planned and unplanned inspections were being conducted at station level to ensure that the firearms were safe. There were nine centralised storage facilities that had been identified in all the provinces, and standards had been set for all of them. 653 firearms had been lost or stolen at SAPS police stations.
Regarding the members found to guilty of being involved on the escape of detainees, 315 misconduct cases had been opened and 248 cases had been finalised. 137 had been found guilty, resulting in two fines, four counseling and one dismissal. There had also been two verbal warnings, 46 written warnings, 56 final written warnings and 12 members who had been suspended without pay. 14 cases had been withdrawn and three were pending.
Ms Mmola asked about what action was being taken against station commanders that were not doing their jobs.
Ms KohlerBarnard expressed concern that SAPS had found 137 police members guilty of being involved with the escape of detainees, but there had been only one dismissal. It was difficult to know what the excuse could be for not dismissing all those found guilty.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know about the number of firearms that had been stolen and those that had been lost. What disciplinary actions were taken for those that had been lost? What was the financial year for the figures of the stolen or lost firearms? It was concerning to see that there were some officials that were punished, while others that were not being punished.
Lt Gen Masiye replied that there were no exact details on how SAPS dealt with those station commanders where there were lost or stolen firearms. Disciplinary actions were taken whenever station commanders were found guilty of lost or stolen firearms. The 136 members were still in the service because the escape of detainees was a disciplinary matter. It was difficult to distinguish between stolen and lost firearms, and this information could be provided in writing when the distinction had been made. The figures for the stolen or lost firearms were from the 2017/18 financial year.
The last time SAPS had done a planned visit to police stations was in September and October 2017, and 63 police stations had been visited. There were no figures on unannounced visits as the decision to do unannounced visits was always an immediate decision. The unannounced visits had been done prior to September.
General Sitole added that Lt Gen Mgwenya had been instructed to operationalise a conduct committee, and this was where there would be a look into the report of the presiding officers.
Lt Gen Mgwenya said that misconduct was dealt with in terms of the discipline regulations of 2017. Every case was dealt with on its merits, and the cases were always different. The outcome of the case was informed by the proceedings and issue of the Labour Relations Act. There was not much of a backlog for the renewal of firearm licences. There were guidelines that had been provided on how police members should deal with cases of land grabs. There were also workshops for members, as land grabs were currently rife in the country.
Lt Gen Masiye said that police members were aware about what to do in case there were land grabs, but it was disappointing to notice that although they were aware of all the due processes, they failed to implement them. There was no dedicated capacity to deal with land grabs
Mr Groenewald said that the issue of land grab was serious and therefore needed to be treated with all the seriousness it deserved.
The Chairperson commented that the police were consumed by a number of challenges, and the issue of land grabs was political issue, rather than a policing one.
General Sitole said that SAPS would need to emphasise the importance of the application of the law in relation to land grabs.
Mr Groenewald said that the issue of land grab had the potential to escalate, and therefore it was crucial for SAPS to intervene immediately.
General Sitole said that SAPS would need to have a discussion on the target for the recovery of stolen or lost firearms, as one firearm in a criminal’s hands had the potential to kill someone.
Lt Gen Masiye said that there were 1 198 reservists in the country. There were five police stations that did not have CPFs in provinces like the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape. These were mostly in rural areas where most of the people were involved in farming and reluctant to be involved in CPFs.
General Sitole added that it was not impossible to have CPFs in these communities. SAPS had just formalised a community policing strategy, and these police stations were going to be on top of the agenda. It would perhaps need to resort to sector policing in cases where CPFs were not being established.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know if there was still an intake of the reserves, as it looked like there had been a decrease in numbers.
Lt Gen Masiye confirmed that there had indeed been a decrease in the number of reserves. There was an intake of reserves, and there were those that were currently in training.
The Chairperson asked about the number of those in training. The issue of rail police was important. The Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (PRASA) had indicated yesterday that there had been a decline in number of people that were using trains, and this had affected the revenue of the entity. What measures were in place to ensure that the rail environment was safe and secure?
There had been an increase in number of civil claims, and this meant there was a need to improve the conduct of the police. The civil claims were at a record high.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know if the increase in civil claims was linked to the conduct of police officers, or meant that police officers were acting recklessly.
Ms Kohler Barnard expressed concern about the increase in the number of protests while there was a decline in the number of POP members. It was unclear who was taking the decision to allocate personnel for POP members. The Minister had indicated yesterday that there was a need for R2 billion for worthy police officers to be promoted, as they had been stagnant in one position for 15 to 20 years. The Committee should perhaps have an engagement with the Treasury to address most of the issues of funding in order to have additional POP members.
Lt Gen Masiye responded that day to day operations were conduct by the police in the rail environment. The issue of crime in the rail environment was monitored on a monthly basis. It had declined and there were visible successes that could be provided to the Committee. The police in the rail environment were trained in crowd management.
Programme 4: Crime Intelligence
Maj Gen Rabie said that the purpose of Programme 4 was to manage crime intelligence and analyse crime information, and to provide technical support for investigations and crime prevention operations. The compensation payments were usually the largest portion of the budget. The operational costs were primarily for fuel, fleet maintenance, travel and subsistence, as generated by personnel. The Secret Service Account was not part of Vote 23: Police. There was a target of 100% for the successfully termination of network operations. There was a target of issuing 1 154 security clearances. There were 100% targets for the finalisation of ICT security assessments, as per the annual assurance schedule; for the finalisation of physical security assessments; and for CI conducting 165 security awareness programmes in accordance with the Information Security Regulatory Framework of SAPS. There was a target of generating 21 720 early warning reports for proactive policing operations. There was a target of 100% for the operationalisation of proactive intelligence reports by the relevant business unit. Crime Intelligence had target of 98 277 profiles generated for reactive policing operations.
The Chairperson indicated that the civil society at yesterday’s meeting had mentioned that there was a problem of leadership within Crime Intelligence (CI). There was a need to ensure that CI was corruption-free. What was being done to turn around CI? There was a lot of closure of foreign posts which could have assisted CI in collecting intelligence. The important question was whether there was any possibility of opening these posts in order to gather more intelligence. Was there any assurance that management would get a daily briefing on emerging and immediate threats to the country?
Ms Molebatsi said she wanted to welcome Maj Gen Anthony Jacobs as the new head of CI, and hoped that he would manage to turn around the organisation. What was the update on Brigadier Phethle?
Ms Mmola asked about what had been done by Maj Gen Jacobs in the few weeks since he had been deployed in the position in order to bring about stability to the organisation. How reliable were the performance systems for vetting?
Mr Mbhele also welcomed Maj Gen Jacobs and hoped that he would be able to effect change within CI. It was evident that CI had been dysfunctional for the past six years while crime in the country continued to escalate because of its ineffectiveness. There was not enough of a footprint of informers within CI on the ground in order to get to the bottom of crime in the country, and this was an issue that needed to be dealt with. The capacity of crime information officers (CIOs) was not as functional as it should be. There was a problem of cronyism within CI, and the new head should be able to deal with these challenges. It was evident that CI was spending a lot of money on the compensation of employees and the Committee should be briefed as to why this was the case. Were there any personnel challenges within CI? What were the three short-term priorities for the newly appointed head of CI?
Ms Kohler Barnard said that there were many challenges currently within the CI environment, and the newly appointed head should deal with them. The former National Commissioner, Lt Gen Phiyega, was reported to have downgraded the qualification for entrance to CI to allow her cronies to join and loot CI. There was a lot of work to be done on farm attacks. This was a huge issue, especially in far-flung rural areas, where SAPS did not have the capacity to prevent these attacks. Farm attacks should be made a priority by the new head of CI. There was a problem of CI putting police officers at risk by not providing early warnings so they could be prepared to deal with hardened criminals. There was no doubt that the criminals that were involved in cash-in-transit-heist were provided with intelligence, and CI should also be in a position to have this kind of information in order to deal with these criminals. There was an indication that there were still people within CI that had been deployed by former CI Head, Richard Mdluli.
Mr Mhlongo commented that it was known that CI was used as a get rich quick scheme, and this was something that the new head would need to deal with. There were people within CI who wanted to use secrecy to hide their dirty tricks to get rich quickly. There were people who had been to CI and then suddenly one heard that they were billionaires.
Maj Gen Jacobs said he appreciated all the words of congratulation, as there was massive pressure to turn around the CI. It was quite clear that there were many concerns and grievances from Members, and these needed to be addressed as a team. He had already met with all the provincial commanders, as this was an important element to understand the resources that were required. There had been one resignation so far, and it was not known what might have caused the resignation.
There were two business models in the intelligence environment -- threat management and risk mitigation. Threat management was about managing the key threats that the country faced, and one had to fully understand those threats. It was also important to populate those threats so as to identify threats per location. At the core of threat management was analysis. The role of CI was to look at risks like the killing of police officers or attacks on police stations. The analysis was very complex in nature and included following up on information like illegal firearms, where they were used and for what purpose, and this could be done in collaboration with ballistic teams.
There had already been an engagement with the Auditor-General (AG) on the issue of low targets. There had been an internal audit within CI to provide guidance on the way forward. There was a need to work on having people in different countries who were able to gather intelligence. Discipline management within the CI had to be prioritised.
The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) was talking about the issue of the intelligence footprint. The footprint did not have to be police officers but could be the forensic cluster and police station commanders. There was the Crime Information Management Analysis Centre (CIMAC) at police stations to do analysis of crime patterns and create profiles of all persons who had been arrested, and to take photos of suspects that had been arrested.
There was a plan to bring about stability within the CI. It was not in the process of pushing everyone into the passage, but about keeping people in their places and having everyone understand their roles and responsibilities. There was a vetting strategy in place and the main focus was on security classification.
Ms Molebatsi once again wanted to know about Brigadier Phethle.
The Chairperson asked about the plans for early warnings that needed to be detected by the intelligence community. The CI should be able to get to the bottom of the issue before the situation escalated.
Maj Gen Jacobs replied that Brigadier Phethle had been suspended and had challenged her suspension, as she wanted it to be overturned.
The early warning system was actually an integrated policing system. There was a duty to ensure that the early warning was followed up and analysed.
Ms Kohler Barnard said that there was a positive balance on the SAPS budget allocation, and this was something that needed to be commended.
The Chairperson said a number of issues had been addressed at the meeting. The Committee would need to request the Head of CI to come back to the Committee in late June to brief the it on a number of issues.
The meeting was adjourned.
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