The Committee received briefings from the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on their third and fourth quarter performance and financial reports.
The CSPS highlighted an anti-crime campaign colloquium on gender-based violence and protection of vulnerable groups, which was held with public servants, civil society and business to discuss the gaps in policing that led to the abuse of women and children. The anti-crime campaigns focused on promoting safety and security awareness among school learners, communities and related stakeholders, and were also aimed at strengthening partnerships in the fight against crime with the South African Police Service (SAPS), emanating from community engagements and reported crimes.
The Secretariat had managed to ensure the implementation framework for the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security had been finalised and approved in March 2018, and the Single Police Service policy and implementation framework had been finalised. The state of policing research project report had also been finalised in March, and would serve as the foundation from which plans and interventions to professionalise the police would be developed and implemented.
Members wanted to know if there was a management tool in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the system at police stations to deal with violence against women and children. The reality was that police stations had different priorities, with some monitoring visible policing, while others focused on crime spots. Was there now greater alignment at the municipal level on monitoring service delivery at police stations? Most police stations did not have functional Community Police Forums (CPFs) -- what was being done to address this? What were the challenges causing delays in filling vacant posts? A Member questioned the Secretariat’s decision to purchase the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) judge an expensive new car, as he should be paying for this himself.
The IPID said that its total workload for the 2017/18 financial year had been 9 451 cases, with the same number of personnel, limited resources and a dilapidated Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. The issue of under-funding had had a significant impact on performance. Although all programmes reported more than 99% expenditure of their allocated budgets, the majority of performance targets were not achieved as planned due to the reallocation of limited resources to cover some of the unforeseen activities, such as high profile investigations and legal costs. It was evident that the IPID budget allocation was insufficient to cover its current operations.
Members said it was good to hear about the possibility of IPID achieving an unqualified audit opinion. It was also pleasing to learn that it had received the R20 million that had been requested from National Treasury (NT). They asked how many high profile cases were being investigated by IPID at the moment. What was the progress regarding lifestyle audits? What were the problems when it came to hiring investigators, as this was IPID’s core mandate and yet it had 25 unfilled vacancies? What was the attitude of SAPS towards IPID at the moment? They expressed concern about the Mabula “hit squad” which continued operating with impunity, especially with the involvement of Crime Intelligence. Were there any identified opportunities to address the Directorate’s financial challenges through the IPID Amendment Bill? There was a long discussion on whether it was legally permissible for IPID to divulge the names of the SAPS generals who were still being investigated. There was a suggestion that in order to avoid all the gossip in the media, the Committee should call all the people involved in the case of former acting national police commissioner, Lt Gen Khomotso Phahlane, including the Executive and the Minister. There were people in Members’ constituencies who were asking about this whole issue of Lt Gen Phahlane, and Members did not know how to answer to them.
Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS): Performance report
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary: CSPS, said that the spike in gender-based violence over the last two quarters demanded a more vigilant response from law enforcement agencies, with a particular focus on a victim friendly service focusing on women and children. The service from the SAPS was sometimes met with hostility from community members and the withdrawal of complaints by victims. SAPS had to respond, despite its limited human and material resources. The CSPS had played a key role over the last two quarters in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and other regulations, ensuring SAPS rendered the appropriate services despite its challenges. Joint workshops between SAPS and the Civilian Secretariat in the implementation of the DVA would continue in the following financial year.
At the end of the fourth quarter, the CSPS had filled 139 of its 149 vacant posts, resulting in a vacancy rate of 6.7% for the organisation. Regarding employment equity, out of the 139 employees currently employed at the Secretariat, 75 (54%) were females, while 64 (46%) were males. There were two people with disabilities, or 1.44%. Progress had been made in advancing the information communication technology (ICT) function of the Secretariat. The Department had conducted the installation and implementation of the Logical Information System (LOGIS) successfully and ICT was providing ongoing support.
Mr Willem Basson, Director: Strategic Planning, CSPS, said that the organisation had managed to achieve the target for the number of joint consultative IPID / Secretariat forum meetings held per year in compliance with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act, 2011. CSPS had not achieved the target of 80% for the implementation of internal audit recommendations because the Department had not fully implemented LOGIS, as the officials had been appointed only later in the financial year.
In terms of quarter 3 achievements, an anti-crime campaign colloquium on gender-based violence (GBV) and the protection of vulnerable groups had been held with public servants, civil society non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations, traditional healers, traditional leaders, higher education institutions and business to discuss the gaps in policing that led to the abuse of women and children. There had been a stakeholder engagement in Eldorado Park, with a focus on barriers to reporting GBV cases. Capacity building sessions were held in two provinces with various provincial Secretariats, Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster Departments and Community Police Forums (CPFs). The izimbizo with the community of Hanover Park in the Western Cape had been to promote community safety.
The intersectoral coordination and strategic partnerships had conducted different anti-crime campaigns and stakeholder engagements in quarter 4. The anti-crime campaigns had focused on promoting safety and security awareness among school learners, communities and related stakeholders. The anti-crime campaigns were also aimed at strengthening partnerships in the fight against crime with SAPS,emanating from community engagements and reported crimes. The organisation conducted five capacity building workshops in different provinces in SAPS clusters -- in Nyanga (Western Cape), Tshwane Central (Gauteng), Ethekwini Central (KwaZulu-Natal), Seshego (Limpopo) and Mahikeng (North West). A national workshop had been held with provincial Secretariats in February 2018. The reports were still outstanding from Limpopo and Mpumalanga in regard to the implementation of CPF guidelines.
Mr Basson pointed out that key achievements in quarter 3 included the key focus areas for implementation of the White Paper on Policing being identified, and an environmental scan was being compiled. The process to develop an implementation framework in order to support and complement the White Paper on Safety and Security was under way. The Single Police Service Joint Task Team had held a special sitting in order to develop an action plan for the priority phases of implementation.
In quarter 4, the implementation framework for the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security was finalised and approved by the Secretary for Police Service in March 2018. The Single Police Service policy and implementation framework had been finalised. The State of Policing research project had emanated from the 2016 White Paper on Policing and the CSPS Act. The report had been finalised in March 2018 and would serve as the foundation from which plans and interventions to professionalise the police would be developed and implemented.
With regard to the main achievements on programme 4 in quarter 3, a total of 24 national monitoring tool (NMT) oversight visits were conducted at police stations which culminated in the compilation of the police station oversight report. The police station service delivery trend analysis and school safety protocol reports had been compiled and approved.
Mr Tumelo Nkojoana, CFO: CSPS; said that at the end of the third quarter, the Department had spent 69.2% of its allocated budget against the projected spending of 73.6%, which was 4.4% lower than planned. The 4.4% represented an amount of R5.523 million in under-spending, and could mainly be attributed to the delay in payment of the notch increments for senior management service (SMS) staff and the vacant funded posts still in the Department. In addition, the delay in finalising some projects planned by the core service delivery programmes had resulted in the under-spending on goods and services. However, the Department had embarked on an IT renewal process and had spent over R1 million on IT and other computer-related equipment in the third quarter.
The historical spending patterns of the the Secretariat had shown that the bulk of its spending took place between August and November, and January to March of the financial year. The Secretariat’s budget committee would continue with its analysis on the spending specifically in the core service delivery areas and make the necessary recommendations to the Accounting Officer to address any problem areas or accelerated spending requirements, in line with the annual performance plan (APP) deliverables and within the prescripts from National Treasury and Parliament.
At the end of the fourth quarter, the organisation had spent 95% of its allocated budget, which was R6.347 million lower than anticipated. The under-spending was mainly on compensation of employees, as the Department had nine vacant posts at the end of the financial year. The under-spending on goods and services amounted to R102 000, which was only 0.3 % of the allocated budget.
The Chairperson wanted to know if there was a tool in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the system at police stations to deal with violence against women and children. The reality was that police stations had different priorities, with some monitoring visible policing while others focused on crime spots. Was there now greater alignment at the municipal level on monitoring service delivery at police stations? What was the Secretariat’s assessment of the performance of the Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board (DNA Board)? What were the main issues within the DNA Board?
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) questioned if the legislation specialist who had been appointed was appointed on a contract basis, or permanent. What was the cost and duration of this legislation specialist’s appointment? Most of police stations did not have functional Community Police Forums (CPFs). What was being done to address this issue? What had been findings on the shortage of DNA kits at police stations?
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked about the reason for the cancellation of the workshop, as reflected in the presentation. When had the single police task team been established? When was the deadline to comment on the CPF policy? The issue of unprotected software was a threat to security and data integrity.
Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted to know the name of the service provider to be procured to conduct a study on the state of policing in the country. An important question was whether the national monitoring tool would deal with the disjuncture between provincial and national commissioners. Who was going to be reporting to whom?
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) observed that the use of consultants seemed to be increasing, and this was a major concern. She was not entirely opposed to the use of consultancy, as there were some cases that compelled the organisation to use consultants. However, why did the CSPS outsource the study on the state of policing in the country especially since this was its core mandate? The Department of Basic Education (DBE) had never bothered to look at the sexual offence database to vet educators, and this was something that was particularly troubling.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked for the Committee to be provided with all these reports, including the surveys that had been conducted. Was there a specific website where these reports could be accessed? Could the Secretariat outline the key findings of these reports? The 5% under-expenditure was particularly troubling, as this was an amount that could be used to fund IPID, considering that the entity was under a huge financial strain. What were the challenges causing delays in filling the vacant posts? Was this a matter of finding the right candidates for these posts? It would be important to hear from the Secretariat if local partnerships with SAPS would be effective without the localisation of resources. The centralisation of resources and management within SAPS was problematic. Was there any point in speaking about the localisation of resources in the reports that had been produced?
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) commented that the Minister of Police had been complaining about why some of the tactical units of the police were deactivated or downsized, and asked the CSPS if it had any role in this. There had been an indication of five reports coming from five different provinces, and the important question was how they were reporting working in relation to the provincial secretariats. There were a number of cases where police stations were just decapacitated and could not carry out their duties, and the Committee should know if these cases were deliberate or not. There had not been any arrest after a member of a family had been executed in broad daylight in front of everyone. What was lacking in the investigation of these cases? There was something that was terribly wrong in the investigation and collection of evidence by police officers at these crime scenes. The DNA Board should be able to provide assistance.
The provincial head of the CSPS in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was also a former Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) member, but he was also the head of government employees and chairperson of the MKMVA in the province. How was this possible? It was baffling as to how it was possible for the provincial head of CSPS in KZN to be seen as the one galvanising some kind of disobedience against the State.
Ms Kohler Barnard questioned if there had been an agreement from the Treasury on the rollout of the R2.014 million under-expenditure on the inter-sectoral coordination and strategic partnership programme. The failure to project the increase on the licensing of Microsoft spoke to poor management. The sample size of the survey of the complaints towards SAPS seemed to be very small. Where was the CPF policy at the moment?
Mr Rapea responded that Microsoft licensing was being paid for by SAPS all along, so it had not been an issue of anticipation by the CSPS.
There was a national monitoring tool (NMT) to evaluate what was happening at police stations in terms of GBV, and this also informed the reporting on the issue.
The Member of the Executive (MEC) responsible for transport and community safety would be the one attending the MinMec, and they would only report on community safety in the MinMec related to CSPS and police issues. There was a consolidation of reports from all provinces and there would be quarterly reports produced by all provinces. The consolidated reports then got tabled at the MinMec quarterly meetings.
The CSPS was very clear about projects that were led by the national secretariat, and the provincial secretariats would be working with it by contributing to the national assessment. There would then be projects that the provinces would need to do and these would be consolidated to ensure that there was proper reporting at MinMec. The province and the Department needed to report to the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to ensure that there was alignment.
Mr Rapea said the DNA Board was currently dysfunctional. One of the reasons the DNA Bill was returned to Parliament was because the Board could not provide the Minister with information that was required, and this had been the responsibility of the Board. The DNA Board had been dysfunctional as it was always focusing on issues that were the mandate of the Accounting Officer and they saw themselves as a statutory board doing oversight of the Accounting Officer. The CSPS had required the Board on several occasions to provide an APP, and they had declined to provide one. The Secretariat’s expectation was that the APP of the CSPS would have the APP of the DNA Board attached as an addendum. The Committee had not received the APP of the DNA Board and the annual report for last year had been just tabled, not long time ago. The issue of the DNA kits was something that the DNA Board was supposed to be monitoring and assess very closely. The DNA Board sometimes wanted to be accounting to the Minister when it suited them, and then account to Parliament when it suited them -- it was extremely difficult to manage them.
The Chairperson said that the Committee was meeting with the DNA Board this coming Wednesday, and this was where it would need to discuss a number of factors, including this issue of uncertainty about governance and who to account to.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know exactly what the Act was saying about the issue of the Board and whether it could be dissolved.
Mr Rapea responded that the Act was silent on the matter, but the Board could be dissolved if it was dysfunctional. The Committee could be provided with detailed responses in relation to the issue. The CSPS had appointed Dr Jacobs, previously with SAPS, as a legislation specialist. Dr Jacobs was retiring and the organisation just wanted someone who could work for 12 months. There had been an advertisement that was issued and Dr Jacobs had emerged as the best candidate for the job, especially since he had worked for SAPS before. The Secretariat believed that it would finally have the SAPS Act amended.
Regarding the issue of capacity of CPFs, there was a problem of CPFs not being functional and not understanding of their roles, which was why there was a review of the CPF policy. The Minister had indicated that CSPS needed to do further consultation on the issue of CPF policy. There was a task team that was comprised of the chairpersons of the CPFs’ provincial boards, the CSPS, SAPS and other stakeholders. These stakeholders would look into the issue of community policing policy and the community policing strategy. It was clear that this should incorporate all the pillars of community policing. The CSPS would be having a workshop on CPF policy on 12 and 13 June. The Deputy Minister had said he would be finalising the report on CFP policy by the end of August, and the President had announced that community policing would feature in the State of Nation Address (SONA) next year.
Mr Rapea said that the Single Policing Task Team had been established in 2016, towards the end of the financial year. There was now consultation in the provinces and at the local government level, and there would be a final workshop that would bring all the participants together. The Secretariat was hoping to take this matter to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) conference, as it impacted on local government. The deadline for inputs on CPF policing had been towards the end of December, but it had to be extended because the MECs had not made the inputs into the policy. The CSPS was hoping that by next week it would be coming up with a draft document that could be processed.
There was no disjuncture between national and provincial in relation to assessment. There had been an increase in the use of consultancy, but there was a procedure that was being followed before using consultants. The use of consultancy in the case of CSPS was short term, like it was used in the state of policing in the country survey, which was done every five years. It would be impossible to appoint someone permanently to do this task, as it was done only every five years.
Mr Maake wanted to know why CSPS did not appoint a researcher from within the organisation.
The Chairperson said that the Secretariat should build internal capacity so as to avoid the use of consultants and the risk involved in getting consultants to perform the core mandate of CSPS.
Mr Rapea said that this had been noted and would be taken into consideration, particularly the issue of building internal capacity. The University of the Western Cape (UWC) had conducted the research on the state of policing, and there had been a transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise.
Mr Mhlongo said there was indeed a serious risk involved in letting consultants to do one’s core mandate, as it was not even clear if the people involved were being vetted or not. These companies had the potential to take the whole state down because one was sharing very sensitive information with them. This mandate was supposed to be done within the organization, and not outside. The state was supposed to live up to its mandate in terms of national security.
The Chairperson said that this was a risk that was supposed to be identified by the CSPS, and the Committee had flagged this issue that the research on the state of policing in the country should be done by the Secretariat. The organisation needed to build the capacity internally so as to not utilise external companies to carry out its core mandate.
Mr Rapea explained that the oversight reports by the CSPS did address the issue that was being flagged. The issue of police at police stations not being empowered was also contained in its reports. There was also the issue of lack of capacity within the forensic laboratories. The report on the state of policing would be forwarded to the Committee, and there was an instruction previously that these reports should be forwarded to the Committee immediately when they had been signed off. The organisation was just sharing those reports with the Committee as part of information sharing, and was not formally tabling the reports as yet. The legislation said that it did not have to formally table the report, and the Speaker should be involved if it was formally tabled.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would like to get that report on the state of policing, and it could deliberate on them when coming back in August after the recess.
Mr Maake wanted to know about the role of the service provider in producing a study on the state of policing in the country. What was its role exactly?
Mr Rapea responded that the service provider was doing a full research and this would include interviewing the senior police officers within SAPS, assessing documents from SAPS and doing comparisons with international trends. There was also a look into other research that had been done in the country on the state of policing, and then this would be consolidated into one report. Every service provider that was appointed by the CSPS, except for catering, was vetted by the State Security Agency (SSA). The vetting ensured that the people involved were clear and they were not going to sell this information, and that they could not distribute the information without the permission of the CSPS.
Mr Maake questioned the procedure that was being followed if the Secretariat was not satisfied with the report that had been produced.
Mr Rapea clarified that the service level agreement (SLA) would indicate what needed to be delivered, and there was no obligation to pay the service provider if they failed to meet the agreement. The blacklisting of service providers who failed to deliver on what was required was another route it could take with the National Treasury.
Mr Mhlongo said that he had been touched by the statement by the National Commissioner that SAPS had paid a huge amount of money on these consultants without any benefits. It looked like the CSPS would remain a “cry baby” precisely because of its reluctance to test the power of legislation that provided it with authority.
The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee would have that briefing on the state of policing, and there was an international benchmarking document that it had obtained during its oversight abroad.
Ms Mabija questioned why the CSPS was buying the DPCI judge an expensive new car, as he should be paying for this himself.
Mr Maake asked if there was any particular reason why demilitarisation was focused on visible policing. Why not focus on the entire police service?
Mr Rapea responded that it was impossible to provide a synopsis of the school safety report at the moment, but this was information that could be provided later. The annual report would now include some of the reports that it had produced. The Minister had asked the CSPS to review the school safety protocol so as to see if this was relevant and addressing the situation in schools, where there were problems of rape cases, paedophiles and drugs. There was a possibility that it would be producing a policy that would be dealing with safety in schools even further.
The organisation could do a presentation to the Committee on all the reports that had been produced. The White Paper on Safety and Security was clear in terms of the roles, from national to local level. The CSPS was busy organising a violence prevention and crime prevention summit which was going to take place in September. The Minster had already approved this. The focus would be on ensuring the implementation of what was in the White Paper on policing, as it was dealing with all these issues. There were many white papers, but it became a problem if they were not implemented. The Secretariat was inviting MECs, mayors, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and other role players. The anti-gangsterism strategy that had been approved by the Cabinet dealt with issues on the role of the Department of Social Development DSD), schools and other institutions.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked the CSPS to invite Members to these events that were taking place.
Mr Rapea assured her that Committee Members would be invited, including to the crime prevention summit to be held in September.
The five reports had been five reports from different provinces.
The CSPS could not respond on the issue of the Head of Department (HOD) of Community Safety in KZN, as the person was accountable to the premier of the province. The CSPS did not have any authority to discipline the HODs.
The CSPS had had to buy the car for the judge. He had retired as the Judge President of Northern Cape, and he had been driven around with the “Q7” model of a car. What the CSPS had bought for the judge was actually a downgrade, considering the car he had. The organisation needed to respect the perks that judges were getting, and the judge had been clear that he qualified for the car. The DPCI had also procured a car for the Judge who was dealing with the issue of the Remuneration Commission. The Q7 had been costing the CSPS about R30 000 a month, as it had to lease the car while busy with the procurement of his own car.
Ms Mabija asked if there was a policy in place that mandated the organisation to purchase the vehicle for the judges, or if this was being done out of courtesy.
Mr Rapea responded that there was no policy in place that talked about the issue of the car, but remuneration was talking about what they qualified for when they were in service, and not when they were retired. The organisation had used an R57 contract in purchasing the vehicle, and it had become an asset of the Department. The car was part of the means of travelling. Two protectors had been been provided to the judge when he was being driven around.
Ms Mabija argued that the judge received enough salary to enable him to buy the car on his own. The Committee could not accept a situation where the CSPS was copying what was happening in other Departments or entities.
Mr Rapea clarified that the salary of the judge was being paid by the Office of the Chief Justice, and not the CSPS. It had taken it a long time to fill this position, as most other judges were not available while others did not want the job. Maybe there was a need to review the legislation and ask if a judge was really needed for this position, as we one could appoint an advocate or an attorney who could do it.
The research on demilitarisation was two phases. The first phase focused on the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and the Public Order Policing (POP) unit, and would then focused on visible policing (VISPOL). The focus would be on SAPS overall.
The Chairperson appreciated the input from the CSPS, and said that the Committee would arrange an afternoon session next week to deal with the issue of the DPCI judge. The Department should also explain how to resolve the situation going forward.
Committee Report on study tour to China
The Chairperson said Committee would deal with the adoption of the report on the study tour to China and the report on the procedure to be followed on IPID Amendment Bill, before proceeding with the briefing by IPID.
The Committee Secretary read out the report.
Mr Mhlongo moved the adoption of the report, and was seconded by Ms Molebatsi.
The report was adopted, with amendments.
Report on procedure for IPID Amendment Bill
The Chairperson explained that this was a report that informed the National Assembly that the draft Bill had been published in the Government Gazette last Friday, and also indicated that the Committee expected to conclude the matter on 5 July 2018.
The Committee Secretary read out the procedure to be followed by the Committee.
Ms Mabija moved the adoption of the report, and was seconded by Mr Maake.
The report was adopted as is.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID): Performance report
Mr Robert McBride, Head: IPID; said that the organisation’s total workload, including the backlog and new cases, for the 2017/18 financial year had been 9 451, with same number of personnel, limited resources and dilapidated Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. The issue of under-funding had had a significant impact on its performance, but IPID had managed to survive and achieve most of its targets despite this. Management interventions had been implemented to improve performance within constrained resources.
Most of the performance targets in programme 2 had been achieved, except for investigations into deaths in police custody, as IPID had to depend on other agencies in order to achieve this target. It appeared that IPID would have an unqualified audit opinion. There had been a significant decline in cases of corruption, and the Directorate’s suspicion was that its focus on corruption had removed the element of impunity. There was a perceptible change in the attitude of police officers based on the fact that reports of instances of corruption had declined. However, this had come at a cost, as there had been resistance and counter-investigations in some cases. There had been attempts to penetrate the IPID and some of them had been successful, but not as successful as they would have wanted. The counter investigation by Lt Gen Phahlane and the North West team headed by Mabula would be heard in court on 20 and 21 June. The North West team had not stopped with counter investigations, despite a court order to cease them.
Mr Victor Senna, Chief Financial Officer (CFO): IPID, said that as at the end of the 2017/18 financial year, IPID had reported an actual expenditure of R255.3 million against an allocated budget of R255.5 million, which had resulted in an insignificant difference. All programmes had reported more than 99% expenditure of their allocated budget. However, the majority of performance targets had not been achieved as planned due to the reallocation of limited resources to cover some of the unforeseen activities, such as high profile investigations and their legal costs. With 99.94% spending, it had to be noted that the Department, without any additional functions, had recorded accruals to an amount of R17 million due to unpaid invoices arising mainly from contractual obligations. It was evident that the IPID budget allocation was insufficient to cover the current operations, particularly on contractual obligations, as the bulk of unpaid invoices related to office leases, cleaning and security services, as well as maintenance and rental of vehicles for investigation purpose. Unanticipated litigation and labour court settlements had added to the spending pressure, as the funds were moved from various activities in order to settle unplanned legal costs.
Mr Senna highlighted that the reported accruals of R17 million on unpaid invoices by the end of the financial year, confirmed the Department`s case of underfunding, mainly on current contractual obligations, considering the annual escalation of fees and wage increments in accordance with the consumer price index (CPI). The budget deficit experienced by the IPID would continue over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period until the Department received the requested additional funding, not for expansion of functions, but just to sustain the current commitments and operational costs. The continuous reduction of the IPID’s limited budget would not only affect the its ability to meet its Constitutional mandate, but may also result in litigation due to default on IPID’s contractual obligations. The IPID would have to continue to reduce the annual performance targets in order to ensure that only funded targets were included in the annual performance plan.
The Constitutional Court judgment on IPID’s independence was expected to exert more pressure on the limited budget allocation. This was also applicable for the Farlam Commission recommendations, which implied that the Department would have to do more functions with limited resources. The Department continued to engage relevant Stakeholders for intervention and support in efforts to secure additional funding for the execution of the IPID mandate, in line with the IPID Act.
Ms Nomkhosi Netsianda, Chief Director: Corporate Service, IPID, said that IPID had exceeded the target on the number of strategic training areas undertaken as per its training plan. The target for 100% implementation of the annual internal audit plan had not been achieved due to timing of management’s provincial audits reviews affecting the execution of head office audits.
Mr Matthews Sesoko, Head: National Investigations, IPID, said that IPID had exceeded the target on the training of investigators on specialised services as per the training plan. It had not achieved the target to ensure that 34% of decision-ready cases were completed from total cases received, due to budget constraints, including accruals and under-funding. IPID also had not achieved the target to ensure that 30% of the of investigations of deaths as a result of police action that were decision-ready, and this was once again due to budget constraints, delays with obtaining technical reports and reprioritisation of cases due to terms of impact. The target of investigating 100% of the cases of rape while in police custody that were decision ready, had been achieved. It had achieved the target of 92% of cases to be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and had been able to achieve a total of 98 criminal investigations from April 2017 to March 2018. There were 234 Departmental convictions received for the fourth quarter of 2017/18, and these included 36 dismissals from SAPS,10 suspensions without salary, 10 corrective counselling and 13 fines.
Mr Sesoko said 734 recommendations had been referred to SAPS, 376 recommendations were initiated, 358 responses were still outstanding while 139 disciplinary investigations were initiated, 94 were found guilty, 95 not guilty and 10 cases were withdrawn.
Ms Marianne Moroasui, Chief Director: Legal Services; IPID, said the target of 100% for providing legal advice to investigators from the total requests received had been achieved in the fourth quarter. IPID had not achieved the target of providing 10% of written legal opinions to the Department within 21 working days of request, and this was due to the fact that although all requests received had been finalized, this was not within the set timeframe due to capacity constraints as a result of vacancies and frozen posts.
Ms Suzan Letlape, Acting Director: Strategy, Performance Monitoring; IPID, said the Directorate had exceeded the target on the implementation of its integrated communication and stakeholder engagement strategy. It had also exceeded the target on the number of community outreach events conducted per year and the number of formal engagements at national level held with key stakeholders.
In conclusion, Mr McBride highlighted that IPID would prioritise an upgrade of the ICT infrastructure, as this was critically important. There had been a reprioritisation of resources to ensure that available resources were efficiently utilised. There would be continuous trilateral engagements between the IPID, National Treasury and SAPS in an effort to source additional funding from SAPS.
The Chairperson said that it was good to hear about the possibility of achieving an unqualified audit opinion, as it showed improvement. The Treasury would need to come back to the Committee on the issue of R20 million additional funding, as this was a recommendation that had been made by the Committee. The Committee should be briefed about the number of high profile cases that were being investigated by IPID at the moment. How many of these cases were at the Deputy National Commissioner and Provincial Commissioner levels? The National Commissioner had indicated this week that there had been a suspension of two lieutenant generals. Was this linked to IPID cases? The issue of counter investigation was a major concern, as it meant that IPID would have to use scarce resources to litigate against SAPS. What was the progress in relation to the issue of lifestyle audits? Was this part of the core business of IPID? The assumption was that everyone within IPID had been vetted, but how many lifestyle audits had been undertaken?
Ms Molebatsi asked about the amount of unauthorised expenditure that had been recorded in the 2017/18 financial year. There was an indication that IPID was battling with the issue of accruals. How was this being addressed? There seemed to be a disjuncture in the figures of accruals, with the presentation reflecting R17 million while the CFO was saying it was R19 million. Which figure was to be accepted?
Ms Mmola said the presentation referred to delays in obtaining technical reports on the investigation into the discharge of an official firearm by a police officer. Who was causing the delays? The targets on the investigation of torture by police officers seemed extremely low. Why was this the case? What was the meaning of counter-investigation? It would be critically important for IPID to sometimes give the courts some space to also deal with their issues before proceeding further with investigations. The Committee should have a full day meeting with IPID and SAPS so as to deliberate on cases that were in the media, instead of spending time today discussing “gossip.”
Ms Mabija also agreed that all the allegations against one another should come to an end, and perhaps having a full day meeting with SAPS and IPID could address this issue.
Mr Maake said that the presentation by IPID had spoken about the reprioritisation of cases, but it was unclear exactly what was this referring to.
Ms Kohler Barnard stated that there was a problem of accumulation of accruals within IPID, and it would be important to hear if there were any solutions that had been provided by the Treasury. What had it done to address this accumulation of accruals? How much of the unauthorised expenditure had been recorded? There was also an indication of an accumulation of debt. What was being done to address this? What were the problems when it came to hiring investigators, as this was IPID’s core mandate and yet it had 25 unfilled vacancies? What was the attitude of SAPS towards IPID at the moment? Was there a realisation within SAPS management now that IPID was the entity that meant its business, and was serious about fighting against corruption?
Mr Mbhele also echoed the concerns of Members around the Mabula hit squad. This squad continued operating with impunity, especially with the involvement of Crime Intelligence. It would be important to hear if there were any identified opportunities to address the financial challenges through the IPID Amendment Bill. Was there any creative thinking about ways to mitigate the financial challenges within IPID? It was worrying to see the low ratio of the decline to prosecute by the National Prosecuting Authority. Where was the problem exactly? Was this a matter of laziness by the NPA in order to look good when reporting to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development? The presentation had stated that 10% of the recommendations by SAPS resulted in not guilty verdicts. Why was this the case? Was this about protecting each other by SAPS management, or a lack of capacity to investigate these cases? IPID still needed to address the issue of cases that were not being investigated within 30 days. There was an indication that there was no offence for contravention of section 30, but only section 29. Why was this the case? Was this something that perhaps should be looked into to ensure that there was an offence in the contravention of section 30?
Mr Mhlongo expressed concern about the issue of North West where the Mabula hit squad was based, and it was known that Lt Gen Phahlane was from North West. It was clear that there was a closing of ranks when one started investigating top ranking officials. Was there perhaps a club that was protecting each other? There should be a meeting with the National Commissioner and the Minister in order to look into the issue of Lt Gen Phahlane. There had been a businessman who was gunned down without any investigation being undertaken. The case docket of Lt Gen Phahlane should be located within SAPS headquarters to ensure that there was a closure on this matter, and to also save resources that were being used in investigating this case.
The Committee should be briefed on whether there had been any consulting between IPID and Treasury on what IPID was expected to achieve relative to the allocated budget. The National Commissioner was clear in the media that there was a focus on flushing out corrupt police officers, and this was something that must be widely welcomed by the Committee. These cash-in-transit heists were clearly being perpetrated by police officers with the involvement of inside jobs from cash-in-transit security guards.
Ms Mabija said that the issue of Lt Gen Phahlane was now a matter to be discussed by the Committee, and perhaps IPID should not discuss it in a public platform.
The Chairperson mentioned that IPID was responsible for investigating matters, and they needed to account for investigations and account to Parliament. The matters that had been raised by Mr Mhlongo were part of the general discussion of the Committee.
Mr McBride responded that the mandate of IPID was to investigate certain misconducts and criminal acts by the police on the basis of information received and complaints received. IPID submitted dockets to the NPA and files to the police. The evidence was submitted to the NPA, and the NPA was the one to take the decision whether or not to proceed with prosecution. IPID did not go to social media with its evidence and leak documents to the media. He made it clear that to get him to the interview was an impossibility, and the national spokesperson could vouch for this. There was no provision in law that the Directorate had to explain itself to suspects. If IPID were to explain itself to suspects then it would be very close to defeating the ends of justice.
Ms Mabija said what was being said by Mr McBride was not the gist of her question.
Mr McBride explained that IPID did not explain matters with suspects and the case that was before court must be settled there. It was aware that everyone was equal before the law and police themselves could not go the conferences to settle matters with suspects. It was unlawful and unreasonable to expect IPID to sit with suspects to settle matters. It would be hypocritical to try to settle matters with someone where there was clear evidence pointing out that he/she had transgressed the law. IPID had been put under tremendous pressure by faceless people, including on social media, by members in Crime Intelligence and elements of the NPA. People within IPID had too much integrity to just walk away, and it was not walking away. It was sitting in a situation where it was generally accepted that there was state capture, and part of dtate capture had been capturing the security services. There had been collusion of interest. There had been so much looting in the country, and it was IPID that had been uncovering this looting. IPID had been aware a long time ago that there would be push backs when it was investigating certain people, as it was dealing with powerful people hiding behind what was called the “blue curtain”. There were some people who were not happy to be investigated, but people must start becoming accustomed to being investigated in a constitutional democracy.
Mr McBride said IPID knew that there was an element of collusion between the NPA and members of SAPS. There was a secret letter that had been posted by Mr Mabula on the anti cash-in-transit heist group chat of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). Why would Mr Mabula and Mr Ncube meet with our investigators and decide on how they must make a case against us? The Directorate had a criminal case against these individuals, and it had been going on. The South African Policing Union (SAPU) had already released a statement asking why the case of Lt Gen Phahlane was taking so long. Lt Gen Phahlane was appearing in court tomorrow, and there might be others joining in. At the moment there were four co-accused.
Ms Mmola suggested that in order to avoid all the gossip in the media, the Committee should call all the people involved in the case of Lt Gen Phahlane, including the Executive and the Minister. There were people in Members’ constituencies who were asking about this whole issue of Lt Gen Phahlane, and Members did not know how to answer to them.
Mr McBride supported the call to have a hearing on the issue of Lt Gen Phahlane. The relationship between SAPS and IPID was as professional as possible. IPID was the first Department to welcome the appointment of the current National Commissioner and it was trying to work with him. There was an understanding that the task of the National Commissioner was extremely difficult. The National Commissioner had given his commitment to work with IPID, although there were some issues that the Directorate might not be happy with, but there were fundamental issues where consensus could not be rached. IPID believed that SAPS was unreasonable in withholding information that had been requested by IPID. It wanted the courts to make the decisions, and therefore it was giving them the space. It was not IPID that was leaking information to social media and other platforms. The Minister was fully aware of this case of Mr Mabula, who had leaked the confidential letter to the anti cash-in-transit group of SABRIC. This was the same Mr Mabula who had been trying to smear the name of IPID, and the Minister was aware of this. The Minister was experienced, intelligent and he had been a policeman himself, and he was aware of the shenanigans of police officers. The Committee could have a discussion with the Minister, as he was aware of all these shenanigans.
Mr Senna replied that there were four instances where one could incur unauthorised expenditure according to the Public Finance Management Act, These included over-expenditure on the compensation of employees, and transfer payments. IPID had not incurred any unauthorised expenditure for 2the 017/2018 financial year. The issue of under-funding was causing accruals for IPID, especially in the area of leases, cleaning and security. There was also a challenge in that it was impossible to anticipate the number of litigations to be faced in a financial year. The PFMA was also clear that one could not do budgeting on claims against the Department and settlements, as this was considered as the fruitless and wasteful expenditure. If one took the amount that was allocated to IPID and subtracted all the consensual obligations, one would realise that IPDI was left with R10.5 million -- and this was the money that was available for normal expenses. The only solution that IPID could implement to deal with the accruals was to cut down on some of the investigations that it was doing, and this was something that it could not afford to do. It was important to explain that IPID was on a modified cash basis of accounting and therefore one was allowed to accrue the expenditure. There was a debate with the Treasury, where the issue of the going concern was discussed.
There were five things that IPID was doing to deal with the accruals, and this included reprioritising some of the expenditure on the non-core items to direct those funds to core items. There was a budget committee in place that sits on a regular basis to look at overall expenditure and whether the expenditure was still in line with what IPID wanted to achieve, and if there were any wastages it could cut down. Some of its satellite stations had already been closed and this was not an ideal situation, as one needed to have a presence in rural areas. IPID was also beginning to implement activity-based budgeting, and this was to estimate the amount of money to be spent on a case and try to reprioritise some of the cases, taking into consideration the issue of under-funding.
The accruals had been sitting at R17 million when IPID had sent the presentation to the Committee, but now the final figure was R19 million.
The Chairperson asked for an explanation of the process that was being followed, since there was a case where two departments in the same cluster were litigating against each other.
Mr McBride responded that the team had met with the Minister to explain the problem of the litigation, and there were two messages coming from the National Commissioner. With one message he would abide by the court ruling, and with the other he was saying he would oppose the ruling. Mr Mabula was opposing at the moment, and the National Commissioner sometimes abided by the court ruling, and one sometimes wondered who was running the organisation.
Mr Sesoko said that Lt Gen Phahlane was the first general that IPID was investigating, and most of the matters that it was investigating had started with him. IPID had made additional recommendations against Lt Gen Phahlane and he was appearing in court tomorrow on criminal matters. There would be an engagement with the NPA today in relation to other suspects to be charged. Generals involved included Lt Gen Shezi, with allegations of corruption and money laundering. IPID had been informed that Lt Gen Shezi had been suspended, and IPID had recommended her suspension about a month ago. There was also Lt Gen Mathenzela who was in Crime Intelligence, and it was also for allegations of corruption. There was also a recommendation for disciplinary case against him, including suspension. Lt Gen Mathenzela had since been suspended, and IPID had written to SAPS expressing unhappiness about the fact that 60 days had lapsed without taking action against Lt Gen Mathenzela.
Mr Maake asked if these generals had been charged already, as it would not be ideal to mention their names if they had not been charged.
Mr Sesoko responded that this was part of the Parliamentary question -- to provide the names of the generals that were being investigated. IPID was not saying these generals were guilty, but was only investigating cases of corruption against them. Some of the generals had been charged criminally, while some were still part of the investigations.
Mr Maake questioned if it was legally permissible to divulge the names of individuals that were still being investigated.
The Chairperson said that Members needed to ask those questions to IPID in terms of transparency, accountability and democracy. The Committee needed to know about the allegations that were in the public domain, as the National Commissioner himself had already indicated that there were two generals who had been suspended. IPID was responsible for investigating these issues.
Mr Maake again asked if it was legally permissible to divulge the names of the generals that were still being investigated.
Ms Kohler Barnard said that the Parliamentary question had already been asked and responded to. The matter was already out there in the media and therefore there was no point in censoring the information.
Mr Sesoko replied that IPID was clear that it was investigating allegations of corruption and money laundering and divulging the names of people who were being investigated happened all the time in investigations. It would be legally impermissible to say that IPID was investigating a particular person if this was not the case, or the person was not implicated in investigation. The issue of Lt Gen Phahlane had been out there even before he appeared in court. The Directorate was very sensitive to the fact that these people had not gone through the due process, and that was why it used the word “allegations.” It was fully aware that these individuals still needed to appear in court. Maj Gen Makhele was also being investigated on allegations of defeating the ends of justice, and IPID had also made a Departmental recommendation against her, but there had been no response to this matter. The matter had been escalated to the NPA, and IPID was still waiting for the NPA in this regard. It had made recommendations to Gen Mabula and his team, but had not received any feedback. The criminal matters were currently sitting within the NPA, and the charges were for murder, torture and defeating the ends of justice.
He added that IPID was investigating allegations of corruption against Lt Gen Mokwena. There was also an investigation against Maj Gen King Ngcobo in the Crime Intelligence environment. These were all cases of high profile generals who were being investigated by IPID.
Ms Mmola asked about the progress in regard to the case of the music system and the house of Lt Gen Phahlane.
Ms KohlerBarnard wanted to know if there was a case against Lt Gen Phiyega, as she was still using her police connections and still sat at Polmed determining the medical aid of SAPS members.
Ms Mabija said that she never said that IPID should stop investigating people. Maybe this had been misconstrued, because people became emotional when dealing with these issues.
Ms Mmola wanted to know progress about Brigadier Phethle and the R50 000 that was allegedly paid to her.
Ms Molebatsi also asked about Brigadier Phethle and the allegation that she illegally printed a security clearance. Was IPID also investigating this matter?
Mr McBride replied that he had met with the National Commissioner, together with Mr Sesoko, and he had promised to give IPID the case docket of Brigadier Phethle. However, IPID had not received the docket.
Mr Sesoko said that IPID had met with the advisor to the Minister on the issue of counter investigations, including the legal advisor and the legal head of SAPS. There had been discussions to avoid unnecessary implications between the two departments in the Ministry. The decision was that the legal head of SAPS was going to engage the National Commissioner, because the principle that had been flagged was that IPID could not investigate matters in which they had an interest, and SAPS should also not be doing that. The National Commissioner had issued a statement that he would abide by the court ruling on the issue of counter investigation. IPID had received information last week that the National Commissioner had filed papers to argue to the matter in court, despite agreeing to abide to the court ruling. IPID had tried to have this matter resolved amicably even during the tenure of Lt Gen Mothiba, as it was not in the interest of IPID to be going to court over these matters because of limited resources.
Regarding the question about delays on technical reports, these were the reports that were in the Department of Health, and IPID was having difficulty in getting these toxicology reports. IPID had started to talk to provinces to have regular meetings with the heads of the Department of Health in different provinces so as to have a special regime for IPID, as this was part of its priority cases.
In relation to the question on why there were low targets on investigation of torture, IPID was linking the targets to the available resources and evaluating the cases that were being undertaken in terms of their complexities. It was pointless to put targets that it was not going to achieve.
Mr Sesoko said that it was difficult to find investigators, and this was once again linked to the issue of funding, as it did not get the necessary funding. IPID would need to work “smart,” because of limited resources.
Mr Maake wanted to know if the reprioritisation of cases also applied to cases of murder, as murder should always be a priority, especially if it was in police custody. How did one reprioritise an investigation into murder?
Mr Sesoko responded that IPID had reprioritised all other cases, including death in police custody, death because of a police officer, rape in police custody and rape by police officer. IPID had reached all the targets on these investigations, except for death because of police action, because of the technical reports that had been outstanding.
The relationship between SAPS and IPID was sometimes contradictory, as it sometimes had to force SAPS to obtain some documents. IPID was working with the CSPS on the amendment of IPID Act, and this was where it also dealt with the issue of funding. The Committee also wanted to deal with those specific sections in the Act.
IPID was doing the investigation and the NPA was the one to take the decision to proceed with prosecution. There were cases where IPID would argue strongly that they should prosecute and they would decline to prosecute. This was something that IPID had no control over. The low and high prosecutions by the NPA could sometimes depend on the fact that there was in fact no evidence to take the matter forward. There were sometimes cases where there would be evidence to prosecute, but NPA would decline prosecution. Section 30 was clear that investigations must be initiated within 30 days. Unfortunately, IPID was not part of the process when SAPS was discussing these matters, and ideally IPID would want to be part of those tribunals and monitor whether this was being done properly. There were cases where members had been found not guilty on grounds that IPID do not even know about -- and even after some of those members had already been found guilty in court. There had already been a meeting with SAPS to address this issue. SAPS should be clear on whether they had a problem with IPID’s recommendations so that the Directorate could deal with this issue.
Ms Mabija asked if IPID was also investigating down to the local police station level, including Limpopo police stations. How far did its mandate go in terms of investigation?
Mr Mhlongo questioned if there had been a meeting with the Treasury on the issue of the mandate of IPID.
Mr Sesoko responded that there was an opportunity to look at the penalty for non-compliance with section 30. The investigation at local police stations happened on a daily basis, as it had been indicated that there had been 9 451 cases registered in the 2018/19 financial year. IPID was investigating from the constable up to the general, without any discrimination.
Ms Letlape said that in regard to lifestyle audits, the different stakeholders were still developing guidelines and policies on lifestyle auditing, including the Treasury and Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). There was a normal financial disclosure that all senior managers within IPID needed to do, but the gap was that there was no follow-up on the disclosures that were made by senior members. There was also no way to investigate if a person had fully disclosed his/her financial interest, and this was something that would need to be dealt with.
The Chairperson said that the counter argument would be that IPID was an independent institution, and there had been a recent court case ruling giving it the power to institute lifestyle audits. IPID should be leading by example and sending a strong a message to SAPS that it was serious about this issue.
Ms Mmola asked who was investigating IPID.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know who was working with IPID on the lifestyle audit.
Mr McBride replied that there were internal investigations if IPID members committed transgressions, and this process could be initiated by the Executive Director or the Minister. SAPS also investigated the Directorate, and it had seen arrests on several occasions. It was important to highlight that SAPS could not provide any evidence when it had brought thes matters to court.
Ms Letlape said that corporate governance under the risk office within IPID was responsible for lifestyle audits. However, this area needed specialised skill and capacity, and it still needed to develop this capacity. It certainly took the point that it was an independent institution and should be leading by example.
Ms Molebatsi asked if this was simply saying that the lifestyle audit was currently not in place, or up to standard.
The Chairperson said that the National Commissioner had made a commitment that the lifestyle audit would be in place within SAPS.
Mr McBride replied that IPID was a work in progress, and that was why it was going to have a full review of the Act to see what was missing. The Constitutional Court had made a pronouncement that IPID should be operationally and structurally independent, and that would require necessary resources, including issues of ballistic, forensic and other related matters. IPID did not have capacity precisely because it did not have enough funding.
Mr Senna said he had written formally to Treasury to make them aware of the financial situation of IPID. There was an agreement that there would be a facilitation of another meeting including SAPS and Treasury, in order to deal with the issue of funding. The argument that had been brought forward was that IPID could save money for SAPS.
Mr Sesoko said that the investigation into Lt Gen Phiyega was in relation to Marikana, so that matter was currently sitting in the NPA. There were other SAPS members who were appearing in court. IPID had also been investigating a matter against Lt Gen Phiyega, where it had been alleged that she had leaked information, but the NPA had declined to prosecute the matter as there was not enough evidence criminally to proceed with prosecution. The NPA had said that the evidence pointed to Lt Gen Phiyega committing a transgression departmentally, rather than criminally.
The Chairperson read out the programme to be followed from next week. The Committee was taking note of the inputs by IPID, and these would be continuously monitored. The Committee felt strongly that the issue of lifestyle audits was critically important, as the organisation needed to lead by example.
The meeting was adjourned.
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