Annual Reports 2017/18
The Committee met for the second day of considering the 2017/18 Annual Report of the SA Police Service (SAPS) for Programme Three, Detective Services, including the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Programme Four, Crime Intelligence, and Programme Five, Protection and Security Services (PSS). The presentation for Programme Three, Detectives, including the DPCI, looked at the annual targets for indicators, actual performance and reasons for deviation, targets not met in the programme for the year under review and strategies implemented to address to underperformance.
The Committee raised the pertinent question of when the DPCI would have its own separate budget vote. To the Directorate questions were asked about corruption in the environment, progress made with establishing an illegal firearms unit, which required urgent attention, and career pathing and rotation.
Questions were posed on the disconnect between conviction figures of the SAPS and Department of Justice, training and an increase in the number of detectives to improve performance of the Division, cooperation between investigators and prosecutors, the current status of the CFO and overtime allowances. Members wanted to know if the DPCI had a sufficient number of financial investigators and the necessary resources such as new vehicles, up-to-date cellphone technology etc - the Committee needed to be assured the DPCI national head looked at resources members dealt with when working on complex cases and the current state of vehicles and equipment around the country.
There were concerns about decreased detection rates especially with serious violent crimes such as murders, robberies, contact crime and property-related crime. Related to this, there was alarm that the target for certain detection was quite low and that dockets were being closed too quickly. There was concern about the lack of adherence to departmental directives, Standard Operating Systems and National Instructions and Members asked what consequence there was in this regard. The Committee also raised the shortage of DNA kits in police stations. Members were stunned to hear systems still did not speak to each other which made the work of detectives difficult despite billions paid for the integration and upgrading of the entire criminal justice system. The relevant concern was raised of the current economic crime particularly targeting trains in the Western Cape – SAPS was asked it was doing to enough to effectively deal with this in respect of detectives, DPCI and Crime Intelligence using the necessary resources. It cannot be that one metro of the country could not function effectively and economic activity was being jeopardised. The National Commissioner was directed to commit to extraordinary measures to stabilise the situation.
The presentation for Programme Four, Crime Intelligence (CI), looked at the annual targets for indicators, actual performance and reasons for deviation, targets not met in the programme for the year under review and strategies implemented to address to underperformance.
The Committee questioned progress made with the renewal strategy of the Division and how long it would take before CI was seen to be taken seriously by South Africans. Members wanted assurance that the correct members were in the environment and that the wrong ones were removed. Another key area of discussion was work done regarding community protests most notably in relation to gangsterism. The Committee needed to be assured there were ears and eyes on the ground with additional measures to deal with criminal elements proactively as it was a very reactive strategy to wait for information from the communities. A concern was raised around proactive intelligence reports not operationalised and that the CI environment was still operating in too much of a reactive fashion.
Other matters enquired about were the operational command centres, representation in key markets and countries, audit findings of reliability of performance information, security clearance and vetting and CI corporate renewal strategy. Members questioned vacancies in the intelligence analyst capacity and almost non-existent informants’ networks to improve informant footprint and what the counterintelligence strategy entailed.
The presentation for Programme Five, Protection and Security Services (PSS), looked at the annual targets for indicators, actual performance and reasons for deviation, targets not met in the programme for the year under review and strategies implemented to address to underperformance.
The Committee asked why one National Key Point (NKP) was not evaluated in the year under review, if there was review of security measures at all NKPs country-wide to prevent a similar incident as seen involving a parliamentary official in another NKP, movement from the NKP Act to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill, year-on-year cost escalation above inflation mainly for Presidential Protection and promotions of members in the parliamentary precinct including the VIP section and static guards. A concern was raised about the arrangement between SAPS and the unfunded mandate from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) – Members questioned what SAPS was doing about this as it was said DIRCO has its own budget and should be paying for security themselves.
In wrapping up the engagement, the Committee emphasised the need for an unqualified audit for the current financial year and improvement of performance outputs. The audit committee has a huge responsibility. The Accounting Officer must steer his management team to achieve objectives. There must be early engagement with National Treasury and the Auditor-General. There must be consequence management – if this was implemented over the past two years, the audit would not have been qualified. The National Commissioner was new in the post and must turn the ship around. The Committee would continue to monitor and provide recommendations to ensure there was improvement and good output.
Matters arising from the previous meeting
Mr JE van Heerden, Chairperson, SAPS Audit Committee, noted that when he presented the way forward to the Committee yesterday, he recommended a review of high level contracts prior to approval. He has since learnt that this review was done up until 2012 but stopped, for some or other reason. He, respectfully, requested that this internal control measure of review of high level, significant tenders involving large sums of money be reinstated as it will improve internal control with regard to supply chain management. He wished to place it on record to the Committee that this review was done up until 2012 but had since stopped for some or other reason. The appeal was for this control to be reinstated.
The Chairperson asked why this practice was terminated in 2012.
Mr van Heerden could not give reasons.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (ANC) asked who gave the order to stop this practice in 2012.
Mr van Heerden was not sure.
Gen. Kehla Sitole, National Commissioner of Police, said the practice would be reinstated with immediate effect. There will be an investigation of why it was stopped.
The Chairperson said the matter would be dealt with in more detail in November when SAPS would engage the Committee on contract management.
Gen. Sitole noted the matter was raised yesterday about stations in the middle of informal settlements – these stations were impacted by environmental design factors. The Telkom cable was stolen, it was reinstated and then stolen again. Telkom did not want to replace the cable for a third time. Communication at the station was currently running through radio. From Friday, the IPC technology would be worked on and this would allow the telephone lines to work normally. A directive was issued to check all other stations with similar challenges so there were proactive measures.
Lt. Gen. Sharon Jephta, SAPS Acting Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, responded to the question posed yesterday on the number of escaped suspects, in the prior financial year, rearrested – 784 suspects were arrested out of 785. One suspect for robbery was still at large but it was hoped that an arrest would be made soon.
The Chairperson acknowledged progress made on these matters.
2017/18 Annual Report Hearing
Sub Section 4.4 Programme Three: Detective Services
Maj. Gen. Leon Rabie, SAPS Head: Strategic Management, took the Committee through the presentation of the programme which aimed to contribute to the successful prosecution of offenders by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence. The presentation presented the annual targets for indicators, actual performance and reasons for deviation. Targets not met in the programme for the year under review included:
-detection rate for serious crime: target missed by 1.03% - potential witnesses in violent-related cases are reluctant to come forward because of fear of victimization, late reporting of crime compromises proper crime scene management and forensic leads and technology and products offered by financial institutions enable perpetrators to enter into faceless and paperless transactions with victims, making it more difficult to detect
-detection rate for contact crime: target missed by 3.88% - potential witnesses in violent-related cases are reluctant to come forward because of fear of victimisation and late reporting of crime compromises proper crime scene management and forensic leads
-detection rate for crimes committed against women 18 years and above (murder, attempted, murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH): target missed by 0.71% - potential witnesses in violent-related cases are reluctant to come forward because of fear of victimisation and late reporting of crime compromises proper crime scene management and forensic leads
-detection rate for crimes committed against children under 18 years (murder, attempted, murder, all sexual offences, common assault and assault GBH): target missed by 0.10% - potential witnesses in violent-related cases are reluctant to come forward because of fear of victimisation, detailed statements from children to enable identification of perpetrators takes long due to assessment processes to be followed and late reporting of crime compromises proper crime scene management
-conviction rate for contact-related crime: target missed by 1.01% - continuous postponement of cases resulting in witnesses losing interest to testify and complainant/witnesses relocate without informing the investigator of their new address
-conviction rate for crimes dependent on police action for detection: target missed by 0.49% - long outstanding blood alcohol analyses reports from Forensic Science Laboratories of the Department of Health and non-enrolment of cases by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)
-percentage of routine case exhibits (entries) finalised: target missed by 5.47% - number of CCTV downloaded footage cases have increased, shortage of consumables for instruments used at the Western Cape Biology Sections, robots and pipettes were not functional either, lack of maintenance of pipettes and robots resulted in a manual system being used as an alternative which is slower than the electronic system, increase in number of cases at the Western Cape Chemistry Section, the Biology Section in Gauteng had a shortage of consumables due to a delay in the procurement process and the Scientific Analysis Section in Gauteng did not have proper functioning instruments and the older version of the license on the instruments slowed performance down
The presentation touched on strategies implemented to address to underperformance.
Gen. Sitole added that presently support was escalated to Programme Three in the criminal justice cluster also looking at enhancement of the capacity of prosecution to make the multidisciplinary investigative approach more effective. There was also the option of reenlistment in the crime detection environment to beef up capacity to improve the ratio of dockets, over and above the personnel plan. There was also the establishment of specialised units to respond to current challenges raised by communities.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee was in favour of a separate budget vote for the DPCI. The former Minister of Finance wrote to the Committee earlier this year indicating the separate budget vote should be accommodated via amendment of the SAPS Act. There are certain prescripts in the current SAPS Act in terms of reporting and preparing a separate vote – with the current Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) process currently under way for the new cycle, could a separate budget vote process be expected? The Committee asked the DPCI to present it with its specific requirements and a separate budget but this was not done. He commended DPCI for arrests lately, even of its own members, which was good as it spoke to trust in specialised units. Were there additional measures, bar vetting and the integrity unit, looking at recruitment to ensure corrupt elements were rooted out especially in specialised units? Looking at the crime stats, more than 20 300 South Africans were killed in the reporting period. Looking at the stats yesterday, members of the public lost more than 18 000 firearms. Police members lost or stole more than 800 firearms – this was a combined total of more than 19 000 firearms brought into the illegal pool. There was talk of the Firearm Amendment Bill in the presentation but this had been raised for the past five years – while this was a policy matter, there is a need for urgent moving on illegal firearms. A multitude of steps could be taken such as strengthening legislation, firearms amnesty, restrictions on the number of firearms etc. Was progress made on establishment of the illegal firearm unit in DPCI? There were arrests and crime in the legal justice system and judiciary – of late, there were many allegations regarding rhino cases. He asked if DPCI could commit to ensuring crime or corruption in the judiciary would be prioritised – trust in the judiciary could not be subverted in any way. Feedback was needed on this specific matter.
Lt. Gen. Godfrey Lebeya, DPCI National Head, replied that the Directorate already compiled a document on the budget, it was costed and provided to Treasury. With corruption in the DPCI environment, during recruitment, processes were run such as the taking of fingerprints. Yesterday, an individual on the shortlist was found to have a conviction. Qualifications of applicants were also checked. There was continuous vetting and checking of substances – it was picked up in some cases that there were positive tests for cannabis. With the change in the law, given that consumption of this substance in private use was decriminalised, these cases would be dealt with. The aim was to ensure those in the DPCI were beyond reproach. With the firearms challenge, a unit was established in the Directorate to focus on firearms. There were currently 240 members countrywide dealing with firearms – some of these members were seconded to work with the DPCI in this regard. This team also dealt with cash-in-transit heists. The capacity of the unit must be built to ensure there was satisfaction to cope with the challenges. During the reporting period under review, the unit was able to recover 927 firearms. With corruption in the judiciary, any corruption within the mandate of the DPCI would be dealt with by the Directorate - any such cases brought to the attention of the DPCI would be given priority attention especially if it involved those in the criminal justice system – these cases must be finalised quickly to ensure the system was able to properly administer other matters. With the rhino horn case, there were DPCI teams working in the parks. At the end of a project, the docket would be allocated to an individual for processing through court but the team continued. In the latest project in Mpumalanga, there was arrest of suspects including corrupt officials. In KZN, there was a team of SAPS, DPCI and South African National Parks (SANParks) officials. The docket was allocated and taken through court once the project was completed.
Gen. Sitole added SAPS was providing support to the DPCI. The legislation did not make provision for a CFO within the DPCI but this would be looked at moving forward.
Ms Kohler Barnard noted the historical disconnect between figures given on conviction by SAPS vs. the Department of Justice – did the two meet when drawing up Annual Reports to compare? It seemed this did not happen although it was obviously needed. She disagreed that convictions had nothing to do with SAPS because a great detective on the stand ensures a conviction with the evidence. In March this year, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) presented to the Committee the detection rate for violent crime dropped from 60.7% in 2011 to 36.9% in 2015/16. The detection rates for murder and robbery were on an equal downward trajectory. Today the Committee heard the detection rate for serious crime was 35.9% which was a further drop – was the ISS’ definition of violent crime the same as SAPS’ for serious crime? What was the detection and conviction rate for murder? The turnaround strategy in the detectives programme involved a flurry of legislation but there was no reference to training or an increase in the number of detectives to deal with more cases – these seemed to be the most obvious solutions but were they included in the proposals? The Member was concerned to hear about the lack of adherence to departmental directives, Standard Operating Systems and National Instructions – if these officers fail to do so they must be dealt with and if they refuse to do so they should be looking for another career. How would command and control in this regard be strengthened? It cannot be that officers simply ignored directives. The Committee spent months and endless late nights polishing the DNA legislation – with the shortage of buccal swabs, how easy was it for SAPS to put through emergency orders? Could the Committee assist in this regard? What is the status of the Pinnacle building lease? What is the latest on the cybercrimes steering committee? On the rhino case, the Member knew full well that SAPS did not assist in the so-called team looking into the KZN rhino situation. Why was it that the K9 units were not really considered a specialised unit? Members of this unit were called in the middle of the night to dive down drains with their dogs after armed suspects, they were called to assist the special task force and others but yet they did not get the extra monthly danger pay that the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and other specialised task teams did. The job of the K9 unit members was every bit as dangerous – what would SAPS do about this?
Lt. Gen. Tebello Constance Mosikili, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, said a breakdown of the specific statistics around the murder rate and conviction rate could be provided to the Committee at a later stage – she currently did not have the information with her. With the non-adherence of members to directives and instructions, disciplinary processes were instituted – this information could be made available to the Committee in due course. Corrective measures were implemented where these challenges were established. Intervention teams were sent out to address identified problematic areas and common denominators in non-adherence to policies. To enhance capacity in detective services, training needs would be identified and implemented in the resource plan. There were 16 indicators the detective programme was measured on in 2017/18 and out of the 16, only six were not achieved compared to the previous financial year of eight indicators not achieved. In terms of corrective measures for non-achievement, there was continuous monitoring of performance through quarterly review and identified provinces and stations where challenges existed. Training needs were also looked at in terms of corrective measures. The detection rate differed between SAPS and the judiciary as SAPS calculated according to charges whereas Justice only looked at cases presented. In one case docket, there was often more than one charge or one person charged – this explained the discrepancy in figures between the police and the Department of Justice.
Lt. Gen. Lebeoana Tsumane, Deputy National Commissioner: Crime Detection, responded to the matter of training by stating there would be ongoing training. There is concern around detection of serious and contact crime. There was also concern around the daily monitoring of dockets to ensure there were enough dockets detected and taken to court. With the detection programme, there was monitoring of this to ensure suspects were traced. The cold-case strategy introduced by the National Commissioner was of great assistance. It was found in Westbury, people connected to drug dealing were taken to court but the cases were withdrawn due to elements of corruption hence bringing in of the anticorruption unit to deal with these cases. An identified risk was the easy closing of dockets – while there was concern of workload, there must be investigation to ensure prosecutors could present cases in court. This was part of the resolutions of the organisation. The anticorruption unit assisted in checking whether members were assisting criminals and in some instances officers were arrested because of the approach of the anticorruption unit. There was a unit in detective services to look at illegal firearms, drugs and illicit money to ensure projects were investigation-driven – those cases on a higher level were handed over to DPCI.
Gen. Sitole said that with training, there was a training and development research process to link environments to training and development research. Training becomes outdated which resulted in criminals committing crime in the presence of the police. The modus operandi monitoring system must influence training and research so that training spoke to what happened in the street and ensure police members were street-wise not office-wise.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) noted his ongoing concern with the detective environment was that it historically functioned as some island of performance excellence in an ocean of underperformance – many of the low detection rates reported in categories is an indicator of this because every degree of undetection means there is a household that has suffered a crime and opened a case which was now in limbo. Operationally, one of the frustrations faced by investigators is when cases are declined for prosecution by the NPA and/or cases sent back for further or reinvestigation – it becomes a case of time, effort and energy not yielding fruit which can be demoralising for the investigators. When conducing oversight, the Member learnt detectives believed they would greatly benefit from working closely with prosecutors – what is the current policy and practice for investigators working closely with prosecutors during the course of investigations? Which are the priority crime categories where the prosecutor-led investigative approach is compulsory? Could this approach be more standardised? The approach speaks to a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach mentioned which needs to be embedded deeper to become more consistent. Now that the possession and cultivation of cannibals in private spaces has been decriminalised, what would happen with the cases still under investigation?
Lt. Gen. Lebeya said both the DPCI and SAPS detectives worked with the approach of prosecutorial –led cases – nearly all cases of the DPCI followed this approach. In the organised crime environment, there were organised crime units within the NPA that worked hand-in-hand with investigators. When projects were registered, prosecution teams were involved with other stakeholders during assessment, e.g. intelligence and the Asset Forfeiture Unit. With serious commercial crimes, courts were established and within the courts there were specialised prosecutors working closely with investigators in case planning. Prosecutors guided investigators - when the case was ready for prosecution, it prevented the prosecutor from lacking certain things. With serious corruption, the anticorruption task team followed a multidisciplinary approach and there was close cooperation with prosecutors and various other role-players. Within the DPCI environment, there was cooperation between investigators, prosecutors and Advocates in specific areas. This was monitored at national level. There was a forum looking at cases requiring assistance. The operational committee ensured support needed was made available. With cases involving dagga currently on the court roll, there was a working process involving prosecutors. Guidelines were given on which of these cases no longer belonged on the court roll. Conviction would go ahead on cases involving dealing.
Lt. Gen. Mosikili added prosecutors guided investigation of identified, prioritised and high-profile cases. However, investigative responses must be immediate as cases came in and there must be arrests in cases after the investigation was completed.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) noted her question from yesterday about the CFO remained unanswered. She asked if detectives received overtime allowances as their counterparts in other units did. Was DPCI still occupying the old SA Revenue Service (SARS) building? The cybercrimes steering committee was established in March 2018 – what is the capacity of the cyber centre now? Divers are part of SAPS, when would this be discussed with the Committee?
Lt. Gen. Lebeya answered that overtime was applicable across the board including in DPCI – budget was put aside for this purpose within the Directorate.
Lt. Gen. Mosikili said overtime depends on availability of the budget of a specific business unit and an arrangement would be made if the budget was exhausted.
Gen. Sitole said the disciplinary process regarding the CFO was being escalated due to new information relating to the interdict. The last report received was that the expeditious process was being interdicted. SAPS would still proceed to speed up the process to ensure the organisation has a CFO. With the K9 unit and divers, there was purification and regarding of all specialised units to reposition them, including TRT and Public Order. The aim was to avoid working with a demoralised organisation – there is a need to honour the risk and selflessness of these units. As the specialised units were repositioned, there were also labour processes running concurrently. With overtime, where there was a multidisciplinary task team, the overtime was national and project-driven. An example was the task team in KZN where a lot of money was allocated for overtime. There was no environment that would pay their own members overtime because it would be found one environment had budget for overtime while another one did not – this would result in some members being paid overtime while others were not. All environments would engage in budgetary planning because environments came from a history of under budgeting and under resourcing. As a result, the resource strategies of the environments would be reviewed to ensure capacity was improved. A directive was issued that all operatives and support role players must come together to review the resource strategy of the organisation to ensure operatives created the demand for support management to respond to. Presently this was not the case especially with technology – operatives did not provide the user requirement but the support units decided what the operatives wanted. It was then found the technology did not meet the operational requirements during implementation. ICDMS was already implemented in 981 stations.
Mr J Maake (ANC) questioned why the target for the annual detection rate of contact crime and property-related was so low – was there a reason why the targets were low? Were these difficult categories of crime to detect? Why was there non-enrolment of cases by the NPA? How did this happen and what did it mean?
Lt. Gen. Mosikili indicated reasons for non-enrolment was a times due to non-availability of certain reports or video footage to corroborate evidence presented in court – this would result in a case being sent back for further investigation. Targets were calculated on the performance of previous years to determine the baseline, on which the target was developed for achievement – this was system-generated. This also included looking at available resources.
Mr Maake did not understand how the benchmarked target could be 14% of 100% – this was targeting failure
Lt. Gen. Tsumane explained that when the target was set, previous performance was looked at – what the Member raised was something to look into to ensure performance was improved.
Gen. Sitole added the approach to target setting would be changed to follow resource-based targets. Targets must be assessed to ensure it lived up to what was expected by the client. More resources must be brought in to reasonably increase the target.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked SAPS to identify if challenges with the procurement of DNA kits in the biology section of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) division were addressed. When would the structure be finalised for the national bureau of illegal firearm control and priority crime and South African narcotics enforcement bureau? What is the current status of the lease agreement of the Pinnacle building? She asked how many financial detectives were currently attached to the DPCI and if this number was sufficient for the case load and the significant monetary value attached to cases involving corruption and commercial crime. The Member also had an outstanding question from yesterday.
Lt. Gen. Lebeya stated that there were not enough financial investigators – this environment would have to be built. Currently there were 66 investigators nationally but the ideal number was about 155 – DPCI was still in the building stage and recruitment would be improved once the finalised structure was approved to capacitate the environment. DPCI was still in the same accommodation. The relevant role-players were asked to assist with accommodation for DPCI in all provinces. The national head office accommodation was also not sufficient and staff were scattered in various buildings – the ideal situation would be to have everyone housed in the same building. Accommodation was a challenge for the DPCI but the Department of Public Works (DPW) was approached on an informal basis on these challenges.
Gen. Sitole added that the matter of accommodation was a priority. There was a building strategy for the organisation. Most of the buildings occupied by DPCI were leased and this was high risk.
SAPS responded to the DNA kits noting there was a problem of having one service provider. Specifications needed to be redefined. In the interim, certain resources were shifted. Quotations have been approved through the Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC). All Provincial Commissioners were urged to submit their needs to supply chain. It was confirmed there would be no shortage of DNA kits.
Gen. Sitole appreciated that some Members alerted SAPS of which stations lacked DNA kits. Now that the problem was solved, the kits were there and available. Challenges at particular stations would be responded to immediately through instruction as the criticalness of the matter was acknowledged.
Ms Mmola asked if there were currently DNA kits at the stations because when one arrived, there were still cries about the lack of DNA kits.
Gen. Sitole said there were enough DNA kits to supply all stations and instructions were circulated from asset and legal that all stations must submit their requirements for DNA. After this meeting, an instruction would be circulated to all Provincial Commissioners to ensure and verify that all stations had DNA kits since national has produced enough.
Ms Molebatsi noted the Committee had spoken about DNA kits for so long – this challenge should not still be discussed. All stations must have DNA kits, period.
Ms Mmola asked who was following up to ensure all stations had DNA kits – the team present represented national when the challenges were experienced on the ground. She emphasised and pleaded that stations must be visited instead of circulating instructions from national level offices.
Gen. Sitole responded that through accountability and responsibility he could confirm there were DNA kits in all stations – if for any reason kits were not found at the station, somebody would be fired. The moment challenges were raised by the Committee at a station, he immediately dispatched Management Intervention (MI), Visible Policing (VISPOL) and other teams to ensure the challenge was addressed.
The Chairperson raised the matter currently in the public domain which was that of economic crime particular targeting the trains. The DPCI was very effective in KZN in arresting suspects involved in the attack on the mosque and this work must be commended. The shortage on trains in the Western Cape has been ongoing for months – who was responsible from a law and order perspective? Was it the detectives? DPCI? Was Crime Intelligence properly deployed? SAPS must step up and deal with this effectively by bringing in necessary resources. It cannot be that one metro of the country could not function effectively and economic activity was being jeopardised. The National Commissioner must commit to extraordinary measures to stabilise the situation.
Gen. Sitole responded that the matter required a multidisciplinary approach due to the nature of the crime – it required intelligence, detectives, DPCI and the combat group. There was a meeting with the Provincial Commissioner and other parties involved. The approach was to stabilise the environment through a task team. Due to intelligence, one arrest was made and the suspect was in custody. The matter would be escalated to a full-blown stabilisation, multidisciplinary team including the combat team. There was also a meeting with transport to deal with root cause analysis – this is the approach to follow to reach stabilisation. Intelligence would also be increased to get to the root of the matter.
Mr Maake suggested the early closing of cases explained the low target for the detection rate of contact and property-related crime. It should take at least three weeks of investigation before a case was closed. Cases were being closed too quickly – this might explain why the detection rate for crimes was so low. It might also suggest property-related crime was not taken seriously enough. It showed there was something wrong with the low target.
Lt. Gen. Tsumane noted the concern of the Member – this would be looked into. There was a system to bring back undetected dockets where no arrests were made in line with the cold case strategy. Closing dockets too early must be avoided – in some cases dockets were closed in a day. There was a system to monitor dockets. Crime intelligence and informers would be used to address cases where no progress was made on a docket.
Ms Kohler Barnard was stunned to hear systems continued not to talk to each other which made the lives of detectives difficult. The Committee has seen billions paid to the integration and upgrading of the entire criminal justice system yet there were still challenges – a suspect could appear in court in one province but the system did not pick up the charges and warrants against the suspect in another province. She wondered if anyone would live long enough to see the system everyone dreamed of, that ran like clockwork right across arrest to release.
Lt. Gen. Tsumane indicated that he sat in a committee in the criminal justice cluster to address the challenge of compatible systems – the committee was appointed by the National Commissioner. This challenge was being worked on in this committee.
The Chairperson said DPCI depended on sufficient resources such as new vehicles, up-to-date cellphone technology etc – the Committee needed to be assured the DPCI national head looked at resources members dealt with when working on complex cases and the current state of vehicles and equipment around the country. Could assurance be provided that members had the necessary tools? In the detective environment, what was the approach to successful career pathing and rotation in the environment when there was high risk?
Lt. Gen. Lebeya admitted that currently resources were not enough. All provinces had sufficient number of cellphones and communication devices although the matter of limits was being dealt with – some people abused resources. The challenge was with vehicles – some units take care of vehicles and kept them very long but the vehicles were old. DPCI was provided with financial resources and made the order for vehicles in June but the delivery process seemed to take a long time and the vehicles ordered were not yet received. The Directorate was not where it was when it was established and there was now less human resources. It was hoped the delivery of the requested vehicles would alleviate some challenges related to resources to enable the DPCI to do its work.
Ms Molebatsi noted the problem was of vehicles arriving only at the end of the financial year yet people struggled in the meantime.
The Chairperson agreed –supply chain processes must be beefed up.
Lt. Gen. Lebeya said the rotation of members was not done on a regular basis except when members were placed in acting positions from time to time. When there were challenges, such as in KZN with political killings, detectives and Hawks from outside the province were brought in to assist. Over and above this, there were other teams dealing with corruption in municipalities and challenges in specific localities not receiving attention – this was a way of bringing fresh blood into some of the environments. He tried to shift people around but there were matters to consider such as accommodation etc – it takes time to shift members around. One also did not want to affect areas that were working well. Generally there was no permanent shifting – it also affected measurement of performance. There were critical areas such as the airport where there was a proposal to seriously look at shifting members because staying in one environment in too long, the members became too familiar with the environment and shifting members was one way to limit corruption from taking place.
Lt. Gen. Tsumane added that the best performing detective commanders were taken into certain environments not performing too well to set a standard after which he/she would depart and the environment would be monitored. It must also be remembered that rotation affected budget and other factors. Rotation and its best implementation would however be considered.
Lt. Gen. Bonang Mgwenya, Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management, SAPS, said a rotation policy was developed and sent for comment within the organisation– it was currently being finalised by the policy committee where after it would be signed off by the National Commissioner. Currently there was temporary redeployment which was referred to as detached duties – this may not exceed a period of three years. There was a transfer policy when members were permanently transferred to other environments.
Gen. Sitole added that rotation was part of the turnaround strategy to prevent pockets of contamination. An example was seen in the gang areas, especially in the Western Cape, where the teams deployed were changed so there was no familiarity. This was also done at some stations, for example in Westbury. Rotation was environment based but it remained a key strategy of the organisation.
Programme Four: Crime Intelligence
Maj. Gen. Rabie took Members through the programme which was to manage crime intelligence (CI), analyse crime information and provide technical support for investigation and crime prevention operations. The presentation presented the annual target for the indicators, actual performance and reasons for deviation. Targets not met in the programme for the year under review included:
-number of strategic intelligence reports generated to address National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) priorities: only nine of 22 reports generated – this was as a result of instability in leadership in Crime Intelligence during the reporting period and in order to honour commitments made to NICOC pertaining to due dates some of the reports were submitted without following the correct approval procedure as per the TID
-percentage of cross-border operations facilitated in relation to requests received: target missed by 11.12% - Operation Tempo, involving the regional Interpol office in Harare, Zimbabwe was reported as conducted, however, the operation was postponed, due to limited participation
-percentage of physical security assessments finalized as per Physical Security Annual Assurance Schedule: target missed by 0.48% - some assessment could not be finalized due to accessibility challenges
-percentage of proactive intelligence reports operationalised: target missed by 34.53% - the under achievement was due to unprecedented operational and organisational challenges experienced which adversely affected optimum functioning of and service delivery by the division
-percentage of reactive intelligence reports operationalised: target missed by 59.71% - underachievement was due to unprecedented operational and organizational challenges experienced, which adversely affected optimum functioning of and service delivery by the division
The presentation touched on strategies implemented to address to underperformance.
Gen. Sitole added the turnaround strategy was being implemented and the response was seen in the various categories of crime now stabilised.
The Chairperson questioned the renewal turnaround of CI and asked the Divisional Commissioner at what percentage he would place progress made in terms of plans for turnaround and ensuring there were the correct skills and management teams. Two years ago, the Committee visited the Operational Command Centre in Port Elizabeth – in terms of a multi-tier strategy to especially deal with gang crime, what was the plan for these Centres? Would they be rolled out further? Reviewed? The Committee previously raised the need for representation in key markets and countries and this was visibility absent in China, South America etc – was this being addressed? With the recruitment strategy in the CI environment going forward, emphasis was on getting the correct members in and the wrong ones out – what was being done to ensure any criminal elements in CI was weeded out? Could the Committee be assured that any illegal action would be dealt with effectively? There was a need to widen the strength of network operations and informants – as seen in Westbury and the Western Cape, communities affected would identify where the drug dens and criminals are but it seemed from a policing perspective the local stations and CI were not aware of these dens. The Committee needed to be assured there were ears and eyes on the ground with additional measures to deal with criminal elements proactively. It was a very reactive strategy to wait for information from the communities – there is a disjuncture when the community knew where drug dens and criminals were but CI did not. How many labour-related cases involving CI members were currently in court?
Lt. Gen. Peters Jacobs, Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, SAPS, said the question of where the current percentage of the turnaround plan is was complex to answer. The turnaround essentially had four key areas – these included the secret fund, procurement, discipline, operational organisation and vetting and counterintelligence matters. There were essentially four phases to the turnaround including identification of challenges, building the team, interventions and targeted milestones. The review was done but it was difficult to place a percentage on the current turnaround. Progress was made in building the national and provincial team – it was complex because some in the national team were under departmental investigation and they could not be dismissed or transferred out because they are innocent until proven otherwise. It remained imperative to build the relationship. Much time was spent improving relationships and people were fairly open and honest that investigation must be done. With procurement, there were no serious problems in the open account. Needs assessment processes of the provinces must be optimally done in the open account to ensure there was proper procurement – it was currently underway to ensure there was procurement of the correct resources. Monitoring and vigilance was fairly well done on the open account on supply-side to prevent challenges. Matters were on track with discipline and there were a number of people currently undergoing disciplinary hearings – of the offenders were suspended for non-appearance at a trial. With some network operations, presentations were not awaited as teams actually went out – there was currently a team in Cape Town to ensure the gang strategy was implemented. A review of the gang matters was done and time was spent in the Western Cape to ensure key optimisation was improved on. With the gang strategy, much was learnt from the Eastern Cape. There was a problem with former DPCI and CI members who were actually in charge of Interpol but this was dealt with internally upon instruction of the National Commissioner. Deployments have since happened and new countries and areas were identified. Implementation of the threat management system was important in this regard and to understand the root cause analysis, as emphasised by the National Commissioner. There were some countries where there were excellent people but they have been there for too long and they would have to be brought back and suitably replaced with the necessary capability. As said earlier, the entire police was open for recruitment so it was nice that this replacement was not only limited to CI. With recruitment, 325 posts were being interviewed for promotion internally – about 25 of these posts were for analysis. 82 posts were externally advertised for vetting – there were 18 000 applications currently being captured and processed. Hopefully the correct caliber was attracted to support the vetting capability. The strength of informants was a challenge in terms of optimal utilisation of what existed – optimisation of the current capacity was being reviewed to ensure what existed was used efficiently. This was a constant, ongoing matter. It must be acknowledged that more could be done regarding the drug dens and when communities protested about crime, this should be an indicator of CI to use optimally.
Lt. Gen. Jacobs said he has engaged communities in Westbury and Cape Town – the people had real concerns. There has been positive feedback. CI was working on dealing with these matters proactively.
Gen. Sitole added there was a rollout plan for the command centre by ORS and VISPOL together with CI. The command centre was also escalated to the fusion centre to work on the Safer City concept. The National Commissioner placed the current turnaround of CI at 60% - the Division was now functional and could respond to crime but there was still 40% to work on. Technological capability must be improved because it would push progress up to 70%. Overall, the Division was improving. With drugs, at the level of local police stations, there was instruction to deploy local intelligence capacity. Stations must be able to generate information ad undertake organised crime threat assessment exercises at that particular level. Within three years, CI must be operating optimally. There was however continuous execution and cleaning up to ensure the environment works. In terms of vacancies, there was an additional allocation of 360 to beef up capacity. Authority was also granted for enlistment with proper verification and screening. A process was also initiated to identify CI capacity which has moved away from the environment – this also applied to DPCI and detectives. This was part of parcel of measures to improve the capacity of CI. Vacancies on the promotion side would also be filled.
Ms Kohler Barnard was concerned the AGSA made findings about the reliability of performance information of performance indicators – there is a problem if one could not believe what was coming out of a secret organisation. She hoped this was the last remnants of the Mdluli era because things could hardly get worse. Because of years of mismanagement people were dying as seen in Glebelands, politicians in KZN, train sabotage, police officers killed, cash-in-transit heist, mall robberies etc – this rested on the shoulders of the new head of CI. There were no sacred cows left and everyone was at risk. How long would it take for the CI division to be operating optimally without the Mdluli influence? She had it on good authority more relatives and cronies than ever imagined were still in CI. The National Commissioner informed the Committee in March some very senior SAPS members refused security clearance – what was being done about the situation? There were also senior members denied security clearance – of the eight members, have they appealed? Were they rejected from the SAPS? What was done when someone was promoted to a position only to find they did not have the clearance to attend the meetings that go along with the job and salary? How many security clearances were refused or degraded in the past year? How secure was the e-vetting system? It sounded like a correspondence course to get one’s Master’s where one paid someone to write the paper – this happened often in South Africa. Was the system totally secure and working bearing in mind SAPS has not been able to introduce e-dockets in all the years the Member has sat on the Committee? How many milestones were there and how many were achieved in the CI corporate renewal strategy? Were the deadlines stuck to? How long would it be before CI was seen to be taken seriously by the citizenry?
Lt. Gen. Jacobs replied that the reliability finding was made in one province in the haste to prepare for the Auditor-General but disciplinary processes were underway in this regard. It was important that such be identified through internal and external auditing. He agreed that people were dying – there must be depth of capability and capacity to deal with this. There were targeted CI groups working in the gang environment and significant breakthroughs were made – this would take time because it was an intractable problem. There were refusals for security clearance – applications for renewals were still being processed. It is hoped that by next year there will be a clearly defined policy – the National Instruction instructed that this be clearly defined. The big challenge was to get a permanent vetting panel – an option was to look at former Generals to assist in this regard because currently people were placed on detached duty for two weeks in selected provinces. A permanent panel was part of building a vetting system.
Gen. Sitole added that with the security clearance, he has instructed an HR review process to include vetting. The intention was to link vetting to an employment contract – the HR policy framework must assist and empower the organisation to resolve this particular problem.
Mr Mbhele requested an update on where matters were with addressing previously reported vacancies in the intelligence analyst capacity and almost non-existent informants’ networks to improve informant footprint. More information was needed on what the counterintelligence strategy entailed – this was mentioned as a remedial intervention. How would this strategy be rolled out? What were its objectives? What was its place in the environment?
Lt. Gen. Jacobs could not go into too much detail on the counterintelligence structure in a public forum but the basic objective was to do basic activities to protect the organisation internally against corruption, who is vulnerable to being recruited and could pose a danger to the security and integrity of the organisation and to act in the interests of the country in defensive methods of collection.
Ms Molebatsi asked how many security clearances were withdrawn or refused in the past year and what happened to the members involved. How secure was the e-vetting system? Was it hacking-free? Are all CI members currently vetted? As seen in recent community protests in Westbury, Eldorado Park etc, a coloured element was seen. Some said publically during the apartheid days, they were not white enough but today they are not black enough – what was the view of this?
Lt. Gen. Jacobs said there were no security clearance withdrawals in the period under review – a withdrawal would have triggered an investigation in itself. E-vetting was now far more secure than a physical application that had to be couriered. Now there was electronic capturing, secure mail and the documents could only be accessed through a code. Lt. Gen. Jacobs said he still liked to see the hard copies and physical confirmation of certificates. Applications can now be tracked according to when the submission was made, when it was accessed etc – the system was now much better than before. There were challenges but this was being addressed to ensure the process ran more smoothly.
Lt. Gen. Jacobs said the gang problem was not just a coloured phenomenon – it was simply a phenomenon where groups of people regularly engage in common criminality. Some gangs had names, others did not. Some gangs were foreign. There were different categories of gangs. Some have existed for a few years, others had cross generational history, and others have prison history. There was a gang approach to deal with the challenge. During the protests, it was seen that those involved were working class people protesting despite how these people chose to racially identify. Gangsterism only happened in poor communities – one must question what it was about these poor communities that generated criminal groups that unleashed so much violence. The root causes of the protests must be analysed – the protests were driven by organised, violent crime and it was this violent crime that must be dealt with. What was currently being worked on was a way to effectively deal with this violent crime that caused protests. In Marikana in the Western Cape, there were also groups of gangs which people were coming out to protest against. There were also differences in Westbury compared to in Cape Town but the matters raised were the same.
Mr Maake questioned the percentage of proactive intelligence reports not operationalised and how it happened that the reports were not operationalised. It was dangerous and concerning that the target was not met – it meant something would happen because nobody acted on the information presented. An explanation was needed of why this target was not met.
Lt. Gen. Jacobs agreed it was worrying that the proactive intelligence reports were not operationalised – the indicator was introduced two years ago to ensure information was activated and operationalised. It was also part of the indicator to ensure enough capacity was created to mitigate the problem identified. This has since been corrected and there were proactive steps taken to ensure the information was operationalised.
Lt. Gen. Tsumane said the Minister and National Commissioner wanted to see CI act proactively as opposed to reactively to deal with crime before it happened. The National Commissioner instructed the development of a resource plan to deal with both human and physical resources. The research capacity in CI needed to be looked at to ensure resources were used where crime was happening. This was a work in progress.
Gen. Sitole said the review of the performance management system was also linked to CI information because CI information was generated at a cost. The user was equally accountable to ensure he/she delivered an output for the input provided. Moving forward, people would be held accountable if they did not utilise CI information and something happened. This included looking at the definition of the product and quality control. CI would continue to be built and prioritised – success would be measured on the outcome of the crime as this is where the impact should be felt. The Division was doing well under stabilisation and normalisation.
Ms Mmola noted the presentation made reference to a reason for deviation being instability in CI – was there now stability in the CI division? What was meant by deviation due to “accessibility challenges”? What steps were taken to address non-compliance of SMS members to submit security clearance information especially in the Brigadier rank? CI has developed a comprehensive and ambitious crime intelligence corporate renewal strategy – were the identified milestones of the strategy achieved?
Lt. Gen. Jacobs said CI was now relatively stable and there were no huge problems over the past few months. This however was an ongoing work in progress. If there was instability it meant he as Divisional Commissioner failed. Accessibility challenges was seen in one challenge and this was because the deadline for submission was missed – there were supposed to be four visits to one particular facility but there was a misunderstanding on who was supposed to undertake the visit. This has since been resolved.
Programme Five: Protection and Security Services
Maj. Gen. Rabie took Members through the programme which aimed to minimise security violations by protecting foreign and local prominent people and securing strategic goals. Targets not met in the programme included:
-number of National Key Points (NKPs) evaluated: target missed by one NKP – an appointment could not be secured
Gen. Sitole indicated this environment was highly dependent on the DPW review policy especially for the physical security assessment. Police stations were asked to align to the police safety plan and it was priority to conduct physical security assessments in all stations. Work was still ongoing on the realignment of protection and security as per the Cabinet memorandum for establishment.
Ms Mmola asked why the one NKP was not evaluated during the 2017/18 financial year. Was there a review of security measures at all NKPs country-wide to prevent a similar incident as seen involving a parliamentary official in another NKP? She asked where the DIV COMM of the programme was.
Maj. Gen. MJ Motepe-Masemola, Acting Divisional Commissioner: PSS, SAPS, said the acting DIV COMM tendered an apology as he was on study leave. The one NKP was not evaluated because PSS was not successful in securing an appointment. There were measures in place to engage with the owner of this NKP to avoid being unsuccessful in obtaining an appointment again. This would occur next year as the NKPs were evaluated on an annual basis. There were a number of forums on which owners of NKPs sat – one forum was the government security regulator which included all government security managers and NKP owners. The next sitting of this forum was in November 2018– at this meeting, she assured the Committee challenges would be discussed including the incident of what occurred on the parliamentary precinct. NKPs had emergency contingency plans which were reviewed now and then. The contingency plans looked at what would happen in case of emergency or if there was a security breach.
Ms Kohler Barnard said it was unacceptable that SAPS could not get an appointment – this meant SAPS was not wanted on the property and this was non-compliance with legislation. SAPS may not be denied an appointment with a NKP. What if the appointment was constantly unsuccessful? Were there no repercussions? She was stunned that someone could simply refuse to secure an appointment with SAPS. How far did SAPS go to secure an appointment? Did they arrive at the premises? Or were letters simply written?
Maj. Gen. Motepe-Masemola explained that an appointment was secured through writing letters to the owners of the property but in this case SAPS did not get the necessary response. As a control measure, the owner was engaged on a continual basis to avoid this occurring next year. An appointment was secured for next year.
Gen. Sitole added that the role of the Minister was now defined in PSS in the event of non-cooperation with another Minister. Both he and the Minister would support the Division on this matter for high level intervention to ensure the NKP policy was not transgressed.
Ms Molebatsi asked for an update on the move from the NKP Act to the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) legislation
Maj. Gen. Motepe-Masemola said the CIP Bill was adopted by National Assembly in August. The Division has already started working on regulations and directives to ensure no time was wasted when the Bill is promulgated and implementation can begin.
Ms Kohler Barnard noted that it was claimed to her that of all money granted by Treasury for promotions, that every single member on the parliamentary precinct and every member of the VIP section including static guards, were being promoted – Constables were not becoming Warrant Officers even those members just out of college. She heard members were jumping ranks – there was a lot of consternation among those who have been in the environment for many years and youngsters were being promoted above of them. The drop in performance was really down to one indicator not met – what was the particular problem? There was an unfunded mandate from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) where it can invite any number of people and SAPS PSS must provide protection – DIRCO has its own budget and should be paying for security themselves. What moves has SAPS made in this regard? It was ridiculous that SAPS was being made to budget for this when DIRCO was quite within its own means to cover this cost – it also knew way in advance which events were scheduled.
Gen. Sitole responded that the Minister pronounced, in his budget speech, on the promotion of 66 000 members as part of the promotion backlog. This was looking at the organisation holistically. The personnel plan must have a clear promotion strategy. The grading of specialised environments was looked at including PSS and specialised units. The emphasis of grading was to look at meeting training competence level within the particular specialised environment. A commitment was being fulfilled which was made to the members to ensure the organiation was not demoralised. In this regard, processes must be followed including labour processes. Promotion in the organisation should be a short, medium and long term exercise and the personnel plan budget must cater for this to ensure there was no backlog.
Regarding international events, SAPS called for a policy change as it was creating a problem. The budget sat with the Department while the responsibility for policing and security sat with SAPS. Currently, the services of the police would be requested and then a quotation of the costs for policing and remuneration of members would be provided. At the last hour the Department would say it did not have the budget for that – this was usually said on a Friday but the event was on Saturday. All guests were already invited and the level of security was elevated and could not be scaled down –if security was scaled down it became a security breach. The matter was advanced to the Minister – SAPS should be allowed to budget for this security or the policy should be reviewed. Presently, the policy was a challenge.
Mr Mbhele noted the last time the Committee discussed the PSS environment, there was discussion on the year-on-year cost escalation way above inflation – this seemed to centre mainly on the Presidential Protection Service. This was an irrational, misuse of resources given the proportion of general policing to the public. He recalled the president said there would be a restructuring and reconfiguring to look at this specific environment – where was this process currently?
Gen. Sitole answered that the amendment process did take place at the level of the Division and it was escalated to the Minister at the time – the matter was supposed to be escalated to Cabinet by the Minister but there was a change in leadership. The current Minister would be briefed to escalate the matter to Cabinet for it to endorse the amendment. All security budget-related matters were informed by the level of threat. Constant threat assessments must be done. The assessment determined the level of security to be provided and if the level was, for example high risk, security provided could not be reduced to a lower level. The broader risk in the country went with the holistic risk – if crime threats were reduced it would assist in reducing the risk to dignitaries. Mitigation of risks would be looked at to perhaps lower the budget.
The Chairperson reminded SAPS management of the 14 day deadline to provide the Committee with a report on matters raised at a meeting with Members two weeks ago regarding security and protection at Parliament.
Gen. Sitole confirmed the report was being worked on and would be submitted.
The Chairperson said another joint engagement would be planned with DPW in November – all environments in SAPS should present on all challenges experienced in this regard to attempt to deal with them holistically.
The Chairperson emphasised the need for an unqualified audit for the current financial year and improvement of performance outputs. The audit committee has a huge responsibility. The Accounting Officer must steer his management team to achieve objectives. There must be early engagement with National Treasury and the Auditor-General. There must be consequence management – if this was implemented over the past two years, the audit would not have been qualified. The National Commissioner was new in the post and must turn the ship around. The Committee would continue to monitor and provide recommendations to ensure there was improvement and good output.
The meeting was adjourned.
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