The Committee postponed consideration of its legacy report, and adopted the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the 2017-18 Annual Report of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA), Report by the Portfolio Committee on Police on the recommendations of the High-level panel, Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on referred Petitions, and Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill [B 40—2018]. The Committee also adopted the minutes of 9 October 2018, 23 October 2018, 24 October 2018, 30 October 2018, and 13 November 2018.
The Chairperson read a statement expressing concern about SAPS investigating officers’ failure to give feedback to victims of crime and relatives of persons who died as a result of criminality and about vigilante incidents at Siloam and Westenburg in Limpopo. He extended the Committee’s condolences to the family of the off-duty police officer who was shot and killed in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, over the week-end, and concluded by emphasising the importance of SAPS members acting within the law at all times.
Before proceeding to the agenda the Chairperson read a statement expressing concern about investigating officers’ failure to give feedback to victims of crime and relatives of persons who had died as a result of criminality. He reminded members of the Ganas case and that Momentum had declined to allow a claim of R2,3 million by Mrs Denise Ganas after her husband was killed during a criminal attack. Mrs Ganas had raised serious concerns, publicly, with regard to the SA Police Service (SAPS), saying that she had not received any feedback from the investigating officer and that there had been apparently no progress with the investigation of her husband’s murder. Police management was therefore urged to ensure that investigating officers provide adequate feedback on cases to complainants and family of those who had died as a result of criminality. Detective commanders should also ensure at all times that case officers give adequate feedback to complainants and families of the deceased.
The Committee also wanted to express concern about vigilante incidents at Siloam and Westenburg in Limpopo during the week-end. It was important that community members report crime to the police and not take the law into their own hands. The Committee welcomed the arrest of eight suspects in connection with the vigilante murder incident in Polokwane.
On behalf of the Committee the Chairperson expressed his condolences to the family of the off-duty police officer who had been shot and killed in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, during the week-end. The Committee believed SAPS had to do everything possible to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous deed, and called on the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) and the Anti-Gang Unit to intensify their efforts with regard to the detection of illegal firearms in affected communities.
The Committee wished to highlight the matter of police conduct after the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) arrested a constable in Soweto for allegedly raping his girlfriend, and a video of police members in Pretoria arresting a suspect was widely distributed. The IPID was also investigating the matter. The Chairperson said it was important that SAPS members act within the law at all times and ensure that their conduct was in line with the ethos of a professional service. Members of the public had to report criminal behaviour of the police to the IPID so that independent investigations could be undertaken.
The Chairperson invited input from members of the Committee on the issues raised in the response he had read.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) agreed with the Chairperson’s assessments and sentiments. The first matter of feedback from investigators to complainants or victims of crime was a long-standing and common issue. From time to time all members of the Committee would from receive complaints from constituents and other members of the public about slow feedback of lack of feedback, after which they then often had to intervene by submitting Parliamentary questions on particular cases, or writing to station management, which was when information started coming forth.
An important underlying issue was that detectives were overstressed; there was understaffing, with many investigators carrying case loads that were too big to handle feasibly. This went back to an issue that the Committee had always highlighted, namely getting proper management and resource allocation to ensure conducive working conditions for police officers at police station level. Vigilante killings were primarily a symptom of a breakdown of trust between communities and the police.
On police conduct, training, consequence management and management setting the right example, it did not bode well for an organisation that was meant to operate in terms of the highest professional ethics, command and control, and staying within strict bounds when up to 20 senior managers in the SAPS had been arrested and/or suspended for various forms of misconduct and irregularities two weeks earlier. The key point was that a major overhaul of SAPS management and systems was long overdue to weed out bad elements and to promote and boost excellence and good performance.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) agreed, and emphasised that good police conduct boosted the trust of communities in the SA Police Service, and helped with the professionalisation of the Service.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the 2017-18 Annual Report of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA), dated 21 November 2018
The committee proceeded to consideration of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the 2017-18 annual report of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA).
Referring to the second paragraph under 3.2. on page 4, Mr Mbhele requested clarification of the text referring to ‘’the finances of the entity improved in the next 12 months including by the introduction of the Private Security Levies Act, Act No 23 of 2002’’, since the Act was dated 2002 and was already in place, and agreed to inserting ‘’commencement’’ instead.
Ms Molebatsi requested clarification of ‘’the Authority’s role was to ensure that the courses were equivalent to training programmes that are required for the industry’’ in the last sentence under Industry Training, and proposed that ‘’were equivalent to training programmes‘’ be replaced with ‘’are in line with the training programmes’’.
The report was adopted with no substantive amendments.
Report by the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Recommendations of the High-level Panel, dated 21 November 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of its report on the recommendations of the High-level Panel, dated 21 November 2018.
Ms Molebatsi proposed that, in the first sentence under 5.1. ‘’firearms owners’’ be replaced with ‘’firearms industry’’.
Citing the High-level Panel’s recommendation that ‘’Parliament should recommend to the Executive the development of a National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence, which is multisectoral, coordinated and inclusive, with a strong monitoring and evaluation component to hold all to account and should be fully costed’’, Mr Maake inquired about future process, and asked what would happen after the Committee’s recommendations had been submitted to the National Assembly, and what procedure would be followed after the National Assembly had adopted the report.
The Chairperson replied that all the High-level Panel recommendations were referred to the sectoral committees, but most of the follow-up issues would be dealt with by the Sixth Parliament, for instance, the amendment of legislation would have to be factored in, and it was presumed that during the mid-term report of the next Parliament there would be a report on the steps taken by Portfolio Committees to implement the High-level Panel’s recommendations.
The content adviser said the recommendations had to be factored into the strategic plan of the next PC on Police, and the Sixth Parliament would have to integrate them into its strategic plan. Therefore it meant that all the committees that had been mentioned had to factor the recommendations into their strategic plans.
Ms Mabija asked who would be responsible to see to it that the PC on Police would implement the recommendations during the Sixth Parliament, and how it would be done.
The content adviser replied that the new Portfolio Committee on Police would have to carry through the National Development Plan. The Secretary to Parliament would first convene a strategic planning session with Members of Parliament which would set the terms of reference for the implementation of the High-level Panel recommendations. The Committees of Parliament would then get guidelines that had been set by the House Chairperson, after which the respective Committees would develop their own strategic plans.
The report was adopted with amendments.
Report by the Portfolio Committee on Police on the referral by the Speaker on the correspondence by the Minister of Police, Mr N Nhleko, dated 21 February 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the Report by the Portfolio Committee on Police on the referral of the Speaker on the correspondence by the Minister of Police, Mr N Nhleko.
Since the report included a statement that the Committee had received a letter from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in which it indicated that the Public Service Commission (PSC), in a letter to IPID dated 11 October 2018, had decided to withdraw their original report and rescind its findings and recommendations, Ms Mmola inquired whether the Committee had, in fact, received the letter.
The Chairperson indicated that the letter had been sent to the Committee, and ruled that the Committee would proceed to the next agenda item and would resume consideration of the report when all members of the Committee had received copies of the letter by Adv RK Sizani, chairperson of the Public Service Commission.
After committee staff had distributed a copy of the letter from Adv RK Sizani stating that the PSC had confirmed the authenticity of the engagement of 12 March, withdrew the report and consequently rescinded both its findings and recommendations, the Committee’s report was adopted with amendments.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on referred Petitions, dated 21 November 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on referred Petitions.
The Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on referred Petitions, dated 21 November 2018, was adopted with amendments related to attendance, grammar and spelling.
Minutes of 9 October 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the minutes of 9 October 2018, which were adopted with minor amendments.
Minutes of 23 October 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the minutes of 23 October 2018, when the Committee dealt with a petition for re-enlistment former members of the Ciskei and Transkei Police (TBVC states).
The Chairperson requested consistency in Committee minutes and documentation, and asked for clarification and refinement of text such as: ‘’The former members were extremely concerned about their exclusion from the amalgamation’’, and ‘’a member wanted to establish’’, since it had to be clear whether the Committee referred to a member of the Committee, a member of SAPS, or a member of the former Ciskei police force.
The minutes of 23 October 2018 were adopted with minor editorial amendments.
Minutes of 24 October 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the minutes of 24 October 2018, when the agenda included SA Police Service (SAPS), Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSPS), Statistics SA and civil society organisations on the 2017/18 crime statistics.
Members of the Committee proposed grammatical and typographical amendments and deletion of text that was not intelligible.
The minutes of 24 October 2018 were adopted with amendments.
Minutes of 30 October 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the minutes of 30 October 2018, which were adopted with grammatical and administrative amendments.
Minutes of 13 November 2018
The focus of the joint meeting of the PC on Police and PC on Public Works on 13 November 2018 was police stations and Public Works Facilities management. Since there was no time for another joint meeting, the PC on Police would forward their adopted minutes to the PC on Public Works.
Members of the Committee proposed amendments regarding attendance, grammar and spelling, designations and ranks of police officials in attendance.
The minutes of 13 November 2018 were adopted with amendments.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill [B 40—2018] (Private Member’s Bill), dated 21 November 2018
The Committee proceeded to consideration of the Report of the PC on Police on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill [B 40—2018] dated 21 November 2018.
The Chairperson informed the Committee that a document had been received from Mr Groenewald with regard to a minority report, and that Mr Mbhele had indicated that he wanted to make input. Since Mr Groenewald was not able to attend the meeting, the Chairperson requested that Committee staff read what he wanted to be added as minority view.
The following summary was read: ‘’The Freedom Front Plus indicated that the reason for the introduction of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill was in response to the Constitutional Court judgement in the matter of Minister of Safety and Security v South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association  ZACC 14. It was introduced to plug the lacuna as the court did not provide for any method by which the failure to apply for renewal of a licence at least 90 days before the expiry of that licence, which requirement is administrative in nature, can be remedied.
The Freedom Front Plus acknowledges that the control of firearms is integral to enhancing the safety and security of all in South Africa. To balance this interest, the Bill provides for clear measures to apply for renewal, and should a person fail to apply within these periods, a method to surrender or dispose of the firearm is available. It is for this reason that the Freedom Front Plus views the Bill as desirable.”
The Committee deliberated.
Mr Mbhele indicated that his proposal could be included in the minority views. He had proposed a recommendation that, in the interim, until the principal Act was amended, SAPS management be urged to make use of the provisions of sections 21 and 28(2) and (3) of the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000, which allowed for addressing the existing short-term situation of the 300000/400000-odd firearm owners whose licences had either expired, or who had not lodged applications within the 90-day period, though there was still merit in looking at the substantive eligibility of their applications.
Upon Mr Maake’s question whether the Committee had to include such matters in its report, the Committee secretary confirmed that the views of all political parties, including minority views, had to be included.
Mr Maake said that his understanding of the nature of minority views was that they only addressed what had been discussed in the meeting. He did not think the clause in the Rules said that one could go and do research somewhere, come with 50 pages of research and expect the Committee to include it as a minority view. The report had to capture only what had been discussed in the Committee. He agreed that the Committee had discussed what Mr Groenewald had said, but it did not mean one could have one’s researcher do a 50 page document and then say it was one’s minority view.
Committee staff advised that a Parliamentary law adviser had confirmed that the minority view could be summarised, but that the Committee could not quote from the document selectively.
The Chairperson requested that Mr Mbhele formulate his input for inclusion under minority views, and indicated that Mr Groenwald’s input would be inserted under 5.1.
Mr Maake asked whether, if the Committee agreed with Mr Mbhele’s view, he would agree to it being included in the majority view.
Mr Mbhele agreed to including his view in the main report.
Mr Maake asked whether the report answered the minority view, and whether the minority view was part of the report.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee’s report that the Bill was undesirable would pass - it would be tabled in the House, however, in terms of the Rules there was opportunity for minority views, therefore Mr Groenewald’s view would be included in the report. The purpose was to ensure that all views were reflected.
Members of the Committee proposed grammatical and typographical corrections to the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill [B 40—2018], which was adopted with amendments.
The Committee adjourned.
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