The Committee was briefed on a virtual platform by the South African Police Service (SAPS) on its initiatives to address gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and related crimes, and the quarterly report on crime statistics during the lockdown period from 1 April to 30 June. The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service was present, but did not present as intended due to time constraints.
The SAPS described the key frameworks for its initiative to address GBVF. These included the Integrated Sexual Offences and GBV action plan, the GBVF emergency response action plan, and the GBV national strategic plan. It reported on the progress made with the implementation of all its interventions so far.
Members welcomed the SAPS initiatives and its integrated approach to address GBVF. They hoped that the initiatives would be implemented, and committed the Committee to monitoring and keeping SAPS accountable for implementing them.
The first quarterly statistics were welcomed by Members, as well as the representation of provinces by Provincial Commissioners at the meeting. The first quarterly statistics were outlined according to various crime categories. There were overall decreases in all of the categories in the first quarter, except for burglaries at non-residential premises and crimes detected as a result of police action. Most of the burglaries had happened during lockdown level 5 at liquor outlets and educational premises. There had been a trend for all the 17 community-reported crimes -- and specifically contact crimes, murder and rape – to be much lower during lockdown level 5 than during the same period last year, but by the time level 3 was reached, the difference was minimal.
Members questioned the validity of the statistics, considering that the figures were being compared to the same quarter in the previous year, when where that had not been a lockdown. They also questioned the number of cases reported by police stations, and the alignment of the SAPS figures with international statistics.
The Committee was displeased that SAPS had not yet presented its fourth quarter report for the 2019/2020 financial year to Parliament. Members raised concern about the backlogs at Forensic Laboratory Services, the Forensic Procedures Bill, the fact that only 21 police stations were fully compliant with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, and only 66% of police stations had functional and resourced victim friendly rooms. They asked whether sufficient provision was being made for persons with disabilities in the initiatives to address GBVF.
The Chairperson said the Committee would summon the City of Cape Town Mayor, the Metro Police, the Law Enforcement Unit and the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, to account on the case of Mr Bulelani Qolani, who had been evicted during the lockdown.
Cape Town called to account for evictions
The Chairperson explained why the meeting scheduled for the previous week had not taken place. The Committee had invited the City of Cape Town (CoCT) mayor, the Mayoral Committee (Mayco) Member for Safety and Security, the Head of the Metro Police, the Minister and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), and requested a presentation concerning the events surrounding the eviction of Mr Bulelani Qolani. It had wanted to establish the legal standing of the Law Enforcement Unit to effect such evictions, especially during the lockdown.
The Committee had been informed via email from the Mayor’s office that he would not be able to attend as he would be at two other Parliamentary Committee meetings. The Committee had written back to the Mayor and informed him that as a Committee, it was responsible for oversight of policing in the entire country, and could call any one to respond to it in terms of the Constitution and Rules of Parliament. A subsequent letter was then received on 20 August which indicated that there were court cases pending on the matter, and that the CoCT had conducted its own internal investigation. The Mayor said that the City had not carried out an eviction for which there was no court order, and had merely removed illegal shacks. The Mayor had also asked that the meeting be reconsidered because of the pending court cases.
The Portfolio Committee (PC) on Police had the responsibility for policing issues in the country, contrary to what the Mayor had asserted. The Law Enforcement Unit and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit commanders and political principals had to account to this Parliament. In terms of rule 167(a) of the Rules of Parliament, these units had to account for the purpose of performing functions. She also outlined how the rules allowed the Committee to summon -- subject to the Constitution, legislation, other provisions of these rules and resolutions of the Assembly -- any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath, or information or produce documents.
She wanted to put it to all Members today that the Committee was summoning the executive Mayor and his team to provide answers to it on the manner in which the Law Enforcement Unit, the Anti-Land Invasion Unit and Metro Police were functioning. This was extended to the entire modus operandi of these units, and not only the matter of Mr Qolani. The Committee could not allow people in police uniforms to run riot with the lives of poor people and be unaccountable for their actions. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and IPID had been called to order when the demand for such was there.
The Committee would call the Mayor and the various units established by the Mayco Member of Safety and Security -- some of which she doubted the legality of their existence, in terms of the current legislation -- to call them to order. Another shooting had happened yesterday, and the Committee could not allow this to continue as a war had been unleashed against the poor in the City, and this had to be accounted for. The day before yesterday, a nine-year-old boy had been shot, and calls had been received from the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on this act.
She wanted the meeting to accept and take note that it had called on the Chair to summon the Mayco Member for Safety and Security, the Executive Director for Safety and Security and the Head of the Metro Police executive to account to it. She had been given this mandate by the Committee and would not open the matter for discussion. She would take comments from two Members, and then start the rest of the agenda.
Mr A Whitfield (DA) said that he trusted that the Members had read the comprehensive research report, which clearly stated that law enforcement did not fall under the Metro Police. He appreciated that the Chairperson had an interest in determining what the legalities were. The Law Enforcement Unit was responsible for enforcing bylaws in the CoCT, and the Committee could with the greatest of pleasure investigate, discuss and debate whatever legalities existed.
He wanted to point out that since the Committee had been established in the sixth Parliament, it had been obsessed with the Western Cape (WC) and the CoCT. There had been numerous evictions, demolitions and destructions of people’s livelihoods in municipalities across the country, yet the Committee had never summoned any Metro Police Unit from any other ANC-led municipality. It therefore appeared that the Committee was being used as a political hit squad.
The Committee had to tread cautiously so that it was not politicised with its obsession with the WC, which was doing everything it could to deal with everything that came its way in terms of the law. He believed that the Committee had to tread cautiously and make sure that it dealt with all incidents that affected the Metro Police or Law Enforcement in other parts of the country, not just the CoCT. It was very clear that this was now becoming a political issue for the Committee.
Mr K Maphatsoe (ANC) said that as much as he agreed with Mr Whitfield that the Committee had to investigate all the municipalities if such incidences happened, he did not agree that the ANC government was obsessed with the WC. The ANC was not obsessed, and it was doing its oversight work without fear or favour, even if this might not be in the favour of Mr Whitfield. The matter should not be politicised. He agreed that all municipalities had to be called to account, and said that Mr Whitfield had to supply the Chairperson with such information. The Chairperson had the capability to summon all the Mayors and chiefs of metros who had such allegations against them. The Committee could not be undermined by the WC, and said that he saw the letter to the Committee as undermining and arrogant. He agreed with the Chairperson’s recommendations.
The Chairperson said that if the Committee requested and took a decision, she as the Chairperson implemented it. She attempted in all instances to implement these decisions. The Committee had never taken a decision to call any other municipality. If it took a collective decision to call any other municipality, she would do so. The Committee must not undermine its own decisions. It was a decision which the Committee had taken, and she had implemented it. If the decision had to be rescinded, that had to be proposed. This must not become a political squabble, as she was reporting back on a decision taken by the Committee. If there were proposals to meet with other provinces, the Committee would be conducting oversight visits. The next oversight visit was supposed to have been to Gauteng, but because of the lockdown the Committee had been unable to do. Aspersions should be cast on its own decisions which it had taken.
Ms P Faku (ANC) said this was a Committee, and it had not been a political decision. The ANC had not decided to call the Law Enforcement Unit in the WC for a meeting, as it was a decision made by the Committee. Mr Whitfield’s statement that there was a personal attack on the WC, was out of order. Why was Mr Whitfield defending the WC? Was he the spokesperson for the WC? He was not a spokesperson, but a Member of the Committee. He was bound once decisions were taken as a Committee Member. Once the Committee took a decision it stuck to it. The Metro Police had to be called to account. Every legal route there was had to be considered to make them account, because no one in the country had to be treated differently.
If Mr Whitfield had issues with other metros or municipalities in the country, where the metro police was not abiding by the laws, he had to state this. She thought that the Chairperson had been fair when allowing Member to raise issues. What the WC was doing could not be allowed, because it was behaving as if it had its own country. Everyone had to abide with the Constitution and come and account to the Committee.
The Chairperson said that she believed that the matter had been attended to, and the Committee would continue with the process of calling the Mayor, as well as the Law Enforcement Unit, to account at the next meeting.
Lockdown impact on Committee meeting schedules
The other matter the Chairperson wanted to raise was that the meetings held during lockdown had been tightly managed by the Office of the Chief Whip and the Chair of Chairs. The Committee was allocated timeslots through the administrative processes of Parliament, and she therefore she had no decision-making power on when and whether the Committee would be allowed to have meetings. The Committee had requested that its two hours be extended to three hours due to insufficient time available to deal with all its work, and permission had been granted.
If Members had a problem with the times allocated to it, this had to be raised through the proper channels. It was unfortunate that she had to respond to media queries about the time allocated to the Committee and time allocated for asking questions. It had been given a three hour time slot, and she had requested two meetings per week. The Committee was allowed to sit only according to its given time slots by the Office of the Chair of Chairs and the Chief Whip.
There were political applications that had to be made if the Committee held meetings. There were different time slots allocated for virtual platforms which were set according to the availability of the administrative staff to provide support. During the lockdown, time allocations were shortened compared to regular Parliamentary sessions. It had to be taken into account that Members were given opportunities to speak and ask questions in proportion to the number of Members per political party.
She believed that she had been fair in managing the time allocation for all Members, and if there were any other further complaints, they had to be raised in the meeting or with her. She preferred not to engage with Members via the media.
The Committee had a good working relationship and she did not want this to be compromised. This was how meetings were run, and she would continue to chair the meeting in this fashion.
SAPS on Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF)
Mr Cassel Mathale, Deputy Minister (DM) of Police, welcomed those present. He was inaudible.
The Chairperson told him that he had issues with his sound.
The DM spoke, but was inaudible to the meeting.
The Chairperson asked the DM to increase his volume, and try again.
The DM thanked the Committee for allowing the presentations, and said the National Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, would lead the presentation on gender-based violence. The DM became inaudible again.
Gen Sitole introduced the members of staff in attendance. There were two Deputy Commissioners and Provincial Commissioners from eight of the provinces, who were connected to provide more information as the Committee would demand, and various Divisional Commissioners and Component Heads. Brigadier Craig Mitchell, Acting Component Head: Strategic Management, SAPS would present, starting with gender-based violence, as directed by Parliament.
Brig Mitchell said he would be presenting initiatives to address GBVF specifically within the South African Police Service (SAPS). The presentation would briefly outline the conceptual framework that informed the SAPS GBV approach; the integrated GBV action plan where the detail of its approach was found; key focus areas, interventions and time frames; progress for addressing GBV and sexual offences, considering the implementation of the GBV emergency response action plan; immediate plans to address GBV; implementation of the Domestic Violence Act; and GBV related annual performance planning indicators.
The conceptual framework consisted of a GBVF national strategic plan (NSP), a GBVF emergency response action plan (ERAP), an integrated sexual offences and GBV strategy, and the SAPS integrated sexual offences and GBV action plan.
SAPS Integrated Sexual Offences and GBV Action Plan
The GBV Action Plan had six focus areas:
- Enhancing policy frameworks
- Training and development of members
- Enhancing accountability and organisational performance on GBV cases
- Prevention of GBV and sexual offences
- Responsive care and victim support
- Crime data analysis and research
Brig Mitchell outlined the interventions and their timeframes within each of the six focus areas. He also indicated which interventions were part of the ERAP.
Progress in addressing GBV and sexual offences
There were four immediate interventions to address GBVF during lockdown and beyond, where progress had been made on guidelines for the policing of GBV, communication materials, GBVF reporting pathways and the resource list for referrals, strategic partnerships aimed at addressing early interventions and community-based partnerships, and research into GBV trends.
Implementation of ERAP
Brig Mitchell said that there were a number of indicators with targets, and that the progress described was from 1 October 2019, when reporting on ERAP was initiated through the Presidency and the Department of Women, to 30 June. Challenges that SAPS experienced had also been identified. There was progress made in various areas, such as interventions at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), the injection of human resources and capital for the family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) unit, prioritisation of the backlogged GBVF-related cases, procurement of evidence kits, service complaints related to GBV investigations, a vetting process of persons providing services directly to children and mentally disabled persons, the immediate roll out of training on victim-centric, survivor focused services, with a specific drive to train police, prosecutors, magistrates and policy makers.
Implementation of Domestic Violence Act
The figures for domestic violence-related offences from April to June were outlined for various offences per province and sex, as well as for South Africa as a whole. The number of protection orders received, final protection orders served, interim protection orders served and protection orders not served were outlined per province. Brig Mitchell said that a slight adjustment had been made to the figures for the Western Cape as the figures on the presentation that had been distributed to Members were updated following an input received from the provincial commissioner.
The difficulty SAPS had regarding protection orders not being served involved respondents who had moved from the address initially communicated, compared to completed protection order applications. Domestic violence registers were in use at all police stations and quarterly reports in respect of the registers were submitted to head office for analysis, monitoring and evaluation.
Q1 report on GBVF-related performance indicators
Brig Mitchell said the targets following the reduced availability of liquor and reduced levels of crime and GBVF, and the strengthening of community partnerships, had been 100% achieved.
Compared to the same period last year, the number of contact crimes against women had increased by 7.8% -- from 24 723 to 26 658. Crimes against children had increased by 9.7% -- from 6 024 to 6 610. He said that this may indicate increased confidence in the SAPS and the communities’ willingness to report crimes.
The detection rate for crimes against women aged 18 and above was 72.67%. This would improve during the course of the year. The percentage reduction in outstanding case dockets older than one year related to crimes against women was 25.97%. The detection rate for crimes against children was 66.53% and the percentage reduction in outstanding case dockets older than 1 year related to crimes against children was 24.52%.
The Chairperson said that for the sake of the public, meetings were live and the presentations had to be given. It was rather unfortunate that Members had raised through the media that the presentations were too long, and the presentations should not be done. There were certain recommendations and procedures set out by the House Chair of Chairs, therefore these presentations were requested.
She thanked the SAPS for the thorough presentations thus far.
Mr Whitfield said that as the Committee would be aware, last year it had been revealed that there were insufficient sexual assault evidence collection kits across the country. GBV prevention was better than cure, but if incidents of GBV could not prevented, the state had to be able to prosecute people properly. Was SAPS comfortable that there were sufficient sexual assault evidence kits of all types available in all provinces?
He wanted to raise a concern that he had been raising since last year about the Forensic Procedures Bill. He suggested that the Civilian Secretariat could speak about the Bill during the presentation, or in responses. There was over 46 000 schedule 8 convicted offenders in the prison system whose DNA samples had not been added to the national DNA register. This was a major problem, and it did not appear as if the Minister was serious about the matter. The Committee would do well to apply the pressure required to bring this important piece of legislation…
At this stage, the Chairperson interjected and asked if the presentation could be removed so that Members’ faces could be seen. She apologised for interrupting Mr Whitfield.
Mr Whitfield said that his camera would be off due to connectivity issues. The Bill would go a long way in assisting to ensure that those convicted of previous crimes could be connected to future crimes and ensure that convicts spent a longer time in prison. An update on the Bill was required.
SAPS had not presented its fourth quarter report for the 2019/2020 financial year to Parliament yet. The quarter three report had been received in March, and in that presentation’s discussions it had been indicated that the National Forensic Science Laboratory’s (NFSL’s) performance was catastrophic. For DNA case exhibits analysed within the required 90 days, there had been a decrease from 93% in the first quarter to 74% in quarter two, and in quarter three it had fallen down to below 20%. He believed that the backlog had now escalated to close to a 100 000 DNA case exhibits, many of which would be GBV-related.
The quarter four report was required, and SAPS had to respond on what the crisis within the NFSL was. He was aware that the NFSL would come to the Committee, but it could not wait another week or two for the answers needed to ensure the issue was tackled. When would SAPS have the DNA analysis capability up and running in the Eastern Cape (EC) laboratory? It was critical that the load was spread across the country to mitigate against backlogs, because DNA delayed was justice denied for many victims of horrific crimes.
Ms Faku said that as a gender activist, she was impressed by the presentation and hoped that what had been presented would be implemented. At least there was improvement, and she thanked the Provincial Commissioner of the EC for making police stations accessible and helpful. As police stations were visited around the country, it could be seen that the friendly victim centres and rape kits were present.
She appreciated the training of SAPS on GBV issues, as the Committee had emphasised this. Empowering the SAPS on human rights issues was one of the cornerstones that she appreciated, because sometimes -- and even shown by studies -- victims felt more comfortable talking with police women. She would appreciate it if women were perhaps allocated in those areas, but men also had to be there to understand when a young lady or child came in, saying they had been raped. She appreciated the coordination of GBV structures, because if this had been done earlier, the state of GBV violence would not be as it was currently. There had to be coordination at the local and provincial levels for structures.
On GBV campaigns, she asked when this would happen, and hoped that community radio stations in different languages would be used. She appreciated the development of the victim identification database, and hoped that with this information would be escalated down to ward councillors so that the information could be posted.
The allocation of 200 social workers to police stations was also appreciated. When would they be allocated? More than this number had to be allocated, as there were a lot of social worker interns in the field who were currently unemployed. This opportunity had to be utilised.
The 6% reduction of in crimes against women and children was welcomed. There was more that had to be done, but these crimes were committed by those who were trusted the most. It was therefore important that the campaigns involved churches and all other stakeholders, as it was an issue for all South Africans and not only for the SAPS.
There had to be strategy to deal with protection orders, as they were not taken seriously by people. The Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape had to have a strategy around the number of orders issued. Generally there had been an improvement, especially during the lockdown. She appreciated that investigations had been done and that the courts had not given bail to most offenders. The Committee had to commend the SAPS for doing its investigations and making arrests, but more had to be done.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) referred to the provincial GBV committees, and asked how these would be elected, what their functions would be, who they would report to, and if there would be a stipend.
On proactive and preventative GBV programmes, considering that most GBV happened at home, how would SAPS ensure that these programmes became effective, as what happened in the home could not be seen?
He said profiling perpetrators would be a challenge, and he wanted to know how perpetrators would be profiled. The danger of incorrect profiling was a concern.
The GBV backlog of cases currently stood at 28 465, which was very high. What were the factors contributing to it being this high? Was it because of a manpower shortage, or delicate cases where people had not been assisted? People were complaining and losing hope, because the perpetrators were seen in the street.
He questioned what could be done when violence was committed against a child and the community requested that the violator should not receive, but still got bail and intimidated the child when released. Was there nothing more that the police could do to protect the child from intimidation and seeing the violator every day, which was very traumatic? He understood that the police did not give bail, and despite its requests for bail to be denied, it was still given. In the interest of the protection of children, could more be done?
Dr P Groenewald (FF+) said it was customary that when a specific project was dealt with, the Committee received a well prepared presentation and submissions from the police services. However, the question remained, what was happening in practice? There were all these plans and strategies, but there were still too many cases -- especially as seen on social media -- where women who went to police stations were turned away or raped further. He questioned if what was wanted materialised in practice, as he did not see it.
For instance, the Secretariat had discovered that when it visited all 1 143 police stations in SA in terms of compliance with the Domestic Violence Act, only 21 police stations were fully compliant with the provisions of the Act. Only 66% of police stations had functional and resourced victim friendly rooms (VFRs). He wanted to know what practical steps would be taken to ensure this specific situation changed to ensure protection of the victims of domestic violence.
On the immediate interventions to address GBV during the lockdown and beyond, research had been mentioned. Who was doing the research, and had it started? When would the Committee be able to receive a report on the research, as it was important for addressing GBV?
The initial target had been to reduce the forensics backlog to 5 000 by the end of March 2020. The lockdown had started on 26 March. Had the target been achieved? The backlog currently stood at 28 000. What was the new reduction target and date for its achievement?
Mr O Terblanche (DA) said that when oversight was carried out at police stations, unfortunately a different picture was found. He also wanted to refer to the 21 police stations. Only 21 police stations had complied and only 66% had VFRs, but there was a target of 100% achievement for 2021. He had a problem with this. How would it comply with this, as capital work had come to a stop?
In the question and answer session held the other day, the Minister himself had acknowledged that the registers at police stations were not being properly kept. If this was the case, the information that the police received at different levels were skewed. This also meant proper planning was difficult.
On the forensic laboratory, there were almost a 100 000 investigations that could not be done due to lack of maintenance, renewal of contracts and consumables. He said that this was not a good picture at all, and he was very concerned about it.
At police stations, the people who suffered the most were people in rural areas, as there were limited officers on duty after hours. People needed to be assisted by medical experts, but this was not readily available in rural areas. How did the police intend to rectify this?
Mr K Maphatsoe (ANC) said the presentation was encouraging, although more had to be done. At least there was something that showed SAPS was doing something about GBV, now there was integrated work with other departments. The President had referred to GBV as a pandemic, and it had been observed that there was an increase in people beginning to have confidence in the police, as well as an increase in reporting at police stations.
In his constituency, Protea Glen extension 24, a woman (58) and two children (10) and (14) were murdered over the weekend and had been found only after two days. He hoped he could discuss this with the police afterwards.
He agreed with Mr Groenewald on the issue of only 21 police stations out of 1 143 being fully compliant. This was not good. It was a good that there was a programme of action, but it had to be seen in action. The Committee would do oversight and monitor what had been presented to it. The action plan created showed that SAPS acknowledged the importance of addressing GBV, and the Committee would keep it accountable. Not only the SAPS, but Members doing oversight in constituencies had to work with people and explain about GBV.
On integrated work, SAPS had to work with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to tighten up cases.
Ms Z Majozi (IFP) said the presentation indicated a good programme of action. She had been raising the matter of SAPS training officers to deal with domestic violence, and wanted to know if it was possible for it to get interns from social work backgrounds to assist. Those with social work backgrounds could assist victims to explain what had happened to them. It had to be taken into consideration that domestic violence may have decreased because of the lockdown regulations, but people were confined to the home and what transpired was unknown. Perhaps the Committee had to wait until level one to see how many women would report cases.
The programme presented today brought hope, and she hoped there would be positive outcomes, but it did not only depend on the SAPS. As Mr Maphatsoe had said, it also depended on the Committee, which had to carry out its own oversight on the programme of action in order to hold SAPS accountable. Was it possible for SAPS to be invited to dialogues held in different constituencies? Details of who to contact for invitations in the different provinces had to be indicated.
The Chairperson said it had to be noted that the end of Women’s Month was approaching, but the fourth quarter performance plan was still outstanding. A meeting would be scheduled for this.
The Deputy Minister welcomed Members’ comments, but then became inaudible.
Gen Sitole expressed appreciation for the comments made by the Members. It also gave SAPS the hope to move forward, and if it was able to implement some of the inputs received from Members it was likely to finish Women’s Month on a high note as far as GBV was concerned. He would respond to matters that required strategic responses, and operatives would respond to the rest.
On the matter of dialogue, SAPS had started a community outreach approach on GBV. The latest imbizo had been yesterday, and had been extended to 94 community radio stations across the country. SAPS had decided to declare a mobilisation of war against GBV. It would be extremely pleased to be invited to dialogues across the country, and each provincial commissioner working together with visible policing could work with Members, because SAPS thought that it could convey specific messages to GBV victims and create sufficient awareness. The prevention leg could be strengthened.
On evidence kits being sufficient or not, he said there was not a shortage or crisis. The instruction issued to supply chain at the national level was to monitor where the stockpile was decreasing. Due to modus operandi development, evidence kits might not be enough because once there was sporadic advancement in a specific area there would be a crisis in that area, but for now stock levels were sufficient. There was a monitoring system in place across the country. He had also requested more orders be placed to ensure sufficient stocks for the future.
The police would be able to present the quarter four report, as required by the Committee.
Concerns raised about the NFSL were noted. The Forensic Division was a concern in the organisation, and had been without a Divisional Commissioner for quite some time. In order to ensure stability in the environment, he had appointed a Divisional Commissioner permanently, but this still had to be finalised. This appointment would introduce stability moving forward. The Commissioner would respond to issues on the backlog and other matters.
Regarding the Eastern Cape, he said that a commitment had been made by the DM during the declaration and pronouncement of the District Commissioner in the EC, that DNA processing would be provided in the province. This was subject to a procurement process, which had been disturbed a bit by the lockdown. An instruction had been issued to escalate the matter to a point where the service provider was ready to deliver the facilities, five of which had mobile units. This would be more than enough for the EC, as there were four other districts that would receive mobile units. SAPS was waiting for Treasury to provide final authorisation, and once this had been received the supplier would be ready to deliver. Therefore this service would be provided in the EC soon.
On the utilisation of community radio stations, he said SAPS had engaged with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on the recent online imbizo, and it had advised that it was open to linking the SAPS with community radios. Most of the GBV victims which were in rural areas did not have access to services and sufficient information about responding to GBV. SAPS had decided to have further engagements in conjunction with the GCIS to use these radio stations as a permanent platform. After tomorrow’s imbizo, SAPS would engage with the GCIS to expand on the use of community radios.
On the involvement with churches, he said that the Spiritual Crime Prevention Unit had been introduced and there was a lot of support from church leaders. This would be used as part of mobilisation.
Referring to how the prevention of GBV in the home environment would be addressed, he said he wanted to put a scenario to the Committee, while at the same time asking for its support. The root cause analysis showed a combination which he felt everyone had to provide a response to. The latest studies uncovered that SA was ranked number five in liquor abuse and number four as the most violent in the world. During lockdown, both of these issues had been locked into the family structure.
There was also moral fibre deterioration, where fathers or uncles saw children as girlfriends. In the EC, one of the junior commissioners had been impregnated by an uncle. There were several collapsed family structures which needed to be responded to through education and awareness. Uncontrolled development was taking its toll on environmental design, which resulted in unused buildings being used for brothels and human trafficking, which encouraged GBV. A response had to be provided, and SAPS had decided this was an area it would focus on, but it required an integrated solution beyond policing. Through awareness, SAPS intended to get to homes by educating, sensitising and creating awareness. Through a gender-based modus operandi analysis, SAPS wanted to make the public aware, irrespective of where they were, of its GBV operational approach.
SAPS had taken note of the need for the protection of children, and thought it would be made a cluster issue, as it would require the entire criminal justice value system to find a solution. The police would issue an instruction that when it opposed bail, the existence of children in the case would be integrated into the factors raised in order to create weight, in order to oppose bail.
He said that there was research within SAPS, but for GBV it was an integrated research subject. It had been discussed at the level of the cluster, and it was intended to be commissioned at the cluster level in order for it to be integrated.
On medical attention in rural areas, SAPS was working on the rapid service delivery access strategy, where it created access for victims of GBV in order to strengthen its response, but the medical side was the role of the Department of Health. SAPS would escalate the matter further to inter-cluster integration, to get the Department of Health to assist with the provision of access to GBV victims.
He said the utilisation of social worker interns would be considered through the Community in Blue programme and reservist concepts.
He asked for permission for the Deputy National and Divisional Commissioners, as well as provinces, to respond to questions.
The Chairperson responded that the matters had been dealt with comprehensively through the presentation and responses. She would rather request that the provincial and deputy commissioners assist with responses on crime statistics and that SAPS be allowed to present on this. The Civil Secretariat presentation had not been overlooked and had been looked at, but most of its content had been covered in the SAPS presentation.
She thanked the Department for the presentations on GBV. What had been done in Women’s Month had to continue, as the “365 Days of Purpose” programme was on going, and it had to be ensured that it was implemented. There were good strategies and programmes, but the implementation was more often than not insufficient.
Mr Whitfield said that earlier in the meeting, it had been said that all the presentations had to be presented because the meetings were public. There were questions relating to the Forensic Procedures Bill and responses to Members that had not been provided by SAPS in its presentation. He did not support moving forward in the manner proposed by the Chairperson, if the meeting were to be meaningful.
The Chairperson said she understood that a number of the questions had not been responded to, but it had been the practice of SAPS to provide the Committee with written responses where responses were not given in the meeting. She requested written responses from the SAPS. She asked for the presentation on the crime statistics.
The DM said the presentation was a response to the decision of Cabinet that crime stats would be released quarterly. This was the first response to this for the first quarter April-June 2020.
Gen Sitole said that Maj Gen Norman Sekhukhune, Component Head: Crime Registrar, would lead the presentation.
First quarter crime statistics
Maj Gen Sekhukhune said that as was the norm, the presentation would begin with a table of contact crimes. This was the crux of the crime statistics, as these were the 17 community-reported crimes which SAPS was tracking.
Comparing the 2020 April to June quarter against the same period last year, the overall number of contact crimes against persons had decreased by 53 891. There had been declines in the number of murders (1 932), sexual offences (4 798), attempted murder (1 088), assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (15 361), common assault (10190), common robbery (6 416) and robbery with aggravating circumstances (14 106).
For the sexual offences category, there had been a decrease across the sub-category of offences of 3 932 rape (3932), sexual assault (598), attempted sexual offences (183), and contact sexual offences (85) for.
For some subcategories of aggravated robbery, there had been decreases such as a decrease for carjacking by 1 873, robbery at residential premises by 1 208, robbery of cash-in-transit by 1 759, and truck hijacking by 85. There had been no cases of bank robbery.
For contact crimes, there were decreases of 310 for arson and 7 666 for malicious damage to property. The total category of contact-related crime had decreased by 7 976.
Selected crime ratios
Maj Gen Sekhukhune said contact crimes against persons had been considered, and SAPS had asked Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) to provide it with 2017 mid-year population estimates and then completed the ratios per 100 000. The reason for this was that after every publication of crime statistics, commentators would simply think the number of days divided by the number of people murdered was accurate, and then there would be comments that 58 people were murdered in SA per day. This was a quotient, but it was not statistical in the sense that statistics was a subject of probabilities. For every year, the increase in the population had to be considered, so as the population increased the probability of a person being a victim of a crime also increased. The correct statistical way to go about it was to take the number of crimes committed, and divide it by the population. SAPS had done that where StatsSA had provided it with the 2017 mid-year population estimates projected up to now, and it had computed the ratios. There was an increase as the population increased.
For murder, the ratio was 5.8 per 100 000. This meant that out of 100 000 people, there was a probability that 5.8 people would be murdered. This was how the ratios were interpreted, compared to saying it was 58 bodies per day, which was not statistical.
The ratios per 100 000 for the other crime categories were rape 9.8, attempted murder 5.9, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH) 37.2, common assault 43.8 and common robbery 10.9.
Continuing with the rest of the 17 community-reported crimes, Maj Gen Sekhukhune said that the only crime that had increased within the 17 community-reported crimes was in property-related crimes, which was burglary at non-residential premises where there was an increase of 1 566 counts. This increase was due mainly to burglary at schools and liquor outlets, especially during level 5 and 4 of the lockdown. There had been decreases in burglary at residential premises, theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles, theft out of or from motor vehicles, and stock theft. The overall decrease for property-related crimes was 35 412 counts.
The last category of the 17 community-reported crimes, “other serious crime,” was made up of all theft not mentioned elsewhere. The broad category of other serious crimes had decreased by 38 249, and the 17 community-reported serious crimes overall had decreased by 135 528.
Maj Gen Sekhukhune said that crimes regarded as crimes detected as a result of police action ideally had to be on the increase, but due to the lockdown situation they had not. The total crime detected as a result of police action had decreased by 42 486 counts. He showed a graph which indicated the decrease in crime levels when the level 5 lockdown was implemented, but showed how the decrease had slowed as the country moved through Levels 4 and 3. What would happen at level 2 had to be seen because according to the trend it seemed the crime would reach the normal levels that SAPS was used to. The provincial breakdown indicated that all provinces recorded a decrease in the 17 community reported crimes.
Domestic violence related crimes
Due to the domestic violence issue, this had been considered across all the provinces with a specific focus on a selected number of crimes. There were 112 murders as a result of domestic violence, with 65 female and 47 male victims. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) had had the highest number of domestic-related murders, and the EC was the second highest with 18, followed by the Western Cape (WC) with 16.
Rape related to domestic violence was there was a relationship between the victim and perpetrator. There were 322 total domestic-related rapes, where 312 were female and 10 male. Gauteng had 70 domestic-related rapes, and the WC had 63.
Contact crime had followed the same trend as the 17 community-reported crimes across the lockdown levels, with the difference between the levels decreasing from level 5 and becoming minimal at level 3. The causative factors for contact crime were outlined, based on a sample sizes of 2 410 counts of murder, 1 285 for attempted murder, and 4 301 for assault with GBH. Case counts where either the victim or perpetrator, or both, confirmed that at the time of the crime alcohol had been consumed, were outlined, as well as confirmed incidents at liquor outlets.
There had been a reduction in murders during lockdown level 5, but the differences between 2019/20 and 2020/21 had decreased as lockdown levels lowered. The causative factors for murder were outlined per province.
Four members of the police on duty had been murdered, one of whom had been a security member.
Attacks on farms and small holdings
Maj Gen Sekhukhune said that there had been nine murders in the current quarter on farms and small holdings. There had also been other crimes that were committed at farms, such as robbery at residential premises where two people were killed, attempted murder, rapes, assault with GBH, attempted robbery at residential premises, and the theft of motor vehicles or cycles.
The trend for rape was the same as for other crime categories. All provinces had experienced a decrease in the incidence of rape. The places of occurrence for rape per province were outlined. Residences of perpetrators/victims, including the residences known by victims/perpetrators, such as those of family/friends/ neighbours, were where the highest total of rapes occurred.
Trio crimes were made up of robbery residential, robbery non-residential and carjacking. The same trend was present as the other crimes, with the margin becoming smaller between the two quarters. All provinces had recorded decreases for trio crimes.
Burglary at non-residential premises
Burglary at non-residential premises was the only crime that had increased within the broad category of property-related crimes. Most of these crimes had happened at level 5, and the highest contributory premises were liquor outlets and schools. There had been an increase between 2019/20 and 2020/21 of 1 544 burglaries at level 5, and a decrease to 61 at level 4, but they had started increasing at level 3, to 83.
There had been 2 692 burglaries at educational premises, and 649 suspects were arrested. KZN had the highest number of burglaries at educational premises, with 651, followed by Gauteng and the EC. There had been 1 246 burglaries at liquor outlets/premises, and 537 suspects were charged. The WC had the highest number of burglaries at liquor outlets/premises, followed by Gauteng and KZN.
Stock theft had a different trajectory compared to the other types of crimes. Maj Gen Sekhukhune said the reason for this was that there were active operations in the North West (NW), which included changing some of the personnel in the stock theft unit. Similarly, in Mpumalanga (MP) there had been joint operations with farmers, especially during the level 4 lockdown, where it had been observed that in level 5 there was a programme put in place to curb the increases. This had been achieved and had brought the crimes down, as indicated by the data.
The Chairperson said the questions by Mr Whitefield from the first round of questions had to be answered.
Ms N Peacock (ANC) asked how SAPS dealt with cases of crime against persons with disabilities, especially those with visual and verbal impairments, as the stats did not define how this group of persons was dealt with. Were there provisions for indicating disabilities on the gender violence register? The statistics had to segregate the figures relating to disabled persons. Were the police adequately trained to deal with women with physical impairments involved in GBV?
Dr Groenewald said that he welcomed the quarterly crime statistics. He had previously asked for quarterly figures for many years, and was thankful for it happening in 2020. The fact that the stats could be received quarterly made a huge difference, because it meant that problems identified from the stats could be addressed. The question was how reliable the crime statistics were. It was impossible to make a real comparison with the first quarter of the previous financial year, due to the lockdown.
It was important that the capturing of crimes on the Case Administration System (CAS) and the Integrated Case Document Management System (ICDMS) was the first crucial step to ensure reliable crime statistics. On the ICDMS, he asked how many police stations had implemented this system and what the challenges for its further roll out were. When would the CAS be phased out?
He wanted to know what population data had been used for the population ratio in the crime stats presented.
He appreciated the statistics on farm attacks and murders, as he had requested the attacks, and not only murders, to be included in the figures as well. He asked for clarity on how the total number of farm attacks had been calculated.
The crime statistics were an indication of the performance of a specific province and police station. When crime statistics were gathered, not all the cases were recorded because if too many cases were recorded specifically at the station level, it indicated that there was a problem and poor performance. He asked how the Commissioner would address this issue to ensure that at the police station level, all the statistics were received.
The Chairperson thanked Dr Groenewald for acknowledging that a number of requests made by the Committee had been responded to. Not all of the Committee’s requests had been responded to, but SAPS was beginning to respond to its requests. The Committee had requested quarterly statistics and attendance by provincial commissions at meetings, and SAPS had done so. She thanked the police for responding to these requests, and asked for this to be conveyed to the Minister.
She concurred with Dr Groenewald on the ICDMS and the questions he had asked about it and the CAS.
Ms Madjozi said the good work done had to continue. Visibility had to be not only because of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic -- SAPS had to remain visible whether it was lockdown or not, to ensure that people felt safe. The current visibility had to be maintained.
Mr Maphatsoe agreed that the Department had done what was expected, but when the Committee did its oversight role it would make sure that it did its work and responded when questions were asked. He asked what lessons had been learned about the impact of the lockdown restrictions, as there had been a decrease in crime. How would its strategies to combat crime be adapted, based on the lessons it had learned. Crime patterns were expected to normalise with the easing of lockdown restrictions. Would the SAPS be able to contain the gains made during the lockdown?
The Committee did not want to politicise itself, and under the Chairperson’s stewardship it had managed to achieve what it was working towards. Members were allowed to raise issues and the Chairperson often gave Members additional time or said the Committee could reconvene. In the media, Mr Whitfield and other anonymous Members had complained about how the Chairperson ran the meeting. When Members complained to the media instead of raising matters at the meeting, they began to politicise matters. He supported the Chairperson, and wanted facts about why the Chairperson was not running meetings properly. If there were issues with the Chairperson, it had to be raised during meetings. He said that anonymous people should not come and destroy the family of the Committee. There were disagreements, but so far it had been playing its oversight role without fear or favour.
Mr Terblanche asked what process the police was using to align crime stats with international standards. He was pleased to receive quarterly crime stats, but wanted to know how the Department would utilise them to align its policies, and if this had had a positive impact. It was a well-known fact that there was lot of unreported crime. What was the percentage of unreported crime, and what was its impact on crime stats?
The one of the most important issues was the criminal justice system value chain, which had to be addressed to ensure perpetrators were put behind bars.
Mr Whitfield responded to the allegations against him, and said he would welcome any links to any articles where he had publicly chastised the Committee. In previous Committee meetings, he had expressed concern, and the minutes of those meetings could be referred to. He would never allow Mr Maphatsoe or anyone else to say what he could or could not say.
The Chairperson had always taken his concerns on board. He would never be an anonymous source to the media. That issue had been dealt with before. He had come clean and reported where he had gone to the media. He was not afraid of raising his concerns in the Committee and would not stop raising them publicly if he felt they were not addressed. He had said that the Committee could continue to fight for more meetings. The fact that SAPS had not presented its fourth quarter report was not just an indictment on the SAPS, but a reflection on the Committee as well. The Committee had to continue to strive to work hard to ensure SAPS was accountable. He would continue to raise issues, and would not be silenced by Mr Maphatsoe.
The Chairperson asked that the matter be dealt with later, and that the focus be on the crime stats. She had heard Mr Maphatsoe and Mr Whitfield, but she hoped Members realised that the Committee was working hard to get additional time and meetings, but due to lockdown it was not easy to have business as usual.
Deputy Minister Mathale said the Committee’s concerns were noted, and he appreciated the positive support from Members on work completed. The Department would work with the SAPS leadership to improve on issues raised by the Members. The Minister, himself and the National Commissioner, took the comments and recommendations made by Members very seriously and would follow up on what was requested by the Committee. The Department’s success was based on how it collaborated with the Committee. He handed over to National Commissioner Sitole.
Gen Sitole said he would give responses on strategic matters.
Referring to the lessons learned from the crime statistics, he said the SAPS appreciated all the disciplines that played a role. The major lesson learned was that a six-in-one package had been executed collectively. Firstly, there had been high density integrated policing throughout the lockdown by all security forces, which included the defence force,, the metros and even security companies. There had been a high level of sustained visibility, which was the first strong point.
Secondly, there had been enhanced multi-disciplinary collaboration. The DM had been acknowledging the collaboration with the Committee, but during the lockdown SAPS had received the highest level of cooperation from other governmental departments coordinated through the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints). This collaboration was still in place currently. There had been a collective response to the root cause metrics, as the root causes had been identified at NatJoints level, with other departments. As a result, there was very little chance given for criminal operations to take place through this particular cooperation, because the root causes were removed immediately.
He wanted to acknowledge the community of SA. During lockdown, there had been a display of high norms and values, with good societal behaviour. This had made things difficult for criminals to exploit the societal situation. There had been a modus operandi suffocation during the lockdown. In view of the highly removed root causes, there had been fewer opportunities and a non-conducive climate for exploitation of root causes by criminals.
The biggest strength was that there had also been an integration of resources. There had been no single agency that would complain, or not perform due to no resources. The resources had been integrated in areas such as roadblocks. This was lesson number one.
Lesson number two was the three-cylinder basic policing firing model, since the basic policing model had three dimensions -- strategic policing, innovative policing and basic policing principles. SAPS had relied on the hard approach to basic policing principles, but it was doing a little bit of innovative policing through modernisation and modus operandi analysis. The strategic policing cylinder had not been firing, as it had required multi-disciplinary collaboration. During the lockdown, this was the cylinder that fired the most, and all three cylinders were firing almost equally. The strategic policing cylinder had the highest impact and this was what SAPS wanted to maintain, because as it fought crime there were those who had to remove the root causes. There were issues where societal norms and behaviours had to make it difficult for criminals.
On the performance of police stations concerning crime stats, he firstly he wanted to indicate that the crime stats meaning to the police station was not only about crime performance. After the design and implementation of the integrated resource management strategy, it had been pointed out to police stations that if crime was not recorded correctly, it could impact on resources and lead to under-resourcing. The same applied to the provinces.
As crime was being recorded, there had to be a root cause analysis which led to measures being undertaken, especially at the cluster level to remove the root causes. Police stations had been informed that root causes could not be addressed if reporting was not done correctly. The population growth also impacted directly on the amount of crime, as well as the personnel plans of the police stations. If crimes were not recorded correctly, the personnel plans may not grow, which would result in under-resourced police stations. Once hey were under-resourced with personnel, it impacted on the physical resources. To curb this situation, SAPS had integrated the monitoring and evaluation of police stations and all other institutions as far as crime stats were concerned into the SAPS performance management systems. Secondly, community policing had been activated to work together with SAPS as part of the community policing strategy. The response plan for crime stats identified hotspot police stations and other areas which SAPS would zoom into by sending the inspectorate or visible policing.
SAPS was aware that the Committee usually undertook outreach monitoring visits to certain police station areas. SAPS would give it the maximum support and cooperation in terms of its requests when it did these visits to police stations. It would also provide a prompt response to any report that arose from this so that it could be linked to its internal oversight, which included the Police Secretariat. People would be held accountable for monitoring reports.
On the bearing of unreported crimes on the statistics, he said that at the moment there were certain studies, some of which were undertaken by StatsSA, as well as other institutions. SAPS had started considering the findings of these studies so that they could be included in its response. This included the reconciliation process that had been decided upon between SAPS and the GBV committee.
Regarding the criminal justice value chain (CJVC), SAPS had been included in an integrated plan with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). As a cluster, the criminal justice cluster was activated and an integrated response had been created which included the resourcing. This was what existed within the CJVC. The approach had considered what the weak link of the CJVC was, and had put support in place.
He said he would allow operatives to respond to remaining questions, and would provide answers in writing for those that could not be answered due to time.
The Chairperson asked the General to select who had to respond due to time constraints, as the Committee had been given an additional 15 minutes for the meeting.
Gen Sitole said that because there had been previous questions on GBV, he requested that Lt Gen Moeketsi Sempe, Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, SAPS, provide responses, followed by Lt Gen Tebello Mosikili, Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, SAPS, on GBV. and then at closure, Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya, Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management.
Lt Gen Sempe referred to the question about when the campaigns would start, and said that they had started as the National Commissioner had indicated. The first campaign had been led by the DM, together with the National Commissioner, on 24 August, on “Expressions”, a television programme, as well as a number of radio stations. The DM would also be leading the second campaign. Other campaigns would be done in the provinces, and progress made with the campaigns would be reported back to the Committee.
In response to Rev Meshoe, he said that the provincial committees and the national high level gender-based committee would be establishing the same principles. It would be composed of SAPS members, as well as the women’s network and men’s forum. No stipends would be paid, as it involved internal members, and its work would be to ensure that the action plan presented was monitored and implemented. It would deal with quite a number of issues, such as commissioning research on GBV, monitoring performance on GBV matters and targets, ensuring that domestic violence data reports were generated, monitoring investigations of GBV cases, and other matters indicated in the establishment document. The programmes were about educating communities.
The reason the ICDMS was not being used optimally was because currently there was slow performance with the system, and the scanning solution was creating challenges. The challenges were technical in nature, but SAPS believed that these challenges would be addressed. He could not indicate at this time when the CAS would be phased out, but when the technical challenges related to the ICDMS were addressed, the system could be dealt with.
Based on the point of view of the National Crime Combating Forum concerning lessons learned, SAPS had commissioned research to understand what had transpired around crime during the lockdown period. The study was under way now, as the research proposal had been approved. The findings could be presented and lessons could be drawn from the study when completed. It would be an integrated collaborative study done by SAPS and other research institutions.
Lt Gen Mosikili responded to Rev Meshoe on perpetrator profiling, and said the profiling of suspects was done according to information available on the system. When a person was arrested, the profiling was run, including looking at previously committed crimes, the current status of issues and analysis of modus operandi of the committed cases. When all these processes were followed correctly, there was no way a person would be ranked incorrectly.
She said that when an individual violated bail, there were very strict processes followed for perpetrators of crimes against women and children in general to be released on bail. If it happened that a particular individual had been released on bail, there would be very strict bail conditions which were imposed in limited cases, especially where a victim was a minor. If that individual was released there were terms in the bail conditions and if the individual did not adhere to them, bail would be revoked as soon as possible. The report had to be forwarded to the investigating officer as soon as possible. One did not have to wait for next court appearance for this to happen -- the person could be held if conditions were violated.
A clear direction had been received from the President covering the issue of parole. These particular individuals would not get pardoned when the parole regime came into place, and perpetrators of crimes against women and children did not get released easily.
In response to Dr Groenewald about what happened when people were chased away from police stations, she said the SAPS had put very strict monitoring and compliance rules in place. If this happened, it should be reported immediately and there would be an internal investigation. There were cases where this had happened, and SAPS had implemented expeditious processes. As the Minister and National Commissioner had indicated earlier, the Provincial Commissioners were present and knew the procedure for when these issues occurred. There were cases that had been successfully handled.
On the issues of partnerships raised by Mr Maphatsoe, she said that as the National Commissioner had indicated, there was an integrated approach, especially on GBV issues, where it worked closely with the NPA. There would be pockets of challenges at operational levels, but when these occurrences were reported there were forums that met weekly to deal with the implementation of the national strategic plan (NSP). There were other forums in conjunction with different government departments that dealt with the challenges. The provincial efficiency monitoring systems that were checked by the Department of Justice in provinces, were also monitoring challenges.
In response to Ms Peacock concerns regarding persons with disabilities, she said that where SAPS had the family and child support (FCS) units, there were forensic social workers who dealt with victims that had challenges. If it was determined that a person had a disability or impairment, a forensic social worker was deployed to deal with the processes and assisted them, and also accompanied them to court.
The Chairperson asked for further responses to be brief, as the meeting had already gone over the time allocated.
Gen Sitole said in two minutes Maj Gen Sekhukhune could respond to statistical questions.
The Chairperson agreed.
Maj Gen Sekhukhune responded on the population estimates used, and said that the 2017 mid-year population estimate had been obtained from StatsSA. This rate had then been computed and submitted it back to StatsSA, where it had been verified as the correct series to use to compute the rates. It was projected, but the model designed was from 2017.
On charges, he said there were 95 charges of crimes at small holdings and farms that included the murders. In the 45 robberies at residential premises, two people had been killed, and there was also an instance of the theft of a motor vehicle.
On comparison with international standards, SAPS had been continuously implementing and aligning its crime statistics with the international crime classifications for statistical purposes. SAPS had been doing this over the years, and every year they went to clearance from the data quality assessment team.
SAPS was also subject to the South African statistical quality assessment framework, which had a number of indicators that had to be complied with for the statistics to be certified and regarded as official statistics. SAPS met most of these indicators, but there was a concern that he had to raise. The indicator 4.6 for accessibility in the framework stated that statistics had to be made available to all users at the same time, and for official statistics purposes, statistics were always to be made available to all users at the same time.
The concern was that when StatsSA raised an issue, it seemed as if this indicator was not being followed fully, because SAPS first went to the Committee and then to the public, which violated the accessibility mentioned. StatsSA had therefore requested a meeting on Thursday to discuss it and how SAPS could best comply with the indicator. It had also complied with the other recommendation made by StatsSA about indicator 4.5 that called for statistics to be released on a pre-announced schedule. A pre-announced schedule for the release of statistics had been created, and it intended to comply with this.
Lt Gen Mgwenya, in response to the question on persons with disabilities which Lt Gen Mosikili had touched on, said that SAPS had ensured the training of 1 576 members who could interpret and communicate through sign language. In terms of focus area two of the strategy towards the fight against GBV, it had indicated that a gap analysis would be undertaken in terms of trained members on issues of human rights which, among others, would include areas for dealing with persons with disabilities.
On the number of social workers which would be deployed towards the FCS, in this financial year a total 475 members had been deployed to the FCS units, and 288 members had been deployed recently in August after completion of experiential learning, and 24 of them would be laterally transferred. There were also 176 forensic analysts who had also been deployed to the FCS unit.
SAPS had received a request for 121 forensic analysts which it would ensure were allocated in this financial year. It would be training 1 215 members on how to deal with GBV. The 3 000 members who would undergo basic training in October would be addressed and educated on GBV, as the curriculum contained programmes on it.
To enhance the fight on GBV as women in the SAPS, the five-year women’s agenda launched in 2018 had a pillar which was about the fight against GBV. This was a response to an indaba held in 2016, were a six-point plan had been created and attached at every client service centre, but SAPS realised it was still encountering situations where victims encountered challenges at these centres. The pillar had therefore been created to enhance members’ actions at service centres and account for their behaviour. There had also been an issue raised on GBV and how it occurred behind closed doors. She said that there was a pillar that was about the empowerment of communities through community outreach programmes as well.
The Chairperson interjected and asked her to conclude.
Lt Gen Mgwenya said she would pause, and that there were a number of other pillars which could be shared again.
Deputy Minister Mathale said that the meeting had gone beyond the time allocated, and warned against it being cut without closing. He said that SAPS had responded appropriately and if there were issues for further engagement, SAPS was open to it.
Chairperson’s closing remarks
The Chairperson agreed, and said Dr Groenewald’s experience and wisdom, as well as institutional memory was welcomed. The experience brought to the Committee by him was exceptional and she took note that he had been requesting the quarterly statistics for more than 10 years, so she was pleased that his request had been met before he left. Dr Groenewald had also suggested that rural crime statistics be considered, and that there should be a strategy for fighting rural crime for a very long time as well. This had also been done, and it was another achievement of the Committee.
She thanked the DM for the full representation of Provincial Commissioners.
The Committee would put pressure on the SAPS to give it quarterly performance plans on time, and that she was convinced that this objective would be achieved.
The meeting was adjourned.
- SAPS: Initiatives to address Gender-Based Violence and Femicide
- Police Recorded Crime Statistics 1st Quarter of the 2020/2021
- Research Unit - 2019/20 SAPS Crime Statistics Analysis
- Research Unit - 2020/21 SAPS Crime Statistics Analysis: First Quarter
- Research Unit - CSPS Findings on Compliance by SAPS to Legislative Provisions Related to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide
- IPID PEE
- CSPS PPE
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