The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings met on the virtual platform to receive a briefing from South African Police Service (SAPS) on Executive undertakings made to the NCOP on 27 October 2020. Those undertakings included the training process handling Gender Based Violence cases, training in forensic investigations in the context of violence against women and children, ensuring an exclusive Gender-Based Violence desk at every police station, ensuring rape kits at every police station, protecting the rights of women and children at police stations as well as the upskilling of personnel.
During the interaction, Members enquired the distribution of those trained police personnel, whether or not they are distributed evenly across the country, as well as the mechanism which SAPS relied on when selecting candidates for training.
The Acting Chairperson opened the meeting. She outlined the six undertakings which the Select Committee would be focusing on in this meeting. These undertakings were related to:
-The training process handling Gender Based Violence cases dealing with compassion;
-Providing training in forensic investigations in the context of violence against women and children;
-Ensuring that all police stations should have an exclusive desk to deal with gender based violence matter
-Ensuring that all police stations have rape kits as well as providing necessary training for officers
-Ensuring that the interests and rights of women and children are protected when they go to police stations. They should be given respect and dignity as contained in the Constitution
The Chairperson asked if Minister Bheki Cele or Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale had any opening remarks to make.
Both indicated that they had nothing much to say and asked the National Commissioner to make the presentation.
Gen KJ Sitole, National Commissioner of Police, introduced the delegation and handed over to the presenter.
Briefing on the SAPS’s progress on the Undertakings made by the President on the 27 October 2020
Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Head: Strategic Management, SAPS, briefed the Select Committee on the police service’s responses to the undertakings which the President had made on the 27 October 2020. He would be outlining the measures that had been taken as well as the progress that had been made to those undertakings.
In relation to undertaking A(1), the SAPS has a number of courses available which aim to professionalise and train SAPS members to deal with victims of gender-based violence. So far a total number of 10 945 SAPS members had been trained.
In relation to undertaking B(1) which related to forensic and in-service courses to ensure effective support services provided to detectives to increase the conviction rate of GBV offenders, SAPS’s detailed interventions were provided in the attached slides.
In response to capacitate the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), the minimum qualifications and specialised forensic trainings were provided in the slides.
Maj Gen Rabie guaranteed that the SAPS was dedicated to ensuring that each police station would have a GBV desk.
The status of evidence collection kits was provided to the Committee.
Victim-friendly services at police stations were also emphasised with details provided to Members.
The numbers of trained personnel to deal with violence against women and children and the training progress were given to Members
See presentation attached for further detail
The Acting Chairperson remarked on some of the terrible gender based violence and femicide incidents which took place during this Women’s Month in the country. She appreciated that the Department had captured it in the presentation and thanked the Department for the progress it had made in implementing its undertakings.
The Acting Chairperson enquired about the first undertaking on the 10 945 personnel trained between April 2019 - 2021. She sought clarity on how those personnel were targeted for training and asked whether those trained personnel were evenly distributed in the country.
Minister Cele said that he would ask Maj Gen Dr Zulu who was in charge of human resource to respond to the Acting Chairperson’s question.
Lt Gen (Dr) Bongiwe Zulu, Divisional Commissioner: Human Resources Development (HRD), SAPS, explained that most of the 10 945 personnel came from different police stations in the country across all nine provinces. The whole training process began with provincial commissioners identifying those areas where members needed such training such as areas with a high rate of gender-based violence reports. The Department had requested nominations and those police stations were selected from the top 30 police stations that had the most reporting for GBV. Further, Dr Zulu informed Members that those selected personnel were also evenly distributed into different training programmes related to gender-based violence. Some received training in the operational division, some were trained on the detective side, some in forensic, etc. In a nutshell, she assured the Committee that those trained personnel were distributed evenly across the nine provinces in the country as well as evenly distributed in different operational divisions.
The Chairperson thanked the delegation for the presentation and the Minister for his attendance.
The meeting was adjourned.
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