Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill: response to submissions; Legislative Programme; with Deputy Minister

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21 September 2022
Chairperson: Ms T Joemat-Pettersson (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


In a virtual meeting, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) provided the departmental response to the additional input on the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill. The CSPS also briefed the Committee on the legislative schedule for the remainder of the Sixth Parliament. The South African Police Service (SAPS) gave a recap on reconsidering the addendum to its 2022/23 annual performance plan (APP).

Consideration of the draft Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill had resulted in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) submitting additional motivation for the retention or amendment of Section 1(4) of the principal Act, as well as a humanitarian exemption clause. The Department responded that the deletion of Section 1(4) should be maintained, explaining that if a humanitarian exemption clause was inserted in the Bill, it would result in an open-ended reference to humanitarian organisations, which would open the door to terrorist entities impersonating such organisations. The Department further justified its position on the basis that immunity did exist for humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC. Therefore there was no necessity for the suggested humanitarian exemption clause.

The reconsideration of the addendum to the 2022/23 APP of the SAPS led to the Committee being briefed on the five performance indicators, and why there had been a need to revise the targets. A Member expressed concern that the revised targets might lead to the unintended consequence of police stations not reporting cases, and asked how the SAPS would ensure that police stations and officials registered cases and did not manipulate the crime statistics to meet those targets.

Meeting report

The Chairperson noted the concerns about load-shedding and internet connectivity; she advised that the Members should assist one another.

Mr A Seabi (ANC) suggested that if load-shedding challenges continued, the Members could consider physical Committee meetings.

The Chairperson agreed. She asked Ms Nicolette van Zyl-Gous, Committee Content Advisor, to do an analysis of whether the Committee Members could meet physically. She said that there were Committee rooms that should be available.

The Chairperson said that she had had a conversation with the legal advisor regarding the publication of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill [B15-2022] for an extended period. There would definitely be a struggle to motivate for the publication. If there was another round of advertisements, it must be done in all languages. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was the only institution that had formally requested to make an additional submission, which they had made.

She asked the Members if they would like to deliberate on the Bill clause by clause next week, instead of focusing only on snippets of clauses, as this would allow the Members to deliberate on the Bill extensively and in detail. The Committee could then return in the next term to finalise it. The Members must also bear in mind that the Bill still needed to go through the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), and the November deadline was looming. She would like the Bill to be passed, but she was not going to rush it through. She would like the Committee to have consensus, as it would be best that all political parties supported the Bill.

Mr Seabi suggested that the Committee look into allowing an extension for public submissions on the Bill. He proposed that the Bill be re-advertised for two weeks of public submissions.

The Chairperson noted Mr Seabi’s suggestion, and said that the Committee could look into an extension for public submissions.

Mr O Terblanche (DA) agreed that the Bill should not be rushed through, because it was an important piece of legislation.

The Chairperson agreed. She said that it was the practice of this Committee to exhaust all avenues before the amendments were presented for final approval. She preferred a consensus approach, so the Bill was adopted unanimously by the Committee. The different political parties did have different views, but at the end of the day, the working style of this Committee was to reach some form of consensus, and she would like it to continue like that.

Departmental responses to additional input from International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC

Adv Ulinda Kritzinger, Legislation, Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS), reminded the Committee that on 14 September, the Department had provided it with responses to the public submissions on the draft Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill, 2022. The ICRC had submitted additional motivation for the retention or amendment of Section 1(4) of the principal Act and a humanitarian exemption clause. This presentation was to respond to the additional submissions by the ICRC.

Adv Kritzinger said that Clause 1(s) in the Bill sought to delete subsection 1(4). The reasons for the deletion were:

• The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Additional Protocol I (relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts) and Additional Protocol II (relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts) were adopted in Geneva on 8 June 1977, signed by the Republic on 8 June 1977, ratified by the Republic on 21 November 1995, and incorporated in South African law by means of the implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012.

The two additional protocols applied, amongst others, to armed conflicts in which people were fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right to self-determination. The protocols lay down the obligations of both the state parties and other combatants, which may include guerrilla groups that want to benefit from the protection of the protocols. The was a need for the Bill to be in line with the Geneva Conventions Act.

• The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) Mutual Evaluation Report, October 2021.

The report recognised that the Bill contained several offences related to terror financing. Generally, the criminalisation of terror financing in South Africa was broadly consistent with most of the provisions of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (“TF Convention”). The Bill, however, excluded from the definition of terrorist activity, certain acts committed during an armed struggle. This exemption narrowed the scope of the terrorist financing offences compared to the TF Convention. Article 6 of the TF Convention compels each state party to adopt necessary measures, including domestic legislation, to ensure that criminal acts within the scope of the Convention were under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature. Protocol I also prohibited acts or threats of violence, of which the primary purpose was to spread terror among the civilian population, and therefore prohibited acts of terror in both international and national armed conflict, irrespective of whether they were committed by state or non-state parties.

Submissions from the ICRC:

The ICRC referred to Section 1(4) as the International Humanitarian Law (“IHL”) Savings clause, and was of the opinion that in terms of international law, such clause must be reflected in South Africa’s domestic legislation. An IHL Savings clause excludes from the scope of counter-terrorism legislation those activities conducted in an armed conflict by the parties and persons acting on their behalf, which were regulated and not prohibited by IHL. Taking note of the response to their submission that the repeal must be understood in the context of South Africa’s obligations under international law, the ICRC welcomed the fact that counter-terrorism legislation should be interpreted in a manner consistent with the IHL. The ICRC stated that to preserve the IHL in counter-terrorism legislation, an insertion was proposed for the current Section 1(4). The insertion would read: “Notwithstanding any provision of this Act or any other law, any act not prohibited and governed by IHL committed during an armed conflict, notably an armed struggle waged by peoples...”

The ICRC submitted that the proposed amendment to Section 1(4) would make it clearer that the South African IHL clause covered only actions in accordance with IHL committed by movements waged by peoples in wartime, and that in peacetime, all actions of such movements could be considered as terrorist activities. There could be no challenge to the legality of an IHL Savings clause, especially because signatories to UN instruments had ratified the inclusion of such clauses in their domestic legislation.

In response, the Department stated that the wording suggested by the ICRC to amend Section 1(4) to make it less ambiguous, seemed essentially similar to the content of the current wording. Secondly, the deletion of Section 1(4) was a recommendation in the Mutual Evaluation Report of the Financial Action Task Team (FATF). Although the FATF assessment team considered the view that the clause did not constitute a limitation on the ambit of the crime of terrorism, as it derived from the Geneva Conventions, it narrowed down the scope of the terrorist financing offence in Section 4 in its comparison to the requirement of Article 2 of the Terrorism Financing Convention. The FATF considered this a major factor in their assessment of the recommendation on criminalising terrorist financing. It also played a role in the assessment of the country’s ability to provide international cooperation in extradition matters relating to terrorist financing offences. The general principles of South African common law, which requires the state to prove unlawfulness, imply that the actions of humanitarian organisations would not fall foul of the offence of terrorism or the terrorist financing offence. In conclusion, it was therefore still maintained that the deletion of Section 1(4) should be retained.

ICRC submission regarding a humanitarian exemption clause

The ICRC stated that the objective of a humanitarian exemption clause would be to ensure that impartial humanitarian organisations acting in accordance with IHL could carry out humanitarian activities without fear of prosecution by state authorities. Humanitarian clauses did not aim to negate the “consent” requirement, and the absence of such a clause might criminalise humanitarian activities foreseen to reduce the human cost of the conflict, and which assistance was protected under IHL. Inclusion of such a clause would allow South Africa to fulfil its international obligations in the counter-terrorism and IHL frameworks.

In response, the Department stated that the terror financing provisions in the Bill were derived from the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (TF). The crime applies only to financing terrorist entities and activities. The ICRC renders humanitarian assistance to victims of armed conflicts and these could not remotely fall within the ambit of the TF. Open-ended reference to humanitarian organisations would open the door to terrorist entities impersonating such organisations. Immunities recognised for the ICRC in terms of international law, exempt it from having to testify in criminal proceedings of tribunals and domestic courts. The treatment of victims would constitute proof that they were in fact victims of war crimes sought to be prosecuted. Giving evidence of such, the ICRC would either not be allowed into conflict zones, or be itself targeted. Therefore, immunity existed due to the interest of alleviating human suffering, which was out of the way of giving evidence. This was entirely different from exempting the ICRC from the provisions of a criminal offence. There was therefore no necessity for an exemption as per the ICRC submission. The National Director for Public Prosecutions must authorise all TF prosecutions, which was therefore a sufficient safeguard.


The Chairperson thanked the CSPS for the detailed presentation, adding that the work that they did was remarkable.

She noted that the representatives from the ICRC had indicated that they were unable to attend the meeting today due to prior commitments, and asked that the responses be formally sent to the ICRC in writing.

Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) asked whether the humanitarian exemption clause, as proposed by the ICRC, was not accepted because of the fear that terrorist organisations might hide behind the cloak of being a humanitarian organisation. He might be mistaken, but he recalled that over the years, humanitarian clauses were included in bills and such organisations were allowed to go into areas of conflict. He therefore asked if there had been examples of terrorist organisations that had previously abused the privilege of humanitarian organisations being allowed into conflict areas. He asked how other countries with such humanitarian clauses ensured that terrorist organisations did not pretend to be humanitarian organisations and go into conflict areas and cause confusion and havoc.

Mr Terblanche said that the presentation was very well explained. It was a pity that the ICRC, who had made the submission, were not present in the meeting to respond -- it would only be fair to get their response and inputs so that Members could consider the submissions made and the Departmental response. He recommended that the Committee wait for the ICRC’s response to the Department’s response on their additional submission, so that the Members could also consider that.

The Chairperson said the Department's responses would be sent to the ICRC in writing. The ICRC would also be requested to clarify their position in writing.


Adv Kritzinger referred to Rev Meshoe’s question, and said that the terror financing provisions in the Bill were derived from the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The crime applied only to financing terrorist entities and activities. The ICRC specifically rendered humanitarian assistance to victims of armed conflicts, and these could not remotely fall within the ambit of terror financing. If a humanitarian exemption clause was inserted in the Bill, it would result in an open-ended reference to humanitarian organisations, opening the door to terrorist entities impersonating such organisations. The immunities recognised for the ICRC in terms of international law, exempt it from having to testify in criminal proceedings of tribunals and domestic courts. The treatment of victims would constitute proof that they were in fact victims of war crimes sought to be prosecuted. Immunity did exist for humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC; therefore, the Department maintained that there was no need for an exemption specifically for the ICRC.

Ms Jeannine Bednar-Giyose, Director: Fiscal and Intergovernmental Legislation, National Treasury, said that Treasury had been engaging with Adv Kritzinger and other colleagues on the amendments to the Bill, as well as to the General Laws Amendment Bill which was currently being processed.  National Treasury, the CSPS and colleagues from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) had carefully considered the submissions that had been made, and the pros and cons of the various options. At the end, and in consultation with the State Law Advisors, there was a strong united conclusion that was in line with what had been presented by Adv Kritzinger.

Rev Meshoe noted that he had also asked a question on whether the Department had refused to include the humanitarian exemption clause because of a fear that terrorist organisations could impersonate such organisations. He further asked how other countries with such humanitarian exemption clauses in their laws, ensured that terrorist organisations did not impersonate humanitarian organisations, and whether the CSPS could provide examples of this.

Mr Takalani Ramaru, Acting Secretary for Police, asked if the CSPS could respond to Rev Meshoe’s questions in writing, as this would allow it to provide more detail.

The Chairperson asked if Rev Meshoe would allow the CSPS to send the responses to his questions in writing. She further asked that the CSPS also provide their other responses in writing, even though they had been verbally presented. This was so the Committee could have a record of when it reflected on the processes it had embarked on.

Rev Meshoe agreed.

Legislative schedule for the remainder of the Sixth Parliament

Adv Dawn Bell, Chief Director: Legislation, CSPS, said she would brief the Committee on the legislative drafting programme for the remainder of the Sixth Parliament's administration.

South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Bill, 2020

• The SAPS Bill published for public comment, amongst others, provides that the function related to the Community Policing Forum (CPF) structures be transferred from the SAPS to the Provincial CSPS and the Members of Executive Councils (MECs).

• The published Bill also provides for stipends in respect of members of the CPF structures.

• During the drafting of the Bill, discussions were convened by National Treasury and the SAPS. It became clear that in the country's present financial situation, it would not be possible to finance stipends for members of the CPF structures. This led to a situation where the payments of stipends had to be reconsidered.

• The issue of the funding of CPF structures had been the stumbling block since July 2021, which had prevented the SAPS Bill from being promoted through the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster.

• The current position was that the CPF structures should be transferred from the SAPS to the CSPS and MECs. The CSPS and the SAPS were working jointly to create an appropriate funding model for CPF structures.

• It was anticipated that by October, the drafting team would report back to the Development Committee and the National Treasury regarding the outcome of the CPF funding issue. By November, the Bill would need to be provisionally certified again by the OCSLA, and the amended Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) report must be signed off by the SEIAS Unit in the Presidency. By December, the Bill would be processed through the JCPS cluster to the Cabinet. Once approval was obtained from Cabinet, the Bill would be introduced to Parliament and the parliamentary processes that followed would be supported by the Department.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Amendment Bill.

• The Minister had approved the Bill for further processing through the JCPS cluster.

• It had been approved by the Development Committee, the Directors General and the Minister’s Cluster to proceed to the Cabinet Committee for support for approval by Cabinet to publish the Bill for public comments in the Gazette.

• It was served before the Cabinet Committee on 13 September, and had been approved to proceed to Cabinet.

• All the formal requirements in terms of the drafting had been followed. The Bill provides for comprehensive amendments to the IPID Act, 2011. It seeks to ensure that the IPID exercised its powers and performed its functions of office without fear, favour or prejudice, in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court in McBride v Minister of Police and Another 2016 (2) SACR 585 (CC).

The Bill also seeks to strengthen the institutional independence of IPID -- amongst other things, providing for a more transparent and open process for the appointment of the Executive Directorate of the IPID.

• The procedures for parliamentary oversight for suspension, discipline and removal of the Executive Directorate of IPID, in terms of the Constitutional Court judgment, were set out in the IPID Amendment Act 27 of 2019.

• The Bill seeks to strengthen the reporting requirements concerning implementing the disciplinary recommendations of IPID.

• It was submitted that the amendments to the Act were necessary for strengthening certain provisions of the Act and promoting professionalism and discipline within the police service.

• Going forward, the Bill would be served before Cabinet's next sitting. The Department was in the process of procuring quotes from the Government Printing Works to publish for comments. It would be published for a period of at least four weeks. All comments would be considered, and, where necessary, incorporated into the Bill for further consideration by the JCPS cluster, with the goal of obtaining approval for the introduction of the Bill in Parliament. This could take place before the end of this year.

Second Hand Goods Amendment Bill.

• During the implementation of the Second Hand Goods Act, 2009, certain shortcomings were identified, and the proposals in the amendments seek to address these gaps. These mainly relate to definitions, record-keeping, search and seizure warrants, and offences.

• The Bill seeks to strengthen the legislative framework for regulating business dealers in second-hand goods and pawn brokers, to ensure that the dealers were regulated more efficiently and to limit the market for stolen goods.

• It further seeks to introduce a system of administrative fines which would assist in monitoring and combating minor offences and relieve the burden on the criminal justice system, especially in courts.

• During the third quarter of 2022/23, the Minister’s approval would be sought to conduct stakeholder consultations on the draft Bill and to submit the draft Bill to the Development Committee, the JCPS Directors General cluster, the JCPS Cabinet Committee and the Cabinet Committee for approval, to publish the draft Bill in the Gazette. In the first quarter of 2023/24, the Department would conduct consultation with stakeholders on the draft Bill and revise the draft Bill based on the outcomes of consultations. In the second quarter of 2023/24, the revised draft Bill would be submitted to the Development Committee and the JCPS Directors General Committee for approval. In the third quarter of 2023/24, the final draft Bill would be submitted to the Cabinet, through the Minister, for approval for its introduction in Parliament.

Stock Theft Amendment Bill

•The Stock Theft Amendment Bill, 2022, seeks to repeal the Stock Theft Act, 1959 (Act No. 57   1959). The Bill provides for establishing a regulatory framework to regulate the possession of livestock, control the theft of livestock and its products within and through the borders of the Republic of South Africa, and combat crimes related to the possession and theft of animals and animal products.

• The effective system for the theft of animals requires strong legislation to regulate it. The Department of Agriculture was also developing a livestock identification and traceability system.

• In the third and fourth quarters of 2022/23, the draft Bill would be consulted through the JCPS cluster for support and Cabinet’s approval for publication in the Gazette for comments. In the first and second quarters of 2023/24, the draft Bill would be published in the Gazette; there would be an analysis, consideration and incorporation of the comments received on the draft Bill. In the third and fourth quarters of 2023/24, the final draft Bill would be submitted to the Minister for approval to process the Bill through the JCPS cluster for Cabinet’s approval for introduction in Parliament.

Firearms Control Amendment Bill

• The purpose of the Amendment Bill was to strengthen the existing provisions of the current Act.

• Following the invitation for public comment, there was tremendous opposition to the Bill in its totality.

• On the instruction of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police and the Minister, a number of bilateral engagements were held with various stakeholders.

• The final engagement was with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) during August.

• The drafting team was in the process of consolidating all the comments and refining the Bill as a result of the engagements. A mandate would be sought from the Minister on proposals on the way forward, in terms of this Bill.

Interim Critical Infrastructure Protection Regulations

• The development of the Regulations had been split into two sets. The first set concerned the operations of the Critical Infrastructure Council, and the other set concerned the numerous comprehensive issues that must be regulated upon as provided in the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, 2019.

• The first set of the draft Regulations that relate to the operations of the Critical Infrastructure Council (“Interim Regulations”) were published for comments, and the comments that would strengthen the regulations were incorporated in the version which was sent to Parliament for scrutiny.

• The Portfolio Committee on Police had adopted the interim regulations and would be referred to the Select Committee on Security and Justice for concurrence.

Other Bills that had been dealt with, and were in process

The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill, 2022, was awaiting assent and signature from the President.

• The Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill, 2022, was currently undergoing parliamentary processes.

• The Department had completed a comprehensive implementation plan for the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Act, 2014, and had submitted it to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).


The Chairperson said that in her understanding of the presentation, the only piece of legislation that would soon come before the Committee was the IPID Amendment Bill, and that the SAPS Amendment Bill would not come before the Committee any time soon. If the SAPS Bill was tabled, it would lapse, because it was a comprehensive Bill and it would have to go to all the provinces for public hearings. She did not want to say that she was dismayed, but this was rather disappointing.

Mr A Whitfield (DA) said that the run-up to the campaigns for the 2024 national election would likely disrupt Parliament’s programme, so the Committee did not have the next two years to finalise legislation. Accumulatively, it probably had a year in which to finalise any legislation to avoid it lapsing in the Sixth Parliament. He was greatly appreciative of the fact that the IPID Bill appeared to be moving speedily and that it should be with the Committee before the end of the year. He commented that he had drafted a Private Member’s Bill, and did not want to have gone that route, as it would have been a duplication and a waste of time.

He referred to Adv Bell’s presentation regarding the IPID Bill. He said that he did not notice any reference to the inclusion of law enforcement, in that law enforcement in municipalities would have to report to, or be held accountable to, IPID in the same manner as the Metro police and the SAPS. This was a point that the Minister of Police had repeatedly made and that the Committee absolutely supported. He therefore found it strange that it was not mentioned in the notes.

Mr Seabi said he was pleased with the progress of the IPID Bill, but agreed that there was concern over the progress of the SAPS Bill. He asked whether the SAPS Bill was only about amending the issues of the CPF structures, or if other key issues needed to be dealt with. He asked whether the issue of the CPF structures was the only stumbling block for the SAPS Bill to move forward in terms of the parliamentary processes. It had been mentioned that the IPID Bill would be served before the Cabinet at its next sitting, and he asked whether this referred to the Cabinet sitting of today or another.

CSPS's response

Mr Ramaru referred to Mr Seabi’s question on whether the Cabinet sitting for the IPID Bill referred to the Cabinet sitting of today, and said that this was the CSPS's assumption, because it had presented to the Cabinet Committee last week. Usually, after the Bill had been approved, it would be served in the Cabinet, but the CSPS could not say this with certainty, because it did not have the agenda of Cabinet sittings.

In response to the question regarding the SAPS Bill, he said it also dealt with other comprehensive issues, and that the CPF structures were just one of them. He agreed that the CPF structures were a stumbling block and that other issues had already been resolved. The Department had conducted the consultation processes with all the provinces, and besides the issue of the CPF structures, all the other issues were addressed and agreed to. The CSPS was currently working with SAPS to address the issue of the CPF structures, and already had a directive that would lead to the conclusion of the SAPS Bill as soon as possible. Although it was difficult to indicate how best the SAPS Bill could be fast-tracked, the CSPS would refer to its legislative programme and see what it could put on hold in favour of dealing with the SAPS Bill and the IPID Bill, to meet the deadlines.

The Chairperson commented that the Committee had repeatedly requested that the SAPS Bill and IPID Bill be prioritised, and asked that the focus remains on those two Bills.

Adv Bell agreed with the Chairperson, and said that the CSPS would focus its energy on the SAPS and IPID Bills.

In response to Mr Whitfield’s comment regarding the IPID Bill and the inclusion of law enforcement, she replied that this had been considered. The CSPS had also obtained a legal opinion from the Office of the State Law Advisor, which indicated that it would be unconstitutional to include all law enforcement into the IPID for a number of reasons. The main reason was that it would infringe the Constitution and the mandate of IPID, because the IPID was mandated to have oversight over the SAPS and Metro police. There would also be other infringements on other legislation, such as municipal legislation, and local government and provincial legislation. For this reason, the CSPS had not included law enforcement under the mandate of the IPID.

Further discussion

Mr Whitfield referred to the SAPS Amendment Bill and the intention to provide a stipend to the CPFs, as well as the fact that the CPF structures would be transferred from the SAPS to the provincial CSPS and the MECs. He asked whether the provinces would then carry the cost of remunerating the volunteers of the CPFs.

Mr Ramaru replied that the CSPS was currently consulting with the SAPS and the provincial heads of the Department of Community Safety to consider different financing modalities to arrive at the best answer. It was therefore not possible currently to provide a direct answer.

Mr H Shembeni (EFF) noted the discussions about the remuneration of CPF volunteers, and questioned what was being done to address the reservists doing dangerous work in the SAPS but were not remunerated, as this was not referred to in the SAPS Bill. He said that if there could be something that considered the remuneration of the reservists, it would help a lot.

Mr Ramaru replied that as the SAPS Bill currently stood, it did not have anything on the reservists. He requested that his colleagues from the SAPS comment on Mr Shembeni’s question.

Lt Gen Michael Motlhala, Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing and Operations, said that as it currently stood, there was an allocated budget for the remuneration of reservists when they were called out for special events -- for example, events such as local government elections or national and provincial elections, or for any other event that was declared as a special event by the National Commissioner.

The Chairperson said that the matter concerning reservists needed to be dealt with more extensively, and it was a concern that had been raised by all the Members. She asked that the Deputy Minister facilitate the SAPS and the CSPS to deal with this matter more extensively.

Mr Cassel Mathale, Deputy Minister of Police, said that he had taken note of the Chairperson’s request.

Mr Shembeni said that there were many questions that he would have asked, but most of the SAPS management was not present in the meeting. He noticed that there were a lot of issues, and if they were unattended, it would damage the image of the SAPS organisation. He would like the Minister and SAPS management to be present when asking about the allegations of corruption that involved senior management, as nothing had been done and everyone seemed to be keeping quiet, as if everything was normal. He recalled that he had said he did not want to be seen as part of a Committee that would be considered useless and that it did not do its job by holding the Executive accountable. The Committee had to get to the bottom of the investigations into corruption. He noted that the Minister had not responded to the protected disclosure regarding the suspended Deputy National Commissioner after saying he would respond to the Committee in writing. He also noted that despite the instruction by the former National Commissioner, Gen Khehla Sitole, there were still officials that were occupying senior management posts without the required qualifications.

He supported Mr Seabi’s suggestion that the Committee have physical meetings, so that the Members could raise their questions and get responses from the SAPS management in person.

The Chairperson said that she had noted Mr Shembeni’s concerns. The Committee was dealing with the legislation today, but the programme was being revised to address Mr Shembeni's concerns.

Ms Z Majozi (IFP) said that there were many issues that the Committee had to deal with. She agreed with Mr Shembeni’s comment that the Committee should meet with the Provincial Commissioners, because the SAPS handled cases differently in different districts. The Members received emails and notifications about information that could not be talked about on this virtual platform, which was why the Committee should have physical attendance. She had questions about certain provinces to which she would like the Provincial Commissioners to respond.

Mr Terblanche said that he had also forwarded several concerns regarding outstanding issues. He asked that all of the issues be considered, and that the Chairperson indicate when and how the Committee could address them.

Mr Whitfield said there had been a significant development in the policing environment this week. He asked whether the Chairperson, on behalf of the Committee, would be making a statement and whether the Committee would receive a presentation or feedback on the arrest of the former National Police Commissioner, Gen Kgomotso Phahlane, and other senior Crime Intelligence officials. It was absolutely necessary that the Committee receive insight and feedback, so that it not only held the SAPS accountable, but also commended them when good work was done.

The Chairperson said that she hoped the Deputy Minister had noted the concerns of the Members, and that they were brought to the attention of the Minister. The Members of the Committee were consistently raising pertinent issues, and the Committee would like the opportunity to engage with the Ministry and the SAPS management.

Reconsideration of the Addendum to the SAPS 2022/23 APP

Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Head of Strategic Management, said that he would not redo the presentation, but rather recap on what had previously been presented.

[follow   up on the following meeting ]

He confirmed that there were only five performance indicators where there had been a need to amend the targets associated with those indicators. The content of the indicators and the objectives associated with them remained the same. Four of the indicators were directly related to contact crime. That included contact crime as an overall category, under which there were three sub-categories that referred to the three high contact crime-weighted stations, the reported contact crimes against women (above 18 years), and the reported contact crimes against children (below 18 years).

When the initial annual performance plan (APP) was submitted, the Department considered the preliminary results after a nine-month period, to determine the targets associated with these indicators. Following the completion of the financial year and the annual report that was currently being finalised, it was noticed that there was a significant difference between the year-end result and what had been considered during the nine-month period to compile the initial APP indicators, or the targets associated with the indicators. This was important, because the President had indicated in the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) that there must be a 50% reduction in contact crime or serious violent crime over the next decade. As a result, contact or serious violent crime was considered one of the APP's apex indicators. The Department saw it necessary to adjust those targets according to the actual results recorded at the end of the financial year.

For example, when the APP was initially published, the Department had anticipated an increase of 11.8% for contact crime in total, but at the end of the financial year, it had increased to 13.5%. The targets had therefore been adjusted upwards to consider the increases and ensure that the Department was fully aware of the expected outcomes. The methodology applied to this specific indicator and all four categories that had been referred to was the anticipated outcome committed to by the President. This had to be calculated over a ten-year period. If the Department did not achieve the targets in the early years of the decade that the President had referred to, it would put more pressure on the remaining years. As a result, the targets needed to be adjusted upwards. For example, the Department had initially planned an 8.75% reduction in contact crime for the current financial year, which had now been adjusted to a 9.21% reduction, given the results that had been achieved. Another example was the crimes against women -- in the initial APP, there was a planned decrease of 7.2%, which had been adjusted to 9.17%.

The Department could assure the Committee that the purpose of adjusting the targets as far as contact crime was concerned, was to ensure that the targets included in the APP were reliable and a more accurate representation of the actual situation. The Department had to consider that there had been the Covid-19 pandemic in the previous years, which had impacted the crime figures. As a result, the model that was normally applied had also been affected. He reiterated that the adjustments he had referred to were just in terms of the actual targets.

Regarding the last indicator that stood on its own, he recalled that the former National Commissioner, Gen Khehla Sitole, had introduced the Safer City initiative about three years ago, which the Department had been focusing on. However, due to the economic situation and the high dependency of the Safer City initiative on external role-players, the Department had been advised by the Minister that it should be 100% sure that for those targeted cities, the project was optimally implemented to reach the desired result. The Department then decided to adjust the target to confirm and make 100% sure that the Safer City initiative was fully implemented in the prioritised areas.

(See attached document for details).


The Chairperson said it was correct that the national policing strategy had been separated from the amendments to the APP. The last time it was presented, the national policing strategy was presented by the new National Commissioner and with the amendments to the APP. The National Commissioner should present the national policing strategy in a separate meeting to ensure a particular focus on the strategy. The Committee would adopt the report on the addendum next week, as the report had been presented to the Committee. It had dealt with the addendum to the APP, and had now received the correct version.

Mr Terblanche said that he now had more clarity. During the previous presentation, the Committee had been told that the aim was to roll out the Safer City initiative in ten cities, but that a decision had been made that it would be focused on only three cities. When the Members had asked further questions, it appeared that the three cities would not even be finalised, so he needed clarity on this. He asked the Chairperson if the addendum had not already gone through the Announcements, Tablings and Committee (ATC) report.

Dr P Groenewald (FF+) said that he understood why there was a need to revise the targets, but he was concerned that the police stations would not report the cases if they were given those targets. He had received too many complaints where people said they had gone to the police stations where the police did not want to take their case. If the Department increased its targets and anticipated that it would reduce contact crime, for instance, he questioned what steps were being taken to ensure that the police did not process charges late at the police stations. He referred to the example of contact crimes against women. He said that the more cases reported was actually an indication that there was progress in fighting crimes against women. He reiterated that he had received numerous complaints from people who had said that the police stations did not want to take their cases, or instances where the police did not want to go out to crime scenes. He asked what steps were taken to ensure a correct reflection of the targets.

The Chairperson referred to Mr Terblanche’s question on the addendum, and said that the Committee had to report back to the National Assembly on the addendum. The addendum had been referred to the Committee through the ATC. On 19 July, the Minister tabled the addendum to the 2022/23 APP of the SAPS, which was then referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police for consideration. After considering the amended performance targets, the Committee must adopt the report, which must then be tabled in the National Assembly for adoption.

Mr Shembeni referred to the Safer City initiative, and said that the Department should not lose focus on attending to the rural areas, because he had noticed that a lot of crime involving firearms happened in rural areas. The police were not visible in rural areas.

He added that there were important issues that the SAPS must consider, especially concerning the intelligence of the SAPS. He said there could not be instances where firearms were discharged at funerals during daylight, and firearms discharged at taverns every weekend, but nothing was being done to address this. He mentioned examples of police officers drinking at taverns, and of intelligence officials that drove around with one person in a vehicle, but there were no available vehicles at police stations. He reiterated that the focus must not be lost and that a lot of crime happens in rural areas. He added that when crime was committed in the cities, many criminals ran away to the rural areas to hide.

SAPS's Response

Lt Gen Motlhala referred to Dr Groenewald’s question on the steps taken to ensure that the revised targets did not lead to late reporting. He replied that the SAPS had implemented steps through its combined assurance, to ensure that the police stations had announced visits and unannounced visits by some of the combined assurance partners, such as the Inspectorate Division. There were duty officers who were on duty 24/7 at the district and provincial levels. Colleagues from the Crime Registrar also conducted inspections to ensure the accurate crime registration and that the police stations were in compliance. If it was found that there were police stations or police officials who did not ensure the reporting of any crime, then serious disciplinary steps would be taken, which might even result in a criminal case being laid against a police official.

He noted Mr Shembeni’s comment on emphasising the focus on rural areas. He said that earlier this year, the Minister had convened a rural safety summit in Parys, Free State, where the SAPS had invited all the relevant stakeholders. An integrated committee had been established with a clear mandate to ensure that the rural safety strategy yielded the necessary results. The SAPS would also ensure that the rural areas were not neglected when allocating resources. This would be maintained through the integrated resource management strategy.

Maj Gen Thokozani Mathonsi, Head: Social Crime Prevention, referred to Mr Terblanche’s question regarding the number of cities prioritised in the Safer City initiative. He replied that the initial plan would be rolled out in ten cities over three years, and that it would eventually reach 30 cities in total. During the presentation on 19 April with the Ministry, the SAPS reflected on the progress, dependencies, and risks. One of the challenges emphasised was the issue of financial constraints. The project in itself was an integrated Safer City initiative, meaning that it combined all three spheres of government to focus on the broader programme of the District Development Model (DDM). Due to the challenges and dependencies, it was decided that there should rather be a focus on a small number of cities, which were Ethekwini, Ekhurhuleni, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Polokwane.

In response to Mr Shembeni’s comment, he said that the Safer City initiative focused on the district, meaning that if there were stations within that particular district which might be rural, then it would also be part of the programme.

Maj Gen Susan Pienaar, Head: Crime Protection, said that in terms of the registration of crime and ensuring that police officials correctly registered all the crimes that were reported to them --  specifically in terms of contact crime, as well as contact crimes against women and children -- these were all indicators that were subject to the audit of performance information. The specific initiative that the SAPS had put in place related to auditing performance information were the measures to ensure that the SAPS correctly registered crimes, and to prevent repeat audit findings. There was also a post-audit action plan, where the SAPS identified specific shortcomings based on the audit and worked towards correcting it.

At the end of every quarter, very specific measures drew samples from the station, district and provincial levels, on the cases registered to check that the cases had been correctly registered. The station level had specific checklists to ensure that the cases were correctly identified and registered. Quality assurance was also applied at the station level to ensure that cases were not incorrectly registered or that crime information was not manipulated. If there were audit findings in this regard, it was then demanded that there be an investigation to determine where the responsibility lay, and disciplinary or consequence management was put in place. If the procedures were correctly followed, then it was extremely unlikely that the cases would be incorrectly followed, so it would mean that someone either neglected what they were supposed to do, or deliberately did not do what they were supposed to do. The Human Resource development unit had invested in ongoing training for the specific role-players registering cases. The SAPS were also working on the ongoing enhancement of the system to ensure correct information was captured and to link specific charges to specific victims.

Maj Gen Rabie said he would comment from a strategic perspective, not an operational one, as his colleagues had already explained. He said that the reported crime or the crime figures had been used as an indicator of police successes for a number of years. There had been several debates as to whether they should be used as an indicator of police success because of the unintended consequences that Dr Groenewald had referred to, where targets were set to reduce crime. The intention of setting such targets was to reduce crime levels through effective policing and not through manipulating crime statistics, which unfortunately did happen from time to time. Therefore, the SAPS implemented the measures that Maj Gen Pienaar had referred to.

He said that the SAPS had received recommendations from other entities, such as the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), that the Department should rather focus on effectively resolving crimes that had been reported, and use that as an indicator of police success in actually responding to crime. He said that Dr Groenewald was correct, as the SAPS had identified instances where police stations did not respond to complaints in the reporting of cases, but the SAPS also had other mechanisms in place where people could report when such complaints were not being attended to, such as the Crime Stop hotline and various other mechanisms.

He emphasised that as the Head of Strategic Management, data integrity and the integrity of policing was very important in his office. He therefore opened his office if such incidents were reported. His office could be used as a channel to report such incidents to his division and ensure that such incidents were attended to.

In response to Mr Shembeni’s comment on ensuring that the SAPS did not neglect the rural areas, he said various initiatives focused on other types of stations. For instance, there was the top 30 gender-based violence (GBV) stations, the top 30 high contact crime stations and, in addition to this, there were the top 20 stations in each of the provinces, where there was a focus on the stations with a high incidence of crime. There was also an initiative by the Minister, through the Ministers and Members of Executive Council (MINMEC), where the SAPS visited rural stations to identify the policing challenges. The SAPS visit approximately nine or ten stations per MINMEC in each province. They had visited KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape. They recently visited Mpumalanga, where the intention was to identify other stations that were also problematic, the majority of which were rural stations. The SAPS then implemented measures to ensure that the identified stations were properly capacitated.

Closing remarks

The Chairperson said that the Minister had approved the APP, but the Committee should just consider the amended targets and report them to the National Assembly. In next week's meeting, the Committee would adopt its report on the addendum to the SAPS 2022/23 APP. She had also requested that an urgent report be prepared on all outstanding matters, which would be prioritised.

The meeting was adjourned. 

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