A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
17 November 1999
SAPS ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT
Documents handed out:
Anti-Corruption Unit of the South African Police Service (Appendix 1 - attached to end of minutes, statistics and graphs not included)
Summary of briefing by Commander of the Anti-Corruption Unit, SF Grobler and others
The areas which the anti-corruption unit works
The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) provides that corruption should be addressed in relation to:
The Criminal Justice System; and
Border Control (including border intelligence)
The need for a pro-active approach
Anti-Corruption Unit has been in place since 1996, although they were given no formal mandate at that time. Generally, the NCPS aims to at a "holistic interdepartmental strategy to address corruption through preventative and reactive methods. In addition, anti-corruption measures are being taken in each one of the criminal justice departments (the SAPS, Justice, Correctional Services and Welfare). These tend to be reactive, whereas the Anti-corruption unit also attempts to be pro-active. Essentially, pro-active measures against corruption seek to minimise an environment conducive to criminal behaviour and exploitation. Corruption will flourish where there is a monopoly, with large amounts of discretion and little or no accountability. Organisational control is therefore a vital protection mechanism.
Proactive measures are preventative in that they seek to deal with the problem before it occurs or develops. There are many possible pro-active measures, some of which include:
Early warnings, risk assessment and effective vetting- for example, carefully screening potential or actual SAPS employees so as to attempt to prevent corrupt acts before problems develop;
Training- training people so as to avoid the temptations of corruption, and to know where to see it;
Reward systems, whistle blowing and reporting systems- discouraging people from indulging in corruption [for example, by paying them properly], whilst rewarding and encouraging people aware of corrupt practices to come forward;
Awareness campaigns, raising the awareness of those working in the SAPS the justice system, and the general public, that corruption has the potential to undermine the justice system.
Having a code of conduct, making clear that certain lines should not be crossed, can also increase awareness and act as an early warning system. It helps the SAPS, as well as other civil servants in the justice system, understand where the boundaries of acceptable conduct lie. Corruption is a slippery slope - one thing can lead to another: being bought a dinner by someone suspected of being involved in dodgy dealings; to accepting expensive gifts; to granting of favours for sums of money and so on.
Adequate Policies and controls- employing management practices and structures which make it difficult for corruption to flourish;
Accountability, through effective and regular inspections/audits.
The need for reactive/punitive measures
Reactive measures are also needed, however, as objectives such as accountability can only be achieved through effective sanctions. It was clearly stressed in the presentation that the policy of the anti-corruption unit is one of "zero tolerance". Prosecution makes up part of the policy of "full-cycle management"- that being "detection, investigation, prosecution, rectification and normalisation". The approach of the anti-corruption unit was therefore one of prevention and reactive investigation and prosecution.
The structure of the anti-corruption unit at head office
The anti-corruption units is structured into three different components:
Investigations, their main objective being to investigate crime syndicates where South African Police Service members are involved. Each investigation is divided into three phases: phase one, where information is received, evaluated and confirmed; phase two, where an undercover operation is authorised; phase three, after sufficient information has been gathered from the first two phases, the suspect is arrested, and the left rest to the courts;
Logistical support, helping to ensure that investigations are carried out effectively (for example, a central information database has been established by the national head office); and
Covert support, providing support through technical, surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Problems and difficulties faced by the unit
There is uncertainty over its mandate (there are no clear legislative guidelines as to precisely what functions it should carry out), and this creates confusion within the units as there are so many other units/institutions investigating corruption within the justice system (eg the ICD and the Scorpions). There are other areas in which legislation is needed, not least amendments to the Police Act allowing expulsion of officers convicted of corruption who are not sentenced to prison without the option of a fine. There is also a need to put provincial units under national control.
Furthermore, in relation to resources and staffing, it was said that there are not enough officers to investigate corruption effectively. A further problem is that, once a unit has been established, the reporting of corruption increases. This stretches existing staff and resources, and makes it look as though there has been an increase in corruption (this is not the case - it is the detection that has increased). Also, staff costs place a huge pressure on the general budget. Generally, investigations often cannot be completed due to financial constraints.
Accommodation is also a problem, with some offices situated in police stations or offices. This is unsatisfactory, as it results in a very low level of reporting. The reason for this is that the anti-corruption unit is not popular, with its members often being shunned by other officers. As was pointed out in the presentation, officers move away if corruption unit members enter the staff canteen. Suspicion and dislike of the anti-corruption unit even spills into the Department of Justice, particularly where prosecutors know and work with those under suspicion. It is therefore not surprising that investigators often find it difficult to establish working relationships with prosecutors. This is one of the reasons why there is such a high level of acquittals (44% of cases either result in acquittal or are withdrawn). The unit, in consultation with the Office of Serious Economic Offences, is presently participating in an initiative to establish specialised courts with dedicated prosecutors.
Taljaard (DP), inquired what was the relationship like between the Anti-Corruption Unit with the Scorpions? The Director (SF Grobler) replied that he believes the unit should support the Scorpions, but is concerned that he will lose valuable members of his unit to the new elite unit. Renumeration differences are a problem, and there is a definite concern that unit members will leave the Scorpions for more money.
General Viljoen (FF) asked if it was really a good idea to put the unit under national control, and whether it would make more sense to make the provinces run themselves more effectively. The Director said that he felt there was not enough emphasis on national control, and that a culture of self-protection and a wall of silence still remains within the SAPS. The corruption unit should be placed under national control to help deal with this culture. This is not to say that provincial managers should have no discretion, only that there is not enough control over what is going on in the provinces at present. The question is one of balance.
Viljoen then said that we should not be breaking down and restricting the provinces. The provinces must be saddled with the responsibility to get on with their job and do it effectively.
Chairperson George pointed out that central organisation is important, "otherwise things can get out of hand". He also said that it was very important to do something about pay packages. In particular, not all posts in the Department of Safety and Security should be restricted to the prescribed levels in the Civil Servants Act. As regards the Scorpions, there is no reason why they should be paid more for doing the same or similar jobs. The problem of public sector pay and the drain to the private sector is a very serious one, as we saw in the briefing on forensics - where nearly 50% of state-trained staff have been lost to private sector.
Another member asked whether there were rules requiring members of specialised units to declare their interests? The Director replied that members must declare their assets, and for obvious reasons. It would not be appropriate, for example, to have members of the vehicle theft units dealing in dodgy second hand cars.
A question was also raised about the early warning system. Grobler answered that prevention was better than cure, and that members of the Canadian mounted police would be doing a presentation on how to prevent corruption through effective early warning systems.
One Committee member inquired whether civilians were carrying out duties within the anti-corruption unit and, if so, what were they? The Director said that there are civilians working for the unit, not in an operational capacity but a purely administrative one.
Another member asked what was being done about the problem of SAPS officers (and others) under investigation being able to recognise the cars of investigating officers in the corruption unit. The Director said that we are looking to get special cars that are not easily recognisable.
Finally, it was asked why Whites were over-represented within the unit. The Director said that it simply was not possible to recruit enough African, Indian and Coloured people. This was a serious problem for him, and he said that he needed to find some kind of incentive to encourage them to join. At the moment nobody in the mainstream SAPS wants to talk to anyone in the unit - and it is therefore not surprising that people are not coming forward to redress the balance in representivity. The benefits are simply not worth the sacrifices.
The Director concluded that it is not only the police that were the problem, but also the general public- "it takes two to tango". If someone wants a cross-border visa, they simply slip a R50 note in with the application. The person dealing with the application will often grant the visa on this basis. When larger sums of money are involved, the temptations can prove irresistible when one considers what public sector officials are being paid. The wall of silence in the SAPS is also a fundamental problem. If the problem is to be tackled effectively, greater co-ordination and sharing of resources, information and logistical support is needed.
Anti-Corruption Unit of the South African Police Service
HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT
4.2 HEAD OFFICE
4.3 PROVINCIAL OFFICES
5.1 STRONG POINTS
5.2 WEAK POINTS
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
MANDATE AND NATIONALISING
DEPARTMENTAL TRIALS AND INVESTIGATIONS
UNIQUENESS OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT
PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION
16.1 NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT, HEAD OFFICE
16.2 PROBLEM AREAS
16.3 STAFF COSTS (INVESTIGATORS)
Many countries throughout the world have agencies that deal with corruption. In South Africa there are numerous bodies that have the investigation of corruption as primary or a secondary role.
The Anti-Corruption Unit of the South African Police Service was formed to deal with corruption within the ranks of the Service itself.
Whereas in the past it was necessary to deal with the reactive measures relevant to corruption, it has become increasingly more important to deal with the pro-active measures.
The prevention of corruption has been neglected up to now - it may be due to the fact that prevention was not seen as important as the arrest of offenders.
If corruption is seen as a cancer in society, then corruption must be treated in the same way. It must be rooted out by all means possible.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) describes corruption within the Criminal Justice System as one of the major areas of concern to the Government. Within each of the Criminal Justice Departments (Police, Justice, Correctional Service and Welfare), Anti-Corruption measures are being taken; although these tend to be shaped in reaction to corrupt practices being exposed.
The current level of corruption within the overall criminal justice system is the factor most negatively influencing efforts to substantially improve safety and security in South Africa. Corruption in all its forms seriously undermines not only public confidence in the Government and the Public Service, but also in government-driven crime prevention strategies.
Moreover, corruption exists not just in the Service, but also within other Departments and is particularly damaging in respect of the efficient and effective functioning of the criminal justice system and service delivery in general.
Within the South African Police Service, corruption has been defined as a National Priority within the 1999/2000 Police Plan. Anti-Corruption Units were established in 1996. Ever since then corruption has enjoyed priority.
HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT
On 1 September 1995 the National Commissioner instructed that the establishment be investigated of National and Provincial Anti-Corruption Units (NACU and PACU) in the South African Police Service. A special Investigation Unit, operating only from Pretoria, with a branch office in Johannesburg, had previously been tasked with such investigations. It's main objective was to concentrate on the Pretoria and greater Johannesburg areas.
One must have an understanding of what corruption means, as it may mean different things to different people.
Very simply put, the Corruption Act, 1992 (Act No 94 of 1992) defines corruption as the offer or acceptance of a benefit for the commission or omission of an act in relation to the powers and duties of a person upon whom any power has been conferred or who has been charged with any duty by virtue of any employment or the holding of any office. Morally speaking corruption is the abuse of power for benefit.
Prior to 01 January 1996, corruption within the Service was investigated by so-called "Police Docket Units". During 1993, the fore-runner of the present Anti-Corruption Unit was formed with offices only in Johannesburg and Pretoria. The National Anti-Corruption Unit of the South African Police Service came into being on 1 January 1996 with offices in all nine (9) Provinces in South Africa. At the time each commander was responsible for the development and composition of his own office.
The Anti-Corruption Unit is structured under the Component National Inspectorate as part of the Division Management Services of the South African Police Service.
Currently there are no less than 10 different organizations / offices responsible, to a larger or a lesser degree, for dealing with corruption in South Africa.
the Anti-Corruption Units (ACU) - internal (South African Police Service)
the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) - internal (South African Police Service) - Independent
the Commercial Branch - internal & external (South African Police Service and Civil Service)
the Investigation Directorate for Serious Economic Offences - (Public and Civil Service)
the Public Protector - external (Independent)
Heath Special Investigative Unit - external (Independent)
National Intelligence Agency (NIA) - external (Independent)
the South African Secret Service (SASS)
the Investigative Directorate for Organized Crime (IDOC) - internal, external and independent (South African Police Service)
Serious and Violent Crime Units - internal & external (South African Police Service)
Intra Departmental Units - external (Independent) (Correctional Services, Home Affairs)
South African Revenue Services (SARS) - external (Independent)
National Directorate of Public Prosecutions
(Asset Forfeiture Unit, Special Operations Unit, also known as "Scorpions")
The Commercial Branch
The Commercial Branch of the South African Police Service was formed many years ago as the Company Fraud Staff. Over the years it has undergone many structural changes and currently operates as the Commercial Crime Unit, Fraud Unit and Syndicate Fraud Unit.
Among its wide mandate to investigate mainly white collar crime, is also the investigation of corruption. Although this does not include corruption in the Criminal Justice System, there are many instances where there is overlapping.
An example is when, during an investigation into a company's affairs, there is an indication of corruption within the Criminal Justice System.
This has not resulted in any problem - because irrespective of mandate we are bound to investigate crime as and when we encounter it.
- The Investigative Directorate of Serious Economic Offences
OSEO, as it is commonly known, was formed by virtue of Act 117 of 1991.
This directorate was formed to make provision for the speedy and proper investigation of certain serious economic offences and related affairs.
This office is responsible for the investigation of offences that are, in the view of the Director, serious and complex in nature. It consists of staff from the Department of Justice and South African Police Service - mainly Commercial Branch Unit personnel.
It is thus unfortunate that, in order to staff OSEO, experienced South African Police Service members are seconded, creating a ripple effect that to an extent disempowers the South African Police Service.
- The Heath Special Investigative Unit
The Heath Special Investigative Unit was established in terms of the provisions of the Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996.
Its function, very broadly speaking, is to investigate acts whereby monies and assets belonging to the State have been lost due to corrupt acts and to recover these by way of civil process.
Many millions of Rands worth of assets and monies have been recovered by this unit.
Due to the fact that this office concentrates on recovery, it leaves the investigation of criminal acts involved to other State organs.
The Heath Unit has wide ranging powers of seizure, forfeiture and examination of persons.
The Independent Complaints Directorate
The ICD was formed in terms of Chapter 10 of the South African Police Service Act 63 of 1995.
Its functions are set out in Section 53 of the Act and include the investigation of "any misconduct or offence allegedly committed by any member".
This would imply also the investigation of corruption within the South African Police Service.
The Public Protector
The Public Protector was established in terms of Chapter 9, Section 182 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa - Act 200 of 1993. It has the power to "investigate any conduct in State affairs, or in the Public Administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice".
The National Intelligence Agency
The National Intelligence Agency has, in the past, had the responsibility for the investigation of acts directed against the State.
It is however also involved in the gathering corruption related intelligence.
The South African Secret Service
The South African Secret Service (SASS) is responsible for the gathering of intelligence outside South Africa.
The Investigative Directorate Organized Crime
The IDOC was previously known as the D'Oliviera Task Team. It has, as its main function, the investigation of third force activities. This has now been extended and includes organized crime. Obviously corruption and more importantly, police corruption, is included in their investigations.
Serious and Violent Crimes Unit
This is a specialized investigation unit within the Detective Service. It is made up of a number of units, notably the Cash In Transit Robbery section. Not only do they deal with robberies, but also with aspects such as kidnapping where victims are held to ransom.
A number of links have been found between criminals in this sphere and members of the South African Police Service.
It has been widely reported in the press regarding members of the South African Police Service who are themselves part of gangs. Some have been shot and killed while others have been arrested.
Intra Departmental Units
Government Departments like Correctional Services and Home Affairs, have their own Anti-Corruption Units. They concentrate on the internal investigation of corruption and have no legal powers other than those departmental powers bestowed on them for their own purposes.
South African Revenue Services
The South African Revenue Services has as its main function, the collection of tax. It has a special investigative unit that is tasked with tax dodgers. This brings them in contact with corruption and, while they are prohibited by law to divulge information, they are a very handy tool to use against the corrupt.
National Directorate of Public Prosecutions
The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions was established in terms of the provisions of Chapter 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Section 179 makes provision for its establishment and determines, inter alia, " to carry out necessary functions incidental to instituting criminal proceedings".
This obviously means that all the various investigative directorates mentioned above, as well as those being formed, fall under this National Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
This division of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions has as its main function the administration of the Proceeds of Crime Act which concentrates on the forfeiture of ill-gotten gains.
It falls outside the scope of this paper to deal with this Act and I will suffice to say that it is an extremely effective tool to deal with the corrupt.
Directorate Special Operations / Scorpions
This special units is being established. Initial indications are that this unit will focus on cases of corruption relevant to investigations of organized crime and crime syndicates. Their mandate is however also the investigation of corruption within the criminal justice system
National Anti-Corruption Unit
The National Anti-Corruption Unit was established during 1994 and has slowly evolved into a unit established at National and Provincial levels, concentrating on corruption within the South African Police Service but not restricted to it.
The Anti-Corruption Unit consists of the following offices:
National Office, Head Office, Pretoria.
PACU, Gauteng - Johannesburg;
North East Rand
PACU, North West Province - Potchefstroom
PACU, Northern Province - Pietersburg
PACU, Free State - Bloemfontein;
PACU, Kwazulu Nata l- Durban;
PACU, Mpumalanga - Standerton;
PACU, Eastern Cape - Port Elizabeth
PACU, Western Cape - Bellville.
PACU, Northern Cape - Kimberley.
*Units being planned
These units serve the following areas, police stations, units and members.
| || || || || || |
| || || |
| || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || |
4.2 HEAD OFFICE: Consists of three different components:-
This consists of three project-teams that do investigations at national level. These investigations consist of 99% project-driven investigations. Their main aim is to investigate crime syndicates where SOUTH-AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE members form an integral part of a syndicate. It normally takes up to two years to complete investigations of this kind. The reason why investigations take such a long time is because it is done in three (3) different phases.
The first phase is the preliminary phase where information is received. This information is then evaluated and steps are taken to confirm the allegations. This includes the compiling of a research report, where the alleged suspect's personal behaviour is monitored and investigated. When the information is confirmed, a full scale investigation is lodged.
This includes the application for the authorization of an undercover operation. When the operation is authorized an agent is usually infiltrated into the syndicate. It could take a long time for the agent to win the trust of the suspects. The agent then starts dealing with the criminals and when sufficient evidence is gathered, the third phase follows.
The third phase consists of the termination and arrest of the suspects. Thereafter the court proceedings start which can take a long time. It is not unusual that it can take up to five years for the court proceedings to be finalized.
4.2.2 Logistical support
This component is responsible for the logistical requirements of the unit. Presently an intelligence database is operational in support of this component.
4.2.3 Covert support
A need was identified to supply an own covert support capability to the investigation teams of this office. At this stage this component also supports PACU on a national level where the normal Technical Support Unit cannot lend its support or where it is unwise to make use of their services.
The Covert Support office has the following capabilities :
surveillance and pursuit
Since 08 November 1999 project driven investigations of the Anti-Corruption Unit have also been managed by this office which have resulted in better control of intelligence.
An amount of R 432 633-50 has been spent on the purchase of technical equipment to be utilized in operations by the Anti-Corruption Unit. In order to do technical installations a further amount of R 60 000-00 has been spent on the purchase of tools and equipment for a workshop.
Since its formation at the beginning of 1999, this office has dealt with 267 enquiries and has assisted in 33 arrests. It is clear that this office is a necessity for the Anti-Corruption Unit and that it has proven itself to be a helpful tool in the investigation of corruption.
4.3 Provincial offices
According to statistics it is clear that there are not enough officers to effectively investigate corruption. Some provinces cover a very large area and members have to travel 600 - 700 km to attend to a matter. Once a unit has been established, the reporting of corruption increases. For this reason units, that have not decentralized, experience a problem regarding the receipt of information.
In view of the shortcomings that have been identified, moves are afoot to restructure the National Anti-Corruption Unit within the South African Police Service to counter problems or to improvise, where necessary, the perceived interference in investigations, optimalization of staff, cost effectiveness, cooperation with other organizations, shortening of reporting channels and other aspects that impact on service delivery.
The following aspects relate to the Unit as a whole and have been compiled as a result of inputs from all the different provincial units.
5.1 Strong points
In general, most of the Anti-Corruption Units have adequate accommodation. It is imperative to improve accommodation to encourage the reporting of corruption related cases by safeguarding witnesses from having to be identified at police stations.
As far as the personnel is concerned, all the units have, in general, experienced investigators and commanders. The members are loyal and hard working. The units are loyal towards their task and have a very high morale. One of the reasons for this is the fact that units are allowed to recruit and screen members who apply for positions in their own particular units.
In fulfilling their duties the provinces have the support of their Provincial and Area Commissioners. In general the units have free entry into South African Police Service buildings and records kept there. This includes access to training facilities, police forums and community police forums.
The Anti-Corruption Unit strive to establish and maintain a good relationship with the Department of Justice, and the Department of Correctional Services.
The successes of the Anti-Corruption Unit are due to the fact that people are more and more willing to report corruption. This is a strong point that cannot be overstressed. The secrecy of the identity of informers and the protection of the so-called "whistle-blowers" has resulted in more confidence and willingness to provide information. A separate program to the normal witness protection program has been established to protect persons within the Service who give information to the Anti-Corruption Unit. Four (4) members have thus far been dealt with.
The Anti-Corruption Unit is fortunate that it is experiencing increasing support from the different Labour Unions in the provinces
5.2 Weak points
Some of the Anti-Corruption Units have inadequate office accommodation or are situated in Police Stations and / or offices. This results in a very low reporting incidence of corruption related cases. The reason is that the Anti-Corruption Unit is disliked in many cases and the members with information are unwilling to report the cases for fear that they could be identified as "whistle-blowers" by other members when seen to be entering these offices.
Various problems arise from the covert nature of the work performed by these units - they are amongst others the vehicles that the Anti-Corruption Unit members use are easily recognizable to other police officials. These vehicles can easily be identified and spotted when used in an undercover operation.
The use of police radios in undercover operations is impossible because there is no specific frequency allocated to the unit. When using radio-communications other police officials can "tap" into the channel to monitor the unit's activities.
Cellphones are however used to good effect to counter this problem.
Not all the units have access to technical support. In certain provinces technical support is only given in cases where a registered covert operation is active.
In many provinces access to funds from the normal police budget, as well as the special account is limited. Therefore thorough investigations cannot always be conducted due to financial constraints. (See the heading "Budget" for further comments.)
Although most of the units have experienced personnel, they do not have sufficient numbers. The statistics of cases reported show a definite increase. The only way that this increased workload can be properly dealt with is for the personnel issue to be addressed. A cause for serious concern is the expected negative impact that the recruitment for the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) will have on the National Anti-Corruption Unit.
Attempts have been made to recruit specially black, brown and Indian members. This has not been a success because all members are subject to intimidation and more so black, brown and Indian members. Cases have been reported to this office where members have received threatening calls.
We have now renewed our efforts to recruit members from all races but concentrating on black, brown and Indian members. Members of the Anti-Corruption Unit are isolated by other members of the Service due to the culture of clan protection that exists.
7. Department of Justice
Problems within the Department of Justice have been identified as one of the most prominent weak points. In many cases inexperienced prosecutors are used to prosecute involved corruption cases. This can lead to the acquittal of members charged. Investigators find it difficult to establish good working relationships with prosecutors in the smaller centres, because some prosecutors are not willing to prosecute members who are known to them. To address the current shortcomings, this office is, in cooperation with the office of Serious Economic Offences, participating in an initiative to establish special courts with dedicated prosecutors.
8. Police Unions
While most unions support the Unit, strong reaction is received when members are investigated and / or arrested.
9. Mandate and Nationalising
Although the unit was established in 1996, no formal mandate was developed at the time. This matter has now been addressed and proposals in this regard are currently with Top Management. This causes uncertainties within the units because there are so many other units and / or institutions that are also investigating corruption within the South African Police Service, i.e. ICD and the Scorpion Unit.
All the Provincial Units support the view that they should fall under national command. This includes matters relating to budget from the open account, Special Services as well as all logistical support.
Most of the provinces support the idea that current legislation relating to corruption is inadequate. The Police Act does not make adequate provision for the expulsion of members arrested and convicted for corruption related cases unless they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment without the option of a fine. This poses a serious problem and should be addressed.
Matters that could be addressed, are: -
compulsory disclosure of income and assets obtained under suspicious conditions;
responsibility of commanders to report suspicious transactions;
departmental trials and compulsory discharge in corruption cases. No matter what the court case's outcome was; and
conditions of service (no income derived from unauthorised private enterprise)
non-compliance with the code of conduct
possible code of Ethics for the South African Police Service where it refuses to deal with organizations that have not subscribed to a recognised code of ethics.
One of the aspects that was dealt with during the recent International Anti-Corruption Conference was foreign legislation. For the purpose of this presentation the Law of Malaysia was viewed. Anti-Corruption Act 1997 (Act. 575)
This act reflects only on the Anti-Corruption agency which deals with corruption in Malaysia. The Anti-Corruption Unit there is a separate agency and the law makes specific provisions just for the agency. The provisional bill for special investigations (Scorpions) show a lot in common with the Anti-Corruption agency in Malaysia.
Extensive powers are given by the Malaysian Law, i.e. Sec. 19 - makes it a criminal offence to make a false statement to an officer of the agency or a statement to mislead the prosecutor and / or the officer of the agency.
Special powers of investigation are given by this act in conjunction with the criminal procedure code. These special powers are, i.e. (i) any person can be ordered to appear before an officer of the agency; (ii) any person may be ordered to produce books, documents or any article that may, in the officer's opinion, assist in the investigation of an offence.
It further places a burden on the summoned person to disclose all the information needed for the investigation. The rule against self-incrimination is, for instance, overruled ( Sec. 22(3)(b)).
The above is just an example and it is not intended to overrule the South African Constitution. The specific law must be compatible with the Constitution and South African circumstances.
Many of the units have competent investigators, but the lack of training is also identified as a weak point. Specialized training is to be developed for the investigation of corruption related cases. This should also include training in observing and pursuit, photography and the use of specialized equipment and other covert investigative methods.
12. Departmental trials and investigations
Statistics show that 44% of cases result in either an acquittal or are withdrawn. This is a direct result of findings by the Director of Public Prosecutions that such members should rather be charged departmentally than prosecuted criminally.
Uniqueness of the Anti-Corruption Unit
The Anti-Corruption Unit is unique. Not everybody understands the particular problems associated with such investigations or the special investigative methods that have to be employed to ensure success.
14. Prevention of corruption
This has been identified as a matter of utmost importance. Almost all the actions undertaken by the Anti-Corruption Unit are reactive and not pro-active.
The various units are currently involved in programs to campaign against corruption. This is done at a limited extent and concentrated on attending station meetings. At these meetings they give broad guidelines concerning corruption. They also warn against corruption.
Some of the provincial units are represented on the Community Service Forums.
A central information database has been established by the National office. All information concerning corruption is placed on this database.
It is however impossible to establish whether all the information is directed to this office. The aim of the project is to have a central database of all the persons who might be linked to corruption. This is, however, a very recent project and is still in an initial stage but will pose as an aid in the future.
This database is dynamically linked to the Central Intelligence Database of the South African Police Service. This enables Anti-Corruption Unit operators to coordinate with other investigations done by other units. In an effort to streamline the intelligence driven capacity of the National Anti-Corruption Unit we will shortly establish a desk within the newly established Crime Intelligence Division.
Effective use of the media is made to propagate the aspect of zero tolerance of corruption.
As a result of this, positive information has also been received from the public after the arrests were reported by the media. This method is successful to propagate the viewpoint of zero tolerance to corruption and to enlist the help of the public.
The basis of most of the corruption related cases can be ascribed to the lack of control and command of managers. Evaluating these factors is not the responsibility of this unit and we can only make recommendations to address problem areas. Looking at the statistics regarding the escalation of corruption related cases, it must be borne in mind that a reason for the escalation may be the fact that corruption related matters are now more frequently reported than before, thus creating an illusion of grand corruption.
The compulsory reporting of incidents and / or information to the National Office will help enhance the database.
15. Covert investigations
The unit conducts covert operations as previously indicated. These operations are funded from the Special Services Account. Currently there are five (5) undercover operations conducted by NACU. Four (4) other undercover operations that were conducted by NACU have been terminated and are in the process of being finalized in court.
The current operations target 61 South-African Police Service members and three (3) government officials. The crimes include vehicle hijacking, theft, dealing in drugs, theft of firearms, corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
Undercover operations are also conducted by the Crime Intelligence Department and in 15 of their operations, 35 South-African Police Service members and 98 government officials are being targeted.
Budget constraints have been placed on investigations - a situation that is not unique to the Anti-Corruption Unit. At this stage only the Head Office component has access to the Special Account with a budget of R100 000-00 per month. The provinces do not have access to the account and therefore two (2) operations currently being conducted in the provinces are being financed through the National Office. It is recommended that this facility must be made available to the provinces as well.
The effective fight against corruption can only be conducted in a covert manner, especially where South-African Police Service members form an integral part of a syndicate.
Application has been made for a special dispensation regarding the allocation of funds on the same basis as that for the Secret Services Account. The outcome is still being awaited. There is only one (1) person who manages the special account. This poses a problem for, when this person is not available, delays are caused.
The only way in which this problem can adequately be addressed is by delegating the authority to the necessary officials who are responsible for those covert operations that are being conducted from the special account.
16.1 National Anti-Corruption Unit, Head Office
An amount of R3 747 000-00 was allocated to the National Anti-Corruption Unit for the 1999/2000 financial year. Due to the extent of corruption in the South African Police Service, the National Anti-Corruption Unit receives priority as far as finances are concerned. Excluded from these amounts are personnel expenses eg. Salaries/medical and the expenditure on overtime allocated to members which amounts to approximately R 600 000-00.
ALLOCATED BUDGETS (PROVINCES): 1999/2000 FINANCIAL YEARS
KWA-ZULU NATAL - R 645 000-00
FREE STATE - R 288 356-00
NORTH WEST - R 2 237 500-00
MPUMALANGA - R 101 770-00
NORTHERN PROVINCE - R 217 982-00
GAUTENG - R 966 092-00
WESTERN CAPE - R 105 700-00
NORTHERN CAPE - R 197 650-00
EASTERN CAPE - R 763 000-00
16.2 Problem areas: National Anti-Corruption Unit
An ongoing attempt is being made to establish a Standing Advance at the National Anti-Corruption Unit.
Several persons have been identified but due to staff shortages all attempts to attain their services have failed. This process has been ongoing for approximately 10 to 11 months.
16.3 Staff Costs (Investigators)
Average costs are :
salary R6 200-00 per month
subsistence and travelling allowance R1 900-00 per month
transport R1 000-00 per month
administrative costs (telephone, stationery, cell phone) - R800-00 per month
These costs place a tremendous pressure on the general budget, and if they are compared to the success rate of the units addressing corruption, it might reflect that the investigations are too costly. It must however be borne in mind that the cost of combatting crime cannot be compared to the cost of investigations or to the success. The complicated nature of the investigations make them very expensive. Cost cutting is very important. To save costs investigations are coordinated, for example when an investigator travels to a certain area he is required to do the investigation for another investigator as far as possible.
An audit was done by the Auditor General on the overtime remuneration and no problems were found and / or identified. We have also reduced the payment of overtime dramatically.
There is a definite need for an Anti-Corruption Unit that has a clear mandate and National control over the different provincial offices to conduct investigations. The only way to effectively fight corruption is to adopt a ZERO TOLERANCE attitude for corruption.
Corruption within the criminal justice system is devastating for a country. Everybody relies on the Department of Justice and Department of Safety and Security for their personal safety. Citizens lose their faith in the police and criminal justice system if corruption is rampant.
No foreigner will invest in a country where he is not sure that his investment is safe or where he has the perception that the criminal justice system is corrupt to such a degree that the police cannot act against criminals.
It is clear that corruption is not just another crime. It should be dealt with seriously. Because of this fact corruption is one of the National Priorities of the South African Police Service.
In closing, I wish to quote from Edmund Burke :
"The only thing for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing".
No related documents
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.