A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
Meeting reportSAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
31 October 2007
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REPORT & SAPS ANNUAL REPORT 2006/7 BY NATIONAL COMMISSIONER
Chairperson: Ms M Sotyu (ANC)
Documents handed out:
SAPS Domestic Violence Report (Jan to June 2007)
Department of Safety and Security presentation on Annual Report 2006/07
Department of Safety and Security Annual Report 2006/07 [available at www.saps.gov.za]
Audio recording of meeting
The Committee was briefed on the Domestic Violence Report by the National Police Commissioner and his team. They highlighted the achievements so far recorded in curbing domestic violence, and concluded that there was a need for increased training of SAPS members and sensitisation of members of the public. It was also agreed that there should be proper coordination between different state departments to deal with domestic violence. The Department of Safety and Security also presented its Annual Report. Due to time constraints, presentation of its financial statement was postponed to the next meeting.
Domestic Violence Report presentation
Dr Tertius Geldenhuys, SAPS Assistant Commissioner and Head of Legislation: Legal Services, explained that the presentation was based on the provisions of Section 18(5)(d) of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA). He stated that in the period under review, the number of domestic violence incidents reported to the service was 45 454, out of which 17 663 resulted in criminal cases being opened. Complaints against SAPS members increased by more than 50% during this period, and the reasons for this were heightened awareness by the public, and many unfounded complaints being reported.
During the period under review, 6 159 new recruits were trained on domestic violence. Also, approximately 90 members specializing in the investigation of family violence, child protection and sexual offences cases completed their training, which included domestic violence training. Further, 4 628 members were given domestic violence training as part of in-service training. This training also includes station commissioners and provincial commanders who are receiving further refresher training in this regard. Regular inspections at station level were conducted by National Evaluation Services to ensure compliance by members with their obligations under the Act.
On the challenges being faced, further training of members would be required to ensure proper handling of domestic violence incidents. Further, there was a need for gender sensitivity and general sensitisation of the community about the protection afforded by the Act. Above all, there was a need for proper coordination between the different departments, non-government organisations and community initiatives to deal with domestic violence incidents.
The Chair noted that the Committee had received a disturbing report on Domestic Violence Act matters from the Eastern Cape. She hoped the challenges identified there were being addressed.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) observed that the SAPS and the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) in the previous meeting seemed to present two completely different reports and that there might be need for them to return to the Committee. She noted that the contradictions in the two reports were very obvious.
Mr V Ndlovu (ANC) asked what had been happening in the period before 1 January 2007. He also observed that there were obvious contradictions in the SAPS and ICD reports.
Mr S Mahote (ANC) asked where the 90 SAPS members who had completed specialised training, were situated and what they were doing.
Mr M Booi (ANC) asked what was meant by people withdrawing charges for domestic violence incidents.
In his response to these questions, National Commissioner Jackie Selebi stated that there may indeed be contradictions between the SAPS report and the ICD report and that he had not seen the ICD report. He stated that it was necessary for both the ICD and SAPS to present both their reports to the Committee for clarity. He added that both reports could not be identical because, while some victims of domestic violence sent their complaints to the ICD, others make their complaints to the SAPS. He said that the overall goal was to reduce the scourge of domestic violence, but added that both SAPS and the ICD have different approaches to dealing with the problem. He noted that the ICD did not have as much capacity as the SAPS in this regard.
In his own response, Divisional Commissioner S Schutte stated that SAPS consulted with the ICD only when it was necessary to do so; otherwise they usually take action without consulting with the ICD. He however added that at the provincial level, both organisations were cooperating with each other. Most acts of domestic violence were not criminal and therefore no criminal charges may be laid. Some of these acts may be economic violence, emotional, verbal or psychological abuse. Sometimes complainants are reluctant to lay a charge and this was part of the problem. In the period before 1 January 2007, about 43 000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to the police.
The Chair stated that the Committee would study both reports and if necessary, hold a joint briefing with both SAPS and ICD in attendance.
Department Annual Report presentation
Divisional Commissioner S Schutte stated that the Annual Report consisted of general information, programme performance, the Auditor General’s report, annual financial statements and human resource management information. The Report covered the activities of its different programmes. Measurable objectives had been developed for each programme, and the report showed performance targets and actual performance achieved for each objective.
Programme One covered Administration. A Human Resources plan had been developed and a minimum workforce of 90% had been maintained. Also an employment equity ratio of 75/25 had been maintained, while about 92% of employees utilised the performance management systems. On human resource development, a target of 90% of operational training was achieved for the Training Provisioning Plan (TPP). Also, an asset register was in place and all discrepancies within the register had been identified and were being rectified. Furthermore, Service Delivery charters had been developed and incorporated into operational plans.
Programme Two dealt with Visible Policing. Sector policing had been established at 169 high-contact crime stations. Also, 83 illegal firearms, 804 rounds of ammunition and 208 stolen vehicles were recovered at borders. The value of illegal goods recovered at borders was R 6 356 103 while 19 235 arrests were made. In addition, 9 423 arrests were made for crowd-related incidents. Under crime intelligence, the number of operations conducted to neutralise crime threats increased from 12 534 in 2005/6 to 28 815 in 2006/7, while the number of intelligence and information products increased from 54 314 in 2005/6 to 105 238 in 2006/7.
Under Protection and Security Services, 24 attempted security breaches were recorded, although no actual security breaches took place. Also, 100% safe delivery rate was achieved of valuable cargo and high profile, psychiatric or dangerous prisoners. The number of illegal firearms recovered at ports of entry and exit decreased from 252 in 2005/6 to 121 in 2006/7, while the number of stolen vehicles recovered decreased from 1 520 in 2005/6 to 1 045 in 2006/7. The value of recovered goods at ports decreased from R277 435 327 in 2005/6 to R192 391 930 in 2006/7, but the number of arrests at ports increased from 24 543 in 2005/6 to 30 410 in 2006/7.
Mr S Ntuli (ANC) asked how the Department rated itself considering that there were still open gaps in the border posts.
Ms Van Wyk asked what action was taken against those responsible for biannual inspections which were not carried out. She also asked how many of the 594 victim friendly centres were newly created.
Ms van der D Walt (DA) asked why there was no information on officers who had been charged with criminal conduct.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked how members of SAPS lost their firearms and what the percentage of members who lost firearms was. She also asked why funds were still being taken out of the funds meant for visible policing.
The National Commissioner in his response stated that 70 firearms had been recovered and that the reason for the loss of firearms was because many retired officers failed to return their firearms to the police.
On the border posts, he said that there was no private company at the borders. Instead the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC) was responsible for coordinating activities at the ports of entry. The BCOCC is a collection of state departments. He added that three aircrafts were to be purchased to help in patrol activities along the borders.
On visible policing, the National Commissioner said that there was a special fund for major events. It was from this fund that the police paid out R6 million to help with security at the Caribbean cricket event. No money was taken out of funds meant for visible policing.
On performance, he stated that performance in SAPS was measured on two levels: organisational performance and individual performance. He added that station commissioners were evaluated on a continual basis. On victim friendly centres, he said 11 new centres were established in the period under review.
The Chair stated that due to time constraints, the financial statement of the Department would have to be presented the following week. She also proposed that the Committee should meet with the SAPS on a quarterly basis in order to exercise their oversight functions more effectively. She thanked the National Commissioner and his team for their presentation.
The meeting was adjourned.