27 August 2020 - NW1622
Terblanche, Mr OS to ask the Minister of Police
By what date does he envisage that the elite units of the (i) SA Police Service and (ii) Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation will be fully operational following the easing of lockdown restrictions and (b) what measures have been put in place in each case to mitigate the time and resources lost due to the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19?
The South African Police Service (SAPS) does not have any units, which are called “elite units”. The only Unit that is elite in nature, as per the competency profile, is the Specialised Task”Force (STF), within the Division: Operational Response Services. The STF is mandated to resolve high risk situations.
(a)(i) The STF remained fully operational during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Lockdown.
(a)(ii) The investigative capacity of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), remained fully operational during the National Lockdown. However, the lockdown restricted employee movement and calls for social distancing, resulted in investigating officers not being able to effectively communicate with witnesses/informers or effect arrests. The inability to access expertise, such as forensic accountants and any other evidential material, impacted on the finalisation of investigations, although courts have remained partially active, resulting in a further backlog of cases.
The DPCI embarked on the capacitation of its specialised units, but the National Lockdown initially delayed the capacitation process. With the relaxation of lockdown levels, the process to capacitate the DPCI has been reinitiated and
some of the posts are in the process of being finalised, whilst other posts are in the process of being advertised.
Protocols, to manage and contain the spread of the COVID-19 has been implemented and members are operating on a rotational basis. The STF members are continuing to respond to all requests.
In an endeavour to mitigate the time and resources lost, the DPCI has embarked on the use of virtual platforms to engage stakeholders. The staggered return of the Public Service Act (PSA) personnel, who provide administrative support to the operational environment, is being managed by the guidelines, issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Circular No.18 of 2020: State of Disaster COVID-19: Public Service Return to Work Guidelines, as well as the directive issued by the Department of Health, on 25 May 2020, which guides the management of vulnerable employees and the rotation of personnel. The DPCI has put measures in place that support the implementation to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Reply to question 1622 recommended/
GENERAL NATIONAL COMMISSIONER: SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
KJ SITOLE (SOEDG)
Reply to question 1622 approved
MINISTER OF POLICE
GENERAL BH CELE, MP