Hansard: Second Reading Debate: Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 01 Sep 2010
No summary available.
Thursday, 2 September 2010 Take: 107
THE MINISTE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM
INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE BILL
(Second Reading Debate)
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill, otherwise known as Ipid, that has been placed before this House forms an important part of our approach to policing, and the type of force that we envisage and wish to see moving forward.
Whilst we focus more on the fighting of crime, particularly combating serious and violent crime, and fighting it toughly, we, at the same time, balance that with our philosophy of community policing, which is oriented towards the respect of human rights, being community-centred, being biased towards the weak, and the safety needs of society.
This piece of legislation will ensure that the rule of law is upheld at all material times, even by the law enforcement agencies. This Bill was introduced to Parliament together with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Bill. The two Bills speak to the commitment of the civilian's oversight role which they must play with regard to the police.
In changing the focus and the name of the Independent Complaints Directorate, ICD, to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, we are sending a clear message that the new body will not just focus on processing complaints, but its emphasis will be on developing a strong investigating capacity. We also seek to investigate substantial systemic defects in policing and general corruption.
The Bill before this august body today, not only changes in name, but it also creates a separate piece of legislation away from where it is located currently within the SA Police Service Act.
Historically, there have been several problems that have plagued the smooth operations of the ICD. While it had powers to investigate the police, it still had to submit its findings to the police themselves. This has been raised over a period of time, particularly by parliamentarians.
In the legislation determining the mandate of the Ipid, the focus is squarely on what the most important issues are that the Ipid should deal with in order to make a real impact.
In the process of determining the mandate, the principle used is that, the Ipid should investigate those matters that will have a lasting impact on transforming the police into a structure that, not only deals with crime with vigour, but also upholds the law and the Constitution. It also highlights the fact that domestic violence will be removed from Ipid and placed under the secretariat.
The one area that we have specifically located under the new Ipid is the investigation of any police officer involved in rape. We adopted this stance primarily because crimes against women and girl children remain one of government's key priorities. We want to ensure that in cases where a police officer is suspected of committing such crimes, such a case is investigated by an independent body. This approach will go a long way in building the public's confidence in the force, whilst, at the same time, re-enforcing government's commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable in society are not abused by the very people who should protect them.
The Bill speaks to the fact that the national office should be a lean, administrative office providing strategic leadership and direction, but with the capacity to execute the mandate located at various provincial offices.
The White Paper speaks to the need to strengthen the relationship between the ICD and the Civilian Secretariat for Police. This Bill enhances the relationship in some detail and strengthens co-operation between the two bodies. With this piece of legislation, we have committed ourselves to continuing to work for the entrenchment of the human rights culture. We have now provided the new Ipid with the necessary tools, and it will be up to the leadership of this body to implement their mandate. Thank you.
Ms L S CHIKUNGA / UNH / END OF TAKE
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