Hansard: NA: Debate on Vote 23 & 20: Police & Independent Police and Investigative Directorate (NA Chamber)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 15 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Friday, 15 May 2015 Take: 1
Friday, 15 May 2015
Proceedings of extended public committee – chamber of the national assembly
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 10:02.
House Chairperson Ms A T Didiza, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
THE MINISTER OF POLICE
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote 23 – Police (including Vote 20 – Independent Police and Investigative Directorate)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Hon members, we would like to welcome the team of the Minister and the various entities that are present. I know they are accountable to you as Parliament but I welcome them for their debate today. I also welcome the Minister’s guests, who are our guests today.
THE MINISTER OF POLICE:House Chairperson and the Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu; MECs present and the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman; hon members; management and members of the SA Police Service and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate; the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation; the Civilian Secretariat for Police; the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, esteemed guests in the gallery and fellow South Africans; a tree of knowledge and wisdom has fallen: Mme Ruth Mompati, Isithwalandwe, one of the leading lights and a moral compass of our generation passed on this week after serving the people of this country with distinction, honour and selflessness. We take solace in the fact that we will continue to derive inspiration from a life well lived – a life that taught us that the human soul is a balance between reason, spirit and desire.
Let me also honour the young learners from the North West who have been invited to this Budget Vote, following their demonstration of interest in policing matters during one of our Marikana outreach programmes. The three learners in the gallery are: Kealeboga Tisane, Mbuso Luphondwana and Itumeleng Morolong. They are accompanied by their teacher. They represent the future we want. I would also like to honour Mr Alpheas Masemola from the Ministry, who retired this year after 33 years in the service. May he enjoy a less hectic life.
We present this Budget Vote in the year in which we celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter. For this reason, it is important to reflect and look back at the obligations of those men and women in relation to what this means in present-day South Africa.
The Freedom Charter mandated us as the Security cluster to ensure that “all shall be equal before the law”. In this regard, the SA Police Service is to be helpers and protectors of the people. We may have differing views on the successes that we have registered in this sector; however, as South Africans, we should take comfort in the fact that our men and women in blue, alongside other law enforcement agencies, continue to make our country proud. This was demonstrated in the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, which in themselves are indicative of the amount of work we have to do to reverse the extent and levels of underdevelopment in our society. Not only were our security forces propelled by legal and institutional arrangements in dealing with this situation but as human beings and fellow South Africans, they are convinced that we are all one people and belong to one humanity. It is our fervent wish that our members continue to do what our Constitution requires of them and that all people within our borders embrace the work of the police.
All the above is stated against the backdrop of the continued killing of police members, with 86 having lost their lives in this past financial year, 35 on duty and 51 off duty. This is an overall increase of close to 12% compared to the previous year. As a society it is important that we inculcate in ourselves the notion that killing members of the police is killing the nation.
Equally, we are not oblivious of or blind to police infractions against citizens that have been reported to Ipid; infractions that are being dealt with and continue to be dealt with expeditiously.
In its Ready to Govern policy document, the ANC identified specific priorities defining the future perspective on policing in a democratic context, some of which are the following: Policing shall be based on community support and participation; police shall be accountable to society and the community it serves through democratically elected institutions; policing shall be subject to public scrutiny and open debate; allegations of police misconduct shall be dealt with by independent complaints and investigation mechanisms; the police service shall strive for high performance standards.
These strategic priorities were submitted as final inputs on 15 June 1995 in drafting the current Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. We have in the past year revisited these ideals and combined them with the mandate given to us by the National Development Plan to develop a framework that is aimed at revisiting our trajectory in order to continue transforming.
In this regard, we have focused our efforts on strengthening the police and policing in general in the country. This effort is also being mobilised on the basis of the publication of the White Paper on Safety and Security and the White Paper on Policing.
This financial year marks 20 years since the promulgation of the South African Police Service Act. As we do with all legislation, we have to review it continually to make sure that it addresses our present-day challenges. In this regard, the White Paper on Policing is aimed at a review of the Act to make it relevant to modern-day challenges and operational requirements. It also seeks to align the South African Police Service Act with the provisions of the Constitution.
The White Paper on Safety and Security emphasises an integrated approach to policing and will form the basis for our policy and legislative review process. We continue to aspire to the creation of a state where our people are free, safe and able to raise their children in a stable society. In doing so, we are informed by our commitment to the creation of a just society and state – a state that, to reference Socrates, will exhibit the four qualities of wisdom, courage, discipline and justice.
Our integrated approach to policing emphasises the involvement of our communities in the fight against crime and corruption. This is a responsibility we all share with the police being lead agents in this regard. That is why in the current financial year we have placed the bulk of our spending towards visible policing, which will receive just under R39 billion for this financial year.
In the coming financial year, we will also be placing a stronger emphasis on the need to review specialised units that are dedicated to fighting specific forms of crime and to specialised investigations. We have heard the outcry from communities ravaged by drugs. Already the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit has made great strides and progressively continues to secure life convictions. We place this stronger emphasis and do this review taking into account that the commission of crime has become more specialised, advanced and sophisticated. Therefore our response should be at a level higher than the criminals.
Just under R16 billion has been committed to our detective services, which will witness a growth of 5,8% in the medium term. This budget will also be supported by the increase in capital equipment aimed at improving capital infrastructure and technological advancement, particularly in the forensic science and investigative functions.
Our policing shall always be intelligence-led in the war against crime and corruption. It is for this reason that crime intelligence will also receive a 7,8% increase of its budget allocation in the medium term. We are also emphasising the improvement of investigation capacity for crimes committed against children and the elderly. We dedicated R840 million to this with further increases expected in the outer years of our Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police has been established as an independent entity with effect from 1 April 2015, so that it can effectively discharge its duty of civilian oversight over the police and of inducing community activation. A transfer payment on the Vote, amounting to approximately R105 million, has been provided to the Civilian Secretariat for Police, whose work on the policy and legislative front is invaluable.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police contributes to what the NDP envisages - that people living in South Africa should feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy an active community life free of fear. The plan promotes tackling the fundamental causes of crime through an integrated approach between state and non-state institutions, with the active involvement of civil society.
The Constitutional Court directed that we should enhance the independence of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, the DPCI. In this regard, we have commenced the establishment of the DPCI as an independent budget programme. The new programme will be introduced through the MTEF process in June 2015. A task team has been established with a target for a new programme by 1 April 2016.
Alongside this process is the need to capacitate the DPCI by significantly ramping up investment in capital infrastructure, which involves the upgrading of the information technology network and the creation of human capability to assist in the effective combating, investigation and prevention of priority and transnational crime and corruption.
Tom Butler-Bowdon, in an introduction to Plato’s The Republic, refers to Socrates who tried to show:
… that doing what is right is not a moral good to be traded in order to gain something, or to be sacrificed when it has no apparent benefit; rather, correct action is a necessity – one cannot live a good life without it.
In this regard, the oversight role played by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, cannot be overemphasised. Its role in conducting investigations and making recommendations on the conduct of the police is being enhanced through the establishment of the national Special Investigation Team, which will focus on the investigation of systemic cases of corruption at national level.
It remains our commitment that Ipid will conduct its investigations without fear, favour or prejudice. It is only through such unquestionable professionalism and integrity that our people will have faith in the police and our institutions of oversight such as Ipid and the Civilian Secretariat for Police.
Policy and legislative formulation plays a vital role in shaping the future of policing in our country. In this regard, a Consultative Forum, chaired jointly by the Executive Director of Ipid and the Secretary of Police, as per the legislative requirements, has been established – also with a view to recommending and advising the Minister on issues of policy and legislation.
One of the milestones registered thus far is the National Critical Infrastructure Bill, a piece of legislation that seeks to repeal the National Key Points Act, Act 102 of 1980, which currently is with Cabinet. We are also amending the Firearms Control Act as a way of curbing the prevalence of gun culture and high levels of violence in our society. There are far too many guns circulating in our society.
You would be aware that the Private Security Industry Amendment Bill is in process. The Bill is currently being considered for assent by the President. The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, like many other institutions, is experiencing financial pressure due to a number of challenges and legal contestations from business. We have, however, reached a settlement on the new fees, which are due to be implemented in the current financial year.
In the current financial year we will also be looking at the new funding model aimed at ensuring the financial sustainability of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority. We will conduct research and benchmarks with other countries to look at best mechanisms and the recommendations of such a process, which will assist in crafting a way forward regarding the financial model to be followed.
In the previous financial year the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority completed a three-year research project funded by the International Research and Development Centre. It dealt with promoting partnership for crime prevention between state and private security providers in southern Africa. This study is comparative in nature and covers Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa. Around June 2015, the authority will be publishing the research output in the form of a monograph. This will also be available online. The recommendations of the study will also enhance our approach and partnership in the fight against crime in the country.
House Chair, this country has witnessed a spike in service delivery and/or community protests. Police resources were committed to 14 740 incidents, of which 12 451 were peaceful and 2 289 turned violent. The fact of the matter is that these protests continue to strain the resources of the police. We are also mindful that citizens have a right to air their grievances; however, society needs to understand that the solution to these protests do not lie with the police.
Solutions lie with the ability to exercise leadership and the effective address of service delivery issues and other developmental needs in our communities. In this regard, we urge all political parties of different persuasions to play a constructive role in stabilising our communities. On the other hand, as the police, we will continue to play our role and do our duty to ensure that in the exercise of such rights, life, limb and property are secured.
In the year under review, we have criss-crossed the length and breadth of our country, listening and interacting with communities on issues of policing. Thus far, the police Ministry, in a space of about six months, conducted more than 67 community outreach programmes. This in itself demonstrates our commitment to our policy, which places policing at the centre of community responsibility.
We listened and intervened successfully in Kuruman, where children were being denied a chance of schooling. We did the same in Malamulele. We were there when we were required in Grabouw. We continue with the “We are One Humanity” programme, which seeks to deal with a psyche that has seen neighbour turn against neighbour, which is wrong. The fact of the matter is that we have a shared destiny.
In the year under review, DPCI registered the following successes: Of the 3 959 commercial cases handled, 2 749 individuals were arrested – a conviction rate of 97,1%; 56 individuals were arrested for money laundering, with 44 convictions; the cyber-crime unit successfully saved Eskom and Gautrain R3,5 billion and R800 million respectively; 57 clandestine drug laboratories were dismantled; 324 people were held for drug-related crimes, with 98 convictions; 436 people were held for crimes related to precious stones and/or metals, with 56 convictions; 192 people were arrested for endangered species, with 68 convictions; 42 were arrested for Human Trafficking, with two convictions; 2 090 were held for organised crime, with 558 convictions.
Through our Visible Policing division we have ensured the national security and territorial integrity of the Republic; through 3 775 crime prevention and combating operations at ports of entry.
For South Africa to be safe, stable and developmental, it requires that we all must play a role regarding issues of policing and ensuring a safe and secure environment, taking into account that the quality of a nation arises from the combined attributes of its citizens. In this regard, we call for a support of this Budget Vote. I thank you.[Applause.]
Mr F BEUKMAN
The MINISTER OF POLICE
Mr F BEUKMAN: Hon House Chair; hon Minister of Police, hon Nhleko; hon Deputy Minister of Police, hon Sotyu; hon members of the Cabinet and hon Deputy Ministers; MECs of the nine provinces; hon Members of Parliament, the accounting officers of the SAPS; the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid; the Civilian Secretariat for Police; the Director of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, Psira; and fellow South Africans, the Portfolio Committee on Police received briefings from the SA Police Service on their 2015-2016 budget and annual performance plan on 15, 17 and 21 April 2015.
Briefings were also received from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on 23 April 2015 and the Civilian Secretariat for Police on 29 April 2015. The briefings were preceded by inputs from civil society, research institutions and trade unions on 14 April 2015. The reports dealing with the three entities were adopted by the portfolio committee on 7 May 2015 and published in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reportson 11 May 2015.
In the findings and observations, the committee specifically focused on the importance of stable leadership and effective financial management in the SAPS, Ipid and the Civilian Secretariat. In the case of the SAPS, 29 recommendations were made; in relation to Ipid, 15 recommendations; and in the case of the Civilian Secretariat, 20 recommendations were made.
I want to thank all members of the committee for their contributions during the process and also the hon Deputy Minister of Police for her valuable contribution during the budget hearings. The recommendations support the Building Safer Communities vision contained in the National Development Plan, namely:
In 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and they enjoy a community life free of fear. Women walk freely in the streets and children play safely outside. The Police Service is well resourced and professional, staffed by highly skilled officers who value their work, serve the community, safeguard lives and property without discrimination, protect the peaceful against violence, and respect the rights to equality and justice.
The Portfolio Committee on Police will monitor the responses and implementation plans of the three entities relating to the adopted resolutions. If the need arises, additional hearings will be scheduled during the parliamentary year to evaluate progress. The ANC recorded the following in their January 8 statement 2015:
We are now seeing a gradual but steady decline in serious crime. However, crime still remains a major social and economic challenge. Communities are urged to participate fully in the various community safety forums and work with the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies to fight crime. It is only by working together that we can eradicate crime from our communities and also hold the police accountable should they act outside the boundaries of the law.
We condemn, in the strongest of terms the killing of law enforcement officers and urge communities to work with the police to eliminate this scourge. The ANC condemns the violent crimes against women, children, the elderly and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT community. These attacks are despicable and they must be stopped.
The January 8 statement also highlights the role of civil society in ensuring safety in our communities, community education on laws, the rights and duties of South African citizens and for responsible citizens to respect one another, our laws, public property and the authority of the state. Members of the community are also urged to participate in campaigns against all forms of violence and also to report to law enforcement agencies any knowledge regarding these attacks.
The SAPS received a main appropriation of R76 billion for this financial year; Ipid R234 million and the Civilian Secretariat R105 million. The Police Vote represents 11% of the total national budget, which is the second largest allocation to a single Vote. We firmly believe that the national commissioner and her management team should ensure that the allocated resources are distributed fairly across police stations countrywide, more especially to previously disadvantaged and less affluent areas.
All citizens are entitled to receive the same level of service. Rural and high crime areas should receive special attention. We welcome the commitment by the SAPS management to investigate and implement alternative methods of resource allocation and to improve access to police service points.
Police stations are the backbone of the SAPS. If a station commander is ineffective and a station fails, it fails the community. The constant up-skilling of station commanders is an essential prerequisite to ensure that junior members receive the necessary mentoring and relevant in-house training to become successful law enforcement officers.
The committee resolved that the leadership of the SAPS must be stabilised and that accountability should be increased at all levels of the organisation. The integrity of the SAPS leadership should be beyond reproach. The vetting turnaround strategy, the new recruitment framework and the establishment of the Integrity Unit could also have a positive effect to strengthen accountability and adherence to integrity-based values.
One of the critical areas to be addressed over the medium-term is the professionalisation of the Police Service. A Police Service that wants to be trusted by the community should be professional at all times. The draft White Paper on Police reflects in Chapter 3 on the necessary qualities for a police officer in the 21st century, namely a career professional, a loyal public servant, respectful and accepting of public values, accountability mechanisms and policing systems.
We welcome the following action steps tabled in the estimates of national expenditure to professionalise the Police: Strengthen relations with research and academic institutions on curriculum development, including the police code of conduct in the department’s disciplinary regulations; performance appraisals; streamlining the process to deal with disciplinary cases; and launching the community-based recruitment and selection strategy. However, these action steps should form part of a broader comprehensive implementation strategy to professionalise the Police. The President of the Republic, President JG Zuma, made the following remark in the 2015 state of the nation address: “We have to continue working harder to fight crime and to create safer communities.”
This effort is therefore not restricted to state institutions only; it involves the total community. The recent National Firearms Summit that was held in Parliament brought stakeholders, role-players and ordinary South Africans from the SA Football Association to the Hunters Association to embark on a dialogue on the kind of society we wish to live in and enjoy in the context of gun control.
All stakeholders agreed that everyone had a role to play in ensuring effective measures to regulate the ownership and distribution of guns and prevent and reduce the impact of gun violence on society. We once again want to call on all citizens to assist in removing illegal firearms from society. Let us work with the SAPS, community police forums, CPFs, and community organisations in this important endeavour.
The recent incidents of xenophobic violence again highlighted the importance of intelligence-led policing and an integrated approach to curb public violence. We welcome the establishment of liaison forums and co-operation centres for migrants in conjunction with CPFs, the assessment and management of illegal firearms in the hands of migrants and the increased deployment to enhance visibility and the response to incidents.
Oversight over the police is entrenched in Section 206 and 208 of the Constitution of the Republic, where provision is made respectively for Ipid and the Civilian Secretariat. We believe that the Ipid, under the leadership of the Acting Executive Director Mr Israel Kgamanyane, should take Ipid services closer to the people, enhance the integrity and quality of investigations and reprioritise the fight against corruption and systemic corruption.
The Civilian Secretariat, headed by the Acting Secretary Ms Reneva Fourie, has an important role to play to improve the effectiveness of policing in South Africa through the regular monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the SAPS. The promotion of crime prevention partnerships and the hosting of dialogue on community safety and crime prevention could significantly contribute to the reduction of crime.
We also want to pay tribute to those members of the SAPS who died in the line of duty since the last Budget Vote. We want to extend our condolences to their loved ones and families. We honour their contribution in the fight against crime and to keep our communities safe. In the recent weeks we saw the brutal slaying of members in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. We believe that the SAPS management should also ensure that there is a constant review of operational training and tactical doctrines in high risk environments to maximise the safety of members.
Finally, the ANC supports Budget Vote 23 for the Police, including the Civilian Secretariat, and Budget Vote 20, for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD
Mr F BEUKMAN
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chairperson, what do South Africans want and what do South Africans deserve? These are the two of the most vexing questions of the past two decades. There does, however, seem to be consensus that what we want and deserve are lasting peace and order. Freedom we can use. From peace and order emanate all else - the right to safety, to live, to walk the streets, to work - in a society that encourages individual rights and freedoms in a democracy that thrives. This is the vision of the DA for South Africa.
To this end, the police are the most visible manifestation of government authority and are the ones tasked with bringing about peace and order. In a post-conflict society, this great nation of ours must exert a laser-like focus on the rule of law and to that end we need a standardised foundation from which to teach all police-related activities with accepted norms and standards drummed into every officer, from constable to National Police Commissioner.
We need and deserve - for our R73 billion - police who follow international best practice as naturally as they breathe and who are equipped, mentally and physically, and furnished with every item necessary to counter any and every new security threat. We need police who serve us; police who are committed to the rule of law; committed to policing ethics and accountable to the law and to us - the people they serve. We need police our citizens turn to, rather than police citizens run from.
Sadly, we have confused police members whose bosses are hired by a compromised President to protect him at all costs. They, in turn, hire non-police whom they give high ranks and fat salaries to in exchange for protection from the media, politicians and accountability. Beneath them is a rather threadbare and thin blue line of real police who strive to keep us safe and who believe in this ideal of preventing and detecting crime. But they are surrounded by police who are feared and who are frequently involved in criminal activities, such as poaching one of the 1 215 rhinos slaughtered this year - while taking a salary for protecting them - or accepting bribes on the border to allow contraband in or out.
Progress is made towards democratic policing when there is a shift from a control-oriented to a more service-oriented approach. In our case, we started our democracy by turning it into a service - away from the dreaded apartheid-era force. But hon Beki Cele saw it fit to turn it into his personal army so that he can be a general, wearing medals as fake as those on the chest of his successor. [Interjections.]
While his failed national police days are still under investigation by the crumbling Special Investigating Unit, so has she failed spectacularly in ridding us of even one of the infamous 1 448 convicted murderers and other criminals who are still working in the SA Police Service. That is what we have as the SA Police Service today.
Arriving back at Acacia Park last night, three men armed with knives were ripping off my neighbour’s burglar bars - easy to do out of a prefab – until he put on his lights and shouted at them. He did call the police, but their vehicles have been withdrawn so they had to walk to his assistance. Recently, a female Member of Parliament walked in on two men, who put knives to her throat; another had all her appliances stolen. There is no help. My alarm was tested but plainly it is now not linked to anything because the Ministry or the National Police Commissioner cancelled the private security company and did not tell anyone. [Interjections.] We have no assistance at all. That is a microcosm of South Africa.
The extreme politicisation of the Police has fuelled cronyism and corruption and inevitably also eroded expertise, technical knowledge and accountability, which have dropped to an all-time low.
There is no single vision. The massively expensive review of the criminal justice system has fallen as flat as the tyres on the thousands of SAPS vehicles languishing in garages because the National Police Commissioner decided to take a tender into her own hands - and the court disagrees. The SA State Information Technology Agency, Sita, and Public Works fail time after time to complete even the simplest of tasks, so where we should have a smooth flow and easy access to chart an arrest, trial, incarceration, instead the technical integration of the criminal justice system has failed, the e-docket system has collapsed and the backlog at the forensic labs are increasing. The firearm registry is equally in catastrophic state.
The current structure sets itself up to fail. Station commanders want to be seen as successful in terms of having brought down crime. As a result, I am receiving endless reports of victims who are simply turned away and no case will be opened.
The SAPS thinks it is fine to create their own crime statistics, which is the equivalent of a matriculant marking her own paper. So the only true statistics we can rely on is murder and perhaps attempted murder - both of which have risen over the past two years. Before this day is over, 47 of us will be dead.
The world watched as our police bungled high-profile cases which their best and brightest manage to mangle and then lose in court - makes me wonder why we passed the DNA legislation, which will add another level of complexity to their jobs. Equally, the world knows that the President is now keeping the report on the Marikana massacre as tightly under his carpet as the Speaker is keeping under hers the Minister of Police’s report on how much he must pay back for his Nkandla palace, which we paid for. We all know that teams of professionals are massaging those two reports till they will be barely recognisable, but everyone knows that the day the Marikana Commission report is released, so too will be the National Police Commissioner. She has already apparently been offered various other cushy jobs to slink off, rather like the head of the Hawks did after he had the temerity to ask for the Nkandla files and was suspended for his troubles. But she is defiant to the end and says Mr President, you will have to fire me. Mr President, please, oblige her.
We need professional, real police officers at the helm; someone who has worked their way up the ranks from constable - not a failed teacher, not a recycled politician or twice-dumped social worker, but an officer admired by the police, in a position all of them can aspire to achieve as they work their way through the ranks, earning their promotions rather than the current system of cronyism and nepotism with 21-year-olds bouncing through the ranks because they are related to or sleeping with a bigwig in the province. To say that morale among the rank and file is at rock bottom is an understatement, to say the least. [Interjections.]
Mr B M MKONGI: On a point of order: Is it parliamentary for a Member of Parliament to repeat the same speech of the past 10 years? [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, that is not a point of order. Please take your seat. Hon Kohler-Barnard, you may proceed.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Of course I have been told that the three-year crisis in crime intelligence is coming to an end. However, the latest acting head did - rather bravely and probably in a career-limiting move - admit to the committee that she warned of the catastrophic xenophobic riots in KwaZulu-Natal but that the police in that province just did not react with the speed or numbers her warnings warranted.
Of course they didn’t, because the provincial commissioner has other things on her mind: The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is busy investigating her at last for accepting payment for a plush five-star 50th birthday party for her husband from none other than Toshan Panday, a business partner to the President’s son and also the man who Advocate Gerrie Nel will be grilling in court about the R60 million SAPS scam during the Fifa World Cup.
The National Development Plan sees our SAPS as I want to see them: professional to the roots of their hair; equipped so they may outshoot, outdrive and outmanoeuvre members of criminal syndicates; and as honest as the day is long. Instead, we have members who are professionally bald, cannot shoot and have no driver’s licence so it does not matter to them that there are no vehicles to drive.
We know the current Minister was appointed for one reason and one reason only: to protect the President. There is clear evidence that most of the executives are hard-wired to the presidential wrecking ball and in the Ministry of Police anyone who even thinks of mentioning Nkandla is immediately smashed into the future. [Interjections.]
I have written to the President, requesting that he immediately institute a judicial commission of inquiry into the complete mess that has gripped the Police Ministry for months. Will he grant my request? I doubt it.
For our SAPS members to survive the rising tide of organised crime, they must be superbly professional, technically proficient and of the highest integrity. But first of all, the Marikana report will prove a watershed moment. It will reveal exactly what our SA Police Service has become. Release it, Mr President. Release it today. [Applause.][Interjections.]
Mr D L TWALA
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD
Mr D L TWALA: Hon Chair, hon Minister, hon members, the EFF objects to Budget Votes 20 and 23 of 2015-16. How could we approve a budget when one person protesting is killed every four days by the police?
The department prioritised the training of 34 000 SA Police Service personnel in the 2013-14 financial year for firearm competency. This figure is not stated in the 2015-16 financial year. Could this be read to mean that all the police members are now competent in firearm control?
How could we approve a budget when civil claims against the police have shown an increase of 142% in the last four years since the 2010-11 financial year? Last year, high-ranking police officers were arrested in connection with job recruitment scams. Perhaps the long overdue national Policing Board, as anticipated, may mitigate against the risk of recruitment fraud.
The strategic plan states that a national management forum will be entrenched as the main decision making body of the organisation, supported by its relevant and recently established subcommittees, but there is no detail on how the proposed forum will interface with the mooted Board of Commissioners. How could we approve such a budget?
How could we approve this budget when illegal arrests cost the police at least R18,5 billion from civil litigation as a result of brutality and illegal arrests?
The SAPS has developed an extensive and complicated recruitment network to ensure that the right people are recruited into the service. The SAPS states in the 2015-16 Annual Performance Plan that to accelerate the recruitment process the department has entered into a partnership with the SA National Defence Force skills training programme to shorten the training programme for graduates who acquire qualifications relevant to the SAPS. Today, police are militarised, hierarchical and ill-equipped to deal with ordinary crime. This development goes against the grain of demilitarising the police.
Current policy approaches to the problem of crime have largely abandoned any commitment to social crime prevention by the police, attempting to shift this responsibility instead to the Social Services cluster of government. As a result, 227 children were murdered in South Africa in the 2012-13 financial year, which is more than two children a day. In the same year, 2 266 women were murdered and 141 130 women were victims of attempted murder.
How could we approve such a budget when police have been politicised - anticorruption and investigative units alike? Black police officers experience extreme difficulties with regard to promotion and are paid low wages. The management of the police service remains largely white. The consequence of this high-pressure job without a decent living wage and support is evidenced by the high levels of divorce among police members. In more extreme cases, these feelings of isolation and despair lead to suicide.
How could we approve a budget of a police service without a chief financial officer? Investigative entities have acting heads - as though the SAPS is an acting school.
The Independent Police Directorate is not independent. Why should we approve a budget when all four of its programmes were unable to spend their allocations for 2014-15 adequately? I thank you. The EFF cannot support Budget Vote 20 and 23.
Mr M A MNCWANGO
Mr D L TWALA
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Hon Chairperson, the IFP grudgingly supports this Budget Vote …[Applause.] … because we know that it is important that services are continually delivered for the benefit of our people. However, I do want to raise some issues.
The instability in the SA Police Service leadership has truly become a crisis - if not an outright circus - as generals are too busy taking time off work, either being on suspension or going to court, instead of combating crime. Consequently, police members of lower ranks do not have leadership at the operational level, which is something they need so much. This is similar to the blind leading the blind.
The number of such leaders who are out of commission is alarming. General Mdluli, former crime intelligence boss, is on suspension with full pay; General Sibiya, who could be helping the Hawks deal with the drug scourge and other serious crimes, is busy in court and is at home; General Booysen, leader of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, who has immense experience and has had an illustrious career in the police, won his court case but is still at home; General Lamoer, provincial head of the Western Cape SAPS, is busy with a court case and is also suspended; and recently, General AnwaDramat had to resign after being suspended and being in and out of court.
As for Mr Robert McBride, the executive director of Independent Police Investigative Directorate, it is absolutely ridiculous that he was suspended before he even knew where his office was, let alone having received his first salary.
This situation has dampened the morale in the police service and brought chaos into the ranks of leadership. There are no incentives, hon Minister, for most of the police officers, especially in the lower ranks, as they are not rewarded for their hard work through proper promotion. There are some officers who have been in their posts for years. I know of a sergeant who has been in that rank for the past 16 years, yet some spokesperson or the other gets promoted to the level of general over such deserving officers. This has resulted in people who have invaluable experience leaving the police service.
Hon Minister, we need you to truthfully tell us the exact number of resignations, early retirements and the amount of sick leaves taken in the police service over the year under review.
Dilapidated infrastructure is another aspect of SAPS that is in need of urgent attention. For instance, the holding cells being used for housing awaiting-trial prisoners in Nongoma consist of structures built in 1906 during the Bambatha rebellion - a messy kitchen, no toilet access and hugely overcrowded because it was actually built to accommodate 20 people. Even though it is not fit for human habitation, one sometimes finds hundreds of people in these cells. I would actually like to extend an invitation to the Minister to visit this area with me and see for yourself if this is true.
There are no offices for the Crime Intelligence Unit in Nongoma, for instance. They are currently housed in a park house, which has been standing there for the last 30 years and is busy falling apart. They are about to lose it because of the fact that it is actually crumbling. Yet they are responsible for many areas, including Hlabisa, Pongola, Magudu and Esibayeni. The worst part is that these officers do not even have their own vehicles.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms AT Didiza): Hon Mncwango, your time is up.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: I still have 16 seconds!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms AT Didiza): You got 16 seconds extra. Thank you very much, hon Mncwango.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Thank you so much.
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM
Mr M A MNCWANGO
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Chairperson, hon Minister, Ministers present, hon members, guests in the gallery, the SA Police Service received a main appropriation of R76,3 billion for the 2015-16 financial year. In 2015-16, the main appropriation increased nominally by R3,8 billion, which is a real increase of R371,7 million, or 0,51%, compared to the 2014-15 financial year.
The main appropriation of the Police vote will increase from R76,3 billion in 2015-16 to an estimated R86,4 billion in 2017-18, at an average annual rate of 6,0%. The SAPS indicated that the spending focus of the SAPS over the medium-term will be on the following priorities: maintaining the personnel capacity; professionalising the police service through skills development - we urge the Minister to encourage learners from Grade 10 to be able to attract the right kinds of skills into the police department; continuing to strengthen the criminal justice system by means of the criminal justice sector revamp and modernisation programme; and capital infrastructure.
Since the SAPS has a very good record of spending its total budget for any given financial year, it can only be hoped that it will deliver on the above spending priorities and efficiently manage its budget allocation for the 2015-16 financial year. It is also hoped that it will not record underexpenditure and any irregular and fruitless expenditure at the end of the financial year.
Given the fact that there are good financial control systems in place at the SAPS - notwithstanding the vacancy of the Chief Financial Officer - and there is a semblance of financial stability, the department’s current budget allocation should be supported. More so, given the centrality and the indispensable role of the department in the implementation of the National Development Plan goals in general, and in ensuring that all South Africans feel and are safe in particular, the department needs all the financial support it can get for it to contribute meaningfully to the realisation of the NDP goals.
Nevertheless, what is concerning in the budget is that the border security subprogramme, which is under the visible policing programme, received the smallest allocation in the 2015-16 financial year, with only R1,7 billion, which is 4,5% of the total programme budget. The border security environment remains under resourced despite several challenges identified in the past and more recently by the committee during its recent oversight visit to the Lebombo border post.
The department should address the following issues: the demilitarisation and professionalisation of the process; the re-establishment of specialised units such as the Family Violence, Child Protection, Sexual Offences and the organised crime and anticorruption units in particular; the establishment of closer liaison and co-operation between the oversight structures, including the SAPS Inspectorate Division, the Civilian Secretariat and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate the architecture of police oversight; the implementation of the Rural Safety Plan as an immediate priority; and the implementation of anticorruption measures at the Central Firearms Registry. In light of all these, the NFP will support this budget. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms M A MOLEBATSI
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM
Mme M A MOLEBATSI: Motlotlegi Mmusakgotla, Ditona le Batlatsa Ditona ba ba tlotlegang, baeng ba rona, maloko a a tlotlegang a Ntlo lehalahala ena, bagaetsho botlhe kwa magaeng, ntetleng ke le dumedise.
Hon Kohler-Barnard, you don’t cease to amaze me. Your eyes are so programmed that they only see wrong and nothing good. That is why you call the police “confused”. [Applause.][Interjections.]
The ANC declared this year the year of the Freedom Charter. Currently, the biggest threat to theDirectorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or the DPCI, which is commonly known as the Hawks, is ensuring leadership stability and striking a balance between its independence, while remaining a fundamental part of the SAPS team. There are many examples of this; the most recent one that comes to mind is the seizure of gold worth R20 million in strategic raids involving the DPCI and Crime Intelligence. Other successes include 10 suspects being arrested by the Hawks last week for the possession of heroin worth R7 million. Also last week, the Hawks arrested nine suspects for rhino poaching in the Lephalale area and, last month, the Hawks arrested six bank robbers in Mpumalanga. What are you saying?
Last month, again, the Hawks arrested seven suspects on charges of fraud and racketeering in De Aar. Also last month, the Hawks arrested 15 police members in the Eastern Cape for fraud and theft. I can go on and on and on![Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Yes, we know!
Ms M A MOLEBATSI: The ANC is also concerned about the isolated criminal elements within the SAPS and agree that they should not have the honour to wear the blue uniform. I said, “isolated”.
Let me remind hon Kohler-Barnard that she is just a shadow Minister of the DA. [Interjections.] There is a full Minister of Police in this country, and his name is hon Nathi Mthetho. [Laughter.][Interjections.] Nhleko! Let me repeat it: he is hon Nathi Nhleko – do not confuse the two. This department is in his capable hands.
Motlotlegi Mmusakgotla, dikgolegelo tsa rona di tletse di a phuphuma, mme bagolegwa ga ba ikisa ba tsamaya, ba tshwerwe ke sepodisi sa rona. Gape go bona ra re: Mogala wa nko tshwara thata, e se re o utlwa sebodu wa kgaoga.
The Crime Intelligence Division of the SAPS is without doubt the most crucial functionary of the SAPS. It is the only division that the SAPS empowered to collect intelligence and, as such, forms a piece of the crime-fighting puzzle in South Africa. This administration’s priorities are to ensure a crime intelligence-led police service. Working together with our men and women in blue, we can bring down the levels of crime.
The Crime Intelligence Division has made massive strides over the past couple of years, but it is not out of the woods yet. We need strong leadership in the division - and not only leadership. The instability in the leadership of the crime intelligence environment has been catastrophic for staff morale and service delivery. But as I said earlier, massive strides have been made.
You see, hon Kohler-Barnard, you do not have to come here and sound like a scratched record, repeating the name of Richard Mdluli. [Applause.] Crime Intelligence can deflect a potentially explosive situation even before it starts, but having said this, Crime Intelligence has received massive criticism in the past for being too reactive. I tend to share these concerns, but I am also optimistic that the division is already on track to become the early warning system that it can and should be.
The Crime Intelligence Division, the Public Order Policing unit and the DPCI are working collaboratively to defuse some of the most significant threats to the internal stability of our country. The ANC would like to appreciate the extreme efforts made by these units, in line with section 12 of the National Development Plan, where it says that South Africans are and feel safe.
In closing, hon Chairperson, I want to thank the men and women in blue who work tirelessly to protect us, the citizens of this country. [Applause.] I also want to urge them to talk about their trauma and not to bottle it up inside until it explodes. Tigers are allowed to cry. The ANC fully supports the SAPS budget to help bring down the levels of crime.
Ons gaan voort!
Re a tswelela!
Ke a leboga.[Legofi.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE
Ms M A MOLEBATSI
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE: Modulasetulo, ke tla qala ka ho dumedisa Ditho tsa Palamente, ke dumedise Motlotlehi ya ikarabellang ho tsa Sepolesa, ntate Nathi Nhleko, ke dumedise mapolesa kaofela le bao ba ba okametseng, Modulasetulo wa Potefolio Komiti le wena ke a ho dumedisa, ke dumedise le baeti ba rona kaofela.
Today I rise to support our government’s theme and related programmes for Africa Month. The theme is, “We are Africa - opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship”. We are pleased to indicate to South Africans that the Ministry of Police and its department heeded the call by His Excellency, the President of South Africa, to go out to our communities to engage and address our people to curb and totally stop the attacks on foreign nationals.
One of the places we visited was Alexandra township in Gauteng, on 25 April 2015, where we urged our people to show solidarity with our fellow displaced Africans and to come up with recommendations for government to effectively and efficiently reintegrate them back into their respective communities. And we also urge our foreign nationalists to subject themselves to the laws of our country.
During this imbizo a recommendation was made by a young South African in Alexandra. This young community member urged government to bring youth developmental opportunities closer to the youth in the townships to enable them to compete equally with the businesses of foreign nationals. The Department of Police is part of broader government and as such it is also obliged to be part of the ethos of youth development in South Africa. In this instance our department has established internship and learnership programmes.
For the financial year 2013-14 and 2014-15, the police had a total intake of 1 190 for internships for unemployed graduates and needy matriculants. We can proudly announce that out of the number that I have just mentioned, 61 interns were successfully absorbed as full-time employees of the Department of Police. [Applause.]
We are also indebted to the Department of Higher Education and to the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority for collaborating with SAPS in the funding of this project. This project focuses primarily on learners who have completed level 4 safety programmes from technical and vocational education and training institutions. The project I am referring to is called “Safety in Society”. This is a police-driven qualification that prepares learners for a career in policing.
In addition to the internship programme, in this financial year, 2014-15, the department has taken a total of 375 unemployed learners, of which 250 were successfully trained by an accredited training institution. They have acquired NQF 2 Automotive Maintenance and Repair.
The Ministry of Police has also specifically recommended to the department to approve an intake of 20 funded interns for the financial year 2015-16. This came as a result of our visit to the firearms registry. These unemployed young matriculants and graduates will be placed at the Firearms, Liquor and Second-Hand Goods Control Component to assist with the backlog in the collection and sorting of all related applications. Well done, General Mbekela. [Applause.]
With these programmes the department is supporting youth development in South Africa; a future in which we must continue to build a caring, sharing and prosperous South Africa for a stable, safe, welcoming and, most of all, law-abiding nation.
Emphasis is placed on the aspect of a nation of law-abiding citizens precisely because the maintenance of law and order should be a prerequisite to the enjoyment of all government’s successful efforts in developing and empowering our youth- the future of this country - and making them prosper.
We are emphasising this because almost all the perpetrators of the attacks on foreign nationals and the vandalising of infrastructure that happened last month and before were mostly young people and minors. Our progressive Constitution allows public protests and demonstrations but this must be done within the confines of the law.
Our police officers are always challenged to find ways to address public safety as people must demonstrate or protest without any detriment to the democratic rights of other inhabitants. Our people must be encouraged to convey their grievances through their elected public representatives. I am talking about councillors, Members of Parliament, MECs and community-based organisations.
This can only be achieved if there is a willingness from all three spheres of government to work together, in an integrated and co-ordinated way. The President saw this dire need for integrated and co-ordinated work and therefore he introduced two critical new departments in his office. One of them is the Department of Planning. This Ministry was tasked to develop a long-term planning document so that government could align its policies at all levels accordingly. We are talking about the NDP. The other one is the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. The President said:
The intention to establish these two departments was to move away from silos and parochial planning and look at our country as one holistic entity that should develop comprehensively, in every corner. Together we want to build a future of prosperity, with freedom from want, disease, deprivation, illiteracy, landlessness, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all social ills and related intolerances.
The Department of Police committed itself to this call by the President. That is why, on 11 December 2014, the department launched the Frontline Service Delivery Project. This project is a dedicated programme aimed at improving the experience of all the communities in the country when they need services provided by the police at the station level.
Nine police stations from nine provinces have been identified for the pilot launch of this project. Philippi in the Western Cape, Wolmaransstad in North West, Thabazimbi in Limpopo, Hartswater in the Northen Cape, Kopanong in the Free State, Alexandra in Gauteng, Amangwe in KwaZulu-Natal, Kabokweni in Mpumalanga and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape. The programme includes addressing the professional conduct of police officers; how they treat the public; and ensuring that the police stations are accessible to the public. This is to ensure that the first point of interaction between police and the public is a positive one.
National instructions are also being circulated to all police stations in the country on the issue of police members wearing their prescribed uniform. This includes wearing name tags on the chest. We often receive complaints that people cannot identify police members easily because many of them hide their name tags.
It is important to note that all police stations, including the identified nine for the pilot Frontline Service Delivery Project, are located at local government level, a primary site for service delivery and related protests and demonstrations if services are deemed unsatisfactory by citizens. As we know, protestors do not just protest from nowhere; they start at local government level, and therefore it is important that we work hand in hand with local government.
If we do not address the persistent criticism against SAPS in particular and government in general, then there is a real danger that continuous criticism may reduce and could destroy the effectiveness of law enforcement. We need public servants who are committed to the delivery of quality service to our citizens. It is for this reason that both the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, and the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation have come up with a monitoring and intervention instrument, Back to Basics, in order for all government departments to serve our communities.
We can assure the nation that the SAPS imbizos that we had were not just talk shops. These are the platforms where we receive not only complaints but also very useful, pragmatic recommendations from the public on how we, as the SAPS, can improve on our mandate. The Department of Police has come up with a host of interdepartmental projects and programmes – thanks to the advice received from the public during our imbizos.
One of the ideas or proposals that came from a community was raised during an imbizo in 2009. Citizens begged government to bring back the abolished Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units, hence these were re-established in 2010 by the then Minister of Police. The SA Police Service is continuing on the attained successes of this programme since the re-establishment of these units. Not only is the Department of Police succeeding in inflicting maximum sentences on these heinous criminals who rape, molest and murder our most vulnerable - that is, women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly - but the department is also putting extra measures in place for these units to improve on achieving its mandate.
Monitoring will promptly address challenges raised by different provinces in the roll-out of the Safety at Schools programme, which has already seen a total of 16 169 schools being linked to police stations countrywide since the national launch in 2011. The SA Police Service is planning to hold an interdepartmental meeting with the Department of Basic Education and of Public Works to address issues of boundaries and infrastructure for the police.
Such taking of stock and accountability can only assist the Department of Police in securing the confidence, respect and trust of the South African public. The police cannot discharge its mandate without the co-operation and confidence of the public, because it is the people who lay charges; it is the people who make statements it is the people who testify in court; and it is the people who ultimately and inevitably assist the police in performing their duties.
We agree that police officers must always ensure that they use their given mandate with responsibility and sound judgement. At the same time we call on our communities to better understand the value of the police and the severe and strenuous circumstances they work under. We need to understand that not all police officers are corrupt. Not all police officers are brutal. Ninety-nine percent of our police officers are very honest and very committed to the system. [Applause.]
Many of our police officers go beyond the call of duty to provide a service in accordance with the public’s expectation, at times surpassing the expectations of citizens. Therefore we are not going to say that we have a bad system in place when we talk about the men and women in blue. Hundred percent of them are actually good, because those who commit criminal acts - you will agree with us -do not belong with us and when they are discovered, we always deal with them. Therefore we urge you to support this Budget. [Applause.]
Dr P J GROENEWALD
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE
Dr P J GROENEWALD: AgbVoorsitter, wat is die taak van die Polisie? Die taak van die Polisie is om misdaad te bestry. Die regering sê dat die mense van Suid-Afrika veilig moet voel en moet wees. Met ander woorde, dit beteken dat die mense van Suid-Afrika vertroue moet hê dat die Polisie hulle sal beskerm. Wat is die werklikheid?
Die werklikheid is as ons gaan kyk na die kommisarisse van Polisie en ons begin by Jackie Selebi, sien ons dat hy die “top cop” was, soos daar gesê word. [Tussenwerpsels.] Die man wat veronderstel was om misdaad te bestry, word egter toe self ’n misdadiger. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Die volgende kommisaris was Bheki Cele. Hy is die man wat veronderstel was om te sorg dat misdaad bestry word, maar hy word afgedank, want hy was betrokke by die onreëlmatige toekenning van ’n tender ter waarde van R500 miljoen. Met ander woorde, dit is eintlik korrupsie. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Dieselfde kommisaris sê dat die huidige kommisaris die Polisie “laatbloei”. Met ander woorde, ’n senior politikus van die regerende party sê eintlik vir die mense dat hulle nie die kommisaris moet vertrou nie, want sy doen eintlik nie haar werk nie. Sy laat die Polisie bloei. Ek het nog nie gehoor dat die ANC hom al tereggewys het nie -hy is nog hul Adjunkminister.
As ons in die media na top-offisiere kyk, sien ons hulle maak hulself skuldig aan wanpraktyke. Kom ons kyk na die provinsiale kommisaris in die Wes-Kaap, Genl. Lamoer, en drie senior top-offisiere wat nou teregstaan op 109 aanklagte. Hoe kan u dan verwag dat die publiek vertroue moet hê in die werk van die Polisie, as top-amptenare hulself skuldig maak aan wanpraktyke en strafregtelike oortredings?
Dis nie net ’n onguns teenoor die mense van Suid-Afrikan ie, maar dis ook ’n onguns teenoor daardie goeie, hardwerkende manne en vroue in uniform, wat bereid is om hul lewe op te offer vir my en u veiligheid.
Agb Minister, daar is ’n verantwoordelikheid op u en die regering om te sorg dat die Polisie skoongemaak word van die misdadigers. Suid-Afrika kan nie veilig wees as hulle steeds in die Polisie is nie.
Kom ons kyk byvoorbeeld na Genl. Dramat. Hy is die hoof van die Valke, die spesialis-eenheid, maar hy word afgedank. Daar word dus eintlik gesê dat hy nie sy werk doen nie. Dan is daar Robert McBride -dit is nou die man wat aan die hoof van die Onafhanklike Polisie-Ondersoekdirektoraat staan, waarna die publiek hulle kan wend as hulle klagtes oor die Polisie het.
Die VF Plus het gesê dat u nie vir McBride moet aanstel nie, want die hoof van die Onafhanklike Polisie-Ondersoekdirektoraat moet ’n onbevlekte record hê. Hymoet ’n persoon van hoë integriteit wees - maar u lewer ’n verslag in by die portefeulje komitee wat juis toon dat hy nie integriteit het nie. Hy het ’n verslag vervals om sommige mense te beskerm. U gaan hom nou afdank. Ons het u gewaarsku. Watter vertroue kan dit by die publiek skep?
Agb Minister, wat is die geval met Dramat? Die verslag sê dat hy eintlik betrokke was en dat hy strafregtelik vervolg moet word. Laat hom dan strafregtelik vervolg word, want u kan nie die belasting betaler se geld gebruik om hom ’n goue handdruk te gee en dan kan hy nie strafregtelik vervolg word nie. Dan misbruik u die belasting betalers se geld om iemand te beskerm wat eintlik strafregtelik vervolg moet word. Ek dank u. [Tydverstreke.][Tussenwerpsels.]
Mr L RAMATLAKANE
Dr P J GROENEWALD
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Minister of Police, other Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, Police management, ...
... ag bGroenewald, hardloop jy nou weer weg nadat jy jou punt gemaak het? Die beteken seker dat jy nie die oorblywende sprekers respekteer nie. Ons het darem beter verwag van u. Ons verwag dat u respek sal hê vir die oorblywende sprekers wanneer hulle op die podium is. Ons verwag dat u ten minste ondersteuning aan die Polisie sal gee en dat u nie altyd hier sal kom staan en huil en huil en huil nie. Jy sê ook dat die Polisie nie dit doen nie en nie dat doen nie. Wat doen u? Wat doen u om die gemeenskap te ondersteun? [Applous.] Ek los dit vir ’n andertyd.
I rise to confirm from the start that the ANC supports the budget for the Police. [Applause.] We do so because we are a responsible ANC government and we understand that policemen and women are doing the constitutionally important work of protecting our hard-won freedom and our society in general. We thank them dearly for performing this task.
Cabinet adopted the White Paper and the National Crime Prevention Strategy, among other measures. Cabinet sets targets for the police to at least reduce crime by between 7% and 1O% per year in the provinces. Cabinet adopted the National Development Plan as the strategic framework for government to assist the Police in attaining the vision for 2030. It reaffirms the need for a police service that forms part of an integrated criminal justice system and that is community-centric. These new directions necessitate that policing plans and strategy be aligned with the NDP approach in words and action.
The 53rd National Congress of the ANC resolved that there should be a single police service that would integrate all the police agencies under one police command and control, inclusive of the municipal police. This is constitutional and there is nothing wrong with it.
We condemn the recent attacks on foreign nationals in the strongest terms possible. Our government demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that we are Africans and we belong together.
The visible policing programme receives 50% of the Police budget. During our engagement with management, we expressed our unhappiness regarding the lowering of targets, particularly for this key programme. The visible policing programme needs further attention, especially the low targets that depend on police action, like the confiscation of drugs, at a target of 2%, or other targets stipulated at 3%. We agreed with management that they would look at it and come back to brief the committee later.
Visible policing is about the combating of crime through anticrime operations and activities at police stations, maintaining high visibility and the availability of police officials at grass-roots level. Given the challenges of social conflict in communities, the prevention of social crime, which are crimes affecting the social fabric of society, including crimes against women and children, forms part of the visible policing plan.
To improve visible policing, sector policing was introduced in 2003 as an initiative to bring the police closer to the people. There is a lack of understanding as to what sector policing is. The biggest concern is whether sector policing will ever be part of mainstream policing or whether it will remain an add-on.
Community-centered policing is fundamental to a democratic society. The principles of community policing through police forums are trying to bring policing closer to the people and attempting to mobilise communities to prioritise safety in their neighbourhoods. However, we are still faced with serious challenges, as a state and a society, when it comes to significantly reducing crime and making South Africa a much safer place for all.
The level of crime and gangsterism undermines South Africa’s democracy. Crime and gangsterism are destroying the moral fabric of our society. The police cannot do their work effectively without the trust and confidence of the communities they serve.
Engaging communities as partners presents the need for a fundamental shift in the overall approach to policing towards a more community-oriented model. For SAPS to be community centered and for community policing to be effective, there are five basic elements or principles that must change, which include enhancing participation, re-engineering operating systems, restructuring the organisational hierachy, managing human resources and adopting problem-solving policing.
In line with the NDP, we must have a strong criminal justice system. This requires the co-operation of all the Social Services and Security cluster departments; making the Police Service professional; demilitarising the police; increasing the rehabilitation of prisoners; building safety using an integrated approach; increasing community participation in safety; and continuously resourcing the programme.
As the ANC, we support this Budget Vote of the Police with a budget of R76 billion. [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE
Mr L RAMATLAKANE
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, the National Development Plan envisions that by 2030 South Africans will feel safe everywhere, especially in their homes and schools, and would enjoy life in their communities without fear of criminals. Unfortunately that is not the case at present as violent crime continues to rise despite more money being budgeted annually to fight it.
Among the reasons for the increasing crime levels are systemic corruption in the police and the bungling of criminal cases. The current corruption case of suspended Western Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer, and three of his senior officers, who are reportedly facing a total of 109 charges ranging from corruption to money laundering, is a case in point. Could this be one of the reasons that gangsterism and drug trafficking cannot be curbed in this province?
Chairperson, we thought that the days of top police officers becoming friends with drug dealers and people of questionable character were gone with the former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, but we were wrong. It seems like some of our top cops have decided to make criminals their buddies.
Drugs such as tik and nyaope are destroying our young people, including children under the age of 10. Families are ripped apart by desperate kids who steal everything they can lay their hands on to buy drugs. Parents are crying for help and some community members are tempted to take the law into their own hands to rid themselves of the young drug addicts in their midst because the police seem to be failing to rid our communities of illicit drugs.
Where should desperate families go to for help? Even the current national commissioner has accusing fingers pointing at her. She is accused of defeating the ends of justice, misconduct and other charges that could possibly lead to her suspension.
When can our nation expect to have a police service that is led by honest, diligent, experienced and exemplary leaders with impeccable integrity and who inspire confidence?
Lifestyle audits have to be conducted on police officers who are living lavish lives such as those who can afford to buy three brand-new cars in two weeks, and those who pay off their multimillion rand bonds within a few months. Who is financing them if not the drug dealers or other criminal elements who are destroying the future of our children?
Chairperson, the ACDP is totally opposed to the decision to downgrade the minimum standard of qualifications required for provincial heads of intelligence to where only a matric would be needed. We know that most matriculants do not gain university entrance without bridging courses. Why do police management think that lowering qualifications would improve the standard of policing?
The ACDP believes it is wrong to also overlook whites, coloureds and Indians for promotion because of equity considerations. It is disgraceful that a Durban police captain, Mr Kamalanathan Govender, who was overlooked for a promotion for 10 years, had to go to the Labour Court to get relief, because of discrimination within the service.
The ACDP is of the opinion that protecting our people from criminals, making our streets safer and eradicating corruption and drug trafficking should take precedence over affirmative action targets in the police. All experienced police officers, regardless of the colour of their skin, should be brought on board to fight crime in our country. Crime knows no colour. All those who qualify for promotion should be promoted, so that they can do the job they were trained to do.
For the sake of peace-loving South Africans who are living in fear, the ACDP appeals to the Minister of Police to stop the attempts to downgrade the current minimum qualifications required for provincial heads of intelligence, but rather hire and pay those with the best qualifications better salaries to prevent them from being poached by better-paying employees. [Time expired.]
Ms M P MMOLA
Rev K R J MESHOE
Ms M P MMOLA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister of Police, hon Members of Parliament, officials of the department, our guests, ladies and gentlemen ...
As South Africa is ushered into its third decade in a democratic dispensation, we can confirm unapologetically that the ruling party, the ANC, adopted progressive policies that ensure growth and the realisation of a developmental state agenda.
We steadfastly salute the visionary leadership of both our fallen and living stalwarts; people of the calibre of Maake Ruth Mompati, who, 60 years ago, adopted and fought for the implementation of the Freedom Charter. We are committed to ushering in a South Africa where security and comfort will be the order of the day.
The ANC government is committed to building an environment where all the people in South Africa are and feel safe. It is committed to fight crime and corruption and to build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
You will agree that the above requires a visible, vibrant, well-resourced and professionalised police service. This calibre of police service requires a strong Civilian Secretariat for Police, which will, among other tasks, provide strong, sustainable civilian oversight over the police; build strategic partnerships in the fight against crime; strengthen the national dialogue and relationships on safety and crime prevention; initiate policy-driven legislation on policing and security matters; and support the executive.
We believe that the above mandate will be well executed because, on 1 April 2015, the Civilian Secretariat for Police became a fully designated department. However, it is concerning that since 2012 to date the Secretariat still depends on the SA Police Service for various operational services. The secretariat has to fast-track the process of acquiring its own virtual private network.
In the current financial year, the Secretariat has to improve performance in the following areas: the implementation of the provisions of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act; speeding up the processing policies and legislation, especially the White Paper on police, and the Review of the South African Police Service Act - and we acknowledge that these are massive projects.
The secretariat must comply and convene the statutory meetings of the consultative forum between the Secretariat and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid. As part of its oversight responsibilities, the Secretariat has to develop policies that incorporate the work of Ipid and the Police Inspectorate Division. The Secretariat must strengthen Civilian Oversight over the police service through establishing and assessing the existing community policing forums using standardised community police forum guidelines.
Civilian oversight of the police service needs to be strengthened. In this regard, the establishment and assessment of community policing forums and guidelines standardisation will enhance this oversight function. The Secretariat must ensure that this target is achieved.
The professionalisation of the SAPS, as envisaged by the National Development Plan imperatives, remains one of the important responsibilities that the Secretariat must assist the SAPS to achieve. In the 2015-16 financial year, the Secretariat has an allocation of R105,1 million, which will increase by a 9,5% over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period.
We believe that the Secretariat budget is inadequate to fully perform its mandate, but the under-expenditure patterns are noted and are seriously concerning. It is important that the Secretariat implement a strategy to address the patterns of under-expenditure.
The state has a mandate to address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The high vacancy rate that has been noted is a deterrent, therefore the Secretariat must fill vacant post.
Hon Chairperson, the importance of the mandate of the Civilian Secretariat cannot be over-emphasised. The strengthening of civilian oversight, an integrated approach to crime prevention partnerships and the co-ordination of the different units of the SA Police Service at all levels of the organisation are crucial for improved service delivery. The efficient use of the allocated budget will indeed respond to the above-mentioned areas of focus.
Together we are moving South Africa forward. The ANC supports the budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr Z N MBHELE
Ms M P MMOLA
Mnu Z N MBHELE: Sihlalo, ngibingelela uNgqongqoshe, uSekela Ngqongqoshe, amalunga ekomiti nabahlonishwa kulendlu.
I need to start by saying that those nine suspects who were arrested for rhino poaching, as was mentioned by hon Molebatsi - as welcome as that achievement is, those nine suspects represent only 4% of the offenders who even stand a chance of ever getting caught for that offence. The fact is that there is much room for improvement and that is the basis on which the opposition comes and holds you as government accountable. [Interjections.]
Speaking of broken records, kunini sizwa [every time we hear.] from this side of the House ...
Nge ku story-yenu. Kunini sizwa nokuthi niyaqhuba.
... which I suppose is true when you realise that the only thing ...
... eniyiqhubayo i-corruption ne-load shedding.
This year our country is marking 21 years of democracy and, like most 21-year-olds, it stands at a fork in the road. Since 1994 a decent foundation has been laid, one shaped by our Constitution and buttressed by a strong and independent judiciary. It is one that makes precedent-setting rulings such as the recent one this week declaring the forceful removal of Members of Parliament from Parliament to be unconstitutional – an issue championed by the DA. [Applause.] So, can we please say thank you to the DA.
However, the consolidation and maturation of our democracy depends on the strengthening and preservation of the integrity of independent state institutions that act as a check against the abuse of power and ensures accountability for misconduct or criminality, especially by those who are powerful or occupy high office.
The principle of accountability is important because it goes to the heart of building a fair society. It is not fair when those who are legally empowered to exercise force in order to keep us safe from criminals instead abuse that power and act as criminals themselves. It is not fair when those who do wrong escape the consequences because they are powerful or connected. It is not fair when those who do the right thing are attacked because their actions threaten the interests of the powerful or connected. This is why the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is important as a police watchdog.
We are pleased that our concerns about vacancies in senior posts and under spending in the department are being steadily addressed. The vacancy rate has decreased in the past year; partnerships are being pursued with universities to facilitate graduate recruitments; and monthly monitoring meetings have been instituted to mitigate under spending.
The creation of the National Specialised Intervention Team is a welcome development in so far as it advances the Ipid’s identified priority to tackle systemic corruption. However, we must warn that this should not detract from the ongoing need for training and capacity-building of investigators. In particular, the implementation of the Ipid expansion strategy cannot be allowed to stall.
Even though Ipid directly investigates many more cases than its predecessor did, its human capacity - at less than 400 posts - is far below the 535 posts that were determined to be ideal for the then-ICD, which had a narrower mandate. The undue pressure placed on these constrained human resources who have to deal with a heavy workload is unfair and compromises the quality of its work. The DA will continue to advocate for the Ipid to receive the budgetary allocations and funding increases it needs to implement its expansion strategy, regardless of broader budget-cutting imperatives.
Ipid is on the road to recovery from the critical condition of systemic stagnation that it was in ever since its shaky start, but a new threat has recently emerged. The suspension and impending disciplinary process against Mr McBride is the latest in a sequence of events that bears a heavy political finger printand raises deep suspicions that this has become another flank in the ongoing drive for state capture in order to protect the well connected. We are watching developments very closely in this regard. We have not forgotten the big picture and I would like the Minister to take heed of this message: It matters as much what is done as it matters what is seen to be done.
In recent years we have seen attacks befall the Scorpions, the NPA, Sars and the Hawks and now it seems the guns have been turned on Ipid. This takes us away from the goal of building a fair and just society. [Interjections.] Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr J J MAAKE
Mr Z N MBHELE
Mr J J MAAKE: Hon Chairperson, it is fascinating in our portfolio committee meetings how hon Kohler-Barnard always calls hon Mbhele her deputy, not her colleague. I always feel pity for him. [Interjections.]
Hon Chairperson, my Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, as the ANC we do not do things haphazardly; we go to conferences and come up with policies that must be implemented. The resolutions of the ANC, as at the Mangaung conference, reiterated that South Africa must have a single Police Service. The resolutions also recognise the fact that the conditions of service in the SAPS are not satisfactory and need attention at the lower levels. It goes further to say that the national commissioner should ensure the implementation of general training, operational and disciplined standards in relation to policing to foster synergy, uniformity and consistency throughout the Republic.
The conference also noted that the transformation of the security departments has in the main been hampered by middle management that continues to resist change and targets progressive personnel for dismissal and therefore the tools of transformation and employment equity should be directed at transforming the middle management of the security services.
The NDP, another entity from which the department derives its mandate, states that we should be able to fall asleep without fear, listening to the rain on the roof. It is an independent and fair criminal justice system that ensures that all people live safely.
Having said all of the above, as identified by my organisation -which, by the way, is the ruling party in this country and which represents the majority of our people in this country - the opposition needs to be reminded that, as they are also South African citizens, we serve their interests too, whether they like it or not. [Applause.]
The first line of defence for our communities is our men and women in blue. Everyone runs to them when they are in serious trouble, and this includes the opposition. However, we need a mind-set change within our new policemen and police women. We need patriotism from our new police members; we need a police force that will respect our citizenry – a different police member from the previous apartheid police state, which was for the protection of one section of the population and the suppression of the majority. We are therefore supposed to be in agreement when it comes to the safety and security of our country. There should be no grandstanding when it comes to the security and protection of the lives of our citizens and their property.
If we were to ask the opposition in this House today if any of them would like to be a policeman or police woman, surely none of them would respond in the positive. [Interjections.] If we asked ourselves this question, we would understand what being a policeman or police woman really is. Our men and women in blue are the first line of defence and we must acknowledge this and be proud of them. They get killed in the line of duty trying to protect us and make us feel safe. As a society we need to protect our protectors. The killing of our police members therefore needs to have a different type of punishment. Maybe we need a statutory minimum sentence if a person is found guilty of killing a police officer. [Applause.] Maybe we should have a different type of prison for that offence - a farm prison with no privileges.
In the same breath, police members who commit crimes must be treated in a different way from common criminals. The Secretariat should take note of this when dealing with the White Paper on Police, which is currently before them. We must not be like the apartheid era when the whites were happy to be protected by black policemen, but at the same time would not be prepared to live, eat or sleep with them. They were not even prepared to share the same uniform with them. The opposition must therefore not criticise but rather come up with constructive measures to solve the problem. What a funny bunch of hon members we have in these opposition parties! [Interjections.]
Crime impacts negatively on the country’s socioeconomic development and undermines the wellbeing of people and their ability to achieve their full potential. This means that the capacity of the developmental state requires immediate enhancement in the area of forensic detective investigation and prosecution services to reduce the high level of crime and corruption.
Before my time is finished, let us try and see what hon Kohler-Barnard said. She started with the DA’s vision for South Africa. As far as I could hear, there was nothing different from what the ANC says. I would rather say it was plagiarism. [Laughter.][Applause.] If you had listened to her talking, you would wonder which country or planet she came from - surely not South Africa.
To hon Twala, who said that they did not approve the budget: What are you telling us when you say you do not approve the budget? How would service delivery exist if you do not approve the budget? What are you actually saying? [Interjections.] Are you saying there should not be money for service delivery? I think you need to check on that one.
Hon Groenewald said the police were not doing anything. We have just said that the Hawks have arrested the highest police person in this province, as well as some brigadiers. What do you call that? [Laughter.][Interjections.]
Let me finish off with hon Meshoe. [Laughter.] What the matric qualification cut-off says is that we must also take experience into consideration. That is why it ends up only at matric. So, you need to peruse exactly what has been said. The ANC definitely supports the budget. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE
Mr J J MAAKE
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Chairperson, hon members, thank you very much for the contributions to the debate, suggestions and subsequent support for this Budget Vote. The hon chairperson of the portfolio committee raised very important points with regard to the issue of the centrality of community involvement in ensuring a safe and secure environment in our society. It is extremely important. Equally important is the concern shared across the political divide in this House on the issue of police killings. I think we need to take stock of what we experience around us, hon members. In so far as issues of security are concerned, the only things we have in our society are, firstly, ourselves and, secondly, the SA Police Service.
Therefore, we need to be measured, Ms Kohler. I do not mind when, for instance, you say anything against me; when you debate with me and spar with me and so forth. That is all right; I do not have a problem with that. I do, however, have a significant problem when you start questioning the integrity of the professional people in the SA Police Service; people who cannot stand here and answer for themselves.[Applause.] I think that in a sense that is very denigrating.
I think we need to be quite measured, in a way, because those are the same people we require for stability in our society. It is hypocritical on the one hand to stand here and rubbish, in some form or another, professional people who have undergone intensive training, first and foremost, but who have also learnt in practice, when this society and this country exists precisely because these very people are there securing it. We need to be measured. This is simply an appeal, not only in relation to what Ms Kohler has said but also to other members in the House who have raised certain issues regarding the police.
Secondly, central to the fight for liberation, we said that we were creating a humane society. We said that in the process of the creation of a humane society, the fundamental principles would always be accountability and transparency. When we come to that, what do we hear? We hear that there are political hallmarks of sort in the actions that are being taken. Why? Because we are now extremely terrified and scared to confront the issue of accountability and transparency in our society, Mr Mbhele. We are extremely terrified and I do not know why. All we can do is to allege all sorts of political conspiracies when it comes to that. I think that if we are not careful, South Africa will become a very funny country.
You know, outside of this Chamber - and I will tell you another interesting story, which is known across South Africa - somebody woke up one day and told us what he and somebody else did somewhere. He worked for a particular organisation. The following day, that organisation brought the image of this organisation into disrepute and so forth. The day after that, the same person told all of us as South Africans that it was because there was a political conspiracy. But you have admitted that you did wrong! When you are taken to task or to account, you allege political conspiracy and so forth. I think we should desist from such things, because those things are not to the benefit of our society.
I must also say that the question of illegal firearms in our society is an extremely serious matter. We should not fool ourselves and think that we are dealing with the question of illegal firearms in our society. Even when it comes to the legalised ones, for that matter, there are serious loopholes. I think that when society and this Chamber begins to debate this, you will see that we have serious loopholes which, for example, go all the way back to the Anglo-Boer War and the 1902 Treaty of Vereeniging and so on. You will see how those things have been carried over to this point. If we are not careful, some of those loopholes will be exacerbated and they will contribute to instability in our society.
While I am talking about instability, hon member Mncwango, the police station in KwaNongoma was last refurbished in 1906. Of course, that is a serious concern. I agree and I accept that. However, let me remind you that you formed the government at some point - in 1975 or 1976 - and Nongoma is your hometown, but you did nothing about it. I am just saying, let’s not be biased. It is quite an important thing, but talk about broader issues, like the police station at Nongoma and the issue of resource allocation.
Another fundamental point we need to look into is how to deal with the question of disadvantaged areas - underdeveloped and rural areas in particular - in so far as issues of policing infrastructure is concerned.
Lastly, Ms Barnard, let me also just say that I think you made a serious attempt for the first time … I’m sorry, I meant Ms Kohler … the hon Kohler … [Laughter.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chairperson, just once, could you ask the Minister to just once call me “hon Kohler-Barnard”. That is my name. Just once! It is not a difficult name and it is really not a hard name to say. I know he is battling with it, but maybe he could just make an attempt to get it right.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order, hon member! Actually, I did not recognise you. Hon Minister, you may proceed.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: No, I really apologise to hon Ms Kohler-Barnard. Hon Kohler-Barnard, let me just congratulate you on making what I think has been the first serious attempt thus far at debating the issues. I must recognise that you raised some critical points, but to call our police “confused” is part of an effort to denigrate. To say that our police should not be collecting statistics - what do you do when hon Mbhele walks into a police station to report a rape case? Should that not be recorded? Surely!
Regarding the issues of reports on Marikana and Nkandla, those are matters for public record. It has been clarified when they will actually be here. So, nobody is sitting on anything - that is extremely important to take note of. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 12:00.
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