Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 04 Jun 2015
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 04 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:00.
The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there won’t be any notices of motion or motions without notice.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE - FINANCE RESPONSES BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE ON ISSUES CONTAINED IN THE COMMITTEE REPORT, AS ADOPTED BY THE NCOP ON 25 NOVEMBER 2014
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Ministers and hon members on 12 December 2011, the Cabinet announced its intervention in the Limpopo provincial government in accordance with section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution.
This placed five Limpopo provincial departments, namely the provincial treasury, education, transport, roads, health and public works under national executive administration. The intervention followed a process: A process of a diagnostic analysis; then an action plan to conduct the intervention; the implementation of the action plan; a recovery phase; and an exit strategy.
This process was followed up to 12 August 2013 when Cabinet announced that the administration should start a period of handover to the premier and his new executive.
On 9 July 2014, Cabinet approved the transition of the intervention on the section 100 (1)(b) to section 100(1)(a) of the Constitution. The MECs of the affected departments assumed full executive powers to run the departments and the accounting officer role reverted back to the HODs of the respective departments.
Section 100(1)(a) implies that the national executive intervened by taking appropriate steps to ensure fulfilment of that obligation, including issuing a directive to the provincial executive describing the extent of the failure to fulfil its obligations and taking steps required to meet its obligation.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Cabinet and the provincial executive of Limpopo, establishing an institutional mechanism for reporting – this is very important - reporting on progress made on a quarterly basis.
A monitoring and evaluation committee for oversight purposes verifies the reports with the province and reports to the interministerial committee, the IMC. The binding in of each party by the utmost good faith to the other with regard to all matters as contemplated in section 6(1) of the agreement is very crucial.
Since January 2015, several engagements between the monitoring and evaluation committee and the five affected provincial departments were conducted on 3 March 2015 and on 16 April 2015 and they are still ongoing.
The Office of the Premier has honoured all the engagements and meetings with the national team. There is good co-operation and intergovernmental relations between senior officials. This was a crucial point in 2011-12 - which actually didn’t exist.
Challenges still exist and are addressed through to monitoring and evaluation committee. The Select Committee on Finance, receiving the report by the hon Minister of Finance on 22 April 2015, is pleased with the progress made with the implementation of its recommendations as adopted by the NCOP. The select committees that were part of the intervention – I thank them for the role they played, a crucial role – together with the Limpopo Provincial Legislature should conduct regular oversight over the five departments that were placed under administration, and that the Premier of Limpopo together with his executive council and his administration team, should ensure that the province sustains the gains of the intervention and adheres to the MoA.
The objective is good governance and sound financial management. I table this report for consideration by the House. Thank you. [Applause.]
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Policy debate on Vote No 23 – Police:
Policy debate on Vote No 20 – Independent Police Investigative Directorate:
Policy debate of Vote No 21 – Justice and Constitutional Development
Policy debate of Vote No 18 – Correctional Services
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Sotyu, Minister Masutha and Deputy Ministers present, the MECs present, the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Justice and Police, the management and members of the SA Police Service, let me also recognise the management and members of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, the management of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, and the management of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, DPCI, the management of the Civilian Secretariat for Police, CSP, as well as the management of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, let me also take this opportunity to welcome the brand new Chairperson of the Council, Prof Mazibuko, esteemed guests and fellow South Africans.
The Freedom Charter, the lodestar of our liberation struggle and as relevant today as it was 60 years ago at its inception, instructed us that the SA Police Service were to be helpers and protectors of the people - nothing more, nothing less.
The most recent expression of this was when the SA Police Service alongside other law enforcement agencies responded to the call in securing people and property during the recent xenophobic attacks in various parts of our country. No distinction was made as to who ‘the people’ as referred to in the Freedom Charter were. We acted in accordance with policy and law.
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 and support the work of the police. It is therefore with a deep sense of regret and sadness that I report that 86 police officers have been killed in this past financial year; 35 on duty and 51 off duty. This is 12% higher than for the same period last year. If calculated against the ratio of police to population this means that more than 25 000 people as we speak today have been denied protection.
The fact that the majority of these killings happen in certain provinces is not necessarily an issue; it is that our women and men in blue under siege of a particular type and character. It cannot be that in one weekend in March, four police officials were killed while in the service of the people of this country.
Twenty nine-year-old Constable Zethu Cele, and a colleague of the Wills Road Police Station were shot while responding to a robbery complaint in Bentley Road in Durban. Constable Rydan Malungana was also fatally shot when he and his crew stopped to search a suspected stolen vehicle in Venus Street in Katlehong. In the same weekend, 37-year-old Constable Mandla Dlakavu of the Mthatha Stock Theft Unit was found dead next to his house in the Zimbane Village near Mthatha. Our hearts go out to these people and all other families who have suffered through the loss of their loved ones.
Attacks on police have also increased with 1 501 attacks in the past financial year, against 1 172 attacks in the previous corresponding period. In response to the killings, the SA Police Service has established a multidisciplinary approach to improving the safety of police officials.
We are applying standing orders on arresting and restraining arrested persons until they are handed over, visiting cells, restraining measures, transporting persons in custody, routine and other patrols and dealing with mentally ill persons. However, despite all our best efforts, officers are being killed at an alarming rate.
Equally, we are not oblivious or blind to police infractions against citizens that have been reported to Ipid - infractions which are being dealt with and continue to be dealt with expeditiously. We are still committed to the tenets of policing in a democratic context, some of which are as follows: 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 investigations mechanisms; the police service shall strive for high-performance standards.
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 with a view to keep on transforming. In this regard, we have focused our efforts on strengthening the police and policing in general in the country through the publication of the White Paper on Safety and Security and the White Paper on Policing.
The White Paper on Policing is aimed at the 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 in our quest to create 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 according to Socrates will exhibit 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. We have visited all provinces to listen to management and communities to assist in resolving issues at community level.
From Ndabayakhe to Malamulele, from Kuruman to Grabouw, from Masoyi to Mqanduli, from Polokwane to Marikana, and from Marikana to Soweto, our ears have been glued to the ground. We listened and intervened successfully in Kuruman where children were being denied a chance for schooling. We did the same in Malamulele. We were there when we were required in the Western Cape in Grabouw.
It is for this reason that we will be placing a much stronger emphasis on the need to review specialised units that are dedicated to fighting specific forms of crime and specialised investigations. We have heard the outcry of communities ravaged by drugs, whether in Chatsworth in Durban, Hillbrow in Johannesburg, Manenberg in the Western Cape or Soshanguve in Pretoria.
We have seen the sterling work of a re-established Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences, FCS, unit. It is for this reason that we celebrated Detective Warrant Officer René Claudean Nel for being acknowledged as the best national investigating officer where all nine provinces contended at the National FCS Conference. She and countless members who have committed to fight rapists and child molesters are deserving of our gratitude and encouragement.
The horrendous crime in areas around the Eastern Cape whereby old people are being molested sexually must have all of us deeply concerned. The dastardly act of the stabbing of a toddler 99 times in Odendaalsrus, Free State, defies comprehension. While we commend the police in arresting and bringing to trial a suspect, it pales into significance against the magnitude of the act.
General consensus dictates that putting an end to this scourge will involve a collective effort, led by the community. So, we call upon all community structures, formal and informal to supplement the great efforts by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit
One the primary contributors to crime is the abuse of liquor we witness day in and day out. Targeted liquor control enforcement operations were conducted provincially during the 2014-15 financial year in co-operation with provincial liquor control offices. A total of 462 980 compliance inspections were conducted at licensed liquor premises from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
Furthermore, target-driven operations resulted in the closure of 37 979 identified illegal liquor outlets, 37 490 of these outlets were unlicensed and or illegal liquor premises, 368 were unregistered distributors of liquor and 121 were unregistered and or illegal macro and micro manufactures of liquor.
The SA Police Service confiscated 1 540 billion litres of liquor, including 78 million home-brewed beer in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. They excelled in policing liquor control environments, to such an extent that the Gauteng province confiscated the highest volume of liquor standing at 553 million litres of liquor, whereas the KwaZulu-Natal as a province managed to close down the highest number of illegal liquor traders, 18 426 of those.
We have constructed police stations and other facilities across the country. We will continue to make policing visible and redress the apartheid patterns of policing by recognising that different places have experienced massive migration and population growth while others have dwindled. Our resource allocation should take into account these particular dimensions.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police has been established as an independent entity with effect from 1 April 2015 so that it can discharge its duty of oversight over police and induce community activation. The Civilian Secretariat for Police, CSP, contributes towards the NDP, envisaging 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 nonstate institutions, with active involvement from civil society.
The Constitutional Court directed that we should enhance the independence of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations. In this regard, we have commenced the establishment of the DPCI as an independent budget programme. The new programme will be introduced through the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, process in June 2015. A task team has been established with a target for a new programme by 1 April 2016.
The oversight role played by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate 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 corruption cases at national level.
It remains our commitment that Ipid conducts 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 the Ipid and the Secretariat.
The consultative forum chaired jointly by the Executive Director of Ipid and the Secretary of Police as per the legislative requirements has been established to recommend and advise 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 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. As a result of targeted operations, 5 341 firearms were recovered in the period of 2014-15 financial year.
May I just add that we also, as of tomorrow, will be having a session that is focussed and targeted around the issue of firearms and firearms control in the country. These included 3 382 firearms owned by individuals and institutions, 1 811 that could not be traced back to their owners or were without serial numbers after being used in illicit activities and 148 state-owned firearms.
It is commendable that a total number of 5 042 legal firearms were voluntarily surrendered by legal firearm owners to the SAPS during 2014-15. The most recovered firearms were in the Western Cape, standing at 1 779 while Gautengers were leaders in voluntarily surrendering their firearms, totalling 3 163.
You would be aware that the Private Security Industry Amendment Bill is in process. The President is currently considering the Bill for assent. The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, like many other institutions, is experiencing financial pressures due to a number of challenges and legal contestations from business. We have, however, reached a settlement on the new fees that are due to be implemented in the current financial year.
We have witnessed a spike in service delivery and or community protests for service delivery. Police resources were committed to 14 740 incidents of which 12 451 were peaceful and 2 289 turned violent. These protests continue to strain the resources of the SAPS. We are also mindful that citizens have a right to air their grievances, however, the solution to these protests do not lie with the police alone.
We launched the ‘We Are One Humanity’ campaign programme through the CSP wherein we are going to communities to find solutions to address the issue of xenophobic attacks, as we experienced them.
For South Africa to be safe, stable and developmental, it requires that all of us must play a role on 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 ask the hon members to support this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Chairperson, hon Premiers, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers of Justice and Correctional Services in particular, chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Justice, hon members of the NCOP, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow South Africans, it is with great pleasure that I introduce into this esteemed House the Budget Vote of the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development and of Correctional Services. Today’s budget statements encapsulate our unequivocal commitment to a transformed and accessible justice system that carries the hopes and aspirations of our people.
Allow me to first reflect on the budget on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Central to the transformation of the justice system is the need to accelerate the transformation of the magistrates’ courts, establish a judicial system that reflects the racial and gender demographics of the South African society and strengthen the office of the state attorney so as to restore confidence in the handling of litigation for and on behalf of the state.
We continue to work together with Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster and other stakeholders in addressing the log jams in the justice value chain. Requiring immediate intervention is the complete overhaul of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 and the reform of the civil justice system in order to address the frailties in the justice value chain. In undertaking these reforms, we will invite public submissions and papers in respect of the various aspects of the justice system that require consideration from which we will develop necessary policy and legislative interventions that will be discussed at a colloquium that we plan to hold later in the year.
We’ve made major strides, for example, with regard to the Constitution’s 17th Amendment Act of 2012 and the Superior Courts Acts of 2013 which were amongst policy and legislative reforms to improve the system where the culmination of a policy dialogue at which diverse views of various stakeholders in the sector were canvassed.
We have successfully implemented the rationalisation of magisterial districts in Gauteng and North West with effect from 1 December 2014 and have commenced with the roll-out of the project to Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. In the latter provinces this exercise will culminate in the official opening of the Limpopo Division of the High Court earmarked for later this year and the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court planned for early 2016. By aligning magisterial districts to municipal boundaries, we are turning municipalities into nodal service points through which justice related services are delivered as part of the basket of services delivered by various spheres of government at local level.
There is great potential to increase access to justice through the use of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. It is encouraging to note that since the launch of the Court-annexed Mediation Programme in February this year 57 civil disputes have been dealt with through mediation at the 12 court sites which have been designated as court mediation pilot sites. We intend to expand the mediation services to additional courts and this will happen as soon as we have built sufficient capacity at courts to carry out the mediation function.
We’ve also published a policy on the use of official languages in terms of which services will henceforth be provided in indigenous languages predominant in the provinces concerned, over and above the English and Afrikaans languages. We are confident that over time we will make inroads into extending the use of indigenous languages as languages of record in the courts and the transformation of the Literally Legum Baccalaureus, LLB, curriculum to include an indigenous language as one of the prescribed courses of study.
The maintenance turn around strategy continues to yield positive results. Through the use of electronic funds transfer, EFT, system, we have eased the burden of beneficiaries of having to commute to courts to collect maintenance payments. Through the system, their payments are transferred directly into their banks accounts. In the financial year 2014-15 a total of R1,97 billion was paid to maintenance beneficiaries through the EFT system. We have also enhanced the management of the guardians’ fund and improved our service particularly to orphans who are dependent on the proceeds of the fund for their livelihood. In 2012-13 government made 37 000 payments totalling R1,006 billion to guardian fund beneficiaries, the majority of whom are children.
Let me allude briefly to the need for the transformation of the traditional courts which still operate under the regulatory framework of the apartheid era that was enacted in 1927. We cannot allow this to drag on any longer as people continue to suffer the debilitating consequences of the system which is not only not of their making, but research also shows was manipulated to serve the interests of the colonial and apartheid regimes in particular.
It is in this context that we have stepped up efforts to transform the traditional courts to bring them in conformity with the Constitution. The Traditional Courts Bill is key to this endeavour. We have commenced with the processes of revising the Bill with the view to incorporating the wealth of submissions and commentary garnered during the lengthy public participation processes. Working steadfastly with our fellow Department of Traditional Affairs to bring upon long overdue legislative reforms to finality, we hope to introduce the revised Bill to Parliament during 2015-16 financial year.
The performance of outputs at the courts attests to the tireless efforts by the various components of the criminal justice system in rooting out criminality. The national prosecuting authority, NPA, continues to maintain high conviction rates, for example, in the previous financial year it recorded conviction rates of 91% in the high courts, 76,6% in regional courts and 69% in sexual offences courts.
The ongoing institutional reforms within the judiciary also contribute to the inroads we continue to make in the justice system. The provincial efficiency enhancement committees established by the chief justice in every province play an important role in improving court efficiency.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been allocated a budget of R16,9 billion for which we are thankful though we feel it could have been more in view of the competing demands facing the justice sector. Of this budget allocation, R5,5 billion is allocated to court services, R3,4 billion is for the NPA and R2,2 billion is for the SA Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector and Legal Aid SA. The department’s capital infrastructure projects account for the biggest budget of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development with a total of R661 million allocated for the 2015-16 financial year. This will go a long way towards addressing the infrastructure backlog in order to bring services to people living in far flung areas and rural villages who still endure the hardship of travelling to far towns and cities to access the courts and other service points such as the office of the master.
Let me now turn to the Department of Correctional Services. The management of remand detainees has improved with the reduction of this sector of inmates to 27% of the 159 000 inmates in our custody. We have performed better than the international trend of 32% of the world’s 10,2 million inmates. Our efforts continue to gain traction as the number of remand detainees was reduced by 4,291 within the last three years of which 53% was achieved in 2014-15 financial year. In addition, we have provided 56 remand detention centres with new uniforms to address the challenges of security and hygiene.
Our collaboration to implement the Child Justice Act has also brought desirable outcomes, as the number of children in custody as remand detainees was significantly reduced from 497 to 129, while sentenced children were reduced from 538 to 243 over the past six years.
Correctional Services considers health care as an integrated responsibility which cuts across many institutions. We are partnering with the Department of Health to execute a comprehensive onslaught against tuberculosis, TB. Thus far our TB cure rate is at 83% and we are working towards attaining the targeted 90% testing, treatment and cure rates by 2019-20.
We had declared in this house a few years ago to solve the challenge of archaic and obsolete equipment in our food, furniture and other production areas. Our investment of R25.5 million to recapitalise agriculture and production workshops, has helped the department to exceed its targets in chicken, egg, fruit and red meat production. Surplus products have been distributed amongst communities surrounding our facilities to support the government’s war on poverty.
We believe that corruption is the biggest threat to the effective implementation of our strategies in order to ensure a safer South Africa. We have achieved a 95% success rate in disciplinary inquiries instituted in 2014-15 financial year as a result of which 19 officials were dismissed. We believe that this demonstrates our zero tolerance towards corruption within and outside of Correctional Services.
We will also run 24 workshops to train officials on ethics and to strengthen our collective vigilance against fraud, corruption and serious maladministration. The overarching objective is to ensure that all the principles of good governance are upheld and protected by each and every one of our officials and may I say the President, indeed, has been leading in a number of processes within government to root out corruption in government ... [Interjections.] ... for your information.
One of the indicators of progress is our reduction of expenditure on consultants, which went down by 55% over the last six years. From a total of R171,705 billion spent in 2009-10 on consultants, the department has spent only R768 million, if the figures are correct, in 2013-14 - and my braille is failing me here; I’m not sure if the figure is actually 76,8 of 768, I’ll have to come back to this House with a more accurate amount - which translates to a R93,8 or is it R938 million reduction. I am having a difficulty with the translation of the computer from print to braille. My apologies.
We are also delighted to report that the audit committee is operating at full capacity, following the appointment of four members with the requisite expertise. A number of strategic positions including that of national commissioner and chief deputy commissioner for strategic management will be filled soon as recommendations have been made for appointments. Filling other strategic positions including the regional commissioner of the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West regions is receiving priority attention.
We are exploring a possibility of reducing the period for expunction of criminal records for ex-offenders especially for minor and non-violent crimes as part of enhancing Offender Reintegration Programmes. I will seek the views of my colleagues in the Justice Crime Prevention and Security cluster, JCPS, regarding this matter. The outstanding matter of political prisoners is being expedited as well. We expect to finalise this matter within the current financial year.
We are also reviewing the parole policy and system in order to step up the recruitment and retention of skilled professionals, improve victim participation in parole hearings, and train board members to, among others, implement offence specific risk assessment tools that will improve the quality of decisions that our correctional supervision and parole boards take.
The Department of Correctional Services has been allocated a total of R20,618 billion during this financial year, a nominal increase of 4,5% from the previous financial year. Overall, the Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Programmes will receive a marked increase in budget allocation over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period both growing at 22,6% and 18,6% respectively.
On the other hand, the Incarceration and Administration Programmes will respectively receive 10,4% and 13% over the MTEF period, which in real terms reflects a decline of the net allocation. We have done so deliberately as part of increasing our investment to implement the ideals of the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa, particularly to improve rehabilitation.
As I conclude, let me convey our profound gratitude to the chairperson and members of the Select Committee on Justice and Correctional Services for their continued support and guidance. Let me also thank my Deputy Ministers, the hon John Jeffery and hon Thabang Makwetla, Members of Parliament, MPs, and the heads of the departments and staff of the two departments and office of the chief justice for their profound support, including the chief justice himself and the leadership of the judiciary. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D L XIMBI: Hon Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon Chief Whip, MECs, hon members and the very important people, VIPs, at the gallery, this speech is delivered on the eve of the Youth Day in South Africa; a day, in June 1976, when thousands of high school students took to the streets to protest against compulsory use of Afrikaans in schools. Police opened fire on marching students, killing 13-year-old Hector Petersen and at least three others.
Today we review the budget of the police, a very different police service to the one in 1976. A police service aimed at demilitarisation, professionalism and crime prevention. To this end, in terms of the ANC’s January 8 statement 2015, crime still remains a major social and economic challenge. Communities are therefore urged to participate fully in the various community safety forums and work with the SA Police and other law-enforcement agencies to fight crime.
To achieve this, in terms of the National Development Plan, NDP, the police are required to create a safe and secure environment for all people of South Africa. The police will do this by, firstly, preventing and combating anything that may threaten the safety and security of any community; secondly, investigating all crimes that threaten the safety and security of any community; thirdly, ensuring that offenders are brought to justice and participating in efforts to address the root causes of crime.
With a budget of R76,3 billion, the police will forge ahead to achieve this. In addressing crime, the visible policing programme has the largest spending programme in the police budget. Key sub-programmes are crime prevention, border security, specialised investigations and facilities. Crime prevention strategies will specifically be focused on reducing levels of serious crimes against women and children.
In order to enhance crime prevention strategies, provision will be made, firstly, for the equipment and training of detectives to enhance the process of crime investigation; secondly, for the establishment of victim-free facilities and thirdly, for the investment in capital equipment to support basic policing services such as vehicles, amongst other things.
The NDP emphasises the need for the transformation of the SA Police Service, SAPS, with a clear goal of putting the community at the centre of service delivery. In this respect, the following interventions will be implemented: Firstly, the development of self-discipline and leadership programmes; secondly, provide appropriate training and equipment to deal with public policing; thirdly public order police re-capacitation and new fit-to-purpose equipment; fourthly, developing change and transformation programmes; and lastly, advocacy campaigns regarding the Police Code of Conduct. Therefore a professional police service aimed at addressing the needs of communities and involving communities in crime prevention strategies is imminent.
With regard to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, in order to address corruption within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster and to ensure that the NDP is realised, Ipid’s total budget is R234,7 million. And its medium-term strategic focus is on ensuring that all people in South Africa are, and feel safe.
Investigation and information management has the biggest budget and the Ipid’s focus on the medium-term will be on enhancing the directorate’s investigative capacity by improving the quality of training for investigators and the guidelines, systems and procedures used for investigation and reporting. Spending over the medium-term is mainly directed towards the development of specialised investigative skills through the establishment and the operationalisation of the national specialised investigative team. To achieve this, the directorate will add 16 investigators to its ranks and 92,8% of the budget will be allocated to the investigation service subprogramme.
We need to work together to ensure that the fight against corruption is achieved. To this end, the directorate will ensure regular engagement with the SAPS, the Municipal Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, to ensure the implementation of recommendations. In 2013-14, the directorate secured 135 disciplinary convictions on recommendations made to the police service, and 83 criminal convictions on recommendations made to the NPA. The Ipid will strive towards ensuring that allegations of police misconduct are dealt with by independent complaints and investigative mechanisms as set out in the ANC’s Ready to Govern policy.
With regards to the Department of Justice, the January 8 Statement of 2015 states that, a key cornerstone of any democracy is an effective, independent, impartial and accessible justice system. [Interjections.] To this end the Department of Justice has a budget of R14,984 billion. As of 2015, the Office of the Chief Justice has been allocated its own Budget Vote. For the 2015 to 2020 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, the department has identified four key priorities, firstly, good governance and clean administration demonstrated by receiving and sustaining an unqualified audit opinion; secondly, service turnaround in the Office of the State Attorney; thirdly, service turnaround in the master’s branch and lastly, creating youth employment opportunities.
Over the medium-term spending focus will be on improving services in courts to ensure the speedy resolution of court cases, implementation of legislation, improving access to justice by opening new high courts in Polokwane and Nelspruit as well as the rationalisation process of areas of jurisdiction of courts. The Magistrates’ courts prioritised for completion over the medium-term are Mamelodi, Port Shepstone, Plettenberg Bay, Booysens and Dimbaza.
The implementation of the Legal Practice Act during the 2014-15 financial year has begun with the establishment of the national forum. The national forum will investigate and put processes in place for the implementation of the Act. The key objective of the Legal Practice Act is to rationalise various pre-1994 statutes which regulated the legal profession in different parts of the country. The Act does not only enhance access to the legal profession for aspirant lawyers, but will also enhance access to legal services, impacting positively on access to justice.
Transformation, as the Minister has highlighted, remains key and the department will focus its attention on the transformation of the SA Legal System by focusing on the transformation of the jurisprudence to realise ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Jurisprudence.
Mr D L XIMBI: Yes, jurisprudence to realise objectives of the NDP.
HON MEMBER: Hayi, sikuvile, mfondini. [No sir, we have heard you.]
Mr D L XIMBI: Nindivile, nindivile! [You have heard me, you have heard me!]
... and by institutionalising the traditional justice system ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, order, hon members!
Mr D L XIMBI: ... and restorative justice as the cornerstone of the alternative dispute resolution mechanism aimed at enhancing access to justice.
Chairperson, allow me to say, the conviction and sentencing of the 28’s gang boss, George Geweld Thomas, yesterday, presents testimony to the sterling work of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster. Thomas received seven life sentences and faced many charges, including seven murders, three attempted murders, racketeering, [Laughter.] the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances and several gang-related charges under the prevention of organised crimes. This case heralds a victory in the fight against crime.
In conclusion, the Department of Correctional Services has been allocated a budget of R20 617 billion. The administration and incarceration programmes of the department received the highest budget allocation which amounts to a combined 80% of the total budget. Funds to the amount of R37,7 million were prioritised to reduce the number of escapes from correctional centres and remand detention facilities by strengthening staff supervision on inmates and to provide sufficient and effective security equipment to staff and to enhance performance of security duties. Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson. [Time Expired.] [Applause.]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, Helen Suzman famously said: “I stand for simple justice, equal opportunity and human rights. The indispensable elements in a democratic society - and well worth fighting for”
The late Hon Suzman was right in identifying justice as one of the three cornerstones of democracy. For without justice, we descend into a society of anarchy; a society lacking in freedom, fairness and opportunity.
It is perhaps necessary to mention that the Budget reports presented by the various departments to the select committee could only be approved on the third attempt due to the nonattendance of the first and second meetings for this purpose of the majority of the ANC members.
It is further regrettable that only the Deputy Minister and Minister of Justice were present during the presentation of their department’s budget - we thank them for making this effort. However, I cannot recall that, either, the Minister of Police, his Deputy or the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services has made any effort to appear before the select committee this year. In fact, I cannot recall when last did one of these three gentlemen made any effort to appear before us at all.
And as if this is not a clear enough, indication of, especially, the Minister of Police’s contempt for this House, he is one of the culprits in our ongoing complaints of not receiving replies to written questions posed by Members of the National Council of Provinces.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Michalakis, I don’t know; you will clarify me. Reference to gentleman, were you referring to the Minister?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: I was referring to the three hon gentlemen that I refer to in that paragraph, indeed, hon Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: When you said gentlemen?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Indeed.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Will you please refer to the hon Minister as the hon Minister and not as a gentleman!
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I withdraw the word gentleman and I refer to the hon Minister and Deputy Ministers.
It would appear that the Minister of Police is under the false impression ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: There is a point of order. Hon Michalakis, can you take your seat?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: ... it is actually a woman. [Laughter.] As I have said hon Chairperson, I withdraw the word gentlemen. It would appear that the Minister of Police is under the false impression that he is accountable to no one but number 1. As he is under the false impression that he has the authority to approve or dismiss the findings of the Public Protector in the Secure in Comfort report on Nkandla.
The Minister does not have the authority to approve or disprove Ms Mandonsela’s report and by doing so he has merely exposed himself as a puppet to the President. No single action of the hon Minister has done more damage to his name than this. This is the second damning report the Department of Police, in collaboration with the President, is trying to ignore. Our people lost their lives three years ago at Marikana.
Ms M C DIKGALE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I am rising on Rule 46 which says that no member may use offensive or unbecoming language in the Council. He has just referred to the Minister as a puppet. I am asking him to withdraw the word.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: I did not hear the word puppet. Is it true that you used the word puppet hon Michalakis?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I said the hon Minister is a puppet to the President.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: May you withdraw the usage of such a word with reference to the Minister as a Minister who serves in the executive that is led by the President. Will you withdraw that word?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I withdraw the word puppet.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: May I continue? The Minister ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon members! Hon members! Before you proceed hon Michalakis, can we avoid a situation of being tempted to use words that are derogatory to other Members of Parliament? Can we please refrain from doing that? You may proceed hon member!
Mr G MICHALAKIS: The Minister does not have the authority to approve or disprove Ms Mandonsela’s report and by doing so ... No single action of the hon Minister has done more damage to his name than this.
This is the second damning report the Department of Police, in collaboration with the President, is trying to ignore. Our people lost their lives three years ago at Marikana. The public is eagerly awaiting the report and the President’s only response is that he is looking at it. Looking at it, hon Chairperson does not imply that he is reading it and if he is indeed applying his mind and reading it, at this rate, it is being done as if he reads his state of the national address with one finger.
Hon Minister, the report is cardinal to addressing major issues within your department, even likely containing a recommendation that the national Commissioner is not fit to do this job.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Deputy Chair of the House, on a point of order: if the hon member could just indicate what he said from Marikana – that sentence from Marikana onwards, to my ear looks like the word puppet featured again
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: It does not sound as a point of order or I don’t understand the point of order that you are rising on hon ... Can you speak into the mic Mam?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: His sentence from Marikana onward, to my ear repeats the word puppet. The point of order is that this word is not Parliamentary. He has just said a few minutes ago that he is withdrawing; my order is he must be consistent. You can’t withdraw now and repeat the word again in the next sentence.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: I will have to satisfy myself because the way I understood him he made reference to a report of Marikana which the President is still considering or looking at.
Mr S J MOHAI: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: [Inaudible.] My reading of the statement is that the hon member is likening the President’s addressing the House with a pointed finger, which is clearly derogatory, because he is likening it to a racist regime; and it is known who used to address Parliament with a pointed finger.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon members will you allow me to consider what the member said and I will come back then with the ruling on the matter. You can continue with the debate hon Michalakis.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: I indeed did not say the word puppet again if the hon Chief Whip would perhaps pay a bit of attention.
Hon Minister, the report is cardinal to addressing major issues within your department, even likely containing a recommendation that the national commissioner is not fit to do this job. This report must be released as soon as possible, in the national interest and one can only hope that when it finally gets released that the hon Minister will show a bit more backbone than he did in the case of the Nkandla report.
The departments within the security and justice cluster are tasked to ensure peace and stability for all other departments to thrive in. Without this, the opportunities available to South Africans are limited. Equally, it is vital that all our citizens feel safe whilst aspiring to fulfil their aspirations.
Today, South Africans from all walks of life feel less safe, less secure and are less trusting of those institutions whose role it is to protect them, than ever before in our democratic history. These, despite any efforts made by the State to retain this vital trust, the real test lies not in the eye of those that control these institutions, but rather in the eyes of the public it serves. And the public, hon Chairperson, is much too often either afraid or at the very least sceptical of these very institutions.
This fear is based on the fact that our police service has again become a force at war - to use the department’s words - a term, the national commissioner says, should not be taken too literally; forgetting that those waging war against hunger, poverty and unemployment are not equipped with guns.
The fear is based on the fact that only last month, two police officers were charged with killing witnesses that might have enhanced the course of justice. Another was caught poaching rhinos. Others run syndicates of illegal mining and the exploitation of foreign nationals in the goldfields of the Free State. This does not include the 1448 convicted murderers, rapists and fraudsters within the SA Police Service, SAPS - 64 of which are sitting in the commissioner’s head office. None of them, by the way, has been removed from office.
There is, in the SAPS, as in Correctional Services, Independent Police Investigative Directorate and our courts, always a group of dedicated men and women who do their duties to our country with pride and dignity and who do us proud - Some of them are sitting in the galleries today. We salute them and thank them for their hard work and effort. However, the stains left by those colleagues, who belong on the other side of the prison bars, leave a stain which cannot be washed away. We can rely on the efforts of those worthy to be called decent officers, but what we need more so is decisive action from the political leadership of these departments to get rid of the rotten ones among them.
The buck does not stop at the Department of Police. Our criminal justice system faces threats of lost dockets and court files, a National Prosecuting Authority in shambles and over crowded and ineffective correctional facilities. Further to this, the best efforts of our police will be meaningless in a system where the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, becomes the punching bag of the system; where to be the National Director of Public Prosecution with some backbone will get you nowhere but sacked by a frightful thief fearing his day in court.
Speaking of backbones and fear, hon Minister Nhleko, I can, but only paraphrase the late Helen Suzman in response to your conclusion of the Nkandla report: “Your fear is looking for a spine to run up”. She said it referring to those who kept quiet in this very same Parliament about the crimes committed by the National Party. I guess it applies as much to you now than it did to them.
The treatment that the Public Protector received from the governing party has forever damaged this administration’s efforts to seem to be on the side of freedom, fairness and opportunity. It speaks of a country where the law reigns supreme for those who aren’t well connected, but is optional for those in power or connected to those in power.
These criminals will, of course, do anything to ensure that they do not end up in those over crowded prisons, some of which are more than 200% full; where inmates have to sleep on the floor and staff has to beg the department for uniforms. They will not count among those who will go to prison for petty crimes and eventually be released as hardened criminals due to inappropriate sanction methods and failed rehabilitation programmes.
It is simply inexcusable that whilst rehabilitation is supposed to be the main aim of correctional services, the department’s budget for rehabilitation has again been cut or otherwise underspent during the last year. And where spending did occur, it seldom happened to ensure that rehabilitation does indeed take place, but rather to spoil those employees who accompany the inmates on these rehabilitation outings.
This whilst those who deserve to be in prison have a field day of running their syndications through the extensive cellphone networks and internet resources in our prisons - an issue which the hon Deputy Minister of Correctional Services has failed time and again to give satisfactory answers to since the beginning of this Fifth Parliament, most notably in this House. If you can block the cellphone signals of Parliament, hon Minister Masutha, you surely will know how to apply the same to our prisons.
South Africa deserves a criminal justice system where our police are mentally and physically equipped with the skills to protect, that are trusted and are, above all, trustworthy. Courts where justice is not delayed with an NPA free to do their duty without fear or favour and ultimately a correctional department where those convicted are rehabilitated and prepared to make a contribution to our society.
The greatest threat the departments within this cluster and the criminal justice system as a whole is facing is the compromise of the basic values that are supposed to be the very trademark of these departments: honesty, accountability, effectiveness and a sense of justice. All this is being compromised - for one man. If we compromise these departments and their integrity to protect one person – I would have said criminal but there would have been a point of order - the beneficiaries will be all those criminals below him right to the bottom.
Herein lies the crux of what is wrong with the security and justice cluster: that it has become a puppet show run by number 1. Only in this dramatic comedy, the audience is bleeding, instead of laughing. I thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Michalakis! Hon Michalakis! Can you go back to ...? I just want to allow ourselves an opportunity to save time although I have made a ruling earlier on to say that I will come back to the issue of the finger. As you were presenting your speech I was just thinking; making reference to the President reading the report with a finger. It reminded me of the Bantu type of education system where in which a black child was seen to be so stupid that when he has to read he was suppose to use his finger sentence by sentence. Is it what you meant? A slow reader, a stupid person who does not know how to read and, therefore, must use his or her finger to follow the words in the book.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, if I can repeat my sentence; it said, at this rate it is being done as he does the state of the nation address, so it was referring to the speed at which he reads, it has nothing to do with his intelligent.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Alright, I will come back to that. I just wanted to get clarity on that that if you meant that then it would have been something else.
Mr M T MHLANGA: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces; hon members of this august House; hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Just hold on hon Mhlanga. Take your seat. Is that a point of order?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes Chair. It’s just to remind us of the convention. I believe that it is hon Mhlanga’s maiden speech. Maybe the convention applies here.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No it’s not. That’s not a point of order hon member.
Mr M T MHLANGA: ... hon Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces; the management and members of the SA Police Service, the SAPS, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Civilian Secretariat for Police and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority; esteemed guests and fellow South Africans, without further ado, it is clear that the movement has to adhere to all constitutional and legislative frameworks. Before we accept the budget, what needs to be addressed are the following points: a united vision and mission of the justice and security cluster; the policy objectives of the cluster; the integrity of the justice and security cluster; and accountability.
Dealing immediately and at some length with the question of violence, corruption and crime, we as the ANC, on building safe communities, affirm our stance and principles guided by the national manifesto, the Freedom Charter, the national democratic revolution and the ready to govern policy position on combating corruption and crime, and investigations.
The strategic objective of the national democratic revolution is to capture the state machinery for the advantage of the poor and the working class. This political revolutionary task must be carried out consciously by the victorious revolutionary force. The national democratic revolution underpins the following principle in order to achieve the democratic state: A constitutional framework defining the nature, purpose and parameters of government elected nationally, provincially and locally, with representatives drawn from competing political parties which must focus its efforts on the following principles:
Firstly, work for the all-round emancipation of the people in our country;
Secondly, better life for all people. The democratic force must speed up the programme to improve the quality of life for the people;
Thirdly, the mobilisation of the masses of the people to govern themselves in the context of the objective that, ‘the people shall govern’;
Fourthly, social partnerships for development, and economic transformation of the state and private capital. The democratic force must therefore establish a dialectical relationship with private capital as a social partner;
Fifthly, the progress of the region of Southern Africa which will create the best conditions for sustainable regional development, based on the faster reproduction of capital, and the acceleration of the process of attracting foreign capital into the region; and
Finally, the African Renaissance, unity for the poor in the world, peace, democracy and progress, and south to south co-operation. This plan embraces what is translated into the national democratic revolution.
The National Development Plan vision 2030 advocates that people living in South Africa feel safe and have no fear of crime. They are safe at home, at school and at work, and they enjoy an active community life free of fear. Women can walk freely in the streets and children can play safely outside. The Police Service is a well-resourced professional institution 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 of all to equality and justice.
Achieving this vision requires a well-functioning criminal justice system in which the police, the judiciary and correctional services work together to ensure that suspects are caught, prosecuted and convicted if guilty. There are five priorities to focus on to achieve a crime-free South Africa:
Firstly, strengthen the criminal justice system. A safe South Africa will not be achieved without a strong criminal justice system. This requires co-operation between all departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS, cluster;
Secondly, make the Police Service professional. A professional Police Service is essential for a strong criminal justice system. We propose to link the police code of conduct and a code of professionalism;
Thirdly, demilitarise the Police Service. The decision to demilitarise the police force, moving away from its history of brutality, was a key goal of transformation after 1994;
Fourthly, build safety using an integrated approach. Achieving long term and sustainable safety requires an integrated approach focused on tackling the fundamental causes of crime. This requires the mobilisation of a wide range of state and nonstate capacities and resources at all levels, and active citizen involvement and co-operation; and
Finally, build community participation in community safety. Civil society organisations and civic participation are critical elements of a safe and secure society. Local government legislation provides for establishing community safety centres to enable safe and healthy communities, including community safety forums, CSFs. The Civilian Secretariat for Police should consider the establishment of these centres and structures.
Cabinet also adopted a seven point plan which sets out how to establish a new, modernised, efficient and transformed system. It includes setting up a new co-ordinating and management structure at every level from national to local; greater co-operation between the judiciary, magistrates, the police, prosecutors, Correctional Services and the Legal Aid Board; and other initiatives such as empowering community policing and CSFs. The plan contains seven fundamental and far-reaching transformative changes to the criminal justice system:
Firstly, adopt a single vision and mission leading to a single set of objectives, priorities and performance management targets for the criminal justice system by the JCPS cluster;
Secondly, establish, through legislation or protocol, a new and realigned single co-ordinated and management structure for the system;
Thirdly, make substantial changes to present court processes in criminal matters through practical, short and medium-term proposals to improve the performance of the courts;
Fourthly, put into operation key priorities identified for the component parts of the system which are part of or affect the new court processes;
Fifthly, establish an integrated and seamless national criminal justice system information and technology database or system;
Sixthly, modernise, in an integrated and holistic way, all aspects of the system and equipment. This would include fast-tracking the implementation of current projects and modernisation; and
Finally, involve the public in the fight against crime by introducing changes to community policing, including expanding its role to deal with all matters in the system such as police and parole boards, according to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
The ANC manifesto affirms to our people that we shall:
Firstly, intensify the fight against corruption in both the public and private sectors through measurements to restrict public servants from doing business and holding them accountable, especially with regard to bidding, price fixing and corrupt tendencies; and
Secondly, require any ANC member or ANC representative found guilty before a court of law to step down from an ANC leadership position in government and society.
We present this Budget Vote in the year in which we are celebrating 60 years of the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter mandates us as the security cluster to ensure that, ‘All shall be equal before the law’. In this regard, the SAPS are to be helpers and protectors of our people.
Due to the above policy position, we as South Africa should take comfort in the fact that our men and women in blue, alongside other law enforcement agencies, continue to make our country proud, as they demonstrated in responding to the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals. [Applause.] The ANC, organised civilian society, nongovernmental organisations and churches mobilised in unity against these territorial, regional, racial, tribal and opportunistic tendencies that were aimed at sabotaging our economic industrial system, and which tends to undermine the security, justice and constitutional structures of this country.
The policy position of the ANC is the basis of the policy to be translated into the SAPS strategic policy position. The vision of the SAPS, in terms of strategic goal 1, is to create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa. Its mission is to prevent and combat crime that may threaten the safety and security of any community; investigate any crimes threatening the safety and security of any community; ensure that offenders are brought to justice; and participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.
The SAPS derives its mandate from section 205 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The objectives of the police are to: prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property; and uphold and enforce the law.
The Minister of Police is responsible for determining national policing policy – section 206 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 – and is the overall executive to the department's mandate in relation to the following key pieces of legislation: the SA Police Service Act 68 of 1995; the National Key Points Act; ...
I want to emphasise the following with regard to this specific Act. Most of the national key points, eg: like our President’s residences ... During the era of apartheid no one in South Africa knew where Botha stayed. [Interjections.] No one knew. That was classified top secret, because it remains a security feature of the country. Today, because of our democracy, everything happened. [Interjections.] We must also say that Botha built a big landing airport in his place of residence. No one questioned that. Botha, Malan and others ... all their buildings ... [Interjections,] ... they built, for example with regard to Botha, nothing was done to him. He used the state’s money to build an airport in his place of residence and nothing was done. [Applause.] We must say that as this government, as we are democratic ... of course, we are not going to allow the media or anyone to expose our security key points. It should not be accepted. [Interjections.]
... The Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992; and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 12 of 1998.
The ANC, in its ready to govern policy document, identified specific priorities defining the future perspective on policing in a democratic context, some of which are:
Firstly, policing shall be based on community ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: There’s a point of order hon Mhlanga. Can you take your seat? Hon Lewis?
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, I rise on a point of order for my own protection. There is too much ear pollution on the right. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That’s not a point of order. Continue.
Mr M T MHLANGA: The ANC ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, order, order! Hon Mokgosi, I don’t have to hear what you are saying. You can heckle but I don’t have to hear what you are saying. Do not disrupt the speaker.
Ms N P MOKGOSI: [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mokgosi, I am cautioning you. Please converse but let me not hear what you are saying. Hon Lewis has raised an issue in saying that he is really being affected by the loud level of conversation. Continue hon member. Take your seat hon Mhlanga. Hon Gaehler? The one next to you.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Chairperson, when I raised ... [Inaudible.] ... the podium, you never protected me. [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, that’s not a point of order. Hon Mhlanga, continue with the debate.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Yes ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mr M T MHLANGA: The ANC, in its ready to govern policy document, identified specific priorities defining the future perspective on policing in a democratic context, some of which are:
Firstly, policing shall be based on community support and participation;
Secondly, policing shall be accountable to society and the community it serves through democratically elected institutions;
Thirdly, policing shall be subject to public scrutiny and open debate;
Fourthly, allegations of police misconduct shall be dealt with by independent complaints and investigating mechanisms; and
Finally, the Police Service shall strive for high performance standards.
Thus, the ANC-led government has introduced a new department called Ipid, and we need to put more capacity and machinery into this department. This step was partly to affirm our pledge to our community. Equally, we are not oblivious or blind to police infractions against citizens that have been reported to Ipid – infractions which continue to be dealt with expeditiously.
As the ANC we support this Budget Vote based on the following principle: that the budget has considered the constitutional and policy position. The legislative mandate includes our policy position. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108, section 209, 111(a) gives the following mandate: prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; protect and secure the inhabitants ... [Interjections.]
... Chapter 2 of the Constitution: Bill of Rights and an array of applicable legislations, powers and functions ... The SAPS code of conduct and performance management tools. 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. In this regard, the White Paper on Policing is aimed at the review of the Act to make it relevant to modern day challenges and operational requirements. It also seeks to align the SAPS 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. Our approach to policing emphasises the involvement of our communities in the fight against crime and corruption. That is why in the current financial year we have placed the bulk of our spending on visible policing, which will receive just under R36,3 billion.
We are placing a strong emphasis on the need to review specialised units that are dedicated to fight specific forms of crime, and specialised investigations. Already the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit has made great strides and continues to progressively secure life convictions. We place such an emphasis and review taking into account that the committing of crime has become more specialised, advanced and sophisticated. Therefore, our response shall be at a level higher than that of the criminals.
Before I leave here, since I see that my time is running out, we must emphasise and clearly respond to what hon Michalakis said. When we are briefed by departments it is not a must that a Minister should be there. Of course, Ministers account to us but if they are engaged it cannot stop the briefing process. The departments will brief us, as we are now able to participate in this budget debate. [Interjections.] So, it is very important to note that the Minsters not coming does not prevent us from being briefed by the departments. We will be briefed by the departments, and we will acknowledge and put our political value on the budget that we are briefed on.
The other issue refers to ... I have spoken about Nkandla. We must again retaliate on the issue of Mrs Thuli Madonsela’s report, and ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr D PLATO: WESTERN CAPE: Hon Chair, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Today’s combined budget debate for the Department of South African Police Service, SAPS, Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services provides for the ideal opportunity to assess whether the resources that we put towards ensuring the safety of the law-abiding residents in this province are put to its most effective use.
As you are aware, the Western Cape has a major gang and drug problem which threatens the lives of many innocent people on a daily basis. In the last financial year, at least 300 innocent people were murdered as a result of gang violence. We should all ask ourselves our specific role in the justice system value chain and how we all can ensure, as a society as a whole, that we improve the safety on our streets and in our communities and get gangsters and criminals off our streets.
I support the efforts of the Acting Police Commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile and the dedicated men and women in blue who work tirelessly to try and provide the safety services we need. But we need to strengthen his hand. The people of Western Cape have asked for more police officers and better visible policing. The people of Western Cape have also asked for the return of the specialised unit in the fight against gangsterism and drugs.
I support the temporally deployment of the army in the gang hot spots areas in order to allow the police to do their work; to investigate cases properly and ensure that there are convictions. It was a mistake to disband the drug and gang units and today I want to ask the hon Minister to please bring these units back without delay.
The fact that persistent gang violence has plucked the Manenberg area since the recent Operation Fiela’s raid shows that gangsters are rattled by the organised and combined presence of the army and the metro police. These short-term interventions should be carried out regularly and be institutionalised. A once off intervention simply cannot make any meaningful impact. We also cannot allow a situation where communities are being held hostage or punished for pointing out those responsible for the illegal activities.
What this is to gang related crimes and murders need to make use of the justice department’s witness protection programme. We need a collaborative and long-term sustainable approach to be adopted without hesitation to ensure that our communities are rid of gangsters and drugs and everyone’s safety is prioritised. Bring the reservists back. It was a mistake to let them go because their exit out of SAPS impacted severely on visible policing.
The Western Cape government aims to help create safer communities through a whole of a society approach where everyone has to play the part in making our communities safer. This is based on targeted safety interventions and effective oversight over policing. In the past three years of the more than 950 gang related murders and 2 207 attempted murders; there were only 85 successful prosecutions. That means that less than 3% of cases led to convictions.
As long as these killers remain on our streets we will continue to loose the battle against serious and violent crime. The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry recommendation saw some profound actions required from the SAPS in the Khayelitsha area but which will have an impact on policing service delivery in the Western Cape and also in the rest of the country.
We require our hon Minister Nhleko’s support for the implementation of the recommendations. I agree with hon Minister Nhleko’s comments in his Budget Speech that there are too many guns circulating in our society. I think that was the message of the hon Minister also in this afternoon in his speech. It remains unacceptable that official SAPS firearms like those reported to be originating from Gauteng landed up in the hands of gangsters and drug lords in our province. The confiscation of illegal guns are not equating to less shooting and killing of people in our communities.
The Western Cape government will continue rolling out the various targeted and innovative interventions like our Watching Briefs Unit; the use of safety and religious programmes; youth focused outreaches; Chrysalis and Wolwekloof Acadamy and our FET College partnership. We will continue with our crime prevention efforts by partnering with communities and organisations through among other the deployment of our safety kiosk.
We will continue to provide vigorous oversight over policing in this province through the mandate that the Community Safety Act as well as the Constitution affords us, including the Independent Office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman; empowering and professionalising the Neighbourhood Watches and the Community Safety Forums. We will also continue to support the SAPS and assist them where possible to help ensure that quality safety services are a reality for every person in the Western Cape. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the IFP asked a question to the hon Minister of Police in August 2014 about the total number of police stations in each district and the metro in KwaZulu-Natal. Without going to the details of the response, the hon Minister himself, expressed his dissatisfaction and disappointment about the data that was revealed. If I can refer only to the extremes which the highest is eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality with 43 stations and iLembe District Municipality being the lowest with only seven stations. We can also take note of Umkhanyakude District Municipality which is the second lowest with only 12 stations in five local municipalities.
The urban bias of the government’s delivery of policing services in our country is quiet obvious. ILembe District Municipality is largely rural district with four local municipalities of KwaDukuza with two stations; Ndwedwe, two stations; Maphumulo, one station and Mandeni, two stations.
In his response, the hon Minister also lamented the apartheid legacy in this skewed distribution but this government cannot really blame all these faults to apartheid. After 21 years in power, the government has failed to build just one police station for all the rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal. In all its rural ten districts, not a single police station was built after 1994.
Whilst I have made reference to only KwaZulu-Natal, the trend of the urban bias in the allocation of policing services in South Africa applies to all provinces. This goes along with the importance of the equitable allocation of resources. Whilst almost all police stations in the country suffer the insufficient allocation of resources especially vehicles, the rural police stations are the worst victims. Vehicles in the rural police stations are not enough and also the life span of these vehicles provided is shorter compared to their urban counterparts because of the terrain in the rural areas.
The demilitarisation of the police has progressed at a very slow pace. This is resulting, like my friend hon Mhlanga was saying, in communities loosing faith in the police service to be able to provide them with security efficiently. The military/semi-violent approach of the police when they are doing their duties has been witnessed in areas like KwaMashu, uMsinga, parts of Gauteng, North West and other areas.
The IFP is also concerned that whilst community police forums, CPF, were put in place but most of these have become dysfunctional even those that are trying are very poorly resourced. Some attention needs to be given to the full capacitation of the CPF so that they can operate effectively. The IFP is also concerned with the increasing levels of attacks and killings of SAPS members. The annual performance plan of the Department of South African Police Service 2014-15 financial year stated that the department intended to reduce serious crime by 2% to 1 683 827. In the 2015-16 annual performance plan, the department says it will reduce serious crime to 1 790 428. This is not a reduction but an increase of 106 601 because you can all see that 700 000 is bigger than 600 000. It is quite an anomaly on the part of the department.
The IFP has always objected to the practise of the government to appoint civilians to the positions of Police Commissioner nationally in the country. This happened when Mr Jackie Selebi was appointed to the position, again when Mr Bheki Cele was appointed to the same position. It has happened again when Ms Riah Piyega was appointed to the position. Both her predecessors have had unceremonious exits in the position.
Recently, the current National Commissioner Riah Piyega has had a public spat with her predecessor Mr Bheki Cele over who is a better-performing commissioner between the two. This was a childish and an uncalled for argument which shows lack of professional discipline on these two civilian commissioners. The IFP says that the job of the National Police Commissioner must be given to the people who are trained for the profession.
When government appointed Mr Robert Mcbride to the position of the Director of the Ipid, the IFP objected to this cadre deployment appointment. The chickens have now come back home to roost as that very same appointment is haunting government. South Africa is a constitutional democracy with justice as one of the pillars of the three pillars contained in the separation of powers. It is a pillar that we tend to ensure that all legislation passed is consistent with the Constitution that any law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid and that the obligation imposed must be fulfilled. It is a pillar that we tend to ensure that South Africans and in fact any person in South Africa is and feel safe.
The vision of the department is to promote a transformed and accessible justice. Yet in the face of astronomical litigation costs, one can only question how viable this accessibility is. Even the Legal Aid board which is supposed to assist indigent members of the society cannot because it is underfunded; even the budget of the Office of the Chief Justice which is responsible for the delivery of justice is underfunded.
Another entity which has endeared itself to many members of society, the Office of the Public Protector is only provided with the mere R240 million allocation while the needs of this Chapter 9 institution actually requires a further R200 million according to their proposals. To many citizens of this country, the current incumbent is the first Public Protector who has given meaning to the office. One would expect that she would be given an enabling budget and all the necessary support by the department. Instead we all feel embarrassed when some in the ranks of the ruling party begin to attack the very same office which they should be protecting.
Furthermore, justice cannot flourish if the organs of justice are manned by detectives and prosecutors who are poorly trained. No wonder cases are remanded time and again. The department must deal with this issue of cases which take ages to finalise. Some of the awaiting trial prisoners get to stay in prisons for three to four years or more before their cases get finalised.
Accessibility must also facilitated by language proficiency. In a multilingual country such as ours, how is English the only language truly catered for within our justice system? If the magistrate, prosecutor and the accused are all isiXhosa, isiZulu or whatever African language speakers, why do they have to communicate in English? Why must they use an interpreter who more often than not is also poorly trained?
What is commendable is the increased funding of about R236 million for building more rural courts as these are solely needed. Justice must be accessible to all and not just the elite and the advantaged few to the neglect of the struggling masses. Priority therefore must be placed on policies and systems which contain the escalation of the litigation costs.
Fraud and corruption has continued to rock the Department of Correctional Services. In the recent unannounced searches by the department in the correctional services in Bhongolwethu in Kokstad, Pietermaritzburg and Westville prisons, hundreds of sim cards were confiscated, hundreds of cellphones, some weapons and even home brewed beer being brewed inside prison cells.
Other items found were phone chargers, homemade knives, stolen food, electric sandwich toasters, dagga and mandrax. One cannot go far to find the answer to how these items find their way into the hands of the prisoners. Legislation bars prisoners even those who are awaiting trial from owning cellphones inside the cells.
Whilst it can be suspected that friends and family members visiting their relatives can also be involved, it is but clear that prison warders are much more deeply involved. The way life is in some prisons does not allow for proper correctional services to happen but instead, it worsens the conduct behaivour and character of some inmates from what they were before going to prison.
This is a matter that is a cause of concern and that needs to be attended to by the department. I thank you hon Chairperson, the rest you will get it from Hansard. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. I do not know how it will get into Hansard if it is not on record. [Laughter.]
The Deputy Minister: Justice and Correctional Services
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, I just have some comments for previous speakers. When the hon Khawula was speaking so much about the police, I couldn’t help but remember back to the time when Inkatha had its own police, the KwaZulu police and how bad an experience that was for many people and when he were talking about commissioners, I remembered their last commissioner ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is that a point of order?
Mr M KHAWULA: Yes, Chairperson. The hon Deputy Minister is misinforming the House. The IFP has not had police; it was the government of KwaZulu. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, that is a point for debate; it’s not a point of order.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chair, the facts basically where that it was the KwaZulu government but KwaZulu was a one-party state, the only political party in KwaZulu was Inkatha. I also remember your last commissioner, General Jac Buchner, who used to be head of the security police in Pietermaritzburg before you made him commissioner of police in KwaZulu.
The hon Michalakis who was complaining about the non attendance of ANC members at committee meetings, I thought that was a bit rich seeing he missed last Friday’s meeting of the Magistrates Commission without any apologies. [Interjections.]
Anyway the NCOP is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account, in this case provincial interests with regard to ensuring access to justice for all our people and access to justice means, access to courts, and access to justice services that are offered at the courts
The 2013-14 Victims of Crime Survey tells us that an estimated 90,8% of households in South Africa know where their nearest magistrate’s court is situated, with the Northern Cape at 95% having the highest percentage of households that know that, North West is 89% and the lowest percentage is in Gauteng which was 84,8%. So, people generally know where the courts are. But are they satisfied with our courts?
An estimated 64,3% of households were satisfied with the courts performance when dealing with perpetrators. The highest levels of satisfaction with the courts was observed in Limpopo, which was 75,5% and the lowest figure was in the Western Cape, 45%. So the difference there is 30% and we need to find out more about why that gap is so big. Hon Plato, I’m not sure what you are telling people.
Many factors play a role in court satisfaction and there are many role-players and that often makes things difficult, the police, the legal profession, the National Prosecuting Authority, the judiciary, court officials, correctional services officials, probation officers, legal aid and the Department of Social Development.
From the side of our department, under Programme 2 which is court services, which is striving to improve, hon Khawula, the finalisation of criminal cases in support of Outcome 3. We are aiming at providing improved court-based services to achieve client satisfaction within vulnerable groups, increase protection of the best interest of children and promotion of family cohesion through mediation services and increased access to justice services to historically marginalised communities.
In line with the National Development Plan and the national outcomes, an additional R74,5 million has been reallocated to address rural capacitation for courts in the 2015-16 financial year.
The Attorneys Amendment Act, 2014 which came into operation last week provides for, among other things, the restructuring the areas of jurisdiction of law societies and renaming them in keeping with the post-1994 provincial arrangements.
The department continues to implement programmes that increase access to justice services particularly in disadvantaged communities. These include the roll-out of small claims courts to every municipality in the country; the alignment on magisterial district within municipal boundaries as the Minister referred to; and the implementation of the Superior Courts Act, 2013 to ensure every province has a High Court.
There are currently 342 small claims courts countrywide. That count is on the main seat of the courts, but they can also have additional places of seating in the magisterial district and there are 82 such additional places of seating. So, this brings the total number of places where small claims courts are available to 424.
The Eastern Cape’s coverage is 79% with 63 courts, Free State with 82% with 46 courts, Gauteng has a 100% coverage with 31 courts, KwaZulu-Natal has coverage of 86% with 46 courts, Limpopo also 100% coverage with 36 courts, Mpumalanga a 100% coverage with 33 courts, the Northern Cape chair has coverage of 75% with 24 courts, North West 91% coverage with 22 courts and the Western Cape 93% coverage with 41 courts. And it’s important to highlight that approximately 70% of the small claims courts are in rural areas.
We only have 40 small claims courts still to be established countrywide and as I mentioned Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo are fully compliant. Steps are under way in the remaining 40 districts to encourage legal practitioners and magistrates to make themselves available for appointment as commissioners.
Steps also under way to create more places of seating especially in rural areas in the districts where courts have already been established and we also encouraging courts to sit during office hours as is currently being done in Alexandra and Tembisa in Gauteng.
During the last financial year, a total of 47 648 new matters were registered in small claims courts with a total claim amount of just over R220 million. The highest volume was in Gauteng with nearly 14 000 new matters. A total of 28 500 matters were closed at the end of March this year, with judgement having been granted in 14 000 cases.
The majority of matters that were closed were struck off the roll, presumably that the claim was settled before it went to court. The small claims court success does not only lie in the handling of the cases but also in the fact that many people settle their debts once they have been served, in other words before the matter goes to court.
Legal Aid South Africa is another success story in our quest for justice. They have a national footprint of 64 justice centres and 64 satellite offices aligned to the courts and located close to public transport facilities in order to be accessible to clients. There are six regional offices, one in Eastern Cape, one for Free State and North West combined, one for Gauteng, one for KwaZulu-Natal, one for Limpopo and Mpumalanga combined and one for the Western Cape and Northern Cape combined as well as the national office in Johannesburg.
The Western Cape has the highest number of new criminal cases followed by Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and with regard to new civil matters; Gauteng had the highest number of matters followed by the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Legal Aid completed an extensive research project to analyse court rolls and the aim of the research was to accurately estimate the demand for legal aid services at each courtroom so as to better align their practitioner capacity to the demand.
The protection of the rights of children is an important part of the work of Legal Aid South Africa as they assisted children in roughly 16 500 new matters, 71% of these where children in conflict with the law and 29% where civil matters. There’s also a system in place to track children awaiting trial so that these matters are prioritised.
The province that dealt with the most children’s new criminal matters was the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal handled the highest number of new civil matters involving children. Members will be aware of the child justice dialogue that took place last week regarding the successful implementation of the Child Justice Act, 2008. This is but one of the areas in which members of the NCOP can play a valuable role in helping us to make legislation work better.
Through the continued oversight and constituency work in provinces, members of the NCOP are our eyes and ears on the ground. You would hear of many problems in the courts which don’t necessarily get reported to the executive. There was a problem in Germiston Magistrates court, where a rape matter had to be postponed because the prosecutor couldn’t give the docket over to the defence because the photocopiers at the court in Germiston were broken.
In a recent survey, the University of Pretoria Centre for Child Law found that many courts where not child-friendly and lack one-way mirrors, closed-circuit television systems and dedicated intermediaries and separate testifying and waiting rooms. In KwaZulu-Natal, hon Khawula, I don’t know if you’re aware, but there was flooding at the Indwedwe Magistrates’ Court last week. We rely on people, members of the NCOP to report these matters to us so that if we are not aware we can then attend to them.
Where there are problems such as these they must be brought to our attention. Visits to courts and police stations, oversight work and constituency work, are vitally important to assist in making access to justice a reality in each and every province in our country. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: Voorsitter ... ja, agb Mhlanga, ek sal mooi praat. [Chairperson ... yes, hon Mhlanga, I will speak nicely].
I must remind you that this is a democratic government, and therefore you cannot compare it with the government of Botha, unless you are saying to me that the ANC wants the same privileges as those of the apartheid government. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Would it not be advisable, hon Julius, to address hon Mhlanga through me? [Interjections.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes, I will address him through you, Deputy Chairperson. ... Unless the ANC wants to tell me that they want the privileges as those of the apartheid government, and unless they tell me that they are the same as the apartheid government. Yes, then we can afford you the opportunity to take money and build a home, Nkandla – I don’t even know how to pronounce the name - for the President.
On a lighter note, I feel a bit sorry for the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. All over the show nowadays we see there are golden handshakes. Unfortunately all what this department got is a Schabir Shaik, not even a golden handshake. It must be a nightmare in this department relaxing his parole conditions and everything. I don’t know where it comes from, but we will get to that.
Deputy Chairperson, with overcrowded cells, not enough rehabilitation staff for the volumes of inmates and the design of the majority of our prisons are factors that hugely impact negatively on the effectiveness of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.
How do you expect our staff in the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to fulfil its mandate without fail? While still on this, I want to join hon Michalakis to thank and appreciate thousands of our staff working in prisons. It is a very dangerous environment, and we really appreciate your work.
Unfortunately, this department does not make it conducive for these officials to work in a stable environment with all the necessary precautions. The department fails to eradicate or reduce corruption, gangsterism, smuggling and abuse of sick leave, among others.
The White Paper on correction envisages changing the orientation of the department. However, this department is very slow to implement.
The 2015-16 budget for the Department of Correctional Services is not forward looking. A bulk of this budget will be spend on security, including expensive fences, IT systems and more beds. Are we intending to rehabilitate or house offenders? It looks like we are housing them now. More money should be spend on rehabilitation in prisons. Thus, the pertinent question to ask here is: Is this budget really aimed at the rehabilitation of offenders? We see more and more offenders going to prison and coming out worse criminals. This is strenuous on our societal and economic needs in this country. We need prisons that rehabilitate offenders and not schools for criminals.
Agb Voorsitter, ek wil net sê dat die departement hom nou maar moet regkry, jong. Daar is klomp hooggeplaasde leiers in die regering wat oppad is na julle toe, daar by die tronk. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, I just want to say that the department will have to prepare itself now. There are many high-ranking leaders in Government that are on their way to you, at the prison.]
Many of high-ranking political leaders are on their way. And I want you to tell them ...
Ek wil hê jy moet vir hulle nou al sê, pappa wag vir jou. As hulle nie geld wil terugbetaal wat hulle onregmatig gekry het nie, dan moet hulle soontoe gaan. Jy moet vir hulle sê, agb Minister, pappa wag vir jou daar. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[I want you to tell them now already, that daddy is waiting for you. If they do not want to repay money that they obtained unlawfully, then they must go there. You must tell them, Hon Minister, that daddy is waiting for you there.]
In his Budget Vote speech 2015-16 in the NA, the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, quoted Tom Butler-Bowden. He said:
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.
I fully agree with you, Minister, it’s a very very good quote. But let us put it to the test in terms of your own conduct. You said, firstly, doing what is not a moral good to be treated in order to gain something. Now my question is: Did the police, Minister, do what is right in the 50 page report relieving President Zuma of any obligation of reimbursing our people for improvements on his Nkandla home? And the people of South Africa will say no. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Is that a point of order, hon Nyambi?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Yes.
Mr A J NYAMBI: It’s a point of order, Deputy Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: May I take you?
Mr A J NYAMBI: You will assist. In terms of section 49, subsection 1 Rule of anticipation, we are aware that there is a committee in another House of Parliament that is dealing with the very same issue. And now we are dealing with the Budget Vote of the department, and there is that issue in the other House. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Labuschagne ... [Interjections.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: So, I would like to ... [Interjectons.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Just hold it, hon Nyambi. Can you allow hon Nyambi to finish and then you will rise on your point of order, after I have made a ruling on that point? [Interjections.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: May be you can rule ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Because I can imagine if two points of orders are before, and I am supposed to make a ruling.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Rule 49 subsection 1 in terms of anticipation, Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Is it with regard to ...
Mr A J NYAMBI: It’s with specific reference to the issue of the 50 page report. We know that we do have a committee in another House, in the National Assembly, that is dealing with this issue. So, it’s an anticipation of the report.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Mokwele ... not unless maybe somebody wants to assist me with making a ruling.
Ms T J MOKWELE: [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon members, a point of order is raised. That point of order is raised with reference to the Rule of anticipation. Now, we might be trapped in a situation where we need to look for the correct interpretation of the Rule of anticipation. And in order to avoid a situation where we would find ourselves fighting around the interpretation of the Rule, in so far as its application is concerned in the debate, may you allow me to rule on the matter in the next sitting. The matter is not before the National Council of Provinces ... [Interjections.] [Laughter.] ... Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, I am busy making a ruling here. [Interjections.] No, I didn’t need your support.
The matter is not before the National Council of Provinces but with the National Assembly. What we then need to determine is as to whether the Rule of anticipation would apply in the National Council of Provinces if the matter is with the National Assembly and whether we can comment on that particular matter in the National Council of Provinces. So, can you allow me then the opportunity to do exactly that? There is another point of order.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, I also want to want to refer you to Rule 49,2. I hereby would like to request a further ruling on the following. Not only ... because 49,1 says, it must be on the Order Paper, first of all. Number two says ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Labuschagne, are you challenging my ruling?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: No, I ask you rule further than ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No, are you challenging my ruling because my ruling is as simple as that? Which means therefore ...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, if you will give me time to answer you ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No, hon Labuschagne, can you take your seat.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, I want to ask you ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Can you please take your seat, hon Labuschagne?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: I will write a letter on this ruling because you don’t want to listen to ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Labuschagne, I have made a ruling on the matter and I am not going to entertain what you are saying now. [Interjections.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, I want ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Can you please take your seat. As long as you are not on record ... I have switched you off, yes. Can you take your seat, Labuschagne. Hon Labuschagne, can you take your seat. Hon Labuschagne, I am ordering you to take your seat.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Deputy Chairperson, I will debate. It’s a point of debate, I take it as that for now.
The HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Are you ruling?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Did the Minister of Police act rational and constitutional? Again, the people of South Africa say: “No.” Did the Minister of Police have the necessary independence to make a determination on the President’s obligation on Nkandla upgrades? The people of South Africa say: “No.”
Hon Minister of Police, according to your own quote, you quoted that corrective action is a necessity and that one cannot live a good life without it. Do you live a good life at the moment? I don’t think so. [Time expired.]
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Minister of Police and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Deputy Ministers, hon MECs who are here today from different provinces and all security clusters, permanent and special delegates to the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, I greet all of you. As we commemorate Child Protection Week, let me start my debate by quoting Kofi Annan when he said, and I quote:
There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.
I just want to remind the hon members - all of us debating today here - that the people of this country are eagerly watching us on channel 408. And they expect us to give them answers to the questions that they are having there at home. And I want to say, all of us are here today, in our different capacities, because of the Constitution of this country that all of us are subscribing to. It is just a reminder.
Well the Minister reported in his policy and budget speech that the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit has made a great stride and continues to ensure life conviction for perpetrators of evil acts against women and children. This is a clear indication of government’s commitment to ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups from heartless criminals. These life sentences to criminals who target vulnerable groups allow for an environment where we will be able to raise our children free from fear of the wants.
We support the work in this area with numerous programmes aimed at enhancing awareness about children safety. The province of Mpumalanga has adopted a programme of 365 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children. We also believe that with our community participation programmes, issues relating to children will continue to be highlighted. Through the criminal justice system, we all mobilise for maximum permissible sentences for those who are found guilty of perpetrating abuse against women and children. Therefore, the progressive life sentence convictions are welcomed hon Minister, and we thank you for the leadership in that regard.
As hon members will know, Mpumalanga is sharing boarders with Swaziland and Mozambique. Over the years we have demonstrated our ability to coexist peacefully with foreign nationals. We are happy to report that Mpumalanga is a shining example of how we should embrace one another as human beings. The latest spate of attacks against foreign nationals did not occur in our province and where there was an attempt in Nkangala, it was communities themselves who stopped it, and not the police.
South Africans must all speak in one voice in condemning attacks against other nationals. We also encourage foreign nationals who are in the country illegally to get proper documentation and live peacefully in our country. Therefore, we support the ‘We are One Humanity’ programme that seeks to deal with the psyche that has seen a neighbour turning against a neighbour. It is indeed true that we have a shared destiny.
It is also heartwarming to note that the province of Mpumalanga has consistently been able to reduce crime over the last five years. This did not happen on its own; it was through working together as members of this cluster and our dedicated men and women in blue, under the leadership of former provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General, Thulani Ntobela and also of the now Lieutenant-General, Mark Magadlela.
We identified 25 police stations that are contributing more crime statistics in the province and gave them a closer look and necessary attention. These stations - as the major contributors - started recording a decline which ultimately sustained our downward spiral in crime statistics as a province over the last five years. We have also worked closely with our communities through the community police forums, CPFs, at all our 86 police stations across the province. That is why our department has ensured that CPFs at all 86 police stations are functional.
We have implemented ‘Overall Friday’ a very popular programme which necessitates a joint planning by SAPS and all its units, traffic officials, and the department of community safety security and liaison to conduct roadblocks, stop and searches, raiding of taverns as well as shebeens. The programme further ensures that the places of leisure are safe to those who choose to use them and that they are also run in line with the license conditions. This includes ensuring that they are not selling alcohol to underage children.
South Africans need to make a serious introspection and soul searching. We have far too many taverns in our communities; they are more than schools and churches. We also noted that many crimes are planned and co-ordinated there; they are the generators of criminal activities. The level of compliance with regulations by these places is generally low. The Liquor Board needs to do more also ensuring the adherence to license conditions.
We will support the Minister and the community in general in the area of policing. We will continue to encourage our communities to report any wrong that they see to the police officers. We believe the few police officers who are doing wrong things should be exposed and when they are found guilty, they should be taken out of the system. Their actions do not only rob the communities of qualitative services but they endanger the lives of their colleagues and that of the community members.
We cannot have police officers who collude with criminals or who do shoddy work when investigating criminal cases to protect criminals. Failure by police to thoroughly investigate cases will result in low convictions. The low convictions rate means that more criminals are freely roaming in our streets. Criminals belong behind bars, so that law-abiding citizens can live in peace and harmony.
We welcome the Minister’s announcement in his speech that the budget for crime intelligence has been increased by 7,8% in the medium-term. The greatest beneficiaries of this development will be our communities as government continues to strengthen war on crime. Intelligence-driven policing is very fundamental in our fight against crime and corruption. We also welcome the increase of budget in the SAPS Detective Services because, this hon Deputy Chair, must improve the conviction rates and also improve public confidence and government effort to fight against crime.
To support the Minister’s call of building a united front to help and protect communities, we will conduct campaigns and mobilise communities to reject and report stolen goods, improve border security, stop gender-based domestic violence, human trafficking and liquor trader’s campaigns.
We continue to condemn the actions of individuals ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R T Tau): Hon MEC, unfortunately your time has expired.
Mr V R SHONGWE: Well, as Mpumalanga ...
... sithi, “Wabulala iphoyisa, wabulala umphakathi.” [Killing a police officer is equivalent to killing the community.]
I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, how can we approve such a budget when, every four days, one protester is killed by police? The department prioritised the training of 74 000 SA Police Service, SAPS, personnel in 2013-14 for firearm competency. This figure is not stated in the 2015-16 financial year’s strategic plan. Could this be read to mean that all police personnel are now firearm competent?
How can we approve a budget when civil claims against the police have shown a 142% increase over the last four years since 2010-11?
Last year, several high-ranking police officers were arrested in connection with job recruitment scams. Perhaps the long overdue National Policing Board was anticipated to mitigate the risks of recruitment fraud. The strategic plan states that a national management forum will be entrenched and that the main decision-making body of the organisation would be supported by its relevant and recently established subcommittees, but there are no details on how the proposed forum will interface with the mooted Board of Commissioners.
How can we approve this budget, Minister? How can we approve a budget with a clear abuse of power, demonstrated by the instability of the Hawks, where the Minister spends millions in his attempt to protect an individual in Nkandla. How can a swimming pool become a security feature?
How can we approve the budget when brutal and illegal arrests resulting in civil litigation cost the police at least R18,5 billion?
The SAPS has developed an extensive and complicated recruitment framework through which the right people are recruited into the service. The SAPS states in its 2015-16 Annual Performance Plan, APP, that, to accelerate the recruitment process, the department has entered into a partnership with the SA National Defence Force, SANDF’s, military skills programme in order to shorten the training programme for graduates who acquired qualifications relevant to the SAPS.
Today police are militarised hierarchically and are ill-equipped to deal with ordinary crime. This development goes against the grain of demilitarisation... demilitarising the police... enterprise risk... Currently, the police’s approach to the problem of crime is to largely abandon any commitment to social crime prevention, with attempts to shift the responsibility to government’s social development cluster. As a result, 827 children were murdered in South Africa in 2012-13, which is more than two children a day. In the same year, 2 600 women were murdered and 141 130 women were victims of attempted murder.
How can we approve such a budget, when the police have politicised anticorruption and investigating units alike.
An HON MEMBER: Not the ANC!
Ms T J MOKWELE: I was there, that’s why I left. [Interjections.]
The police’s struggle to combat crime also points to the fact that crime is a socioeconomic variable born of an oppressive system that is exclusive in character. This system is designed to create an unequal society, and thus opens itself to a continuous challenge that can best be resolved through the adoption of radical socioeconomic transformation policies.
In 2013, South Africa ranked number 9 in the world with the highest prison population over 160 000 inmates, 30 000 of whom are still awaiting trial. The two-year awaiting trial period is too long, making those arrested for petty crimes like shoplifting vulnerable to further corruption, or to being forced to commit more dangerous crimes, thus becoming too damaged to be sent back to their communities. Prisons do not rehabilitate prisoners, but make them more dangerous than they were.
Overcrowding in South African prisons stands at 133%. This has resulted in chaotic conditions in which diseases like TB and HIV spread at a rapid rate. A prison environment in which there is slow to no rehabilitation creates repeat offenders, increases the crime rate and accelerates gang violence as prisoners fight for space, with some coerced into gangs in order to be protected from staff or from other prisoners.
The SAPS may have little to do with what happens to prisoners after they have been arrested, but if we are to efficiently prevent and fight crime, the state of our entire justice system needs to be interrogated. What happens to people once they have been locked up is of utmost importance. [Interjections.]
If our policing system is created in such a way that we do not address the underlying factors that give rise to crime like inequality and poverty, then what is the point? I repeat: Prisons do not rehabilitate prisoners; they make them more dangerous than they were.
What is the department doing to ensure that we do not continue producing criminals? It is also a well-known fact that police, police commissioners and top government officials are directly involved in the injection of drugs and guns into gang-infested communities. They are not helping the situation.
The Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer, for instance, faces a string of charges ranging from over 109 counts of racketeering, corruption, fraud and money laundering. How many Lamoers are left in our police force and how did he go undetected for so long? [Interjections.]
Most police services are riven with nepotism and corruption. No one is there to hold the other accountable. Initiatives like the Khayelitsha Commission of Enquiry have not yielded any significant results. It only focuses on the police, making them the scapegoat for the crisis in the country while the department in its entirety is responsible. [Interjections.]
This thing of passing the buck between the government and the department about who is responsible for crime in this in country is setting us 10 steps back. [Interjections.]
I’m sick. That is why... but I will be fine. Don’t worry.
Simply locking people up will never address crime in our communities. If anything, we are simply calling for victims to be punished while those responsible for their situation - like corrupt politicians and beneficiaries of apartheid – live happily ever after.
Minister Nhleko’s announcement that the President does not owe anyone for the upgrades to Nkandla is proof that this department will never hold government accountable for any crime it commit.
Thixo, wase George Goch! [Interjections.]
Who is then to hold government accountable for crimes against humanity such as subjecting our people to poverty, maintaining institutional racism and protecting stolen land and resources at expense of the poor? We will never combat crime or make any progress without addressing the social issue that force our people to resort to crime.
An HON MEMBER: Who stole the land?
Ms T J MOKWELE: We have witnessed people being deployed to beat up opposition party members in Parliament. We have seen the police shooting workers in cold blood for demanding a minimum wage. We have seen the police shooting our people in cold blood for demanding a minimum wage and for demanding basic services such as water, housing and electricity. Street hawkers in public areas are terrorised by the police daily, yet they are simply making a living.
If the police harass a person for trying to make a living, what options are we leaving them with but to be criminals?
Earlier this month, the army, SAPS, law enforcement and traffic officers were deployed to taxi ranks to terrorise taxi drivers and repossess their only way of living. These are the same taxi drivers whose bread was grabbed through the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, system, for which most of them have not been compensated. [Interjections.]
An HONOURABLE MEMBER: Bua! [Speak!]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Listening is a skill.
What guarantee is there that SAPS will ever take a more proactive role to combat crime, besides shooting to kill? Unless this department undergoes a radical socioeconomic transformation, and fairly remunerates the police, the EFF cannot support this budget. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES(Mr T MAKWETLA): Allow me to acknowledge our hon Ministers of Justice and Correctional Services and the Minister of Safety and Security, Members of parliament of the national council of provinces and distinguished council delegates from our provinces here present this afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.
At the risk of squandering my precious speaking time, let me just say two things quickly to the hon member Michalakis that firstly the accountability of the executives to parliament is governed by rules and conventions, regardless of how much he misses me
Secondly to say that as members of parliament we are expected because we have taken an oath to at all times do our outmost to only give nothing else but the most accurate picture to the public out there about what is going on. That is why parliament provides a budget for committees to go out on all manner of visits in order to familiarise themselves with the real conditions on the ground.
When the Member of Parliament commence on any matter the public must not doubt the accuracy of what the member says. Hon member Michalakis seem to be evincing the logic of a striker. There are people who believe that every publicity is good publicity, there is no such thing as bad publicity. A striker ducks across the field in a packed stadium only for one moment of naked glory.[ Interjections] The hon member before he mislead South Africa’s public that in our correctional centres inmates sleep on the floor, parliament has the resources to assist the committee to go there and see for themselves.
Chairperson, in his characteristics inside to the ills colonial subjugation revisited on our society and consequently the tasks who is the transformation our liberation struggle must achieve. The acclaimed father of South African liberation struggle Reginald Oliver Tambo expressed the sentiment that “ we will create a South Africa in which the doors of learning and culture shall be open to all, we shall have a South Africa in which the young of our country shall have access to the best that mankind has produced in which they shall be taught to love their people of all races, to defend the equality of the people, to honour creative labour, to uphold the wonders of mankind, and to hate untruth obscurantisms, immorality, and avarice”.
The absence of these virtues in the community of young people in South Africa today which O R TAMBO sought to bring in to bold relieve for South Africa social reformers to appreciate, accounts for the national questions which the Department of Correctional Services is grappling with today. They underpin the wave after wave of young black males who are 39 years and below, that are entering our correctional centre ceaselessly year after year.
To pay homage to the lofty sacrifices of the 1976 student generation whose legacy we celebrate by observing South Africa’s youth month. We must hit the visionary injunction that Oliver Tambo pointed us to. We cannot fail, less we blemish the convictions of Oliver Tambo and many of his generation.
Over the past 21 years of freedom the majority of our people have witnessed remarkable improvement in the quality of their lives. The affirmation of dignity, promotion of basic human rights, economic participation and social progress are some of the key milestones we have traversed. Not withstanding this fundamental improvement in many people’s material lives, the ANC government believes that much more still needs to be done.
The plans of the Department of Correctional Services as we begin a new year in the location of resources and government are intended to insure greater levels of success through reasonable and diligent utilisation of the limited means at our disposer. Needless to say, the Department of Correctional Services is tasked to infuse new ethos by promoting the incarceration of vendors under humane conditions while promoting corrections and human development on the other
Hon Members one of the decisive pre-requisites for the attainment of the above obligation is infrastructure development, overcrowding is the source of many ills in the corrections business. We intend to build internal capacity to manage our capital expenditure programmes efficiently. Both head office and regions will receive additional human capital to better manage existing partnerships, build new ones while also planning better to address our immediate medium and long term infrastructure development.
Following our joint meeting with the Department of Public Works, the service level agreement signed with the Department of Public Works about three years ago is being reviewed. Using our experience and lessons learned we shall close numerous gaps in the current framework.
Chairperson, offender education and training are the cornerstones of rehabilitation. There is a notable increase in the enrolment for adult education and training. The pilot art and craft gallery established in Good wood, here in the Western Cape has helped in selling offender art and craft to the public, thus generating some revenue for supporting their own families.
This model will be implemented in Klerksdorp this year in partnership with the local municipality. The training of 900 elderly female offenders in beadwork will continue utilizing the trainers that graduated last year at the Witbank correctional centre. We have also partnered the reputable agencies such as Equipment Spare Parts (ESP) Africa in the Western Cape to organise workshops to impart musical, arts and cultural skills to inmates.
Hon Members the department will convene a conference of ex offenders in July to help understand the challenges faced by these communities and to mobilise them to play a more positive role in crime prevention and crime combating. We have numerous cases of successful rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders. Some offenders who gained critical positive life skills whilst in custody have established business enterprises and in turn help other parolees with jobs and other opportunities for personal growth and development. We need everyone’s hands on deck.
Hon Members, I am the first to consider it is successful reintegration of offenders to enable them to get on with their lives, equipped with new portable skills and at best with better formal education qualifications upon their release. However, we surely all agree that the rehabilitation Oliver Tambo spoke about is far reaching and radical rehabilitation because its paradigm is founded on the very national project of remaking our society.
It is rehabilitation which finds better expression in the thoughts of the young black American who was killed in prison 10 years after he was sentenced one to life prison term at the age of 18. A member of the Black Panther movement and a prison reformed activist, George Jackson, in his emotional and profound prison letters published in his book, The Soledad Brother where he talks about how he sought to realise “The transformation of the black criminal mentality into black revolutionary mentality” among his inmates behind bars.
South Africa’s youth in our correctional centres symbolises part of our unsuccessful effort in building a new society. Based on the values of Ubuntu which Oliver Tambo spoke about, the question I am tempted to ask is, Is this dream impossible?, but lest we forget we are here today because we dared to dream. The optimism which buoyed us in the struggle for freedom tells me it can be done, to whine and winch is not what defines our legacy as the people. The struggle continues and must continue.
Chairperson, we will commission a review of the current capacity of the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services, (JICS) to ensure that their capacity is enhanced in all respects in order to provide judicial oversight and accelerated transformation of correctional services. A preliminary assessment has shown a number of gaps which include institutional and administrative capacity as well as legal framework.
JICS must ideally mirror the Department of Correctional Service national footprint particularly with respect to its regional offices for greater impact. The Independent Correctional Centre Visitors (ICCV) should be augmented and be employed on a permanent basis. The review will also help engage all key players including this August house on the appropriate legislative and policy amendments required to enhance the professional independence of JICS.
Colleagues in conclusion, South Africa’s lumpenproletariat will not wither away [Interjections]. The Department of Correctional Services co miss to continue to step up the provision of opportunities for offender rehabilitation and successful reintegration in to society. The department will ensure that offenders leave correctional centres with a more positive outlook on life and with better skills. This will reduce repeat offending and increase their chances of successful and sustainable reintegration in to society as law abiding citizens.
Chairperson allow me to conclude my remarks, by acknowledging the steady leadership provided by Minister Masutha to our work and to express our appreciation of the Department of Correctional Services employees who continues to serve the community and our country with courage, humility, dedication and respect.
Lastly, let’s remember the legendry injunction that Tata Nelson Mandela left us with, “It is in your hands” Chair, indeed South Africa’s dream of all times, the land of freedom charter is in our hands.
Ms G M MANOPOLE: Modulasetilo, ke simolola ka go ... [Chairperson, firstly I would like to ...]
... acknowledge the Chief Whip, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, members of the NCOP and special delegates, in particular, my MEC, Barbra Bartlette, ladies and gentlemen;
Modulasetilo yo o tlotlegang, moya wa ka o kwa tlase. Pele o ne o le kwa godimo, mme jaanong o kwa tlase. [Honourable Chairperson, my spirit is very low. Initially, it was high, but now it is low.]
I don’t understand a woman when she politicise gender-based violence. As a woman myself, I just can’t understand that. This is a challenge of the community within a society. We as the members of Parliament, the cluster and the community at large are confronted with this problem; therefore, we need to fight it as a collective. Hon Mokwele comes here and she outlined the numbers of how many women and children were killed in the pretext that there is nothing that we can do. This is a collective problem that the entire society is faced with.
As a woman and a mother, how can the problem be put aside as the responsibility of the department? This is in our society. I stand here being disturbed; last Sunday in our province, a 43-year-old man killed three people, two women and his child. Actually, he entered the house, poured petrol to all of them and burnt them. A woman and a child died, whilst his wife sustained very serious injuries. She is at the hospital now, at the Intensive Care Unit, ICU.
The culprit tried to run away, but first wanted to commit suicide at the hospital. You see, I’m raising this thing that this is happened in front of us. You cannot come and politicise such things. This is our responsibility and I know that this is the responsibility of the cluster. But all of us, when we go to our constituency we need to raise awareness by encouraging women to go and apply for a protection order if their lives are in danger. We need to do this as a collective.
Some of our community members are not aware that there are legislations in place to protect them; hence I’m saying I fail to understand that we cannot do anything about this. I’m trying to uplift my spirit by saying this. What I also have to commend about our province, the Northern Cape, particularly in Galeshewe, there is a community campaign initiative that has been established. I want to congratulate and applaud them as I’m in this podium about their programme of Wanya Tsotsi ... [Interjections.]
E kwa Nommer 2, kwa Galeshewe. [It is at Nommer 2, Galeshewe.]
Collectively, working with the police, they go and ensure that their community is safe.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, I’m not sure if wanya is parliamentary. What does Wanya Tsotsi mean? [Laughter.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT: It’s not a point of order. Continue!
Ms G M MANOPOLE: Thank you, Chair. So, that’s why I’m saying such initiatives that are done by campaigns, we need to congratulate them and say that they must keep it up in ensuring that, when there are policing forums that are in place, they should work hand in glove with them. [Applause.] It is therefore very important to take the initiative ... [interjections.]
Yes, MEC, I know that that one is very important. We are not encouraging them to take the law into their hands. Some of them have engaged the police, and therefore the police are playing a role as well. In my street, Madalane, in the third house from my mom’s house, a child that was killed. The community group arrived to ensure that the community of that area are safe and that there should be nothing happening to them.
Having said that, Chair, let me start the debate by reminding the Council about the words of the strategist and the revolutionary leader of our glorious movement, Comrade President O R Tambo when he addressed the first congress of MPLA in Luanda, Angola, in 1977. He said: “We seek to live in peace with our neighbours and the people of the world in conditions of equality, mutual respect and equal advantage.”
While we seek to build the developmental state that cannot be released without peace, we should keep that in our mind, particularly that we are doing that in the backdrop of the xenophobic attacks that we recently experienced in our country. This Cluster of Justice, Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS, are key factors in driving the implementation of the ANC Manifesto priorities in ensuring that the people of South Africa are and feel safe.
Therefore, the intergovernmental relations and cooperation is pivotal towards implementation of the manifesto by these departments which are but not limiting to justice, police, independent complaints directorate and correctional services. Indeed, they are bedrock of our people’s security.
I therefore make a clarion call to this cluster for better intergovernmental relations and co-operation without fail and remind them that they are, and should remain catalysts of peace and security course in this country. It is notable what the ANC-led government seeks to achieve in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
As we have promised our people in the manifesto we said, to further improve the criminal justice system, the capacity of the police, prosecutor and legal aid court will be improved. We note the baseline reduction of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development over medium-term. However, I’m pleased to note that the department managed to reprioritise funds to fund the critical programmes which seek to consolidate the support of vulnerable group and for social protection.
This was done through capacitating office of the family advocates; transform court services, which are, and encapsulate maintenance orders and payments thereof, protection orders, as well as, capacitate the courts in the rural areas and increase the numbers of prosecutors. In Mangaung, the 53rd Conference of the ANC we resolved that the criminal justice system should redouble efforts to ensure that case flow management is optimised in order to reduce the backlog.
The department, in ensuring the integrated activities across the cluster, the criminal justice system was established en route to implementation the Mangaung Resolutions. We note the significant progress to date towards the implementation of the system, with anticipation that the other department will come to the party to unlock those bottlenecks; hence we will be monitoring the implementation.
I believe that this system will shorten turnaround time of delivering service to our people by providing accurate and timely management of information. In responding to the National Development Plan, NDP, and manifesto articulation to build a future for South Africa’s youth, the department prioritised youth development by creating youth employment opportunities. About 800 youth will be part of learnership and internship programmes; while in the past years it was 1074 opportunities that were created.
To enable the Chapter 9 institutions under this department the 2015-16 budget, the department has prioritised the budget intended to bring greater effectiveness and efficiency of the institutions by allocating budget for South African Human Rights Commission, SAHRC, aiming at capacitating the commissioners and legal staff; R15 million for the public protector for the purpose of increasing the investigators and retention of them in the institutions, just to mention those particular programmes and objectives. The ANC-led government will continue to give this important institution of our democracy a necessary support.
I want to demystify that the ANC-led government is anti-public protector. These chapter 9 institutions came as a result of the ANC-led government. That’s why they were enshrined in the Constitution, they didn’t come by chance. They happened to be there. I just want to remind the House that, in the development of the Constitution, our own Deputy President was a key factor in the drafting of the Constitution.
How can it be that today the ANC is against these Chapter 9 institutions, including that of the public protector? How can it be that the Chapter 9 institutions are in existence by chance, and yet it’s us, the ANC-led government that ensured that they are in the Constitution? We have done this to acknowledge the injustices of the past. Therefore, we had to make sure that, they are enshrined in the Constitution, to deal with that.
This department has reprioritise to ensure to beef up the shortfall of the prosecutors in the department. How can it be that we are anti-public protector? It is our own, it’s us and therefore we need to claim it. You cannot claim easy victory. This is not easy victory; we worked very hard for it in the struggle. [Applause.] We note that 80% of correctional service goes to two programmes which are administration and incarceration respectively.
These programmes are enablers to provide support services for remand detention and strengthening staff supervision on inmates which need necessary workforce to provide efficient security. We note the commitment made by the department on developing strategy in order to address the human resources matters, amongst others, that will deal with the filling of the senior vacant positions, including the one of the Commissioner.
Over and above that are critical posts as well, failure to do that, it has potential of creating a space for unaccountability and indecisiveness, which will negate our programme that we want to achieve as per what the NDP states that, we need to build capacity of the state: to enhance the performance of security services, the budget will contribute towards safety and security in correctional centres and remand facilities by upgrading and maintenance of integrated security system.
All these are key factors in ensuring that people of South Africa are and feel safe by being assured that the people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law, after been found guilty will be detained and later be released after rehabilitation programmes and interventions. Those who are sick will be cared for. Furthermore, the department will facilitate the social integration. By doing so, we want to ensure the protection of the society. We are not an irresponsible government.
This year, as we celebrate the 60 years of Freedom Charter, moreover when we debate these Budget Votes of Justice, Crime prevention and Security, cluster, we should remind ourselves of preamble of the Freedom Charter which says:
We the people of South Africa declare for all our country and the world to know that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.
I think this message goes to these anti-majoritarian, because they lost at the polls, they forever want to claim the government through the courts. The Freedom Charter further encapsulates that: All national groups shall have equal rights; all shall be equal before the law; all shall enjoy equal human rights, there shall be houses, security and comfort; there shall be peace and friendship ... [Interjections.] I don’t know the chorus that you are singing.
The ANC-led government has legislations and statutes put in place which echoes the Freedom Charter as we take South Africa forward. We do have confidence in the departments’ Annual Performance Plans, APPs, which were presented to us in the select committee, under the leadership of the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers. We do not doubt their capacity to ensure that they implement the APPs. That’s why we say ...
Mabogo dinku a a thebana. Ngwana sejo o a tshwaraganelwa. [Many hands makes the work lighter. It takes a village to raise a child.]
As I conclude, this budget articulates the NDP objectives, actions and attributes of the ANC Manifesto. The target sets out in the NDP will align in the resolutions that should be approached by zeal and zest when they implement them. I believe that the Minister and the Deputy Ministers have the zeal and zest to implement the APP. So, that’s why as the ANC we support the budget.
Fa ke re ANC e tsepame, e tsaya Aforikaborwa e e isa kwa pele, ke raya gore ba ba kgatlhanong le yona ba tla tlhoafala fa ba lebile kwa kgotlatshekelong ebile ba kgwa letlhatsa le le telele. Ke a leboga, Modulasetilo. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[When I say the ANC is focused on taking South Africa forward, I mean that those who are against it will be in earnest and spewing uncontrollably on their way to court.][Applause.]
Mr M CHETTY: Greetings and salutations, hon House Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, our guests and fellow South Africans. Hon Deputy Minister Jeffery, the committee cannot be faulted for assuming that the Deputy Minister of Police is a female. She is conspicuous by her absence again today. Hon Manopole, it is one thing to introduce the Chapter 9 institutions, but another to respect the outcomes and their independence. Quoting the Freedom Charter is not enough. Implementing and respecting the Freedom Charter is honouring it.
Hon Minister Nhleko, you do indeed bring new meaning to the proverb, “See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil.” It is evident that when you pronounced on the Nkandla report you neither saw the dubious fire pool, cattle kraal, amphitheatre or chicken run; nor did you read the report: “Secure in Comfort”, by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, and you did not hear the cry of your fellow South Africans calling for your boss, President Zuma, to pay back the money. Indeed, in South Africa it appears that lady justice is not only blind, but she is indeed also dumb and deaf.
The independence of the judiciary is important because it is enshrined in our Constitution. The concept of constitutionalism therefore encapsulates the idea of a representative, open, transparent and accountable government.
Minister of injustice, law-abiding citizens in this country ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Chetty, take your seat. Hon Shongwe?
Mr V R SHONGWE: Umhlonishwa u-Chetty angaba yindoda enesibindi nelimelayo iqiniso uma engake aphendule umbuzo engingambuza wona mayelana nokuthile kulokhu akushoyo. [Hon Chetty could be seen as a brave man who stands for the truth if he could answer a question that I would like to ask him regarding what he is saying.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Okay. Hon Chetty, are you ready to take a question?
Mr M CHETTY: Hon House Chairperson, I’ll take a question when the President pays back the money.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi) No, he’s not ready to take a question. Continue, hon Chetty.
Mr M CHETTY: Thank you, House Chairperson. Minister of injustice, law-abiding citizens in this country are indeed losing both patience and confidence in the South African justice system.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi) Hon Chetty, take your seat. Hon Chief Whip of the NCOP?
Mr M CHETTY: Save my time, Chairperson.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: I don’t know of such a Minister in this government. We don’t have a Minister of injustice. Point of order, Chairperson: It is a point of order: we don’t have such a Minister in this government.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon Chief Whip. Hon Chetty, there is an issue regarding “the Minister of injustice”.
Mr M CHETTY: It’s debatable and it’s a perception, Chair. But, hon Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, law-abiding citizens in this country ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, I nearly stood up to point out that you can only rise on a point of order which is procedural. The Chief Whip obviously does not know the Rules. That was not a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You are also not raising a point of order. Continue, hon Chetty.
Mr M CHETTY: Please note my time, Chair. Golden handshakes have become synonymous with the peace, security and justice cluster. South Africa should be dubbed the land of the golden handshakes. Some of the most recent golden handshakes are that of the former Acting Head of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat, the much-publicised Sars shenanigans involving the rogue unit implicating Ivan Pillay, and the latest golden handshake for the former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana. Throwing bags full of money will not fool the law-abiding citizens of this country who demand that the rule of law be not only respected but implemented.
Minister, just this past week we have witnessed the ANC-led eThekwini council in KwaZulu-Natal fail to uphold the rule of law. Vehicles belonging to taxi owners that were impounded were released, when their protest march to the City Hall turned violent, not only disrupting commuters and businesses but also damaging public and private property. This ANC-led council backtracked and requested the officials go to court and withdraw the order. This is an indictment of your Justice department in that it is failing law-abiding citizens.
The release of the Farlam commission’s report on the Marikana massacre is eagerly awaited by all South Africans. This report will indeed be a watershed moment in South African history once released. It will expose how the SA Police Service, the SAPS, an organ of state, was used to protect the financial interests of an influential cadre, at a cost to lives of those murdered in Marikana.
In this new democracy, a democracy that was fought for on the backs, blood, sweat and tears of men and women, cadres of true character, it is an indictment of your Ministry and the ANC that when the very police force that is expected to protect its citizens kills them. That day was reminiscent of the dark days of apartheid that still haunt us today.
We are all well aware that the findings of this commission will end the reign of the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega. One can sense, hon Minster, that another golden handshake is in the offing. Only in an ANC-run South Africa is incompetence rewarded rather than punished.
The principle of independence is important because a strong judiciary is the ultimate guardian of our Constitution and from time to time it must strike down government action if it is found not to be within the confines of the Constitution. Despite the fact that our Constitution clearly states that we have one system of law in South Africa, comprising both common law and customary law, you, hon Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, have boldly declared that if you had to decide on the matter of order in Parliament you would, without hesitation, call in the army to ensure that the hon members acted in the subservient manner you would like them to.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the DA proudly defended the rights of hon members by emerging victorious in our recent court case against the ANC Speaker and the ANC NCOP Chair for manhandling and forcibly removing opposition members from the House. This clearly indicates that you are not committed to constitutional rights like freedom of speech or constitutional principles like the separation of powers.
More importantly, during the Fourth Parliament, a memorandum of understanding to implement a judicially led court administration model was signed by the Chief Justice and the then Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, only for you, Minister, to apparently renege on this agreement.
There is the current worldwide scandal involving disgraced Fifa boss Sepp Blatter and the infamous US$10 million bribe that, according to our Minister of Sport and Recreation hon Fikile Mbalula, South Africa did not pay, but who was immediately contradicted by his newly deployed comrade, Danny Jordaan, the SA Football Association head honcho, as he confirmed that South Africa did, indeed, agree to the awarding of the US$10 million to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, Concacaf, or Jack Warner, for its legacy project.
One is totally baffled that whilst South Africans’ cries for the upliftment of our poorly maintained sports facilities, in our previously disadvantaged areas, fall on deaf ears, we donate $10 million to the Caribbean.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Chetty, take your seat. Hon Shongwe?
Mr V R SHONGWE: Umhlonishwa u-Chetty – sengiyezwa manje usefaka nezindaba zezemidlalo – angake awuthathe umbuzo ukuze sibone ukuthi le nto ayishoyo uyuyazi, angawuthatha yini umbuzo? [Hon Chetty – I hear you now on the issue of sports as well - let him take the question in order for us to determine whether he knows what he is talking about or not, can he take a question?]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members! Hon Chetty, are you ready to take a question?
Mr M CHETTY: Chair, you got my answer. I just want to inform the hon member that I may be talking about sport, but if he listens ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Chetty. No.
Mr M CHETTY: ... I’ll be telling you where we are going with this. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Chetty, you know what is right. Are you ready to take a question so that he can pose his question?
Mr M CHETTY: When the President pays back the money.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Take your seat, hon Shongwe. Continue, hon Chetty. He’s not prepared to take a question.
Mr M CHETTY: One is totally baffled that whilst South Africans’ cries for the upliftment of our poorly maintained sports and recreational facilities, in our previously disadvantaged areas, fall on deaf ears; we donate $10 million to the Caribbean. This issue isn’t just between Fifa and Safa, but now includes the ANC and the South African people due to the ANC’s most recently deployed cadre, Danny Jordaan, as the temporary Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor. This is of international importance, and our justice system must act transparently and decisively. Hon Minister, we pray and hope that yet another golden handshake is not in the offing.
In conclusion, hon Minister Nhleko, rest assured; you can sleep easy, unlike other Ministers, because when Luthuli House considers the reshuffling of Cabinet, your position is safe, for indeed you have carried out your mandate with foolish pride and protected No 1. When it came to the Nkandla report, you saw no evil, you spoke no evil and you heard no evil. In fact, you played the role of Oliver Twist perfectly, arrogantly informing South Africans: “Please, sir, can I have some more” money for Nkandla. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order members, let us not drawn hon Gaehler.
Mr L B GAEHLER: ...the UDM joins millions of South Africa, the clarion call in condemning the violence and the killing of policemen and we hope that all parties can do the same in this call. We hope that the justice system will deal with them.
The incident at Alexandra Police station yesterday is a cause of great concern. Not less than four lives have been lost in a short space of time. More disturbing is that the shooting of a wife, two relatives and a police officer took place at the police station where it is expected that citizen’s safety is guaranteed.
Many police officers are working under stressful conditions with no support mechanisms. Some are reported to be resisting attending counselling fearing that if they are diagnosed with certain conditions, it may make it difficult to get upward mobility at work.
One of the things that the department needs to priorities is the implementation of a doctrine that ensures that our police service functions according to a set of rules that are in line with the values enshrined in our Constitution. The department must also run a consistent programme intended to condition the police for the demanding service they have to deliver to the communities. Related to this, is a concerted mobilisation of communities so that the relationship between the police and communities is the one that enhances the service and ensure maximum security of the citizens.
The instability with the Independent Police Investigating Directorate, IPD, undermines the strategic objectives for which that directorate was established. The Ministry must ensure that the IPD stability is high in its agenda.
The allegations about police officer’s involvement in serious crimes are on the increase with little consequences if any. The low conviction rates of implicated officers suggest that the police do not take the problem seriously and that the policies in place to deal with this matter are ineffective. The department must pay attention to this crisis.
The morale and discipline of some of the police officers in some of the police stations leave much to be desired. This is coupled with the conditions under which these officers are expected to deliver services as well as their attitude towards the service and citizens.
On 7 October 2014, I penned a letter to you, hon Minister, to bring to your attention the poor service I was personally exposed to at the Ngangelizwe Police Station in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.
A combination of the two fundamental factors referred to above found their expression in that police station. The station had no tool for operation, such as mere photocopy equipment, inks and others, let alone the long queues that are not attended to. The service in this station is a direct opposite of what is presented by the Minister and the department on the kind of service they commit to deliver to citizen.
Madam Chair, as I speak now – Chairperson, can you protect t me please -...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members!
Mr L B GAEHLER: ...detective sections of many police stations across the country are unable to get photos from their colleagues in the photo section, because it is claimed that funds are not sufficient to make them available – photos of crime scenes. It is happening at the police stations.
Azifumaneki nto zakuthi. [They are unavailable, compatriots.]
This is rendering the detective sections incapable to discharge its responsibility and deliver service to the poor citizens. We call the Ministry to attend to this as an urgently. We support Operation Fiela and we hope that it will continue.
Hon Chairperson, the turnaround time of the legal Aid board is rather disturbing. There are cases that are not concluded due to the lack of timely response to service request by the public.
We are to repeat the call we made with regard to the creation of special courts to respond to spontaneous illegal activities by communities. We must also consider the transformation of the judicial system as a priority that must not be stretched. The UDM is also concerned about the high number of corrupt lawyers who overcharge citizens and also take their money which they claim. The law society in this regard does not help. I approached them many times, in fact, I also involved them but they did not at all.
Security of prison and courts officials as well as facilities thereof constitute an area for consideration by the department as in some instances, there have been reports of lack of safety in the correctional services.
An integrated programme and implementation by all the justice clusters will help us to resolve many of the challenges confronting this area of strategic importance. Delay in payment of pensions and dead benefits to warders and police officers is the real concern, knowing very well hon Minister that this is not your area but they are your workers. Some of them are delayed over two and three years. We must also remember that these people serve the country well and they have children to take to schools. Some of them have to go to mashonisa to lend money - you need to address this urgently.
As far as the legal board is concerned, I referred the case to the former Deputy Minister, Nell, unfortunately, that lady’s judgement was wrong. The Legal Aid Board was supposed to apply for resentment of judgement. It is five years now and that has not been resolved. Some of their offices have no photocopying machine, no paper or even money to pay for some items. Can you then, hon Minister, help in addressing these issues as they affect our people. I thank you very much.
Ndiyabulela MaDlamini, ubuthe mandimane ndikubulela. [I thank you MaDlamini, you said I must always thank you.]
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, special and permanent delegates, MECs and I guest we miss Salga today, hon member Ntebe, without the “h”, provincial Whips, the Chief Whip, distinguished guests and fellow South Africans, 60 years ago, our fellow country people met in mass, espoused a shared vision for the future that we all must pursue for the enjoyment of our freedom. During all of these years, the ANC has continuously assessed itself on whether, as a movement, it is still and remains on course, to give expression to the content of the Freedom Charter in various means and ways, which includes, among others, policy conferences, campaigns, production of strategic policy documents, etc.
The ANC did so because it wanted to make sure that it sustains and leads in the principles and values of the Freedom Charter and ensure that as it governs, it delivers truthfully to the people of our country, according to the directives of the Freedom Charter.
Our liberation struggle was at the centre of the Freedom Charter. Hence, during the negotiations in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa, we pursued largely the Freedom Charter whose principles and values are entrenched in our Constitution and are obligatory to the government we are running and the people we deliver services to.
We argue that our conduct, as a movement and government, upholds both the Freedom Charter and the Constitution, contrary to those who run baseless campaigns, remiss of facts, accusing us of having abandoned the Freedom Charter and disregarding the Constitution.
When they come here, you hear they ask questions. How do we support the budget? How are they doing this? Why are they doing this? This is a political party that is supposed to be ... They say that they are the government in waiting. They are still asking questions. How? Why? When? [Interjections.] I don’t know. [Applause.] What I know is that the tomorrow they are waiting for ...
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, on a point of order: I just wonder whether the howling hon member Nzimande will take a question.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Withdraw howling Nzimande. Refer to him as hon Nzimande.
Mr J W W JULIUS: I did say honourable.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Van Lingen, I am presiding. [Interjections.] Hon Julius, you can’t refer to a hon member as a howling hon member. Can you withdraw the word howling?
Mr J W W JULIUS: I withdraw the word howling.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, no, he didn’t speak anything substantial that I could take notice of.
Ms N MOKGOSI: Chairperson, on a point of order:
Fela jaaka puo ya Nkandla, Nkandla, le rona ke fela jalo ka EFF. [Just like Nkandla, Nkandla, it is the same with us when it comes to EFF.]
The EFF is here to stay. The sooner you make peace with that, the better.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Order, members! That is not a point of order.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon Chair, we are at peace with their existence. We are at peace with some people who are busy working towards their graves, to bury themselves. [Interjections.] That is a member from a party that goes around and says that they will make this country ungovernable and they will evict land. There a not a single law that they want to uphold. That is demonstrated in the House and they are so disrespectful.
A speaker from the EFF breaks a convention of any Parliament where you pay respect to your colleagues. When you take the podium, you greet. They didn’t say anything; they jumped up and said: We do not support that budget.
Ms N MOKGOSI: Chairperson, on a point of order: Like I said to Jacob Zuma, respect is not demanded, respect is earned.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Hon Mokgosi, can you withdraw Jacob Zuma and refer to him as hon President. You know that is wrong.
Ms N MOKGOSI: Hon President Zuma.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Yes. That was not a point of order.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, I recall, we are having the Budget Votes debates towards the end of the Child Protection Week, which is another government endeavour to ensure that it mobilises all of society against the scourge of the violation of the rights of children. The Budget Votes debates take place during the anniversary month of the Freedom Charter, which remains a guiding document to everything we do. Our speakers ...
Mr V R SHONGWE: Mhlonishwa Sihlalo, ngicela ukubuza kumhlonishwa uNzimande ukuthi yena nje njengoba siqhamuka naye enhlanganweni eyodwa i-ANC, uma ekhuluma la ... [Hon Chairperson, may I ask the hon Nzimande a question as we both come from the same organisation, which is the ANC, when he speaks here ...]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, let’s first ascertain whether he is ready to allow you to ask that question. Are you ready, hon Nzimande?
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Yes.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Ok, you can go on.
Mr V R SHONGWE: Ngibonga kakhulu Mphephethwa, bengifuna ukwazi ukuthi bekungenzeka yini wena njengoba unale minyaka onayo, ume lapho esiteji, ubize umhlonishwa uBaba uZuma, uMongameli waleli lizwe ngo-Jacob? [Thank you very much Mphephethwa, I wanted to know if it was possible for you, considering your age, to stand there in the podium and call the hon Zuma who is the President of this country, Jacob?]
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon House Chair and hon member, it is ...
... kusukela ekuzalweni komuntu, kuyaziwa ukuthi umuntu ufundiswa ngabazali bakhe inhlonipho kanye nobuntu. Uma eselapha uba yisibonelo sabazali bakhe kanye nomphakathi asuka kuwona. Isisho sabelungu lesi esithi:”Respect is earned”, asisazi thina. Inhlonipho ukhula nayo njengomntwana; le esizuzwa sengathi ithengwa ngemali asiyazi. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[... known from a person’s birth that they are taught respect and humanity by their parents. When you are here, you show the kind of parents that you had and the kind of community that you come from. It is a foreign concept that says: “Respect is earned”, and we don’t know it. You grow with respect as a child; we don’t know the one that is earned as if it is bought.]
When you say that you must earn it, it is like you are buying it. It is a foreign concept to earn respect. Respect is being built and it grows with a child. To earn it is a foreign concept. It is not African. [Applause.] The policy statement on the Budget Votes we are debating today on the protection, safety and security of our people are at the core of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution. The ANC, in its Ready to Govern document ... My colleagues have outlined it, because I still have a lot of issues to respond to.
I will just say that policing, in a democratic context, must be based on community support and participation. The police must be accountable to society and the community they serve. Indeed, when the Budget Vote on Police was presented to us, the budget itself did indicate their commitment to participation. Today, in a number of instances, the police are integrating with our communities. They play soccer and do sport with communities, which is an indication.
As we debate the Budget Vote on Police today - it is there in the Ready to Govern document – we see that they are open. We are in a democratic dispensation. The Police should be scrutinised and we are happy to constructively scrutinise. As the ANC, we have acknowledged where there are challenges and where the Police are doing well.
You will find another political party of the side of the province where I come from where each speaker engage on a petty matter of a media spat between individuals and that becomes a Budget Vote issue. It is really a disgrace.
What I am saying here with these points is that we require political parties that have the same integrity of the ANC. We engage and we acknowledge our mistakes. The budgets that are put before us, as we, as the ANC, have always argued, are not about money and how big the lump sums are we allocate, but about the efficiency, the effectiveness of the administration, and participation, as principles of the Freedom Charter. It is about creating structures that make the state entities co-govern with the people, therefore the people shall govern. [Applause.]
This is what this budget is indicating to us. Therefore, our support to the budget is not informed by the Luthuli House or what the Luthuli House says. It is informed by all of us, as members of the movement, and those who vote for the members. The more 10 or 11 million voters say we must support. What do we support? We support service delivery that is done within the parameters of accountability, with Parliament playing its role of oversight over the executive. That is what we do.
There is the issue of the Nkandla report. My understanding is that the hon Minister is not a judge. He did the work expected of him and presented the report. The ANC welcomes the report, because the report will then be made public. It will help us to engage and to get to the bottom of the truth. There is nothing to hide and there is nothing that we are ashamed of. The report will be made public. It will be part of Parliament. There is nothing to worry about. [Interjections.]
With regard to the Farlam Commission report, the ANC and President Jacob Zuma appointed an independent judge. There were many options. You have many options in a democratic state. We could have had a situation where we just ask the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID, to do an investigation, but we appointed an independent judge so that there is an independent opinion and report on the matter, without interference. [Applause.] Thereof, we are awaiting the report. The report is with the President, the highest Office of the country. As the ANC and the citizens of this country, we uphold that Office and treat it with the highest esteem.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Nzimande. Order, members! Heckling is allowed, but you cannot drown the speaker. You cannot drown the speaker.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: We uphold the Office of the President with the highest esteem. We trust the President and trust that the independent report that comes from the Farlam Commission will help us to move forward on the matter and dispel the myth that the incident of Marikana becomes a political party policy of the EFF. Therefore, you have to run with nothing else to say. You continue to say Marikana. Even when we speak about service delivery, tourism and everything, you just mention Marikana.
Our policy position on the matter of minimum wage is that we are working progressively to ensure that the minimum wage reach the level that is acceptable to workers. This is the ANC and the alliance that address the issues of minimum wage. It cannot be true that when workers demanded a minimum wage, they were then shot at. It cannot be true. It is a misleading statement to make. They continue to make a mockery of themselves on this matter of how the police responded to the matter.
The Freedom Charter instructs us to continue to expand access to justice by citizens. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services as well as the management of the department managed to give us pointers on how the budgets are talking to that, including our commitments to institutions that emanate from the Constitution. I think hon Manopole mentioned this point.
I am not a lawyer and I did not study law, but how do you path ways with somebody whom you have contracted? The issue of contracts cannot be a political matter. People are talking about a golden shake. It is a practice. It is a convention. If you have a contract with somebody and things don’t go as expected in terms of the contract, then you have to negotiate on the contract. It is not a political disgrace to negotiate on a contract; it is a practice. It is accepted by courts. There are no issues or a golden shake, as they call it, it is a simple matter of contracts and how you terminate contracts.
It is common sense. You don’t need a lawyer to know that or a big politician to explain that. You don’t need to gossip about contracts or whether hon Chetty will get a golden shake. These measures on how to exit out of contracts are allowed in law. As the ANC, we accept that there will be times and instances when it is necessary to negotiate on contracts. So, it cannot be an issue of politics.
I was hoping ... Hon Plato came and pleaded. I don’t know why he pleaded with the Minister of Police. He said that they have recommendations from the Khayelitsha Commission when we advised him not to establish something that will not fly and that will not do anything. Now his fingers are burning and he is now asking for help. Please help, please help and make recommendations.
They even went ahead and appointed and ombudsperson. What is the role of this ombudsperson they have appointed? Now answers must come from us, as the ANC, when we said that we are co-ordinating from the national office. It is a national competence. Let’s deal with matters at the police station level, as we continuously do in all other provinces, but they wanted to be unique. Now they are crying, please help, please help.
It is important that we continue to take our people forward and in our view, as the ANC, the budgets that we support and that we will vote for during the appropriation session of this NCOP, do just that. I did not raise the point of order earlier when the Deputy Chair was presiding, but hon Michalakis said that the committee didn’t seemed to approve on three occasions. The briefings are not about approving the budget and we are only going to approve the budget when we are voting on the Appropriations Bills. It was not three times that the security and justice had to postpone, not even once. I sit on that committee. He is confused. I think he did not attend, just as he did not attend meetings of the Magistrate Commission, as we heard from the hon Deputy Minister Jeffery.
As the ANC, we are saying, in essence, that the outcomes in the National Development Plan, the money that is allocated to develop the infrastructure that is required for service delivery and the personnel that is required are all part of the strategic plans that were presented to us. The department made itself accountable to us by giving us its annual performance plans, which we looked at and assessed.
So, that gives us an opportunity and the rationale for supporting the budget. It has nothing to do with whether this Budgets were presented by the ANC, but with the substance and what it promises to the people - the better life that we are fighting for, on behalf of the people, in Parliament.
Therefore, I do want to save the minutes and ask all of those people like hon Chetty, hon Julius to meet me for coffee, to take them further. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Chairperson, I would like to thank all hon members for their contributions made to this debate. Of course, I think the hon Nzimande did exceptionally well in terms of dealing with certain aspects that have arisen out of this debate. However, let me also recognise some of the valuable contributions from the side of the opposition that I do think will also help us, as the Ministry of Police, moving forward dealing and with certain issues.
The hon Khawula raised quite a number of key policy matters that require looking into: the demilitarisation of the police, the functionality versus dysfunctionality of the community police forums, CPFs, issues of capacity, issues of police station infrastructure, urban versus rural, and so forth. Those are key points.
The MEC Plato, on the issue of the need to review the formation of specialised units, for example, units to deal with issues of gang- and drug-related problems in the Western Cape, it is a matter that we have also raised in this very same Budget Vote and in the speech before. That, and his support for Operation Fiela are valid points.
The other matter, the question of advice to the Minister on prioritising the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, stability, and so on, was raised by the hon Gaehler, who also supports Operation Fiela. That point is well taken.
The hon Michalakis raises a number of issues, of course. In fact, today, I had all forms of co-ordinated insanity and mental derangement of sorts – because we are then told, for example, that we would have a House of Parliament, the NA, adopting a resolution, clearly instructing what it is that the Minister has got to do. Now, the Minister acts on that. Then, the extraordinary, plenipotentiary kind of members stand here and tell us that by so doing – following through those particular matters and paying sufficient attention to those particular issues, working through them and producing a report – it is because we are responding to a particular report by the Public Protector.
The fact of the matter is that that is completely untrue. The fact of the matter is that we have a resolution by the National Assembly which states this is what the Minister of Police has got to do. So, the Minister of Police goes away, does that, and so forth, and then gets told in all sorts of manner of English in this House that we were responding ... in fact, I have said this. The report that the Minister of Police has produced does not stand in judgment of anybody. [Interjections.]
The fundamental principle of governance is accountability. At the centre of governance is accountability. So, you cannot have a Minister of Police who has got to follow a particular resolution adopted by a duly constituted House, for example, going out and doing his own thing. He has got to come back and report and that is what the report is about.
We are then being told that when we deal objectively with issues, we are looking at the faces of people. There is nothing genetic about the approach that one has had to make. We follow principles, policy and law. That is what has got to guide you. As a matter of fact, were you principled enough, one of the issues you should have raised in your debate is what it is we should make of statements that say that somebody did not go too far in dealing with a particular matter – I was soft, and so forth.
We are not going to say anything about that, because that, in itself, is a constitutional problem. You cannot have a situation where, if I have got to deal with issues, I have got to see you. I have got to see principle, policy and law, and I have got to stick to that, and nothing else. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Hon members, we should actually be very grateful that the President set up the Marikana Commission, because that, in itself, is a demonstration of how this democracy is working. We can turn chapters and volumes of the atrocities committed in this country where, in the name of our white people, a minority regime would kill and maim our people, and nobody has ever been held accountable for such things. [Interjections.] Our people died in Sharpeville, died in Nkwanyana. Nobody! Our people died in 1976, in Soweto. They died everywhere else in the country. Nobody has ever been held accountable for any such things.
Now, when this democratic government then says that, certainly, a wrong has been committed and we need to get to the root of what this problem is, set up an independent commission, and so forth, you then have people coming and standing on this side, wanting to pretend as though the Farlam Commission was set up by them. It’s not true! It’s totally untrue.
As a matter of fact, correctly so, there is a lot that we, as the SA Police Service, can learn from the Farlam Commission report. There are a lot of things we have got to learn from it, including looking at how we deal with issues moving forward, and so forth.
It is important that on critical matters of this nature, we should not devalue them. You know, we become judges, saying this report is unconstitutional. Since when have you been a constitutional court? [Interjections.] Alternatively, this other thing is unconstitutional, and so forth. [Interjections.] Yet, the constitutional standing of this country – I am sorry, Chair, - is very clear on this issue. There is no one else who can pronounce on the constitutionality of anything in this democracy of ours, unless it is duly done so by the Constitutional Court.
You come here because you think you are big; you are an hon member, and so forth, and you say it’s unconstitutional. Who are you? [Interjections.] Really, you can’t have such things.
Lastly, it is also not true that we have not responded to issues of questions for written reply. In fact, if you were to check with the Office of the Leader of Government Business, this Ministry doesn’t owe anybody any answers to questions for written reply, either in the NCOP or the NA. So, as to where you get that matter from, nobody really knows.
In addition, as to the question of the issue of appearance before the select committee, and so forth, really, no Minister or Deputy Minister here is opposed and averse to the question of appearing before a select committee. All that needs to happen is for us to be invited to go there, and then interact. So, that’s what we are open to doing, and we have always been committed to such things.
Now, hon members, between our existence as this society and human beings and the development of our country, we have nothing else except ourselves and the policy. Regardless of the number of problems we have - because we do - in terms of how we do things, the mistakes we make here and there, and so on, because development relies largely on the issue of safety and security, we need that area to be stabilised. That is the only instrument that we have got.
So, it doesn’t make sense. What I have heard this afternoon is another form of mental derangement. For somebody to come here and say they don’t support this Budget Vote because of how, why where and we will do things – that is what you are saying, hon Nzimande – means he don’t support it because of one particular thing that happened somewhere, or the police acted in the wrong way in a particular sort of environment. The fact of the matter is that if you remove the police, what do you have? [Interjections.] You don’t have anything. That’s the point.
It is a fundamental point: We always need to have a balanced kind of approach when dealing with this thing. Thank you very much, Chair. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: After all is said and done what do I say except to say, Amen? I’m sure hon Ximbi will agree with me.
Chairperson, let me start firstly by expressing my profound appreciation to my colleagues, the Deputy Minister Makwetla and Deputy Minister John Jeffery, for supplementing our budget policy statement in the manner so aptly as they did. Indeed, we are a team and we are a collective. Even my own presentation is the product of that collective effort. [Applause.] I continue to appreciate your support, colleagues.
I would also like to - now that he is present here - express my appreciations to the Minister of Police as well as other colleagues in the cluster for our continued collaboration in this collective responsibility of fighting crime and making our people feel safe and be safe as articulated in our National Development Plan.
Perhaps, now that I see some of our men and women in uniform on the other side, I also extend a hand of appreciation to them from the Justice side. As the Minister of Police correctly indicates if you do not have police what else do you have? [Applause.] I know the DA might want to propose that bring the army to do policing work. But that is a discussion for another day.
I want to also confirm that the justice system is a system that is dependent on different pillars. You cannot have courts hearing cases, you cannot have prosecutors prosecuting anyone who has not first been the subject of a police investigation resulting in a police docket that is prepared properly and brought before a prosecutor to enable a prosecutor to initiate prosecution in that matter. This, again, is an expression of the interdependency that exists between the different components of the system as a whole. We are planning, as we have articulated in our budget policy statement, to reflect on this value chain and ask ourselves: Where are the weak links? Where we are particularly challenged in our quest to advance the kind of justice system that our people expect of us?
You would have noticed that there has been a number of high profile cases where there has been different views expressed about whether we could have done certain things better and so on. We have taken it upon ourselves to zoom into some of those cases as case studies and to try and draw some lessons from them in order to determine what is it that can still be improved to deliver the kind of quality of justice that our people expect. Do we have a problem, for example, with our bail system? Is it full prove enough to give our people a sense of safety that known dangerous criminals do not get to be released back to communities to once again make them feel unsafe after all the efforts that the police would have taken to make them face justice whilst the process of justice as usual takes its time to resolve their guilty or otherwise?
I sat there quietly and listened to the debate. I must agree with the hon Minister of Police a lot of positive ideas have been expressed across the political divide, although I must say that the problem is if your understanding of the role of our position is to do nothing but to oppose, the difficulty is you will end up opposing even the very same positive ideas and policies which if you were in government, you would be the first to implement. But you have one and only one agenda, to replace the government of the day so that you can take over. That is the only reason why you are opposing.
People are not so much interested in whose face is in government, but people are interested in what are the policies, what is the track record. Now we have an organisation that has passed the 100 year mark of its existence, tried and tested. You are not going to get away with the lived experiences and memories of our people that they cherish of the many landmarks in the struggle that this organisation waived for their liberation. That is a track record. It’s a proven track record.
By the way we can talk about a DA-led government in the Western Cape and the kind of track record that they might want to share. Even before we get there we just have to look around. Has the Western Cape changed for the better? If so, where is the evidence? Where are the living conditions of the people of Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga and all the coloured townships of the Western Cape? Do the people of the Western Cape feel safe? We can talk about safety as a police issue, but I can tell you now that safety is fundamentally a socioeconomic issue – fundamentally. Unless the Western Cape DA government begins to recognise that the starting point in addressing the issue of safety in this province, which is particularly challenged in that regard, is to start by changing the socioeconomic condition of the majority of the people in this country who for years under apartheid, were excluded and marginalised. That is the core foundation on which you can build safe communities.
We can sit here and throw some little anecdotes here and there and make some insinuations and those kinds of issues. Our people are looking for leadership. It does not help.
People move around dressed in red calling themselves fighters of some form or another, causing anarchy everywhere, disregarding every shred of law and inciting violence and all forms of anarchy. And they expect the people of this country to take them serious as a government in waiting that is going to deliver economic liberation. [Interjections.] Our people are not blind, are not deaf and are not the kind of people who do not see and read between the lines that you think they are. So, forget about it, you will never win an election and become a government of this country. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: Chairperson, I just want to say that there are only two members of the EFF who are sitting here. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr. A J Nyambi): Yesterday Parliament officially launched the strategic plan and it confirmed that the next years will be business unusual. On behalf of the Chair and the Deputy Chair, sometimes we say it jokingly that it is not in order to praise a fish for swimming, but let me thank our guests for their conduct, the Deputy Ministers , Ministers, members of executive council of the province, MECs, from different provinces for participating and coming to today’s debate.
Hon members you are requested to remain standing until the procession has left the Chamber.
The Council adjourned at 18:12.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
- Membership of Committees
(1) Ms NR Bhengu (National Assembly) and Mr TC Motlashuping (National Council of Provinces) have been elected as Co-Chairpersons of the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals with effect from 04 June 2015.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Environmental Affairs
- Yearly Report to Parliament on international environmental instruments for 2014-15, tabled in terms of section 26(1) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998).
National Council of Provinces
- Report of the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the Budget Vote and Annual Performance Plan 2015/2016 of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – Budget Vote No 24, dated 12 May 2015
The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources having considered Budget Vote: 24 and Annual Performance Plan 2015/2016 of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, reports that the Committee has concluded its deliberations thereon.
Report to be considered
- Report of the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the Budget Vote and Annual Performance Plan 2015/2016 of the Department of Mineral Resources – Budget Vote No 29, dated 26 May 2015
The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources having considered Budget Vote: 29 and Annual Performance Plan 2015/2016 of the Department of Mineral Resources, reports that the Committee has concluded its deliberations thereon.
Report to be considered
No related documents