ATC141105: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on Oversight visits to Police Stations in Nyanga and Philippi in the Western Cape Province, dated 31 October 2014
The Portfolio Committee on Police engaged in
an oversight visit to the Nyanga and Philippi Police stations in the Western
Cape Province on 27 August 2014. This was part of the parliamentary programme
and took place during Parliaments oversight week.
Purpose and objectives of the visit
The purpose of the oversight visit was to
make sure that the South African Police Services (SAPS) were compliant with all
the legislation, regulations and standing orders applicable to SAPS. Another
objective was to evaluate on the levels of service delivery that the police
were providing to the community.
The delegation comprised of the following
of the Committee:
Hon. D. Kohler
Hon. D. Twala
Hon. Z. Mbhele
Hon. B. Josephs
Staff of the Committee:
Ms B Mbengo
Committee Content Advisor
Ms N Van
Parliamentary Communications Unit
Mr M Molepo
Principal Communication Officer
Civilian Secretariat for Police
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
Monitoring & Evaluation
Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Deputy Director Investigation
The following stations were visited by the
Nyanga Police Station
Philippi Police Station
Nyanga Police station is a Brigadier-
level station responsible for six police sectors with a satellite station in
informal settlement. Nyanga Police station
is responsible for policing Crossroads, Browns Farm and
informal settlements. Each sector should have two vehicles but there are only
two vehicles available for the all the sectors.
The station has an allocated
staff component of 285 members, but 30 staff members have either been
transferred, received promotions or has resigned. They are still on the staff
establishment including a total of seven detectives.
There are 19 visible
policing unit members that are working elsewhere as a result of transfers and
The new upgraded Resources
Allocation Guide (RAG) puts the total allocated staff at 293 with 93 detectives
on the fixed establishment.
The station recently
experienced a problem with sick leave of detectives when many of them took sick
leave within one week, creating problems for the investigation of cases.
Community Police Forum
The Chairperson noted that there were reports
of problems relating to policing the N2 highway and wanted to know to what
extent the Nyanga police was responsible for patrolling the highway. Motorists
have been stoned and the Committee needed answers and assurances on the role
played by the Nyanga Police station.
The Community Police Forum (CPF) reported to
the Committee that there was a shortage of personnel and that they required
additional staff members in the Community Service Centre (CSC). They also noted
that there were three Crime Prevention Groups at the station.
The CPF also informed the Committee that a
crime prevention operation was conducted in May 2014 after the
the police had reinforcements and confiscated over
ten firearms and arrested scores of people who had outstanding arrest warrants.
Most of the additional staff came from outside the area and were members of the
Tactical Response Teams, Dog Unit and the Flying Squad. Most of the station
vehicles were parked at the station because there were no personnel to drive
them. The CPF engaged with the office of the Provincial Commissioner about the
situation with the detectives who have booked off sick and they undertook to
get investigate and get back to the CPF.
The Acting Station commander indicated that
the Nyanga police do patrol the N2 highway as they deployed a vehicle to do so.
They also use a vehicle that was allocated to sector 2 in Crossroads. The
station have engaged the Metro Police as a force multiplier, but that they
sometimes have too many complaints and one of the vehicles must return to
attending to the complaints in the sector. SAPS also reported that they have to
ensure that the N2 is well patrolled and therefore they also engage the TRT and
the Flying Squad together with the Gugulethu Police station over weekends.
The investigation into the killing of
who was killed in the area is
currently being investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crimes
Members of the CPF received complaints
against the police on a daily basis. They usually refer these complaints to the
Community Service Centre (CSC) and report back to the client. They also refer
some of the complaints to the Provincial Secretariat. The CPF also indicated
that the complaints included:
The telephones were
Vehicles took between forty
five minutes to one hour to respond to complaints
The manner in which people
are handled in the CSC when they make complaints
The CPF was of the view that there can be no
excuse for the manner in which SAPS are handling complaints from residents in
Members wanted to know if there was a
Community Safety Plan in place at the station and what the priorities of the
station were in terms of crimes. They also wanted to know how the station was
going to deal with the 25 000 unlicensed liquor outlets in the area. It
was also reported that the head of detectives did not take up his post since
his appointment and Members wanted to know when this would happen.
The CPF indicated that the deployment of
extra personnel in crime prevention operations that took
was as a result of a request of the CPF. There is a Community Safety Plan in
place and the station is working with the Violence Prevention through Urban
Upgrading (VPUU) project. Through this project they have begun to narrow down
the areas that should be policed. A programme will start on 1 September 2014
that will focus on drug houses and
street committees are the cornerstone of the strategy and there have been
public meetings called to inform and mobilise residents against drugs in the
area, especially methamphetamines (TIK). Most of the robberies in the area
as a result of drug abuse. The priority crimes for the
area include murder, abuse of women and children and the circulation of illegal
Members were concerned about the 25 000
operating in the area and wanted to
know what the policing plan was to deal with this problem. The Acting Station
Commander reported that they have raided over 28
in weekly operations which they intend to continue. The illegal
have mushroomed in the community and they are
monitoring its growth with regular raids.
Head of Detectives
The Station Commander reported that the head
of detectives did not take up his post after his appointment as he had applied
for leave at the Delft police station where he was stationed prior to him
coming to the station. He did report to the Nyanga Station Commander to inform
him that he was on leave and will take up his post when he returns from leave.
The shortage of detectives was attributed to
the fact that some of the Nyanga detectives were placed at other units and have
not been replaced. Some of the detectives have been seconded to other units
such as the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Taxi Violence
Unit, TRT and the Operational command centre. There are also twelve others who
have left the station through retirement, death and promotion who have never
been removed from the staff establishment. They are in the process of having
these individuals removed from the establishment.
Policing the N2 highway
The Acting Station Commander reported that
the patrol of the N2 Highway was coordinated by the operational command centre.
The Flying Squad has the responsibility of twenty four hour general patrols and
the Nyanga station supports these patrols. The only time when the patrol
vehicle leaves the N2 is when there are complaints it has to attend to. The
Public Order Police (POP) Unit has the responsibility of crowd management when
it comes to stoning of vehicles and policing blockades.
The station is also dealing with a growth of
gangs such as the
are primarily active in the
Browns farm and Crossroads areas. Both gangs contribute to the violence and
murder in the community. They are being monitored and policed by the station.
The Committee Members proceeded to inspect
Community Service Centre (CSC)
Members found that all the
registers as far as the Domestic Violence Act was in place, signed and
contained the relevant information. They were however not updated regularly.
The physical condition of
the CSC was assessed and Members rated it to be in good condition and gave it a
score of 8/10. They interviewed members of the public who informed them that
they were satisfied with the services provided although they had to wait
between 1-2 hours to be assisted because of long lines at the station. Despite
this, they felt that the station was much better than before.
The concern was raised that
junior police officers did not salute their seniors but the SAPS indicated that
they did not have to do so all the time, except once they have seen their
superiors for the first time.
Every room that the Members
visited in the CSC was normal and they did not find any deviation from the
regulations and policies.
The e-Docket was fully
implemented at the station after checks. Many of the dockets are being scanned
into the system.
The signage and directions
to the station is accessible.
The Automatic Vehicle
Location System (AVLS) is operational and is being monitored by the Provincial
Office and not the police station.
The station has 63
detectives and 7 are deployed elsewhere in units outside the station. The
detectives are stationed at the Group 40 building in
Road which is about three kilometres from the station, due to space
There are insufficient
detectives at the station and 15 additional detectives are needed at the
The average detective has
about 17 years of experience and about 38 of them
over 11 years of experience as detectives.
The average age of
detectives are about 30+ and the age of the youngest detective is about 20
years while the oldest is in his late 50s.
Detectives carry a docket
load of 9000 with each detective investigating about 200 dockets. The detective
carrying the least number of dockets is 45 (which is gang task team member) and
the detective carrying the most dockets is 600.
There are 10 643 cases
being investigated with 4396 cases that have been closed undetected.
The Committee was impressed
who audits the detective caseload
The Committee noted that
five of the stations
have been involved in
accidents in the Eastern Cape as the station travels there for investigations
on regular basis.
SAPS 13 Stores
Members found 13 Dockets in
the e-docket room.
The SAPS stores and the
neat and in order and the dockets
and evidence was well stored and referenced.
Of concern was that the
person in charge was retiring at the end of the month and there is no plan in
place to train someone to take over the duties of the individual.
The individual has also
received no formal training for managing archive stores and despite the fact
that he is working with someone that is relatively young, it is a risk and the
Committee urged the station manager to give attention to this.
The station has 292
allocated staff members and 285 actual members.
On average, 10% of the
members take leave over weekends and 5% on night shifts.
Most absenteeism occurs
during June and July and members also take sick leave after the completion of
their four day on, four day off shifts if it happens to fall over weekends.
This accounts for the high
figure of sick leave and the Employee Health and Wellness section is dealing
with the problem.
There are 36 eligible
managers that qualified for the Commissioned Officers Learning Programme (COLP)
and 35 completed the course.
Eleven managers qualified to
attend the Middle Management Learning programme and seven completed the course.
131 officers at the station
have been trained in the Domestic Violence Act and 12 completed the training of
10 were trained in the Child
Justice Act and 1 in the Second Hand Goods Act.
Discipline and Grievances
Most of the disciplinary
cases and grievances at the station have been dealt with amicably and resolved.
There have only been 2
corruption cases at the station and this was processed and completed.
There have been 425
complaints involving discipline and grievances of which 61 were investigated.
In two cases, the officers were dismissed for fraud and corruption.
On average, these cases take
7 days to be investigated at the station and 60 days at the provincial office.
There have been 55 public
complaints against police officers by members of the public which are being
investigated by the Police Inspectorate Division. Three cases were forwarded
for further investigation.
The station also provided
the Committee the Second Hand Goods Act list of dealers.
concern to the Committee was the staff shortage at the station, especially the
detectives. The Committee recommended that the matter be addressed by the
provincial management and make available additional staff to the station.
Committee was concerned about the lack of a clear crime intelligence capability
at the station.
Committee recommended that a sustainable plan be developed to police the N2
highway and that the police make available such a plan to the Committee.
Committee recommended that force multipliers be used and that the Metro police
engaged to assist the SAPS with policing the area.
Committee recommended that the Provincial Commissioner be invited to the
Committee on 10 September 2014 to provide responses to the Committees
The Chairperson thanked the acting station
commander and his staff for their co-operation during the visit.
Philippi Police station
Gang violence strategy
The Committee visited the Philippi Police
station to understand the stations strategy to deal with gang violence,
especially in the Hanover Park area. The visit to the station was unannounced.
In his briefing the Station Commander, indicated that there were 6 active gang
groupings in the area.
The Conflict in the area was primarily
between the gangs was as a result of turf problems, but that the threat has
been minimised. The station is part of Operation Combat which meets every three
weeks to ascertain what progress have been made against the leadership of gangs
in the area. As a result there has been a substantial decrease in gang violence
in the area, and a recovery of firearms on a weekly basis. There have also been
a 13% increase
in the amount of drugs that have been
seized as a result of regular vehicle checkpoints.
The Committee raised questions about the
reports of collusion by police officers with gangsters.
The Station Commander responded by confirming
that there have been such rumours and they have held
where they have encouraged the community to come forward and
such collusion. They have no evidence and have also asked crime intelligence at
provincial level to investigate the rumours. One of the eight pillars of
Operation Combat is the fight against corruption. As a result of the strategy,
police officers working on the operation are rotated on a monthly basis and a
few police officers have been arrested. Members of the Committee were unhappy
with the response as they were not convinced that a set period can be
determined how long it takes for police officers to become corrupt.
The Committee wanted to know to what extent
the City was co-operating with SAPS and how sustainable the strategy was with
respect to disrupting the gang structures.
The Station Commander indicated that they
have an open day with schoolchildren as they have
at school. The sector manager is tasked with addressing
the school problem and the conflicts that develops at school, but spill over
into the community in the form of gang fights. The SAPS has also had a meeting
with the Western Cape Education Department to assist in its efforts to address
gang violence at Crystal High school. They noted that up to 40% of arrests that
the station effects are schoolchildren between the ages of 14-18 years.
Members wanted to know what SAPS was doing
about racial attacks at the Crystal High School
SAPS indicated that they distinguish between
is a difference between gangs and
that people make choices. The station also informed that there
racial conflict between learners at the school as a
result of an attack on a learner who lives in
The intervention at Crystal High school started a long time ago and there were
also other reasons for the conflict and violence at the school and in the
community. Some of the gang fights was started as a result of disputes over
girlfriends, drugs, impregnation of girls and robbery etc. The station
commander also informed that they had to deal with a revenge killing in the
area. The station also has a crime information officer which is different to
the Crime Intelligence officers. Crime collection is managed at a provincial
level and a cluster level while the crime information officer deals with crime
stats at station level and compiles the station profile.
Members commenced with the inspection of the
Community Service Centre
The members reported that
the station complied with all the necessary prescripts and regulations in terms
of SAPS Act. The station does not have an e-docket system and do all their
The station is accessible
and has good signage and accessibility to people with disabilities.
The last date of entry in
the station register was 28 August 2014.
The filing system was good
and the station was able to produce all the registers and entries in the
registers were in order. There was compliance with all the prescripts and
The station has 336 reported
Domestic Violence cases on the case register.
Members commended the
station commissioner and his team for their good compliance and record keeping
with respect to registers in the CSC.
The Victim friendly room was
in place and there is a volunteer on duty at the station. There were also high
school students who came to the station for training in domestic violence while
the oversight visit was taking place.
The domestic violence registers
were up to date and complied with the necessary regulations.
The Second Hands Goods Act
was implemented at the station and the registers were up to date. The station
has registered 16 second hand good dealers.
The previous head of detectives
was on sick leave and there was an acting commander on duty at the time of the
The station has a caseload
of 8272 cases for A and B crimes and detectives carry about 130 dockets each.
There have been three
dockets stolen at the station which is still under investigation.
The training of detectives
on course and the station needs 14 more detectives.
The station has nine cells
and all of it was in operation at the time of the oversight visit.
Each cell was designed to
hold five people.
At the time of the visit,
nine people in total were held in the cells.
The cells were clean and not
overcrowded and the J8 register corresponded with the number of people in the
There were 2 children under
the age of 18 held separately in juvenile cells who were recently arrested.
They had no visible injuries.
There was a list of
probation officers at the station.
SAPS 13 Stores
The Committee was impressed
with the record keeping in the evidence stores. It was well organised and the
archives were in order.
There was only staff member
allocated and the member had received no training.
It was however noted that
the register for recording closed dockets is dated March 2012 and supply chain
management did not provide fresh books.
The office was under
The Station Commander noted that there are
different challenges faced by the station as they also have to police a farm
area. There are six informal settlements and the station must deal with gang
violence. There is a resource challenge with a shortage of members and
detectives at the station. Between 15 -16 000 people moved into a new
informal settlement in the last two years and the station has a rating of 3 on
the performance chart.
Committee commended the station commander and his team on the state of the
management at the station.
Committee recommended that it wanted the levels of gang violence reduced and
that it should be prioritised.
Committee recommended that it monitors progress at the station and makes a
follow up visit to Nyanga and Philippi stations.
Report to be considered.
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