ATC170906: Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on an oversight visit to the Free State Province to conduct oversight of police stations in Masilonyana Local Municipality and to determine the effectiveness of the rural safety policing strategy in those areas, held from 14 – 18 August 2017, report dated 6 September 2017

NCOP Security and Justice

Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on an oversight visit to the Free State Province to conduct oversight of police stations in Masilonyana Local Municipality and to determine the effectiveness of the rural safety policing strategy in those areas, held from 14 – 18 August 2017, report dated 6 September 2017.


Masilonyana Local Municipality

  1. Background:

The Select Committee on Security and Justice (the Committee), as part of its mandate to provide a national forum for the public consideration of issues affecting the provinces, conducted an oversight visit to Masilonyana Local Municipality following observations by the Select Committee about the need to ensure the SAPS are equipped and resourced to reduce the incidence of crime in rural areas.


2.     Delegation:

2.1.   The oversight delegation was composed of the following members: 


Political Party


Eastern Cape

African National Congress

Hon T Wana

Free State

African National Congress

Hon Mr MJ Mohapi

Democratic Alliance

Hon Mr G Michalakis


Democratic Alliance

Hon B Engelbrecht


Democratic Alliance

Hon Mr M Chetty


African National Congress

Hon Mr MD Monakedi


African National Congress

Hon Mr MT Mhlanga

Northern Cape

African National Congress

Hon Ms G Manopole (apology submitted)

North West

Economic Freedom Fighters

Hon Ms TJ Mokwele

Western Cape

African National Congress

Hon Mr DL Ximbi (Committee Chairperson)


The following parliamentary staff supported the Committee: Mr G Dixon – Committee Secretary, Ms A Van Der Burg – Content Advisor, and Ms P Whittle – Committee Researcher.


  1. Winburg Police Station, Masilonyana Municipality, Free State Province

The delegation was met by Major General NA Modise, the Thabong Cluster Commander, under which the Winburg police station was situated.

Brigadier Pillay from the Provincial Strategic Intervention Command was in attendance along with Captain Landman, the commanding officer of Winburg police station.


  1. Briefing on the Winburg police service area

The Winburg police service area consists of both urban and rural components that consist of the Makeleketla and Baipeing townships. This area has approximately 2000 residents, farms, three schools, farm schools, Winburg town and two resorts. The N1 runs past Winburg and links Cape Town to Johannesburg with the N5 running past to reach Durban.


The police experience the following challenges: informal roads, lack of lighting, lack of house numbering, and lack of street names in the informal settlements that hinder the response times of the police. The station has eight vehicles in good condition despite the condition of the roads.


The main criminal activity in the area is residential burglary, stock theft, assault common and assault GBH. Although the stock theft was down eight cases to seven year on year, the value of the cases vary as one case docket might have 12 cows resulting in thousands of Rand value more than previous years. The main victims in the assault cases are younger than 35 years and this is attributed to the consumption of alcohol that leads to arguments and disagreements. There were no reports of attacks or farm murders in the cluster.


The police station monitors the stock theft but is not near any borders that would involve the help of the SANDF, however the proximity of the N1 and N5 makes the policing of the national roads vital. The Willem Pretorius resort deals with endangered species theft and public order policing is used to police the area.



  1. Committee observations

The fixed establishment and allocation of staff resources

The Captain is the only commissioned officer at the station, having had a Lieutenant Colonel previously. Members were concerned that the downgrading of the police station meant the priority level and resources allocated to Winburg would be affected. The Major-General explained that downgrading of the police station from Lieutenant Colonel to Captain, was the result of a work study on the rate of reported cases and this may have resulted in the downgrade. The Brigadier explained that the fixed establishment is designed by organizational development taking into account the regional infrastructure and if it is constrained, the work study can investigate and increase the staff. Members needed a logical explanation for the downgrade and the Brigadier indicated he would research the matter and report in writing to the Committee.


Vehicle maintenance

Vehicles with high kilometres are usually decommissioned and replaced however the station’s vehicles have very high kilometres and are still in service. The Major-General explained that batches of police vehicles are provided on a priority basis. The station is not having a problem requesting new vehicles and received a Nissan double cab bakkie in 2016. The Major-General explained that the stations that do not have vehicles receive resources first. The budget for the repair of vehicles is used and previously when the budget was exhausted it would then be decommissioned but in the current economic climate the budget to replace the vehicles was cut and therefore the vehicles are no longer in service.


Success factors leading to a reduction in farm attacks

The Major-General noted that the success was largely attributed to the level of co-operation between the police and farmers. There was continuous engagement with the community. The Major-General explained that an old farmer on his own on a farm is a risk factor. The approach followed is to encourage older farmers to move to the town. Cattle posts have no owners living there because older farmers now live in the town reducing the risk to their lives. The farms have combined patrols with the police in an effort for the community to get to know each other but also to increase the area patrolled. The operation occurs monthly.


Police service staff morale

The Major-General noted that staff morale was good and certificates were provided to staff members. The National Commission awards these certificates to deserving staff members at the annual awards ceremony.


Community Police Forum functionality

The Major-General reported that the CPF was fully functional. The CPF does community mobilization for police and the CPF chair regularly interacts with the SAPS. The community patrollers are in place.


Conviction rates of cases

The Major-General explained that the cases do not always result in convictions and the magistrate’s court roll runs quite fast and is fairly low. Detective W/O Radebe indicated they do not achieve much convictions as a lot of the people use mediation of the cases. Some people withdraw their cases due to remorse.


Committee Recommendations:


  1. The police station must report, within 14 days, back to the Committee in writing on the downgrading of the police station.
  2. The police station should provide the statistics of convictions and the mediation of cases in writing to the Committee for the past year.

Report to be considered.




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