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SA: Mbalula: Budget speech by the Deputy Minister of Police (01/07/2009)

1st July 2009

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Date: 01/07/2009

Source: Department of Police

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Title: SA: Mbalula: Budget speech by the Deputy Minister of Police

Honourable Chairperson
Minister of Police, Comrade Nathi Mthethwa
Honourable Members of Parliament
Distinguished Guests
Comrades and Compatriots
Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow South Africans

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This year we commemorate 30 years of the brutal murder of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu by the apartheid state. His life was prematurely terminated at its prime tender age of 23 years. His life continues to inspire our forward momentum towards a truly emancipated society at peace with itself.

Our commitment to the realisation of the ideals embodied in the freedom charter of peace, security and comfort, enjoins us to become champions in the fight against crime in all its manifestations. The Constitution demands of us to create a nation-state free from crime with citizens living in harmony. We dare not fail in our duty to advance towards such a reality, and we will dedicate every resource at our disposal in the war against crime. This is not only the responsibility of government, but a shared obligation which demands of every citizen to join in this collective effort to cleanse our communities of the cancer of crime. We invite every patriotic South African to join us in the new deal to uproot crime and reclaim our streets from criminals.

FIFA CONFEDATION CUP AND MEDIA

Chairperson, let me add my weight to what the Minister of Police raised about the FIFA Confederation Cup.

On Sunday the 28th of June 2009, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 officially came to an end. We salute our police personnel who have shown dedication and commitment in pursuit of their Constitutional obligation to protect the citizens from crime as well as the visitors. The Confederations Cup was an acid test on our capability to defend our citizens and visitors from the scourge of crime, and our women and men in blue passed with flying colours. It is our commitment that this capability must permeate to the everyday activities of the South African Police Service and must result in lower crime rates and higher convictions rates of criminals.

The commendable actions of our police officers and the superior levels of co-ordination and co-operation with other security agencies demonstrated to the world that South Africa and her people are ready to host the largest sporting extravaganza in a peaceful and secure manner.

We must take this opportunity to thank all those women and men in blue who continue to make us proud by executing their duties with diligence, commitment and dedication.

Chairperson, despite our best efforts, our detractors and agent provocateurs continued their attempts to project us in a bad light as incompetent and incapable of successfully hosting an event of the magnitude of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Indeed, they did not hesitate to blow out of proportion incidents that were otherwise nothing more than minor and isolated incidents. The most prominent of these stories is one that involved players of one of the teams that were competing in the Confederations Cup and an alleged incident of theft from their hotel rooms. While the incident was regrettable and unfortunate, we were more disappointed by the manner in which our local media sensationalized the story, blowing it out of proportion and fed an international media frenzy around the story, which was to prove to be a non-event in the end. Screaming headlines were broadcast from newsrooms around the world creating an impression that the Confederations Cup tournament was being held against the backdrop of extreme levels of crime.

We dare declare, without fear of contradiction, that the Confederations Cup was a resounding success held in a safe and secure environment, with no major crime incidents directly related to the tournament reported.

Chairperson, having used the Confederations Cup as a dress rehearsal for our preparedness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we are satisfied that we are ready to present to the world the best World Cup in football history, characterized by a safe and secure environment.

POLICE KILLINGS

Honourable Members, our police officers place their lives in harm's way as they undertake their duty of confronting the scourge of crime in our communities. Many have paid the ultimate price with their lives and have perished in the line of duty. We must honour these unsung heroes and heroines with an unwavering commitment to intensify the fight against crime make the crime of injuring or killing a police office an extremely serious crime.

I dedicate this speech to these gallant defenders of our nation who have chosen a career to fight crime and to strengthen the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the South African Police Service. In their line of duty they face numerous challenges, serious injuries, even death.

The ferocity with which we will deal with the killing of police officers is a first step in many that seeks to underpin the value we place in our officers as protectors of our people and footsoldiers in our war against crime and corruption. We are committed to embarking on extraordinary measures should the occasion require such interventions in order to demonstrate our seriousness. We will not tolerate the killing of our law enforcers and will do everything in our power to throw the book at those who believe they can attack our officers with impunity. Between 2004/5 and 2008/9 financial years, five hundred and ten (510) police officers died in the line of duty, killed by criminals. In the 2008/9 financial year one hundred and six (106) police officers perished in the line of duty. Each death of a police officer is one death too many, and we say enough is enough.

"WANYA TSOTSI"

A PROGRAMME TO ENGAGE COMMUNITIES

Chairperson, our singular resolve is to ensure that criminals pay the ultimate price for their actions and that we are able to arrest the scourge of crime in a sustainable way. This in itself is a signal that the honeymoon is over and we have every intention to be ruthless and unapologetic in our uprooting the cancer of crime from our communities. We are determined to introduce new approaches to solve old problems and ensure coherence and sustainability in our initiatives.

Those who think committing crime, which includes killing police officers is fashionable will face the full might of the law. Tsotsi e tla tjha! Mollo wo, o tjhesa ho feta le wa satane. Satane le yena o tla itshwabela, ha u utlwa mollo wona.

We are under no illusion about how daunting the task that lies ahead of us is. It is for that reason that we will not pay lip service to the fight against crime, and will let our actions speak for themselves.

Honourable Members, In the coming months we will launch "Operation Wanya Tsotsie" as a popular mobilization programme, mobilizing communities against crime in all its manifestations. "Wanya Tsotsie" is a radical African expression and display of strength and zealousness against one's enemy. It is a weapon to instill fear and respect to one's strategic opponent. It is an expression of readiness of one's forces of war.

It is a strength exhibition!

It is a war cry!

This operation will be community-led, based on the strategic isolation of criminals and those who harbour them. It is based on the popular partnership between the police and the community at large in the fight against crime and criminality. This will make entertainment centres unbearable for criminals.

This operation will also ensure that those who thrive on selling and buying stolen goods face the full might of the law. It will entail a practical roll-out of "Reject and Report Stolen Goods" campaign which continues to make an impact on the reduction of crime and enjoys the support of communities in the provinces where it has been implemented.

The operation will also incorporate the corporate strategy of the Western Cape, the People Orientated Sustained Strategy (POSS) which seeks to generate a shared understanding among the people of Western Cape of what crime prevention involves. This is essential in providing a beacon for collective and integrated action by civil society and creating shared responsibility in the fight against crime.

Chairperson, Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo, a giant of our revolution and an architect of our democracy once said, "In the life of a nation, there comes a time when a nation is faced with a difficult choice of whether to submit or fight." We refuse to submit to criminals who continue to instill fear among the peace loving citizens of South Africa, and we will fight them in every corner, every street and every community where they hide. We are confident that this is a war we will win. We say to them, "the jig is up", "Amasi abekw'elangeni."

We pledge to the people of South Africa that we will fight crime in all its facets and its manifestations. The commitment made by the former Minister of Safety and Security, the late Honourable Steve Tshwete when he said, "we will deal with criminals with the ferocity of a cornered bull and with the agility of a cat. We will deal with them the way a bull dog deals with a bone", continues to reverberate to this day. We re-commit ourselves to that commitment, and we will show no mercy in throwing the book at criminals and those who harbour them. Let it be known today that the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah awaits them. Our patience has been tempted to the limit and communities have grown tired of living in constant fear. It can never be acceptable that people cannot feel safe in their own homes. We will employ every resource at our disposal to hunt down criminals and ensure that the criminal justice system allows us to effectively lock them up and throw the key away.

Honourable Members, there are three pivotal principles in combating crime, particularly its uniquely random and violent nature in our country. The first is that the fight against crime cannot uncritically be separated from the war of want. At the core of this principle, are incidents of contact crime such as rape, murder and grievous bodily harm that takes place among acquaintances in poor communities where living and social environment do not allow for decent family and social life.

The second is that in this fight against crime, specific mindset and historical conditions drive elements of the crime problem. One of them is the proliferation of firearms in the hands of civilians, greed and conspicuous consumption, the psychology of patriarchal power relations and attitudes towards weaker members of society particularly women, children, the elderly and the people with disabilities.

Thirdly, the networks of crime have grown in their reach and sophistication and traverse national boundaries. Included in this are syndicates that deal with money laundering, human trafficking, cash-in-transit, ATM bombings as well as drug trafficking.

In order for the outcomes of our war against crime to be sustainable, it is imperative that the country's developmental agenda should aim at gradually eliminating some of the social and economic conditions that breed crime. This should help contribute towards creating an enabling environment for peace, security, stability, economic freedom, economic development, economic growth and social development in Southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

The over-arching strategy in the war against crime is the mobilization of society to bring criminals to book. This includes an overhaul of race, class, gender and family relations and intolerance of abuse and crime within communities.

Critical to this is a radical transformation of state institutions to become truly responsive to the notion of a developmental state, especially those that have a mandate relating to safety and security in their respective environments. This should apply to strategic management, expansion of human resource capacity, research and development strategy, utilization of the latest technology, technology integration; enhance intelligence capacity, visible policing, commitment to work with the masses and eradication of corruption within the criminal justice system.

This should be coupled by the radical implementation of an effective and efficient regulation of the private security industry to ensure that its various capacities, integrity of its recruitment practices and employees' conditions of service are in line with the requirements of what is otherwise a crucial part of our nations' security establishment.

We need to continue to deepen and expand co-operation among law-enforcement agencies in the country, region and further afield. We should also enhance the systems of border control and improve the capacity of the defense and intelligence agencies to secure the integrity of our country.

In fact, the attention should be paid to any remaining apartheid networks of dirty war and spies, some of which are an integral part of the criminal networks.

A CALL TO ACTION TO SOCIETY

Chairperson and Honourable Members, as part of our efforts to implement a coherent and focused programme in fighting crime, we must unapologetically commit ourselves to the unwavering implementation of the ANC's 52nd National Conference resolutions. The process of placing municipal, metro and traffic police under the command and control of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service as a force multiplier.

As we put these priorities before you it is worth to remember that in 2004 the Government set itself the target of reducing crime by 7 - 10 % per annum. It is internationally recognized that crime prevention is not solely a criminal justice issue. Crime prevention is most likely to succeed when it is tackled by range of role players, including government departments such as Department of Health, Education and Social Development, local government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the business sector and the general public.

Thus, we need as matter of urgency to establish the Community Safety Forums (CSFs) which should be located within the Provincial Safety and Security Department. All necessary steps should be taken to speed up the establishment, management and funding of CSFs.

There should also be clear alignment of the justice cluster to municipal boundaries and develop appropriate programmes that address all issues of safety and security and justice.

The success in policing is reliant on active community participation, which gives effect to Sector Policing. Sector Policing has been implemented at 139 of the 169 High Contact Crime Centers. In total 737, 24 hour sectors are currently in operation and supported by 6 566 members.

The effectiveness of the sector policing (to ensure closer co-operation and integration with the community), however, entails a resource intensive exercise and the establishment of local partnerships.

Therefore redeployment of experienced and senior police officials at level of sector policing and police stations is of paramount importance.

We will be working together with the Ministries of Basic Education and Tourism to develop a programme of School Safety and Tourism Safety which should be located within the Community Safety Forums. Through this partnership, we will develop a programme of mobilization and integration of structures such as School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and Parent-Teacher Associations with safety and security structures in order to defeat crime in our communities. Traditional leaders will be mobilized to play a more significant role in promoting peace and stability in rural areas. Rural Safety Plans (RSPs) should be developed and implemented and made visible in rural areas.

Young people must also be involved in a massive programme of community policing and safety that would include night street patrols and have stipends paid by government as part of the National Youth Service to instill the value of service and protect the community and public property amongst our youth.

This programme aims at recruiting thousands of young people in the National Youth Service (NYS) programme. It is aimed at instilling a sense of nation-hood, patriotism and service in the minds of young people and a civic duty to the community and public property.

Youth shall be mobilized and organized into a mass-based community programme to assist in visible policing, safety and security that will include, but not limited to, street, taxi ranks, bus terminus and shopping centre patrols and mending and be rewarded by stipends paid for by government and exit opportunities at the end of service as part of the National Youth Service Programme.

We shall also together with Public Works and the National Youth Development Agency design a programme of skills development through the relevant SETA's to train as many young people as possible to take part in the rehabilitation and construction of police stations, places of safety for victims of crime, hospitals, old age homes and hospices, even schools and universities and etc.

Through the success of the Community Policing Forum, we have come to appreciate the willingness of ordinary South Africans to assist as volunteers in ensuring the safety of their communities. We wish to thank them for their gallant efforts. Going forward, the National Department of Police will work with ordinary South Africans to use its capacity and also partner with other government departments to facilitate development in our poor communities.

Many of our people are willing to work in poor communities to assist with development initiatives but have concerns about their safety. As part of this initiative we will create a database and obtain the profile of the various development programmes including by NGO's in order to match volunteers to such efforts. As the police we will work with young people and communities to ensure their safety and security in the communities they work in.

The priority will be to organize youth into community-based Young Crime Busters (YCB's) that will focus in the training of youth in prevention strategies of violence against children and addressing child offenders.

Together with the NYDA, the South African Police Service will recruit the youth of South Africa to be enrolled as a cadre of young people in fighting crime working with the community and the police. These young people will whilst on the programme also be given access to other development opportunities.

In this regard we will work closely with youth structures, including the NYDA, various government departments like Public Works, Education and Sports to train these youth in skills other than those related to policing and safety. This will enhance the employability of these young people.

In this programme we will intensify our training of SAPS members and members of the Young Crime Busters (YCB) to deal diligently with child victims and child crime offenders. This involves a training manual that needs to be developed by SAPS and will guide members when dealing with young offenders and child labour cases.

The second priority in this programme is to mobilize school going children through SRC's and Representative Councils of Learners (RCL's) to undergo alcohol and drug abuse programmes especially in the Western Cape and Northern Cape. This is aimed at recruiting those committed in the programme to be ambassadors of the SAPS in anti-drug and alcohol abuse programmes in schools and community in general.

We will also target Homeless Children by introducing and extending the training programme to SAPS and members of the National Youth Service and Young Crime Busters on the correct procedures and protocols to follow when dealing with street children.

One of the most important issues in the fight against crime is to systematically address the challenge of overcrowding in detention facilities through the creation of an Awaiting Trail Detainee (ATD) branch, ensuring effective security in detention facilities, promote the rehabilitation of detainees and deal with problems of children in conflict with the law.

There is a need for the strategic development and implementation of an effective Civil Justice System to expand access to civil justice especially for the poor.

Key to this is the systematic and radical transformation of the judiciary by addressing key issues such as the enhancement of judicial independence, inculcation of judicial ethics, entrenching internal systems of judicial accountability as well as ensuring full access to the judiciary by the poor in particular.

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES

Honourable Members, although there is some progress in the transformation of the SAPS to make it more responsive to the constitutional imperatives, a lot still needs to be done. There is a dire need for the overhaul of the entire system if we want to see radical transformation in the police service.

As Mao once said "We should check our complacency and constantly criticize our shortcomings, just as we should wash our face or sweep the floor everyday to remove the dirt and keep them clean". A lot of dirt and a lot of sweeping will need to be done in the South African Police Service, especially at the management and administration levels.

In order to make a telling difference in our war against crime, we need a robust, well-oiled and efficient administrative machinery to support our initiatives. This remains a daunting challenge as Division programmes and plans lack in synergy, strategic co-ordination and co-operation in programme planning and implementation.

At the very strategic level significant work needs to be done to improve levels of accountability, co-ordination, ensure strategic focus in communication interventions. A comprehensive system of monitoring and evaluating the impact the work of the police has on the ground will be put in place to ensure a systematic approach to interventions.

We are similarly poised to deal with the deployment to and functionality of police stations. The way police members implement and observe Batho Pele principles at the police station level leaves a lot to be desired.

At the same time we need to deal with the health and physical fitness of our police officers on the ground and the way police officers posture and the way they portray themselves in our communities. A police officer must inspire confidence at all times and must not leave doubt on his or her capability to tackle crime.

Honourable members, despite these challenges, we have an obligation to improve the conditions of service for our men and women in blue and ensure that we remunerate them in a manner that boosts the morale and instills a sense of dignity. We have made this commitment in the past, and we re-iterate that commitment.

In conclusion, policing is a journey - an inner one and an outer one. There is no final destination; rather twists and turns in a journey towards creating a safe and secure environment for all the people in South Africa.

The trust of our people lies literally in our hands. We will not betray this trust. We will not tolerate or hesitate to act against any corrupt police officer nor will we tolerate serving members who dishonour their uniform and the service through criminal activities perpetrated by those entrusted to fight crime.

My sincere appreciation and thanks to all the family members and relatives of the police officers, for allowing your loved ones and children to choose policing as their career, and for the support you have given them through-out their police duties.


I thank you.

 

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