The ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has completely destroyed the reputation of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
“A suspension like this during increasing levels of social unrest is reckless to say the least. Not only that, but it also means that challenges such as the gender-based violence (GBV) pandemic will be even more neglected, not to mention the social unrest risk posed by the upcoming elections and planned trade union strikes,” says Ian Cameron, Action Society Spokesperson.
Cameron was reacting to the news of National Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, being served with a notice of intention to suspend. Action Society has learnt that Sitole received a letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, asking for representations why he should not be suspended. According to media, Sitole was given a week to respond. The notice came in light of the High Court decision in January which found that Sitole and two of his lieutenants, had “breached their duties” by intentionally frustrating the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) investigations into corrupt procurement deals within the Crime Intelligence environment. Deputy National Commissioner, Ntombenhle Vuma has also taken ‘indefinite leave’.
“There has not been a single national commissioner in the last 20 years, that has not been under suspicion or found guilty of some kind of corruption or other criminal offence under the ANC rule. ANC cadre deployment is the executioner handing out the final death blow to the SAPS,” adds Cameron.
A shocking 10 000 rape cases were reported between April and June 2021 with the successful conviction rate staying at a miniscule 3%. These numbers are evident that South Africa’s rape statistics are equal to a country at war. So much has gone wrong within the SAPS in recent years and the institution has experienced major decay under the leadership of Bheki Cele.
Due to Cele’s mismanagement of the SAPS, the DNA backlog stands on more than300 000 cases; almost 10 000 000 rounds of ammunition has disappeared and 96 800 violent criminals have been released on parole without submitting a DNA sample. These are just some of the SAPS’s failures that is delaying justice for victims of violent crime and especially GBV in South Africa.
Earlier this year, due to non-payment by the SAPS, the Property Control and Exhibit Management System (PCEM) was switched off by Forensic Data Analysis (FDA) – the system supplier. This affected 8 million pieces of evidence, which could not be found after the PCEM system shutdown.
Another major concern is that the Global Organised Crime Index 2021, which was recently released by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, ranked South Africa 19th out of 193 UN member states. With a criminality score of 6.63, South Africa ranked fifth out of the 54 African countries. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Kenya scored higher.
The SAPS needs to be properly equipped, starting from the top down. The SAPS leadership has to be scrutinised and held accountable for their failure to bring justice to victims.
“In the midst of all this chaos, government wants to take away the rights of citizens to self-defence with the Firearms Control Amendment Bill, with the aim of ‘reducing the number of illegal firearms in circulation’. We read daily about brutal murders, rape and other heinous crimes. Action Society is extremely concerned about the impact this Bill will have on the rights of South African citizens – especially vulnerable and defenseless women. We are particularly concerned about the effect this will have on the continued violence against the innocent women and children of South Africa,” concludes Cameron.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 7 October 2021