“The 2021/22 financial year will most likely be remembered as a segment of time where the deadly damage caused by ANC cadre deployment in law-enforcement was exposed like never before” said Ian Cameron of Action Society.
Cameron explained that the July 2021 riot report commissioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa, was deliberately released right before SONA in order to take some heat off expectations the public might have of the President’s feedback.
He continues: “Ramaphosa will say little or nothing about the South African Police Service possibly becoming the biggest supplier of illicit firearms to criminals in South Africa, not even mentioning the fact that the minister of police Bheki Cele should be sacked, followed by National Commissioner Lt. General Khehla Sitole.”
Between 2005 and 2017 SAPS has lost; had stolen from them; or is simply unable to account for 26 025 SAPS firearms issued to police officers. This was reported as 18 196 guns between 2005 and 2011 and another 7 829 between 2009 and 2014.
It emerged, via related court processes, that between 2010 and 2016 , firearms smuggled from police officers to gangsters had been used in 1,666 murders and 1,403 attempted murders in the Western Cape. At least 261 children count under the victims of these shootings.
“Action Society has called for a national police firearm audit to be conducted along with the complete restructuring of the SAPS management structure. The ideal would be an external panel consisting of policing experts, to determine whether existing senior ranking officers are to be employed according to merit and not political affiliation.”
The firearm audit is a matter of national security, as the biggest law-enforcement body in South Africa has lost control of over 500 000 firearms.
In June 2020, Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) pulled the plug on the Firearm Permit System (FPS), which managed thousands of legal firearms due to non-payment by the SAPS. The FPS managed 180 000 handguns and 350 000 semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Although the National Treasury found the value of the system fair and approved the budgets, the FDA had to shut it down because of the dispute over costs and non-payment.
“Recent statements by Bheki Cele, stating that the control of firearms is a huge concern and that there is a need for digitalisation, is a complete lie and an attempt to cover up the incompetence of SAPS top management. This needs to stop. The SAPS, under Cele’s leadership, is doing the complete opposite of their mandate, they are complicit in the ever increasing crime statistics of our country,” Cameron said.
Action Society feels very strongly that an independent committee of policing experts must be appointed to manage the employment of top SAPS officials. This committee should be made up of individuals that understand what it means to work through the ranks but also have the necessary theoretical knowledge in order to determine who should be the National Commissioner, deputy commissioner, divisional commissioners, their deputies and other top provincial positions.
“If the status quo concerning appointments of SAPS leadership remains unchanged, we will see more cadre deployment by the ANC. It seems the ANC does not want the SAPS to function properly, because then they will be exposed for the far reaching and massive corruption they have been involved in as the ruling party. The SAPS, especially members who risk their lives daily combatting crime, deserves leadership with integrity, something the ANC cadres are deprived of,” Cameron concludes.