Parliamentary Question: DoP:SAPS



Quick to draw misleading conclusions and deliberately ignores significant milestones in two years.

The South African Police Service has come out strongly in defence of the police force and the National Commissioner, General Bheki Cele by labeling the report from the Institute for Security Studies released last week as unfair, one sided and another attempt to discredit the police.

While the report points to common problems, it fails to acknowledge the achievements and significant milestones by the SAPS under the leadership of General Cele who has been at the forefront of fighting crime and rooting out corruption within the SAPS ranks.  Crime reduction is speaking volumes and evident to the fact that SAPS is making a serious dent in the fight against crime. Clearly the silence is too loud when it comes to commending SAPS efforts while critics are hell bent to shift focus to negative reporting and nothing positive.

The police force is a developing organisation which is deeply rooted in the practice of engaging with critical stakeholders in its developmental agenda. However it is interesting to note that the report originates from a research institute with majority of former police officers who are now experts in the field. 

Safeguarding history is critical and strategic for any organisation, country or other. Therefore the awful conclusions made against General Cele are very questionable, more so when one goes back to SAPS history and deplorable revelations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that shocked the nation on the conduct of the police at that time.

It is interesting to observe how quickly history can be forgotten to conveniently set a particular agenda and in the process mislead fellow South Africans on pertinent issues of governance. It therefore sounds very convenient to shift the blame to a two year period of General Cele’s tenure versus a 98 year old organisation with its history, present and future. 

SAPS top management has been tirelessly travelling around the country to identify and address any managerial shortcomings as well as to share best practices between SAPS Provincial Commissioners. Therefore every endeavor has been – and is being – done to strengthen command and control at all levels of the SAPS.

We can safely argue that no police commissioner has shown commitment to the SAPS and its members as General Cele has done. The families of fallen policemen and women, for example, have had the time period to receive compensation shortened to thirty days so that they can receive financial help to deal with their loss and not face financial ruin.

The ISS report also details how the Public Protector’s report has damaged the image of the SAPS – forgetting that the National Commissioner fully cooperated in the process and furthermore there were no criminal findings in the report.  For the record, the report is currently being dealt with by the Presidency; therefore any attempts to draw conclusions before this process is complete are both premature unfair. General Bheki Cele has neither been tried by a court of law, nor has he been found guilty of any crime. We therefore slam the report for being one sided and unfair.





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