DA wants audit into Police Day functions

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The opposition Democratic Alliance party has called for a forensic audit into the hosting of the past two National Police Day functions saying that the high costs were a “concern”. In a written reply to a parliamentary question in April about the cost of the function, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said that R36.3 million was spent on this year’s function.

Of the R36 348 757, R6 013 585 was spent on transport, R501 491 on accommodation, R44 574 on venue hire, R5 645 798 on expenses such as corporate gear, advertising and cleaning services, the latter including R498 201.60 on plastic water bottles, R471 960 on golf caps, and R499 980 on T-shirts. In addition almost R12 million was spent on entertainment and over R12 million on food and beverages.

DA police shadow minister Dianne Kohler Barnard says her party believes it is important to recognise the good work of police officers, but in a more cost-effective way. “I shall today [Monday] be writing to the auditor general to request that a forensic audit be conducted into the hosting of both this year’s National Police Day and the Police Day of 2010,” she said in a statement.

Kohler Barnard said the expense of the one-day event was a “questionable use of … [police] … resources given that the ability of many police stations to carry out policing duties are inhibited by a chronic lack of basic resources.
“We have urgent needs not being met, and indeed bills not being paid, by our SAPS – and this event seems to be nothing more than an ego-boosting exercise for the National Police Commissioner.”



The South African Policing Union has seperately also called for a probe. “In simple terms this was a wasteful expenditure and we call for heads to roll. SAPU calls for a transparent and independent probe by a respected institution like the office of the A-G, union general secretary Oscar Skommere said in a statement. “We would also like to call for the cancellation of the National Police Day celebration and propose that millions of Rand be channelled towards service delivery. The National Police Day is not enjoyed by all police officers within the SAPS but only by a handful of invited police officers.”