Death Grant Scheme for Members of the South
African Police Service
Your loss is our loss
Your pain is our pain
Basic hints to safeguard yourself
The Minister for Safety and
Security officially launched a Death Grant Scheme for members of
the South African Police Service on 7 November 2003. The fund is
a response to deep concern by the National Commissioner, Jackie
Selebi, about the plight of the dependants of members killed in
the line of duty.
The Cabinet took a decision to
grant a once-off payment of R200 000,00 to the dependants of a
member or an officer who died as a result of extraordinary
circumstances relating to the performance of duty.
Members will qualify for the death grant scheme
under the following circumstances:
When a member was murdered on
duty and in the execution of his or her duties.
When an off-duty member died in
the execution of his or her duties as a police officer.
When a member died in the
execution of his or her duties and, in the opinion of the
Committee, extraordinary circumstances relating to the memberís
duty warrant the payment of the grant.
The term member in this context means:
The term duties in this regard refers to :
the prevention, combating and
investigating of crime
the maintenance of public order
protecting and securing the
inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa and their property
and upholding and enforcing the
Mandate of the Appointed Committee
The committee will ensure payment of the
grant in the event of the death of a member subject to the above
conditions. All Deputy National Commissioners and the Divisional
Commissioner for Personnel Services will serve on the committee.
The decision of the committee with regard to
a grant is final. Any representations regarding the non-approval
of a grant may, however, be referred to the committee, which may
reconsider its decision and may, at its discretion, refer the
matter to the National Commissioner for consideration. Any
decision by the National Commissioner will be final.
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The Death Grant will not be Paid :
Entitlement to Payment
This grant is not a benefit but a scheme, the
payment of which lies exclusively within the prerogative of the
National Commissioner. The payment of the grant is therefore
made as an act of grace. The payment of the grant is subject to
the availability of funds and the circumstances under which it
will be paid, may be reviewed from time to time and may be
abolished at the sole discretion of the National Commissioner.
The payment will be made to dependants of
members who died on or after 1 April 2003. The grant scheme will
be implemented immediately after the launch on 7 November 2003.
Payment to Dependants
If the late member has more than one
dependant, the amount may, at the discretion of the committee,
be divided between the dependants or paid to one dependant only.
If the grant is approved, payment will only
be made to a dependant who is 21 years or older, or who was
married to, or a partner of, the deceased member.
In the event of a dependant who is below the
age of 21, the grant will be paid to the guardian of such
The term dependent of a member in the context of this grant
means (in order of priority):
the legal spouse - a widow or widower who, at
the time of the memberís death, was married to the member
according to civil law or was a party to a marriage to the
member according to indigenous law and custom, if neither the
husband nor the wife was a party to an existing civil marriage
at that time
a person with whom the member was at the time
of the memberís death living as a partner
a child of the member or of his or her
spouse, and includes a posthumous child, and a child born out of
a parent, brother, sister, half-brother or
half-sister, grandparent or grandchild of the member; and/or
if there are no other dependants, any person
who, in the opinion of the committee, acted in the place of a
parent who, in the opinion of the committee, was at the time of
the memberís death wholly or partially financially dependent
upon the member.
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Procedures to be Followed Before Payment of Grant
The commander or supervisor must compile a
Death Report on the member. Supporting evidence of the
circumstances leading to the death of the member, as well as
information on the dependants must be supplied.
The immediate commander or supervisor must
forward all the documentation referred to above, together with a
recommendation to the relevant Provincial or Divisional
The Provincial Commissioner or Divisional
Commissioner must then consider the evidence and make a
recommendation on whether the grant should be paid. This must be
forwarded to the Divisional Commissioner: Personnel Service.
This process should preferably be completed
within 14 days of the date of death of a member.
The committee must consider the matter and
take a decision and, if approved, submit it to the Head: Finance
for payment of the grant. Recovery of any monies paid will only
be considered if payment was obtained in a fraudulent manner.
Payment of Grants
The speedy payment of the grant depends on
the member completing the dependantís form and his or her
commander or supervisor and Provincial and Divisional management
performing their functions as outlined above.
The grant is taxable. Members must note that,
if a member is not registered with the Receiver of Revenue as a
taxpayer, the payment of the grant will be delayed as the late
member will first have to be registered as a taxpayer. In order
to prevent this delay, members are urged to register as
taxpayers and ensure that PERSAL is updated by having the tax
number recorded thereon.
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All members must complete a dependantís form
setting out the personal details of dependants. This form should
be available at the station. The completed form must be filed in
the memberís personal file at the relevant area / province /
It is the responsibility of every member to
notify the Service about any changes regarding his or her
No member or dependant may assign, transfer,
cede, pledge, alienate or otherwise dispose of the grant. The
grant may not be used to offset any outstanding debt owed to the
Service by the member.
Members and commanders must ensure that the
latest original dependant form is kept on file and is clearly
identifiable as the latest form.
Assistance by SAPS Helping Professions
If you, as a member of the Service, have been
affected by the loss of a colleague, or have been traumatised in
any way by an attack or assault, immediately obtain support from
the SAPS Helping Professions.
Prevention of Murder and Attacks on Police Officials
Ultimately the SAPS management want to
minimise and prevent all police deaths/killings so that it will
not become necessary to have to pay a death grant. A police
official should, therefore, never lose sight of the fact that
he/she is constantly in danger. In addition to the SAPS having
to persist in providing training and resource support in this
regard, all members should primarily take responsibility for the
safety of their own lives.
Together in Combating Crime and Police Killings
The precautions taken by the SAPS and by
members to ensure their safety can never be divorced from the
vital role all communities play in this regard.
By working with the police, mobilising
support, forming a united front against the senseless killing of
and attacks on police members, reporting on planned attacks and
exposing police killers and criminal elements, communities
together with the SAPS are bound to turn the tide against crime
and build on a safe and more secure environment for all people
in South Africa.
Let us together deal with those persons who
disrespect the constitutional right to life, human dignity and
Be constantly aware of your vulnerability as
a police official.
Bear in mind that you are always at risk.
Always be alert and aware of your
Wear your bulletproof vest.
Remember that your safety and that of your
colleagues always comes first - do not act or react impulsively
or recklessly to situations.
Never work ALONE.
Do not be a hero - wait for support.
Always apply the correct tactical procedures
when, for example, arresting a suspect or searching vehicles,
premises and suspects.
Apply the correct procedure when transporting
a suspect or when placing a suspect in detention.
Ensure that your personal policing tools,
such as your firearm or radio, are in working order.
When alone, rather follow a vehicle or
suspect than risk being killed - call for back-up.
Always stay in radio contact.
If at all possible, never visit cells alone.
Stay away from drinking places when you are
off duty and have an official firearm in your possession.
Conceal your firearm when off duty.
Always treat the public with dignity and
respect - remain calm and do not stir up conflict.
Perform your tasks in accordance with the
SAPS Code of Conduct.
Be sober when you are on duty.
Attend shooting practices and other
Do not socialise with criminals.
Your safety ALWAYS comes first!
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