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Acceptance speech by the incoming SARPCCO chairperson, General Khehla John Sitole
2021/06/16

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE INCOMING SARPCCO CHAIRPERSON, GENERAL KHEHLA JOHN SITOLE, NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE SOUTH AFRICA POLICE SERVICE, 16 JUNE 2021, GAUTENG SOUTH AFRICA

Director of Ceremony

The Guest of Honour, the Botswana Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, Honourable Kagiso Thomas MMUSI

The SARPCCO Chairperson and Commissioner of the Botswana Police Service, Mr. Keabetswe MAKGOPHE,

The INTERPOL Secretary General Dr. Jurgen STOCK

The SADC Director of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso 

The Dean of SARPCCO, Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force, Lt-Gen. Sebastian Haitota NDEITUNGA,

Distinguished Chiefs of Police,

The Head of INTERPOL Regional Bureau Harare, Mr. Mubita NAWA

SAPS Deputy National Commissioners

SAPS Divisional, Provincial and District Commissioners

SAPS Senior management

SAPS members and personnel

Distinguished guests

 

Ladies and gentlemen, my warmest greetings are extended to you on behalf of the South African Police Service and our beautiful country as a whole. It is indeed a great honour and privilege for South Africa to chair SARPCCO for the seventh time running, in the history of this great organisation, having done so first in 1997, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Distinguished guests today, the 16th of June 2021 is also an exceptionally significant day and immense honour for our country as I, General Khehla John Sitole, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, pledge my support and commitment to SARPCCO as the incoming Chairperson as symbolised by the handing over and receipt of the SARPCCO SWORD of Honour, marking the 26th Annual General Meeting of SARPCCO

 Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Outgoing Chairperson of SARPCCO, Commissioner of the Botswana Police Service, my Brother Mr. Keabetswe Makgophe who has been steering the ship of regional policing for the last twelve (12) Months.

Colleagues, you will agree with me that this has been a difficult period never experienced before in the history of our organization SARPCCO. The advent of the COVID 19 pandemic which unfortunately has continued to claim the lives of many of our citizens including gallant men and women of our Police Services/Forces, has led us to change the way we conduct our policing business.

Given this prevailing situation, Commissioner Makgophe, was dynamic enough to adapt to the new philosophy of policing, responsive to the current terrain now referred to as the new normal, where almost every regional engagement had to be done virtually. This is evident from the Tenure of Office Report that the outgoing Chairperson just shared with us this morning. I will be taking and tapping from his experience as I take the mantle as Chairperson of our beloved organization SARPCCO.

Distinguished Colleagues, today most activities in our daily lives have gone virtual. While this is good for business continuity, criminals have on the other hand seen a window of opportunity to exploit the cyber space. The policing dynamics continue to change as variables within the environment unceremoniously mutate.  This advancement and increased use of technology as a way of conducting business has to a large extent seen an upswing in the complexity of crime, thereby, calling for us as law enforcement officers to be more dynamic by adapting to new models of policing which include but are not limited to the use of technology, foresight policing, analysis, strategy and intelligence led policing.

Fellow Chiefs of Police, managing transnational organized crime and keeping our region safe and secure requires effective cooperation and collaboration. We therefore, need to leverage on the existence of our organization and the various mechanisms of our regional security architecture as guided by our regional economic body SADC. In doing so, we need to apply ourselves in a manner beyond reproach to adhere to the objectives of SARPCCO which is in support of SADC and subject to Protocol, the domestic laws and international obligations of Member States.

Society today expects police organizations to be transparent and accountable to the people they serve. We cannot afford to have a monopoly of the scarce national resources over other equally important sectors. This therefore, calls for us as police leaders to be prudent in the manner we deploy resources. This can only be achieved if we utilize strategic planning in our policing activities. 

Our survival as police services/forces in the modern competitive environment largely depends on how responsive our interventions are to the Member States we are mandated to serve and that we continue to adhere to the principles of cooperation which is respect for national sovereignty, equality of police services/forces, non-political professionalism, mutual benefit to all Member States, observance of human rights, non-discrimination and flexibility of working methods and mutual respect and goodwill.

We need to pay attention to the developments of insecurity in our region. Other than just the statutory meetings, we need to have continuous interactions where we can reflect, exchange best practices and information on the regional crime situation. It is therefore vital that we urgently establish a global mentor database where all countries can share their experiences and expertise especially to enhance our efforts in the fight against evolving transnational and cross border crimes.

 As a region, Dear colleagues, we need to believe in ourselves with a daring heart, build resilience and put the right foot forward. Survival of our various nations will aptly depend on rightly capacitating and deploying our human resources by undertaking responsive training and operational interventions in the fight against transnational organized crime. I will also introduce an Integrated Resource Matrix Model which will be managed by the SARPCCO Finance Bureau in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officers from the various policing agencies to manage and coordinate all relevant resources and financial matters pertaining to SARPCCO activities in an integrated and well organised fashion.

I remain committed to the need of monitoring and evaluation visits, especially to Member States that have not been visited before, to enhance sustained implementation modalities that we have collectively agreed upon.

Despite criminality taking a complex direction, thereby, threatening the very existence of peace and tranquillity in the region, as long as we remain unshaken, focused and committed to the ideals that brings us together as one family, victory is certain. As a regional police organization that has undergone refinement in its 26 years of existence, we must have learnt to navigate the turbulent waters of policing in the 21st century as we undertake various interventions.

The Global Economic Crisis has presented serious challenges for governments around the world and the COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation further.  As a result, this has restrained the government fiscus resulting in significant budget cuts across Government Departments.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has provided criminal syndicates leverage on digital platforms to commit e-crimes (cybercrime), thus enabling diverse and creative modus operandi development by criminals.

Policing agencies, in order to ensure sustainability in meeting its Constitutional Mandate and the objectives must:

  1. Consider the Economics of Policing (enforce cost efficiency in policing – integrated resource planning and cost reduction initiatives);
  2. Explore strategic policing reforms to ensure smarter policing methodology through innovation and creativity;
  3. Ameliorate its current Performance Management System, to link crime performance to economic growth, investor confidence and Return on Investment; and  
  4. Invest and safeguard its Human Capital, though a Talent Management Process Model.

Economics essentially is the study of choices (match of scarce resources and unlimited needs / wants) – hence economic decisions require that Organisations take many variables into consideration when coming to a conclusion, thereby allowing for a more scientific and mathematical methodology rather than a general political philosophy or simple common sense guessing.

During my tenure, I wish to therefore like to introduce a Policing-Nomics Approach within SARPCCO, which essentially is the study of policing methodology and practice through the lens of modern economics, innovation and creativity.

Distinguished guests, the essence of proper strategic planning and performance management can never be over emphasised. We have to ensure that real progress is made in terms of the many SARPCCO and SADC strategies in order to combat International Organised Crimes and Cross Border Crimes. There are currently numerous strategies which have not been signed off and no implementation has taken place.

I therefore wish as the new incoming SARPCCO Chairperson to see that all strategies are signed off and implemented and that we work towards a Turnaround strategy locally for the sake of implementation of these strategies. The SAPS’ Strategic Management Section will also come on board to assist and advice on our strategic approach in terms of all SARPCCO activities in the South African Police Service.

Ladies and gentlemen, to ensure enhanced coordination and interconnectivity between the Regions in terms of all Bi-lateral, Tri-Lateral and Multi-Lateral agreements with other countries, we aim to establish a Nerve Centre to monitor these agreements and give relevant feedback to all stakeholders.

It is also important that we work towards establishing an Overarching Communication Structure within SARPCCO regions to ensure ongoing commitment and support by all key stakeholders as we aim to achieve our objectives as a team and to enhance communication between the Regions. This structure will also be responsible to ensure that all requests, information, communication and feedback from the Regions are relayed to my office immediately and that there are no delay in any communication processes.

A Performance management Centre with dedicated personnel will also be established to continuously monitor and evaluate the organisations’ performance in terms of all SARPCCO related activities and keep me informed at all times.

As I embark on this important regional task, may I call upon the SARPCCO Dean, the outgoing Chairperson, all of you my fellow Police Chiefs, the SADC Secretariat and our Coordination Office RB Harare, to continue rendering your support and guidance to South Africa to ensure a smooth tenure of office.

Colleagues, allow me to join the Outgoing SARPCCO Chairperson in appreciating and congratulating the outgoing INTERPOL Head of Regional Bureau Mr. Mubita NAWA for the sterling work he rendered to the region in the last 6 years being at the helm of the Regional Office. I am fully aware that he will only be leaving in December 2021, but this being his last SARPCCO Annual General Meeting, I believe it is the right time for us to honour him for his selfless dedicated service. Mr. Nawa I still look forward to working with you in the next few months before your end of secondment to support me and South Africa as we steer SARPCCO forward.    

With these few words, ladies and gentlemen allow me to take this opportunity to once again, re-iterate my pledge and South Africa’s unflinching commitment and dedication to diligently chair our organization SARPCCO for the next twelve months. Welcome to South Africa, the Rainbow Nation.

I thank you