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Speaking notes for Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) on the occasion of the SARPCCO address hosted in Pretoria on 2nd June 2022

 ON 2ND JUNE 2022

Programme Director;
Your Excellency the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of eSwatini:
Cleopas Sipho Dlamini;
Minister of Zimbabwe, Honourable Minister Kazembe Kazembe;
Special Envoy from Mozambique, General Fernando Tsucana;
Chairperson of SARPCCO; National Commissioner of the SAPS General Masemola;
Esteemed Chiefs of Police present and your Delegations;
The SADC Director of the Organ on Politics Defense and Security, DR. JORGE CARDOSO and your Delegation;
The Head of INTERPOL Regional Bureau HARARE / SARPCCO Co-ordination Office, MR SELLO MOERANE and your Delegation;
Directors of Criminal Investigation Departments;
Chairpersons of SARPCCO Technical Organs;
Distinguished Delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning to you all

Receive my safety and security greetings this morning on behalf of, all the brave police men and women of all our SARPCCO Member countries; who each day serve and protect our region with pride and dignity in carrying out the mandate of fighting transnational crime and it’s remnants.

As the Minister of Police, it is indeed a pleasure for me to address the 27th AGM of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO).

This esteemed event hosting Police Minister’s and Police Chiefs from our region, comes two months since the South African Police Service experienced winds of change with the appointment of our new National Commissioner, General

Fannie Masemola.  Of course, General Fannie Masemola is no stranger to you all, as he has hit the ground running in his capacity as the country’s Police Chief but also as the Chairperson of SARPCCO in visiting the member countries last month.

So it gives me great pleasure to address this meeting, which I am confident the rich and robust debates and deliberations will yield the desired results for a safer region that we ALL want to live in.

Distinguished Ministers and Police Chiefs, this year’s SARPCCO AGM demonstrates a progressive leadership in the high ranking echelons of this august institution.

The involvement of Ministers as policy makers at this AGM is not only historic but it is a firm foundation of a principle that must be supported by all of us.

Working in silos will never produce fundamental change and progress. Hence I support the African proverb that says “If you want to Go fast, Go alone; if you want to Go far, Go together.

Indeed the involvement of Ministers as active participants in the SARPCCO agenda creates a platform of massive growth in strategic matters of our business of policing and this will further will yield positive results, in fight against transnational crime.

Our brief deliberations last night at our welcoming dinner was another affirmation that we on the right track. Therefore once again we applaud this progressive decision under your leadership outgoing SARPCCO Chairperson General Masemola. We certainly hope that Namibia as the Incoming Chairperson of SARPCCO will carry and support this decision for the benefit of the entire SADC region developmental goals.

The fact that all Ministers present here today, will address this August meeting; is another rich investment of a combination of wealth of skills, knowledge and wisdom we all possess, that will hugely benefit the future growth plans of the agenda of SARPCCO.

Ladies and Gentlemen, safer cities, communities, villages, safer towns, metros, provinces, countries and regions don’t just happen.  Safety and security takes time commitment and dedication.

Esteemed guests simply put, Safety is not a product but a process! Let me not mince my words when I say, South African law enforcements remain ready and able to enforce and maintain the law within our borders.

We, as a country, are also VERY committed to actively play our part to combat any form of criminal activities associated with our region.  We are encouraged that this fight against transnational organized crime is not ours alone.

Equally encouraging, is SARPCCO’s ambitions at improving policing relations between Police Chiefs of member states through various means, namely;

• The facilitation of investigations,

• Joint cross-border operations and capacity building.

• The harmonization of legislation and other policing activities in contributing to public order security in this region.

It is clear we have to walk the talk and speak in ONE voice.

We, as the regional nations, are in this together and we will combat Drug and human trafficking syndicates, wildlife poaching and maritime crimes and all their manifestations.

We ought to also have our focus firmly set on minimizing cross boarder vehicle theft as well as the proliferation of arms that contribute to violence in our communities.

These are just some of crimes from a host of r cross border crimes that MUST and WILL be dealt with, through this regional partnership.

As South African law enforcements, we remain duly committed to our international and regional obligations aimed at combating lawlessness; whether at sea, land or in the air.

Ladies and gentlemen, Criminal gangs are becoming highly sophisticated and dangerous.  The cross border crime trade has increasingly become more diverse and sophisticated.

The criminal networks we are trying to take down, enjoy unlimited deep pockets, which allow them to study our collective security vulnerabilities and lack of coordination and partnership.  They use this information to advance and to expand their criminal activities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This regional formation must change the game and let these criminals know that they are now playing by our rules.  We can only change the game if we step up our intelligence as criminals are adopting new and complicated forms of operations.

The harmonization of legislation should influence our counter operations and proactive programmes, if indeed we want to effect change.

This call is also on the expansion of INTERPOL Policing Capabilities beyond the National central Bureau.  The effective utilization of the INTERPOL policing capabilities, is crucial to disseminate criminal data.

This kind of information will equip and empower frontline officers at all ports of entry.  The usage of INTERPOL databases which contain millions of information, can be shared amongst law enforcement officials mandated to prevent and combat international crime.


At the same time, political oversight is crucial to the success of this policing partnership.  The security ministers of the 16 member countries should monitor the commitments made by our respective Police Chiefs, derived from the SARPCCO Annual General Meetings.

As the South African Minister of Police, I’m calling on my regional counterparts in Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Comoros to provide oversight guidance to SARPCCO in order to address cross-border crimes that are spreading rapidly in the region.

The Police Ministry of South Africa is again heartened and motivated that this meeting is looking at very broad range of strategies and approaches to tackle these diverse crimes.

Sharing of information and resources, the scrutinizing of operational approaches and analysis of intelligence as well as the monitoring and evaluation of threats and responses are some key aspects that we cannot neglect.

These are the pillars that hold this regional teamwork together, and will define the outcome of the work of SARPCCO. As the chairmanship exchanges hands and moves over from South Africa, to Namibia, we wish them well in their new role.

We will continue to lend our collective support as the country pursues the steering of the SARPCCO ship, towards the desired direction.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Allow me to end off my address by emphasizing the point that we ALL have no choice but to work swiftly, seamlessly and with agility in our collective endeavors to ensure our region is NOT a playground for criminals or a place where illicit activities that go unabated.

I thank you