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The SAPS Board of Commissioners fully supports General Riah Phiyega

Media Statement from National Media Centre
Corporate Communication
South African Police Service

Pretoria: The Board of Commissioners of the South African Police Service (SAPS), a structure representing the nine provincial commissioners, is concerned about the prevailing unfair and largely negative attitude towards the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Riah Phiyega. The Board has noticed a tendency to reduce everything, especially negative issues relating to policing, to the person of the National Commissioner, as if the SAPS is a one-person show.

It is therefore appropriate that the Board publicly declares its full support for General Phiyega, and fully endorses her efforts in turning around the SAPS. We are compelled to take this stance as some unnamed sources are misinforming the media, alleging that we are unhappy with the National Commissioner.

Media reports claiming low morale, breaking of ranks and an overall messy state of affairs within the SAPS are unfounded. As the SAPS Top Management, working closely with General Phiyega, we are surprised by these reports, as at no stage has our morale been low. As the nine Provincial Commissioners we are committed in executing our work together with our members and we shall continue doing so unabated. 

It should also be mentioned that none of the SAPS management structures have taken a resolution not to support the submission made at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. 

It is not true that the current management is prioritising task teams over the detectives. The fact of the matter is that these cross-functional teams that we set up have proved very successful.  It must be placed on record that the detectives at police stations, as well as at relevant specialised units, continue to execute their duties as usual and remarkable successes have been secured. 

The cases involving Krejcir, Panayiotou, mall robberies, truck hijackings, gangsterism and drugs are all dealt with by multi-disciplinary teams. The task team dealing with robbers targeting vehicles transporting cigarettes has made significant progress and the same can be said about the so-called airport-following cases. Statistics in this regard speak for themselves. At the centre of the successes is the closer working relationship between the detectives and crime intelligence, which is allegedly "dysfunctional" if one is to believe reports. 

When the National Commissioner joined the SAPS, the Crime Intelligence Division was in the Intensive Care Unit,  with many issues being exposed in the media. The Division is now out of the ICU and results are starting to show. Leadership has stabilised following the appointment of 26 skilled and experienced managers to effectively drive the envisaged turnaround strategy in support of the SAPS objectives. By the end April next year, we would have appointed an additional 900 officers. 

To ensure command and control, the Crime Intelligence Commanders Learning Programme has been developed through cooperation between the Human Resources Development and Crime Intelligence Divisions. The first group of commanders is attending this intensive six weeks pilot training programme and they finished their training on 31 July 2015.  A number of members have also attended both national and international training programmes to ensure that they are receiving knowledge and relevant skills that will help to enhance service delivery in the environment. Crime Intelligence set targets for 2014/2015 which were presented to the Portfolio Committee of Police. Amongst these targets was conducting 32 507 operations and to generate 261 193 intelligence products to address priority crimes. We expect to meet if not exceed these targets. 

It must also be mentioned that Crime Intelligence is working tirelessly to support the Detective Service and the DPCI (Hawks) in their investigations as well as in their projects and this is attested by the number of intelligence-driven successes that are continually reported by the organisation. 

Crime Intelligence continues to play a key role in assisting other units in the SAPS and in fighting corruption from within, evidenced by the fact that so many police officers have been arrested for corruption and illegal mining activities. 

On the Detective side, contrary to accusations of neglect, the management has been working on ways and means of improving our conviction rate, tracing wanted suspects and the improvement of command and control for better service delivery. A new turnaround plan for the Detective Service Division – the Nine Point Plan - has been put together and will be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

Under the current management there has been a great deal of focus on strategy, so as to get the fundamentals right, because if SAPS is to fight crime effectively in a sustainable manner, it must be administratively sound. This is informed by the fact that crime is an evolving phenomenon. Policing should therefore be dynamic in order to respond appropriately. To meet the challenges we are: 

- Promoting integrity by vetting all senior management. The process includes a lifestyle and skills audit (including the verification of academic qualifications), to assist in managing corruption within the police. The Integrity Management Unit will soon be established to take this work forward. 

- Professionalization of the police through amendments of standing orders and the establishment of the SAPS University in Paarl, as well as by engaging various tertiary institutions to come up with courses and programmes which will strengthen the leadership of the SAPS. 

- Launching of the Frontline Service Delivery Programme aimed at improving the quality of service delivered at all of our police stations. Work in this regard has begun and will cover 500 police stations in the first phase. 

- Signing a number of Memoranda of Understanding with various stakeholders such as Statistics South Africa, Business Against Crime, the CSIR, SABRIC, Primedia/Crime Line, the SABC and the SA Human Rights Commission in order to improve the quality of policing in the country. We also continue to work with various other role players in the fight against crime to promote and enhance rural safety. This includes traditional leaders, the religious fraternity and farmers. 

- Establishment of the National Disciplinary Trial Units to ensure speedy, standardised and consistent handling of disciplinary issues to effectively deal with issues of negative discipline and violations of the SAPS Code of Conduct. 

The decision by the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to nominate the South African Police Service (SAPS) to be used as a good practice case study based on its performance on the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) is a clear indication that indeed SAPS is headed in the right direction.

All of these are positive developments for the SAPS as they will position the police to meet the challenges facing us right now, be it management of police stations, fighting organised crime, command and control or reducing lawsuits against the police. 

While some may not be in favour of the current strategic direction, as the Board of Commissioners, we are fully behind General Phiyega on these. Having said all of this, the Board fully acknowledges that crime is a serious problem in our society and that everything possible is being done to address the situation. All the nine Provincial Commissioners wish to state categorically that they are committed to the fight against crime, and continue to motivate their members. The successes of Operation Fiela, a countrywide operation aimed at targeting places where the criminal element has manifested itself, speaks volumes regarding SAPS's commitment to fighting crime.

This statement of the Board of Commissioners is fully supported by the Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Services – Lieutenant General Nobubele Mbekela, the Deputy National Commissioner: Policing – Lieutenant General Kehla Sitole and Acting Divisional Commissioner Lieutenant General Bongiwe Zulu. 

Each and every individual Provincial Commissioner is fully behind this media statement and may be contacted by media representatives directly to verify this fact.


Enquiries:  Lt Gen Solomon Makgale  - 082 781 8863