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The Occasion of the NCOP Parliamentary Debate on the Killing of Police Officers in South Africa by the Deputy Minister of Police, Ms MM Sotyu (MP).

Waging a Concerted Fight Against the Killing of Police Officers in our Country
01 September 2015

Chairperson of the NCOP,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, MECs present,
Members of Parliament,
Civil Society present here,
Members of the General Public; Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


On 6th September 2015, we will be honouring our fallen heroes and heroines in blue. This is just not another commemoration event in our calendar year, but it is a very solemn show of active solidarity by our President and Government to all the families of these heroes, and to the nation at large.

It is then not a mistake, that this national commemoration is held at the highest Government office in the land, the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, some Premiers, Ministers, MECs, CPFs, Members of Parliament, and other stakeholders in the community across the country, have all joined the SAPS Leadership and Management in showing their sadness, their outrage, and indeed their grave concern on the recent attacks and murders of our police officers.


We truly thank our President, His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma, for sharply raising the issue of the killing of police officers, as a serious national concern.

I am saying this because there is a deafening silence when a police officer is killed, but when a police officer kills a civilian by mistake, there is drowning noise, accompanied by a host of unfounded criticism and sinister recommendations against Government and police management.

It can't be right that within 8 months, we have lost a whopping 58 police officers, counting from January 2015. These are human beings that we are talking about, who have a unique mandate to protect you, the whole country and myself.

We also acknowledge the Premier of Gauteng who led a night vigil session on 7th August 2015 against police killings in partnership with Crime Line and Gauteng Community Police Board (CPF).

This is indeed a strong show of political will, commitment and message that say, there must be no disparity in response when a person kills a cop, and when a cop kills an unarmed civilian.

Violence towards people and police alike is NOT acceptable. And, thus stereotyping and prejudicing any kind of violence will not serve any purpose; it will rather escalate the problem.


The SAPS Top Management has also swiftly identified several strategies to implement to ensure that both people and police are safe.

For instance, the SAPS Management has adopted and is now implementing the National Police Safety Strategy, which is based on four pillars: (i) there is now a standardized regulatory environment to ensure police safety is a priority;

(ii) there are both proactive and reactive interventions to reduce the attacks and swiftly arrest the police killers; (iii) addressing non-compliance of the existing SAPS Employee Health and Wellness Support Programmes for members and their families;

And (iv) there are measures in place to monitor and evaluate the impact of this National Police Safety Plan, and to determine whether the strategy is effective or not in reducing unnatural deaths of our police officers.


Through this National Strategy, the modus operandi of perpetrators, threats and trends will be determined. There will be refresher courses to be given to ensure operational readiness for police officers.

In addition, appropriate security measures will be put in place at all police stations in order to effectively control and secure the environment in which the police officers work, thus, limiting risk of injury or death to our police officers, as well as members of the public.

The established multi-disciplinary Police Safety Committee meetings will be frequently held to ensure an integrated implemented plan towards police safety, which include all the members of the National Joint Operations (NAT JOC: NPA, Metro officials; etc).

There will also be a National Risk Register that is developed to register all attacks and murders of police officers both on and off duty, and ensuring that within 12 hours of the incident, the information is captured on the Information Management Framework, and for the immediate docket analysis by the Detective Services and DPCI (HAWKS).

The SAPS Employee Health and Wellness Programme will ensure that Police officers get debriefed regularly. The Trial Unit and Compliance Board are established to ensure operational compliance on all these plans.

The above-mentioned strategies and plans are all excellent efforts to ensure police- and people-safety alike.

Notwithstanding, Chairperson, the Ministry of Police will be the first to indicate that all these will remain excellent wish-lists, if the SAPS structural system in which these must be executed, is not improved with immediate effect.

When we talk about safety gear and equipment of police officers, and their availability or sustainability, we cannot confine ourselves ONLY to issues of Pocket Safety Guides; bullet proof vests; firearms and their safe-keeping; pepper sprays; safes; and resourced buildings.

It is also equally not necessary to always confine police failures to statistics. Statistics are not there to measure performance, but to plan for operations. For instance, if we compare 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 financial years, we will see that there was a 14.1% decrease in unnatural deaths of our police officers.


This means it is not about how many police officers have been killed, but it has all to do with the massive impact that a killing of a police officer has on our nation’s safety and the individual police officer’s immediate families.

It goes on to say then, that we must also include the necessary needs of individual police officers such as, the entry life as a student police officer at the academy; a living wage as a full-time police officer; a safe residence; a reliable transport to work; and indeed the physical and mental fitness of a police officer.

The above-mentioned have been mandated to the Deputy Minister of Police to ensure that the National Employee Health and Wellness Strategy is properly mainstreamed, customized and applied to the South African Police Service for a holistic SAPS Employee Health and Wellness Programme.

Therefore, matters of living conditions; family situations; career stagnation and lack of promotion of a police officer will be comprehensively addressed. A police officer with a healthy morale will perform his/her duties well.

Retshwanetse hokgema ledinako. We can’t expect police to be productive and happy xa bengenazo iindawo zokuhlala ezibafaneleyo. Kungoko sisithi kweli xesha sikulo we should look into the kind of work they are doing visa vie their salaries.


As police leadership we say, the Quality of Work Life Management must be the centre of all SAPS strategies; plans; and programmes that seek to enhance both police and people safety.

If Police Officers are tasked to ensure that all our citizens are safe in their homes, work places, places of worship and entertainment; then the Police Leadership must ensure that, in-turn, the police officers and their immediate families are also well looked after.

This means a police officer’s wellness and readiness should begin even before a police officer reports to a parade! Parades are used for inspecting members when they are reporting for duty to ensure operational readiness. But this exercise must not just be a mere compulsory routine for compliance.

Our Police Officers are the most important resource of the South African Police Service, and all employee support programmes must be inclusive of all factors that either contribute or hinder the inclusive welfare of the police officer.


Yes, the SAPS has one of the most extended and advanced trauma management and employee support programmes as compared to other government departments and policing agencies nationally and across the continent.

In the same vein, the SAPS has the most draconian, reactive and Constitutional non-aligned policies, which make it a toll-order for any visionary to implement all these excellent strategies, plans and programmes, that are mentioned above.

The SAPS Leadership thus needs the urgent support of Members of Parliament to help SAPS align all their operational instruments (policies, national instructions, and standing orders), by reviewing and amending all the relevant national policies and legislation (White Papers and Police Act), accordingly.

We have THREE fundamental documents to do this: (i) The National Development Plan; (ii) The National Employee Health and Wellness Framework; and (iii) Recommendations provided in the Farlam Commission Report as was tabled to the nation by the President.


All three documents have one common call for the Department of Police: revamp policing protocols for a professionalized South African Police Service as aligned to the Democratic Constitution.

Our system of governance is based on human rights. In this instance, in May 2015, the SAPS and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Human Rights, obligating the two organizations to collaborate with immediate effect, to ensure that the police and the community respect human rights at all times.

This memorandum of understanding sends a strong signal that the SAPS is committed to upholding the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and that as the Department of Police, we are resolute in our aim to conduct all our activities in line with the Bill of Rights.

The partnership must then be seen as a collaborative effort to ensure that police officials observe the correct rules and procedures when performing their important duties.


Yes, we agree that there are SOME bad apples within the South African Police Service, and we are decisively dealing with them, through measures that are already in place.

For instance, with the relevant prescripts, applicable legislation, and the Agreement we have with the SAHRC, we have already fired and criminally charged those police officers that used unnecessary brutal force against our citizens and other inhabitants of South Africa.

Everybody saw the judgment posed on the 8 former police officers that murdered Mido Macia.

We are thus confident that, our oversight and agreement frameworks that are in place, in the form of IPID and SAHRC, respectively, will, continue to investigate and monitor without fear and favour, police officers that are transgressing the laws of this country.


Police officers, who have been found guilty of any crime, are duly arrested, charged and prosecuted. And, every police officer knows that consequences are severe, if s/he is implicated in any corrupt or criminal act.

The recommendations of Farlam Commission will also be implemented. The Minister of Police is busy establishing a team of experts, to ensure that the curriculum coupled with the training of our police officers at SAPS Academies, are enhanced and strengthened.

But, as the SAPS Leadership, we will not allow certain so-called experts to vilify and negatively generalize about our police officers’ conduct. We will discredit with contempt any destructive criticism with a distorted notion that this country has no systems of good governance in place.

In conclusion Chairperson, to have a professional Police Service, we must have “a holistic support system to our human resource to ensure risk management, occupational health, safety, productivity and wellness of Government employees and their families, and the safety of citizens in the Public Service world of work” (DPSA Employee Health and Wellness Management Strategic Framework).

So, as the South African Police Service celebrates it 20 years of existence as a police service in a democratic society, let us utilize this given opportunity to strengthen the transformation of the SAPS for a front line service delivered by a professional police officer.
I thank you all.


Ms Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Spokesperson
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

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