Links | Contact us | Find us | FAQ
top banner

Home >> Newsroom >> Speech
Key note address by the Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Makhotso Maggie Sotyu (MP), South African Police Service related complaints Indaba / Dialogue.
06 March 2014

Programme Director,
Chairperson of Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police
Secretary of Police, Ms Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane,
SAPS Management present,
IPID Representatives,
All Stakeholders present,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When this initiative of a police service related complaints dialogue was first brought to my attention, I immediately marvelled at the Civilian Secretary for Police, Ms Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, and her entire team for taking the bull by its horns. For, Clause 4(4) of the Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service Act No. 2 of 2011 reads as follows:
“The Civilian Secretariat…must exercise its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice in the interest of maintaining effective and efficient policing and a high standard of professional ethics in police service”.
Indeed, we can now proudly say we have the right people in the right positions to give effect to this legislation. Otherwise we would not have had this constructive engagement today, had it not been a bold and decisive undertaking by the Civilian Secretariat for Police to not only create an opportunity for key stakeholders to share knowledge and information on complaints against police.
But, also to intend to establish an acceptable criteria of response and promoting innovative and sustainable solutions to effective police service delivery by all key stakeholders present here.
As we celebrate 20 years of democracy, we can safely say that all those visionary leaders, who called for a creation of structures of civilian oversight, can now rest assured that, there can never be a possibility and experience of a police state, ever again.
For, democratic institutions in form of Chapter 9 Institutions (Public Protector; South African Human Rights Commission; Commission for Gender Equality; Auditor-General; Electoral Commission) have been established to promote democratic accountability, transparency and openness within our Democratic Government as led by the African National Congress.
And, for the past five years, this Government has intervened to strengthen this young democracy by establishing further two major independent oversight bodies, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the Civilian Secretariat for Police, to ensure that our Police officers and their conduct are accountable not to unto themselves, but to the civilian authority.
Both oversight bodies are mandated to monitor police action and to ensure that the SAPS put in place, effective systems for the reporting and resolution of complaints from the public.
Today, I believe you (Presidential Hotline; National SAPS Inspectorate; Parliament; Public Protector; IPID and the Civilian Secretariat of Police) are all converged here to come up with practical recommendations to improve management of these complaints against the SAPS so as to achieve police performance and public confidence in the Police and our Criminal Justice System.
We are certainly not here to finger pointing and to a blaming-game; as there is no single entity in this room, including Secretariat of Police and IPID, that can claim it can solve complaints problems on its own.
What is very clear though is that, within your respective oversight/monitoring mandates, there is a lot of conflict, fragmentation, duplication, inconsistencies, and turf-wars in your respective complaints-handling systems and processes. And, with these incompatible systems, there is unfortunately, a lot of fruitless expenditure in human and financial resources.
How do you explain these discrepancies in handling public complainants: for instance, is it fair for complainants to wait more than a month without getting feedback on their complaints? Is it fair for someone to wait for more than 6 months without a response? What are the consequences on that?
Is it fair that citizens within the same country get different services, i.e. the same complaint take a month to be processed in province Z, but in province X it takes 6 months; some provinces have effective electronic systems and others not; some have resources such as personnel others not; some have policies and process flows to guide complaints, others not.    
Why there are there duplication and fragmentation in the services? Are there consequences for those units/ divisions that are not responding to complaints on time? How do you ensure that these different entities are communicating and acting more effectively& efficiently? Are complaints run in an effective and efficient manner; do we have right policies and strategies, right systems, good set of resources, structures, clear performance standards, skills etc?  
One of the fundamental aspects of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act is that it ensures cooperation between itself, the SAPS and the IPID. For instance, the Civilian Secretariat for Police is responsible for monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by IPID to the SAPS.
We are thus hopeful as the Ministry of Police that, this cooperation can transcend to all other similar oversight bodies/structures converged here.
We are happy with the great work done by Civilian Secretariat for Police, and we certainly thank you for facilitating such a crucial workshop. As South African government, in particular Minister of Police and myself are taking this issue very seriously.
That is why we have invested so much energy on it.  Once the dialogue is finalized, the Leadership will meet with the heads of the entities and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Conduct Unit to discuss for a concrete way forward.  
We want to see the suggestions emanating from this dialogue reflected in the future strategy and performance management structures and systems of all our entities, such Annual Performance Plans (APP’s), Performance Agreements (PEPs) at all levels; 5-year strategic plans and budgets, etc.
I understand that this is not an event but a process where several engagements will continue to consolidate the way forward on this matter.
Lastly, I am also informed that there are people amongst you who are volunteers, and who have worked very hard without remuneration to ensure this dialogue becomes a success. We say thank you very much.
Once more thank you all for your time to serve this country; may you have a great, robust and constructive engagement.
I thank you all.

For enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Acting Spokesperson: Deputy Minister of Police
Ministry of Police 
Tel: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4677023
Fax: +27 12 3934614 / 21 4614174
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

bursa escort - bursa escort - bursa escort - bursa escort -