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Key Note Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police, Hon. Ms. Makhotso Maggie Sotyu (MP) at the Directorate of Priority Investigation (DPCI) Vehicle Launch.
08 April 2015

Programme Director,
National Commissioner of Police, General Phiyega,
Acting Head of DPCI, Maj Gen Ntlemeza,
Acting Executive Director of IPID
All SAPS Top Management,
Police Officers and officials,
All SAPS Stakeholders present (Unions, CPFs, etc)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, I would like to convey our Minister's apology. The Minister of Police had planned to participate at this event, but had to cancel at short notice, to attend to an urgent matter under his direct responsibility as the Executive Authority.

National Commissioner of Police, the last time I visited this building was in 2008, when I was given a humongous task to disband the Scorpions, in my then capacity as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Safety and Security. After this process, we then began with a task to establish a new Directorate that would replace the discredited Scorpions.

The naming of this new Directorate was equally challenging. However, after a host of proposed names, that included "Black Mamba", "Cobra", etc, we settled for the HAWKS.

The bird known as the Hawk is famous for its fierce reputation, which will defend its territory with focus and zeal. So, we wanted a Directorate that will not only sting, but that will also strategize in its attack against highly sophisticated organised criminals.

I am happy then to witness today the launch of the new branding of the HAWKS, along with its new fleet of cars to fight crime and corruption.

A year ago, on 24th April 2014 to be precise, the SAPS launched a Programme called the SAPS/SASSETA Special K53 Project, to ensure that our entry-level police officers get advanced training on motor vehicle driving skills.

This programme was a direct intervention to remedy a challenge that emanated from the Apartheid era, where then, it was a strict requirement to have a driver’s license on application to join the Police Force.

As a Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Safety and Security then, in 2005, together with the ANC Members of that Parliamentary Committee, we realized that this strict requirement prejudiced and thus discriminated against our young people, in particular those from the rural areas, who wished and had a potential to be good police officers.

There could be no way that these youngsters or their parents (farm workers/domestic workers/unemployed), would have owned a vehicle to practice with.

When I was appointed a Deputy Minister of Police in 2010, I then realized that the damage was already done. Some of our police officers could have had already bought these drivers licenses just to be accepted at the SAPS academies, for many of the constables at police stations could not drive.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there are many aspects to police work, but driving must also lie at the top of the importance list.

The driving techniques are of vital importance for the both the police and people’s safety, thus every police officer must get this valuable K53 advanced driving training to be able to be precise in times of severe destructions and disturbances.

So, Major Genera Ntlemeza, I do hope that all those police officers that will make use of these vehicles, will be properly trained in advanced driving.

Because, what I have recognized since I came into the SAPS is that, the problem we always find here is not, and has never been, lack of resources and tools.

It has always been the wrong use or choice of that particular tool, and ending up struggling far more than necessary to accomplish the task at hand, and thus become non-productive.

This means, we have been a Department that refused to be flexible and innovative. Otherwise, how do you explain consistent problems of repairing and maintaining the SAPS fleet? Why is it that we continue to hear and see SAPS’ vehicles being parked in various garages across the country, without being fixed?

I am today pleading with the SAPS Top Management to acknowledge that SAPS is a big organization, and policing will continue to be a dynamic profession. Therefore, you need to adjust, because solutions to yesterday’s problems may as well become our present challenges.

Of course, it will take an emotional intelligent management to remain flexible and to make adjustments where it is required. And, that intelligent management will also know that, innovation and changes needed cannot be achieved without the support of all stakeholders in our society.

We expect the community to accept responsibility of maintaining all policing resources and tools, because after all, everyone must share the responsibility for the safety and well being of both the police and the people in the community.

We must all together, continue to forge partnerships among residents, business, police, community leaders, and the three-spheres of Government, to solve our community problems.

With this approach, we will then surely have a thriving, effective and efficient sector policing. So, allocating these vehicles across the DPCI provincial offices, must solely be informed by appropriate audited and identified needs of that provincial office.

We don’t expect you General Ntlemeza, to allocate a Sedan to a hilly province that would have required a four-by-four, for instance. We expect smarter strategies for smarter implementation plans.

I thank you all.


Ms Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Spokesperson
Office of the Deputy Minister of Police
Ministry of Police
Private Bag X463
Tel: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4677023
Fax: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4614174
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

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