Ricochet News

Task team being assembled to transform and reform the SAPS

JANUARY 25, 2016
Task team being assembled to transform and reform the SAPS

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says a panel of experts is being assembled to assist in implementing transformation and reforms in the South African Police Service (SAPS) as per the recommendations of the Marikana Commission of Enquiry.

President Jacob Zuma in June last year released the report of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, appointed to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana during 11 to 16 August 2012. About 44 people lost their lives and many others were injured.

At a media briefing in Pretoria earlier on Sunday, the Police Minister said: “The commission made recommendations on how we should implement transformations and reforms in the South African Police Service.”

A key recommendation was that a panel of experts should be appointed.

The panel will, among other things, look at reviewing public order policing, analysing international best practice, revising and amending standing procedures and orders including all other prescripts relevant to public order policing, investigating the adequacy and inadequacy of public order policing methods and other available tools and equipment for use in non-lethal or less force environments.

In response to the Marikana Commission on Enquiries’ recommendations, the Ministry of Police held consultation meetings with a number of stakeholders with a view to getting a pool of suitable men and women who can assist in implementing the findings of the commission.

“We have received nominations from a number of stakeholders and the nominees were considered by the Minister for appointment to the panel,” the Minister said.

The commission said that the recommendations of the National Planning Commission to demilitarize and professionalize the SAPS should be implemented as a matter of priority.

This includes that staffing and resourcing of the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) be reviewed to ensure that it is able to carry out its functions effectively.

Minister Nhleko said the SAPS would this year focus on transformation.

“We have been given a mandate to ensure that the South African Police Service is a professional, demilitarised service that is aimed at conducting policing in an integrated manner while working together with our communities,” he said.

The mandate to transform the SAPS, together with the recommendations of the Marikana Commission, will be the key guiding tools to the transformation and institutional reform programme.

Minister Nhleko said the last quarter of 2015/16 was going to be full of activity as they ignite transformation and institutional reform in the police service.

“Our focus on improving the investigation and detection of crime will continue in this quarter and in the new financial year in order for us to improve and begin to be proactive in our fight against crime.

“We will continue to ensure more police visibility in our communities and business districts with a view to ensure that the people of South Africa are and feel safe,” he said.