Address by the Deputy Minister of Police, Honourable M M Sotyu (MP): The tabling of the Independent Complaints Directorate's (ICD) Annual Report for 2010/11 and the release of its statistics, at the National Press Club
29 Sep 2011
Chairperson of the National Press Club, Ms. Doreen Gough
Executive Director of the ICD, Mr Francois Beukman
Senior Management of the ICD,
Members of the National Press Club
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for this opportunity to share with you some of our thoughts on the tabling of the ICD’s Annual Report 2010/ 11 and the release of its statistics.
This morning, the Minister of Police tabled the Annual Report of the ICD for 2010/ 11 in Parliament. This report contains the performance report of the ICD, the report of the Auditor-General, the Audited Financial Statements of the ICD and other relevant information covering the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.
As the Ministry of Police, we are pleased that the ICD has obtained an unqualified audit from the Auditor-General for the second year running. This clearly demonstrates a commitment by the management of this institution to improve corporate governance, under the leadership of Mr Beukman, as Executive Director.
As the ministry, we want to commend Mr Beukman and his team and hope that this trend continues beyond the period under review.
One of the ICD’s main strategic goals is to promote proper police conduct in line with the principles of the Constitution. Compared with the statistics in last year’s report, there has been a seven percent decrease in deaths in custody or because of police action.
Misconduct cases decreased by 15 percent and cases of non-compliance with the Domestic Violence Act (Act 116 of 1998) decreased with 19 percent.
However, challenges are still experienced concerning certain categories of offences committed by police officers, such as cases of rape, which have increased by 92 percent and domestic violence related deaths, which have doubled.
These challenges will be addressed with the implementation of the new legislation for the ICD.The investigation, as well as the reporting of both these categories of offences will become mandatory when the new legislation comes into effect.
As an investigative body, it is important for the ICD to focus on:
- completing investigations of deaths in custody or as a result of police action
- completing investigations of complaints of criminality against members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) or municipal police services.
The completion of such investigations is an important measure of the ICD’s performance. The Ministry has noted that, the ICD managed to finalise 82 percent of cases of deaths in custody or because of police action, exceeding the target of 65 percent by 17 percent.
Equally, the ICD completed 83 percent of its investigations into allegations of criminality against members of the SAPS. This means that they exceeded the target of 55 percent by 28 percent.
These performance figures are a clear indication of improvement in the efforts made to strengthen civilian oversight over the police.
Current challenges experienced by the ICD in the delivery of its mandate are:
- the late or non-reporting of deaths and priority crimes
- the lack of co-operation with regards to identification parades
- the lack of implementation of ICD’s recommendations and a lack of feedback from the SAPS in that regard, and
- the limited footprint of the ICD which not only impacts on the accessibility to its services, but also on investigators’ ability to immediately attend crime scenes, without delay.
As you know, the president signed the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Bill into law on 12 May 2011.
This process was started in 2005 by the Portfolio Committee on Police with the objective to strengthen civilian police oversight in line with international best practice. As a result, hereof, the ICD will soon become known as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
This legislation will provide the IPID with the necessary authority in the following ways:
- the focus on the types of investigations to be conducted is sharpened, namely:
- any deaths in police custody
- deaths as a result of police actions
- any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer
- rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty
- rape of any person while that person is in police custody
- any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of his or her duties
- may investigate corruption matters within the police initiated by the Executive Director on his or her own, or after the receipt of a complaint from a member of the public, or referred to the Directorate by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary, as the case may be, and
- any other matter referred to it as a result of a decision by the Executive Director, or if so requested by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary as the case may be.
- An obligation to act on or respond to the IPID’s disciplinary recommendations is placed on the National Commissioner in that he must:
- within 30 days of receipt thereof, initiate disciplinary proceedings in terms of the recommendations made by the Directorate and inform the Minister in writing, and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary
- quarterly submit a written report to the Minister on the progress regarding disciplinary matters made and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary, and
- immediately on finalisation of any disciplinary matter referred to it by the Directorate, to inform the Minister in writing of the outcome thereof and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary.
- the members of the SAPS or Medical Protection Society (MPS) must provide their full cooperation to the Directorate, including but not limited to:
- the arrangement of an identification parade within 48 hours of the request made by the Directorate
- the availability of members for the taking of an affidavit or an affirmed declaration or to give evidence or produce any document in that member’s possession or under his or her control which has a bearing on the matter being investigated, and
- any other information or documentation required for investigation purposes.
We encourage the ICD to continue forging new sets of and strengthen its stakeholder relationships, emphasising cooperation, accountability, transparency and responsiveness as pillars of not only a strong independent and accountable oversight body, but also a confident and empowered general public, that has trust in the police service both at national, provincial and local government levels.
As we join hands with ICD towards working together with stakeholders at government and non-government level, as well as stakeholders in research institutions and civil society in contributing towards a safe and secure South Africa for all and, let us all have one consensus that our innocent citizens do deserve to have the state protection from the careless, heartless and deadly conduct of criminals, including a police officer who acts unlawfully.
Central to this objective, ICD must make sure that its overall mandate is applied and implemented consistently and unambiguously for the good and well-being of our men and women in blue.
In conclusion, as the Ministry of Police, we support the ICD/ IPID in its quest to investigate police brutality. From the safety and security perspective, a better life for all requires, among other things, an independent investigative body that is committed to contribute to combat crime and corruption while at the same time entrench a culture of human rights and community-cantered approach in policing.
I want to thank you all for your interest and support of our work as the Ministry of Police and the support you give to institutions such as the ICD/ IPID.
I trust that you will continue to support the new IPID by making sure that you profile its work and make people aware of the important work that lies ahead. The public needs to be aware of the IPID and its mandate and the media plays a pertinent role in taking that message to the people.
I thank you.
Issued by: South African Police Service
29 Sep 2011
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