Address by the Chairperson of Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO), the Acting National Commissioner of SAPS Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, St Georges Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa
24 May 2012
Programme Director, Captain CV Sabu
Honorable Minister of Police in the Republic of South Africa, Mr Nathi Mthethwa
Distinguished Police Chiefs from the SADC region
Director of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Mr Tanki Mathae
Head of the INTERPOL Regional Bureau-Harare, Mr Chilika Simfukwe
Member of the INTERPOL Executive Committee, Mr Kawai from Japan
INTERPOL Lyon, Head of Delegation Madam Elizabeth Kuteesa
Members of the SARPCCO Sub-Committees
Deputy National Commissioners present
Divisional and Provincial Commissioners of SAPS present
Representatives from the cooperating partners
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
Bonjour, Bom dia, Good morning, In Zulu we say Sanibonani, I am indeed greatly honoured and humbled to address this important meeting this morning, marking the annual meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chiefs of Police Sub Committee of the Inter-state Defence and Security Committee.
A special word of welcome to all of you gathered here this morning at this august meeting. It is exactly six months since I officially took over the chairmanship of Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) and I must say the responsibility thereof is massive and time consuming however the cooperation and support from the police chiefs from member countries is always positive and yield desired results.
Mr Minister Sir, may I take this opportunity and acknowledge your presence in this meeting. As our leader within the political fraternity, we always appreciate the support we receive from the government of the day in executing our duties with diligence and vigour, once again sir we welcome you this morning.
To the Police Chiefs from the SADC region present here this morning, allow me to extend a warm welcome from the heart of the rainbow nation South Africa. Of importance I would like to appreciate my counterparts for attending this important meeting, but further entrusting capable members from different countries with the responsibility from respective sub committees and technical organs supporting the Chiefs of Police in implementing the SARPCCO resolutions.
Equally our fundamental mandate as the Police Chiefs in this region can be met through effective and efficient cooperation by all member countries.
Hence my appreciation to all the esteemed delegates gathered here today - I extend a special word of welcome from the host country. Most of you kick started the conference agenda as early as Monday during the Heads of NCBs meeting and subsequent to that, the technical organs meeting held on Tuesday and yesterday. I have been reliably informed that the progress made thus far is quite impressive. We will of course wait with great expectation for a consolidated report to be presented by the chairperson of the PCSC later today.
It is of course, the successful implementation of the resolutions that will tell us, if our plans and strategies are not only looking good on paper but the results themselves speaks volumes and bears evidence to hard work aimed at overcoming our common challenge of fighting transnational crime in our region.
Minister Sir, The Southern African Region has had three new appointments of Police Chiefs in the past few months. I therefore invite the house to join me in congratulating Mr Charles Bisengimana appointed as Commissioner General of Police for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who unfortunately had to go back to the DRC yesterday to attend to other urgent matters of the state.
In our midst is, Mr Loti Dzonzi appointed as Commissioner General of Police for the Republic of Malawi and Madam Stella Mwaka Libongani appointed as Inspector General of Police for the Republic of Zambia. Malibongwe igama lamaKhosikazi! Phambili ngeMbokodo Phambili!
I hope that the region will take note of the “only rose” amongst us and that hopefully there will be “a bunch of roses” for the next meeting.
Distinguished guests and esteemed delegates, last week I led a South African delegation to a cross country visits to the SARPCCO member countries, as part of my responsibilities as the Chairperson. So far I have visited three countries, with the hope of visiting more before September when I hand over the chairmanship to Tanzania. Minister, I’m told I am yet to break the record set by the Inspector General of Police in Namibia, Mr Ndeintunga who visited all SARPCCO member countries during his tenure as the chairperson.
During my visit to the Republics of Tanzania and Zambia as well as the Kingdom of Lesotho. I must express my level of appreciation on the progress made so far, however I would also like reiterate and emphasise the importance of working together in achieving our goals and objectives. What emanated from the visit was the need to strengthen cooperation within the vehicle desks from member’s countries and to review the Standard Operating Procedures in this regard.
The harmonisation of our laws is one area that needs attention and progress. Of course the joint operations by member countries also need dedication and improvement for better results. Distinguished police chiefs, crime know no borders and hence it is imperative for us to work in an organised and strategic manner as family of nations resolute to fight crime.
Equally I would like to emphasise the crucial role played by the Regional Bureau in Zimbabwe and the SADC Secretariat in Botswana.
We acknowledge the work done so far however we call for improvement in particular towards the synergy of the two offices in supporting the business of the police chiefs.
Ladies and gentlemen allow me to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Chiefs of Police and their teams from Tanzania, Zambia and Lesotho for the warm reception the delegation received and for arranging the order of proceedings that allowed us to enjoy the hospitality, exquisite cuisine and traditional dance displays. We were deeply honoured to have met the Ministers of Police as well as other Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretary and High Commissioners in the respective countries.We had fruitful engagements and we are looking forward to the same as we visit other member countries in the near future.
We also wish our counterparts in Lesotho a peaceful election period this week. We have also noted the apology from the Acting Police Chief of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service and his team, because of the engagement I have eluded too.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I observe the level of cooperation and commitment from the region. I am reminded of soccer, as the sport with many followers. Currently the atmosphere is so vibrant and jubilant because of the teams who won the League titles both in our country, the Premier Soccer League and one example of the English Premier League.
One significance, I can draw is the spirit of togetherness and working towards a common goal of 'Winning' - it doesn't matter who scores or defends but what matters is the team 'Winning'. Well on the lighter note I would have loved to see my own team winning the league, nevertheless we are happy for those who won. Distinguished police chiefs, we are playing for the same team; our goal is to win over criminals and to provide a safe corridor in our region by destabilising the syndicates who are hell-bent to distract our focus.
Once again, South Africa will be the host of another spectacular football competition in Africa, the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2013. The renowned success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was made possible by the regional cooperation and support.
Let's do it again and showcase our capability of delivering yet another safe and successful Africa Cup of Nations on behalf of our beloved continent.
Ladies and gentlemen last year South Africa hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, (commonly known as “COP 17”) in Durban from the 28th of November to the 9th of December 2011. The event was viewed as an overwhelming success. This once again is largely attributed to your support and contributions. It is encouraging to note that we remain willing role players to support one another in respect of our mandate as member countries.
The challenges facing our region needs collective effort and determination. One serious crime that is crippling the African continent lately is the challenge of rhino pouching, our region in particular has a syndicate in this regard, which we must attack with all the resources and capacity we have. This is a serious crime against nature and heritage ladies and gentlemen hence all our planning and strategies must be seen to crackdown the backbone of this syndicate.
Jennifer James once said that “Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey.”As the SARPCCO Chairperson, I have realised that it is best to rely on the guidance and support of fellow companions and compatriots that has walked the same path before.
Distinguished guests, my duty was just to welcome you all to this meeting and to set the proceedings of the day in motion. I believe that everyone has already made South Africa his/her home away from home. Yesterday we had a wonderful time during the gala dinner where most of you were in attendance. It is a pity that time will not be on your side to visit interesting tourist’s sites of this beautiful country. Once again a warm South African welcome to all of you and I certainly hope that you will be able to fulfil the purpose of attending this meeting.
I wish this meeting fruitful deliberations.
Ngiyabonga, I thank you.
Issued by: South African Police Service
24 May 2012
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