Transcript of Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Programme of Action media briefing statement by Minister Jeff Radebe (MP) Chairman of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster Imbizo Media Centre, Cape Town
11 November 2009
Panel: Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Home Affairs, Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, Secretary of the Police Ministry
A special welcome to the representatives of national and international media to whom we are providing an update today on the work of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster of government.
We welcome and value this opportunity as part of our ongoing engagement with all sectors of society, in the spirit of the official theme of government, which declares that working together, we can do more.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is not coincidental that Ministers are today displaying their support for our National Soccer Team, Bafana Bafana. But this is part of the Football Friday Campaign which was recently launched by the Honourable Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe for government employees including the executive to display the spirit of a winning nation and contribute towards a memorable World Cup. The campaign is meant to show support for our national team, Bafana Bafana, by wearing football supporter kit every Friday until the 2010 FIFA World Cup and attend matches across the country. This campaign was initiated by the Southern Sun hotel group, and it has now become an official, national celebration. All South Africans and anyone living in our country are invited to fly the flag, learn the national anthem, display and embrace our national symbols with pride and display the spirit of ubuntu to the world.
Reconfiguration of the cluster
This brings me to the business of the day. You may recall that as part of the process of improving coordination within government and enhancing the delivery of services, the Presidency recently announced the reconfiguration of Ministerial Clusters, including JCPS.
This cluster is now chaired by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, with the Minister of Police as Deputy Chair. Departments are:
* Correctional Services
* Defence and Military Veterans
* Home Affairs
* Justice and Constitutional Development
* State Security.
One of the cluster’s fundamental objectives is to provide for integrated approach in the implementation of programmes of different departments that fall under law enforcement and security umbrella. These programmes at the end all contribute towards a common goal, one of ensuring that our country is a place where its people will continue to live in freedom and security.
Let us now have a look at these programmes.
2010 FIFA World Cup
This Cluster will roll out a plan that will ensure that we host the first FIFA.
World Cup on African soil with efficiency and flair
The following points therefore have to be reiterated:
* The South African Police Force (SAPF) is spending R640 million on the deployment of 41 000 officers specifically for the event. This includes 31 000 permanent members and 10 000 police reservists
* There will be a total of 54 dedicated courts spread across the country to expeditiously deal with criminal matters that relate to the tournament
* The introduction of Advance Passenger Processing in partnership with the airlines and the deployment of Immigration Liaison Officers at key international airports will ensure ease of access in and out of the country.
Home Affairs enhancements
The Home Affairs Information System (HANIS) currently houses 33 million sets of fingerprints and more than 13 million pictures. This system will combat corruption and protect the integrity of our identity and travel documents.
Live capture technology has been introduced into 40 regional offices to secure data captured at front offices. It is currently used for passport applications and will be extended to ID applications during 2010.
The abridged birth certificate has been upgraded to include the details of one parent (especially the mother). The inclusion of additional information will go a long way in curbing the misuse of birth certificates.
We are establishing a single border management entity in line with international practice. It will result in a uniform and integrated approach to securing the border line and managing ports of entry.
Criminal justice system review
A number of initiatives are currently underway to overhaul the Criminal Justice System in order to make it more efficient and effective. These interventions include the following:
* Police personnel will be increased by 24 680 from 180 180 to 204 860 over the next three years
* The capacity of the Forensic Science Laboratories, will increase by an additional funding of R150 million for the 2008/09 financial year and a further R50 million per year, in the 2011 to 2012 financial year
* A total of 14 977 new constables will be allocated to the Detective Services in the provinces after completing in-service training during this financial year
* The number of prosecutors has increased by 83 since April from 2 488 to 2 571
* To assist the speedy resolution of trials, 45 backlog courts have to date been established countrywide to finalize long-outstanding, trial-ready cases. At the end of August 2009, a total of 10 799 cases were finalized at an average of 10.8 cases per court per month
* The number of awaiting-trial detainees was reduced by 1 802 from 48 547 to 46 745 between April and July this year.
War on Crime
This Cluster is investigating ways to establish and strengthen community safety forums that will go beyond the “neighbourhood watch” model of securing communities, to instead look at how various Government and community stakeholders can work together to build stable, cohesive, caring and vigilant communities.
During the period under review, nine organised crime projects were successfully terminated and 53 related arrests were made. Also during this time, 5 080 illegal firearms were confiscated.
National Defence Force
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is fulfilling its constitutional mandate to defend the country and its people. We will maintain our commitments within and outside the borders of the republic. We commit to a dedicated military force that performs its duties with resolve.
On Military Veterans: To recognise contribution the military veterans made towards achieving democracy we have established a ministerial task team on military veterans consisting of members of the military veterans associations and representatives of various stakeholders.
Overcrowded prisons large numbers of awaiting-trial detainees who cannot afford small amounts of bail set by the courts and the need to successfully reintegrate former prisoners into society remain significant challenges in the area of corrections.
To address these challenges, we will use provisions under the Criminal Procedures Act that allow accused persons or prosecutors to apply to courts to reduce the amount of bail set by relevant courts, or that allow the heads of correctional centres to release accused persons on warning in lieu of bail. We have Bail Protocol in place signed by all the JCPS cluster departments to facilitate for this.
While nearly 15 000 prisoners are participating in literacy, basic education and training, and further education and training programmes, this represents a small proportion of the overall prison population, and demands that more be done to equip a greater number of offenders for their return to society.
Questions and answers:
Journalist: (Speaking off the microphone) Finally it has been said that the best deterrence to crime is to have a well armed populist and I wonder if you were considering the ownership of arms could also be made easier and the licensing of firearms and related to that question to be possible so that homeowners or residents in who are subjected to crime will be able to defend themselves.
Journalist: I have two questions you referred to the South African Police Service (SAPS) - have that name change been affected or is this now the correct name. To the Minister of Home Affairs: how are we doing with regard to the visa requirements for Britain?
Journalist: On a lighter note are the three Ministers here rugby supporters? The first point Parliament has approved the request for a gun amnesty. Does this not fly in the face of two court orders the first one from the Cape bench which was that compensation should be paid and the Minister of Police had 90 days to work out how he was going to do it and that result from weapons handed in already? The second judgment from the Pretoria bench was that all old licenses are valid until such time the constitutionality of the Firearms Control Act has been determined. My second point has the cluster discussed all these what was described by MP’s yesterday inflammatory calls for the police to shoot to kill and which apparently which is resulting in an increase of people being shot by the police including a three year old holding a lollipop or a pipe.
Journalist: Just one thing the media reports this week said that the Japanese team which is playing Bafana Bafana were warned not to leave their hotel rooms at night and not to travel around PE at night and we all know this is ridiculous. But there was also report that the German national team were told to wear bullet proof vests. Do you foresee a situation whereby national teams coming here and supporters coming here will be coming with private security and all these things to guard themselves. Do you think that a negative perception is going out there about the country and how do you counter that about security in the country with regards to football teams coming here and supporters coming here for the World Cup.
Jeff Radebe: The Minister who is responsible for this initiative is the Minister of State Security as a cluster we started this discussion on this matter because it is of a strategic security importance for our country but I’m sure when we are done with the deliberations there will be more information that will be given but it’s one that is been given the highest priority. State security involves Home Affairs, Health, Justice, SARS, Agriculture there is a really comprehensive overhaul of how we manage our key points in South Africa especially points of entry. On the issue of where have not yet discussed but the President expressed a desire that we need to engage on this issue of the armed population of South Africa but we have not as yet discussed as to how this matter can be resolved. On Section 49 I think when people write they exaggerate, the amendment of Section 49 arises from a Constitutional Court judgment by former Justice Kriegler in the case of the Minister of Safety and Security and Waters, stipulated clear guidelines that need to be followed by the police so that is precisely what we are doing at the moment as Justice together with the police so that we can ensure that this amendment is in line with the guideline that was set in the case. So I will ask Minister of Home Affairs to deal with the other matters.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: Maybe to add on the one about populist we must remember that most of the arms that are in criminal hands are actually legally obtained guns that the owners have lost or have not looked after properly and they have landed in the hands of criminals, legally owned by the police but also quite a lot from the population itself. So I think the security of the arms that people get legally is very important so that they don’t fall into the hands of criminals. On the question of visas we are not negotiating anything with the British. I found this thing already in place and there was a subjective and objective issue why the British introduced the visa and until we deal with all those reasons I don’t see any point in going to renegotiate. Once we are satisfied that we have dealt with the issues of concern that maybe we will renegotiate but maybe by that time the money they get from the visas that they might not want to reverse it. This issue about Japanese and Germans I thought the Germans did refuted themselves. I think part of the perception is us repeating the same thing when we know it’s not true it also fuels that perception I thought Germans were asked and they refuted it and it must then be buried; but if we keep on repeating it in the end we end up all believing that it’s true. I don’t know about the Japanese that they’ve been told not to leave their hotels what is important for us as South Africans the Government and the media is to make sure that what we are doing so that when people come here as tourists and also coming for the World Cup what is it that the country is doing to make sure they are safe rather than to look at what other people are saying which is negative and putting it in our newspapers and television and so on. We should be sending a message of what we are doing to secure the country that would be my view. Thank you.
Jeff Radebe: Increasingly the world is aware of the capability and capacity of South Africa to host major events. If one look at the Climate Change Conference held in South Africa in 2002 which was the biggest at the time demonstrate our capacity to host peacefully such major events. The Non Alliance Movement, the Rugby World Cup, Cricket, rock concerts of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson you name it all of these are indicative of our expertise as South Africa to host these events without any hitch. Confederations Cup recently so I think people need to cool down about this issue. We hold such big events even better than many established democracies around ourselves. Even though we should not say nothing will happen but I think the plans that have been put in place makes us to be very confident that the 2010 World Cup will be in good hands in terms of the plans we have done.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: There is one question we forgot the one about the President’s statement. I think he says that if a criminal points a gun at you he is not pointing it as a warning if you are a policeman and he really illustrated it by a policeman who said three times to a criminal put your gun down and the criminal did not and the criminal ended shooting the policeman. I think his not giving a wholesale shooting instruction he was specifically saying when the police is faced with a criminal who is about to kill the police what does the police do so I think it’s important to keep it in proper perspective what he has said.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: Just on the firearms amnesty issue the compensation issue does not affect the firearms amnesty. The guidelines for compensation are actually in the process of being published in the government gazette as we speak. In terms of the additional court case that also doesn’t affect the firearms amnesty. The firearms amnesty is aimed at looking at illegal weapons and some of those weapons have been inherited so when a person passes on and had a license firearm and now the weapon is in the hands of family members but it’s now an illegal firearm this amnesty process will allow those people to hand in their firearms. It will also allow people who don’t have the legal storage facilities to be able to store significant amount of weapons, gun dealers etc, to make use of the amnesty to hand it in. The amnesty is also aimed at gunsmiths, private security, companies etc that have excessive amounts of stock to be able to make use of this amnesty process to get rid of redundant weapons. In addition you would have people that would have had a firearm and would have sold the firearm but would still be in possession of ammunition etc and who are now in an illegal position of such things; they will now be able to hand in under the amnesty process so we don’t the court cases in any way impact on the amnesty process. And if one looks at the 2005 amnesty process I think we almost had 33 000 illegal firearms handed in during that time so we do believe we will have successes during this amnesty process in addressing some of the illegal weapons out there. The issue of the change of name hasn’t been discussed by the cluster yet.
Andries Nel: When we discuss Section 49 deals specifically with arrest and what the powers of the police are in arresting suspected criminals and what it says you are allowed to use force and if necessary deadly force under certain circumstances. The law specifies that and the Constitutional Court has also pronounced itself and given clear guidelines. So that when we talk about the amendment of Section 49 we are talking about removing any possible ambiguity on our statue book on what the Police can and can’t do. We are removing any ambiguity in line with the pronouncement of the highest court in our land. The question raised by Mr Hamlin deals with something entirely different; his dealing with matters that are dealt with and have been dealt with in our common law and that is the use of violence in the context of defending yourself or defending others against illegal or unlawful acts by others. There again there is an established jurisprudence that specifies under what circumstances you can use force, what kind of force you can use. If there is an intruder that comes into your house with a gun you find that person in your bedroom I think the case law is quite clear when your or the life of somebody else is in danger you can use deadly force. If someone comes onto your property and wants to steal your wheelbarrow out of your garden I don’t think the use of force can be clearly justified. But I think that is something else than what is dealt with in Section 49.
Journalist: I understand about Section 49, I am talking about the apparent effect of wild statements from Government about shooting to kill and the apparent effect that is having on the attitude of the police. Police should know about Section 49, they are already allowed to shoot under certain legal conditions. But all these wild statements appear, I mean there is a young women sitting in a car that got killed, a street walker who was suspected on some crime got shot and killed, a 3 year old sitting in a car got killed. All these wild statement seem to be having an effect on the attitude of the police. 7 robbers were ambushed and butchered and the head of Police in Polokwane said, in this Province we kill them. Are you concerned, have the cluster discussed what’s happening to the attitude of the police as a result of all this wild talk?
Jeff Radebe: We need to put the context under which those statements were made by the relevant Minister. We can explain even the commission of a robbery where some of those people were killed by the police, bearing arms of war.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: I think we need to distinguish between what happened in Limpopo and some of the other incidence that you relate to. When you are talking about dealing with people like you cash in transit heist robbers, you are talking about heavily armed people who are out there with the intend of actually committing a crime and if they are interfered with, they will shoot and kill whoever gets in their way. There have been horrendous incidence not only of police officers being killed but also of the security guards accompanying the cash being killed and burned to death, In those instances that is where the Section 49 and the need for the police officers to be able to defend themselves and members of the public and the security is necessary. But when one begins to talk about some of the shootings that have been taking place that have been highlighted, those are the things which I think one needs to understand that those shootings didn’t just occur over the last couple of months.
Over the last three years the Ministry has noticed an increase in the number of shootings of civilians by police officers. So I don’t think you can attribute those shootings directly to what is being printed quite sensationally in the media. Those shootings have been increasing over the last three years and to counter that I think what has happened is that the ministry have made it very clear that when we talk about the self defence aspect of the legislation, we are talking about violent criminals, we are not talking about general members of the public. Also to address that the ministry is putting in place and strengthening the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) to begin to deal with these issues within the South African Police Service. And already we have seen the impact of that strengthening, the arrest of the police officer for the shooting of the three yerasr old who was arrested and denied bail as a result of an ICD investigation.
Also what we are going to be doing in the new year is introducing separate Legislation for the ICD which will even strengthen its hand further.
Journalist: Who is in control of the statements that are being made? Mr Fikile Mbalula yesterday talked about collateral damage and how it is unavoidable. Is he talking under the auspicious of the police? Who is giving him the mandate and is it acceptable for him to say that.
Presenter (Bongi): I am sure that we will make time to speak to the relevant Minister involved in these statements. I am going to redirect our attention to the report and the work of the cluster.
Journalist: I think the question from Pretoria should be answered. The secretary of the police, what is that? My second question relate to the IDs, the statements says the details of the mother has to be there, I just want to find out what the logic is behind that? My final question relates to the Section 49 issues, I was there when the police was shot in Jeppes Town, Johannesburg, I remember the horror of that incident very well. What happens is when these things do happen it’s within a spilt of a second. It could also happen that the child can be used as bait when these things happen. What I don’t get is what the police should do to protect the innocent people.
Journalist: Mr. Radebe, last year the Deputy Minister of Justice Johnny De Lange made a series of rather comprehensive presentations to Parliament about the Criminal Justice System Review; after that an office of the Criminal Justice System Review was established and we haven’t heard a lot since. Is that office still functioning? Who is in charge of that office? And has goals and targets been set for the next year and beyond, measurable goals like Legislation or reconfiguration of Departments or courts ect.
Journalist: The border line security has been shifted from the Department of Defence to the Police, it’s been said in numerous committee meetings in the past few months that there is a consideration to move it back to the Department of Defence or to combine that. I’m not talking about the ports of entry; I’m talking about the whole border line. The name of the possible change of the police service and the ranks, surely that requires legislation changes. It’s been said that it’s being considered by the national police head. Will those changes happen next year, it’s been said that it hasn’t been discussed by the cluster but surely we have been hearing all these questions. What is happening with that?
Jeff Radebe: On the last question of border line, Cabinet will be discussing this issue next week. So I think we should await the Minister of Defence, what will be the outcome of that deliberation. On the Criminal Justice Review System, the cluster has discussed the report, a research was started by our predecessor, and good progress is being made. We are going to be getting Cabinet approval for the programme of action, but as a cluster we have agreed on a 7 point plan of how to move forward. So I suggest that we just have to wait because we will make a comprehensive report even to the public as to what is going to be happening.
There are teams in Justice and all the clusters involved who are working very hard to implement this. And some of the initiatives that are being taken by the whole of the JCPS cluster also emanate from that understanding of how we need to move things within the Criminal Justice Cluster. Section 49 I don’t know what else we are required to say on this matter because the Deputy and I have explained that Section 49 is being amended so that there should be no ambiguity on how the police should behave themselves when they find themselves in a situation where they have to defend when an arrester, when the suspect is threatening and using force against them. I will propose that if we can even distribute this judgment by Justice Kriegler. It sets out clear guidelines of how police should behave under those circumstances.
I do agree with you those things happen in a split second, but I’m sure the place will internalise because the people are always in action maybe we will distribute that note of the guidelines of the Constitutional Court. You will realise when you read the statements made by government are in fact in line with those guidelines that Justice Kriegler has set out.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: Those who know the birth certificates of their children, there are two types. There is the one you get almost on the spot which is called the abridge certificate, then there is the one that you get later which is the unabridged certificate. Before today the unabridged certificate has the details of the mother, the father and the child. And today and tomorrow and forever the unabridged certificate will have those details. What we are talking about is the abridge, the one you get on the spot. Before today, the abridge had the name of the child and the ID number of the child. That certificate does not link the child to anyone in our population register; it’s just a standalone person who is not linked to anyone. We have found that those certificates were being produced fraudulently, sometimes by our officials. Because you don’t have to link it to anyone, you can just hand channel those certificates to get security grants, so you can give it to anyone who can then claim it’s their child. In an effort to curb that, we have decided that we will improve the security details on the certificate, both on the paper.
There were also people printing those birth certificates outside Home Affairs, because it was printed on ordinary paper and you just generate the ID number and the name of the child. What we have done now is to say we must link the child right from the beginning to somebody in our population register and the obvious person to link is the mother. When a child is born the only parent that is sure to be there is the mother, there is no child that is born from an absent mother, that’s the logic. It may not stop completely but it will go a long way in curbing this generation of birth certificates that are not linked to anyone that are sold to people who want to get grants. If you are not entitled to a birth certificate it’s also easy to produce that kind of birth certificate because it’s not linking you to anyone on the population register. As of now, a few weeks ago the birth certificate is now coming with the name of the mother and the ID of the father. There may be challenges where the mother won’t have an ID; at least the mother will have one.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: On the Secretary of Police, some people who have been around for a while may remember the first Secretary of Police Judge Azur Cachalia during his time when he was Secretary of Police. The Secretary of Police has always been around, what happened was that gradually that position became whittled away significantly within the Department. What has happened since the elections is that those positions have been re-elevated to the position it was when Judge Cachalia was holding that position.
The Secretary of Police is responsible for focusing on policy issues within the SAPS and the ministry and providing the ministry with directions on that and also providing civilian oversight on behalf of the Minister of Police, and also for developing strategic relationships and partnerships on behalf of the Minister. And then advising him on all those areas in order for him to be able to implement what is necessary for him. In terms of the change of names, the issue was raised first by the President in terms of some confusion amongst the population as to what the different ranks actually means and say to the public. It is a matter that is still under discussion. Once it has been discussed within the Department it will be referred to the Justice Cluster.
Journalist: About a month ago Fikile Mbalula proposed a single police act which would get to the Metro Police. At first it was just a proposal but we don’t know where we are now. How far are we with regard to the single Police Act?
Journalist: On Section 49 the issue for the public is not that Section 49 should or should not be amended and how it should be amended. It’s the statements being made that it’s okay to shoot to kill. Now yesterday Fiklie Mbalula - his comments were not sensationalised. He stood up in a meeting with a prewritten statement and said we stand by pronouncement to shoot and kill not indiscriminately but in defence of the innocent against the gun happy criminals, yes, shoot bastards hard nut to crack incorrigible criminals. Now my question is: does that add to the ambiguity around Section 49 or does that clear up the ambiguity around Section 49. How should a policeman interpret that statement? And then secondly to the Secretary for Police as a person responsible for civilian oversight, how do you feel about this statement?
Journalist: My question is also aimed at the Secretary of Police. You said there was an increase in the number of shootings by police of innocent people does have the cause for that increase. And also if you can explain the strengthening of community safety forums on page three, what that will entail and will that be better equipped. We see a lot of these crime fighters are being targeted by criminals - there were two recently killed in Mitchell’s Plain. So if you can elaborate on that please.
Jeff Radebe: My recollection is that issue was started long ago discussed by the former National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi of this single police service that arises from the constitution. But the main aim is to have one common approach in law enforcement. How that is going to pen out we don’t have the proposal as the JCPS cluster so I don’t know where things are. Back to this Section 49 I have not read Mbulula’s statement but my understanding is that people are trying to explain this Section 49. As I’ve said early on let’s wait until we get the wedding that the chief state law advisors are developing that hopefully will be in line with the guidelines that the Constitutional Court has indicated. I think that will be the real yardstick and guideline that will indicate to the police how do behave under those trying circumstances.
My understanding of the judgment of the Constitutional Court: they were critiquing the Section 49 of the Act of 1977 and by the time the 2002 Act came that was affected by that judgment; hence the importance of going ahead with this amendment of Section 49 so that there will be no ambiguity whatsoever from all policewomen and men in South Africa when they are in the tight spot in South Africa. So I don’t think any purpose would be served by us asking this question over and over again. Let’s wait until we see the draft that the chief state law advisor has put forward which I believe is in line with the Constitutional Court guidelines.
Andries Nel: We have made it very clear that the death of any innocent person is a death too many: it’s a death, a source of severe pain to Government and we have expressed our condolences and our apologies to the families and the loved ones of those who has been killed through action. That sometimes might have been well intentioned but misguided and other cases it might have been something else by the police. The Secretary of Police has indicated that there is an Independent Complaints Directorate; that Directorate does investigate those matters and in fact the legislation is being proposed to further strengthen the directorate. But it’s an equally great source of pain to Government when innocent citizens fall victims of crime and we equally regret the death of every innocent victim of crime. We are simply saying to the police do your work and do you work vigorously with dedication within the bounds of the law and where the law says to you that the use of force and deadly force is warranted do that and have no reservations about doing that but do it within the bounds of the law and the Constitution. Thanks.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: On the single police force I think the Minister has clarified the intentions around the discussion around single Police Service. What we need to say is that it is still being reviewed and we wouldn’t be able to give any further timelines at this stage.
Journalist: Yet again a question was skipped. The reasons for the increase in shootings of police.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: I think the Independent Complaints Directorate has done significant work on this issue and when they release their annual report about six weeks ago they did actually look at some of the issues around the increase in shootings so I will refer you back to that report and its precisely for that reason and I think it’s that report that shows this is not something that just arisen in the last two months it’s something that has been developing over time and they have given some of the issues that they think are responsible for it. There were issues around training of the police there were issues the fact that the police are quite jumpy given the number of policemen that have been shot. The kind of environment which police are being forced to police in and I’m not saying those are excuses but I am saying those are some of the issues that have been given. And I think even before that report was released the decision to strengthen the ICD had already been taken, upgrade the possession of the head of the ICD introduces separate legislation for them. Capacitate them to focus specifically on these issues. With regard to the community safety forums its important, I think the President mentioned the need to work together to fight crime and it’s important that we start recognising the capacity that exist within communities to address crime and that’s one of the aspects that this Community Safety Forum will look at but I think the forum also speak to the need to have an intergovernmental approach at a local level in terms of how we begin to address crime. So the role of your local government and different departments what role they can play in terms of addressing crime? As far as the people that have been shot from the community policing forum it’s not just in the Western Cape we have had incidents elsewhere around the country and we are concerned about that. We are in discussions with community policing forums at the moment to look at how we can assist them in ensuring that these sorts of things don’t happen in the future.
Journalist: Minister, you consulted with the Heads of Court and the Chief Justice a while back about the Superior Courts Bill. When will that come to Parliament and what were there concerns if any. Secondly transformation of the judiciary policy document was referred to you when you took over as Minister. Has that been finalised yet and when will we hear anything about that.
Journalist: I want to go back to page three on the criminal justice system review. The second last point says the resolution of trials and so forth and then it says at the end of August 2009. Is this now since 1 January that figures? Just to get back to the Border Line Security. Can you give us a hint? Are you considering giving the security back to the Defence? Just tell us what direction we are heading for please.
Journalist: How long has the Secretary of Police been in place and how is it going? Thirdly can someone please explain to me what is happening to the ICD - it seems to me that it really needs is a lot more money and a lot more staff.
Jeff Radebe: The Superior Courts Bill: I met with the new Chief Justice and the heads of court at our last meeting at the end of October this year. I gave them a copy of a draft of the Superior Courts Bill - not the draft that you have; it’s a completely new draft. The reason for that, as you know previously there has been a lot of skirmish between the executive and the judiciary precisely on this issue of the Superior Courts Bill. When we had a ceremony for the changing of the guard the Chief Justice indicated to me that they will come back to me on that. The first instance why I gave it to them [is] because I wanted to hear their views before I take the Bill to Cabinet and eventually to Parliament. But I can say here without any fear of contradiction that we are of the same mind as to how we need to move all these important matters on the Superior Court Bill as well as the transformation of the judiciary. So I’m hopeful when you see the Bill you will realise that there are now running battles between ourselves because all of us the executive as well as the judiciary are committed in making sure that we developed a system that will best serve the population of South Africa and people will have access to justice. On the issue of the border line as I indicated that this matter will come before Parliament so I’m not in a position to disclose the issues because they are still at hand but I’m certain when the decision are taken the Minister of Defence and War Veterans will make a statement because it’s a matter of national importance.
Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane: I have been appointed since 1 September of this year and its going okay. In terms of the Independent Complaints Directorate I think it’s precisely for those reasons that we have emphasised the need to strengthen the role of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). What we are looking at through this process is not only as I said upgrading the position so that the Head of the ICD carries the necessary authority but also looking at the resources in capacity within the ICD. In addition we also know there is not an endless availability of resources so we also need to make sure that we focus the ICD on being able to focus on the key crucial areas where it can make an impact on the transformation of the South African Police Service. So issues for example such as shootings, deaths in custody etc, we need to go back to what the core purpose of what the establishment of the ICD was because I think it has become quite watered down in terms of what it had to deal with. So we are looking at the resources in capacity but also looking at making sure the ICD has a clear focus in terms of what it investigates.
Jeff Radebe: Just as a parting shot - we are trying to emphasise today that this is a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS cluster and from time to time we shall be briefing the media about the wide range of activities that take place within this cluster. The exciting programmes under the Minister of Home Affairs as she has already started to highlight the transformation of the Department of Home Affairs aiming to ensure that our identity books, birth certificates are beyond reproach. There are exciting programmes within Correctional Services that have to be bought here the issues that I have already indicated about our key points especially points of entry which is led by the Minister of State Security we are highlighting those issues in the future. The important issue of the criminal justice review system we will give you more information about how this system has to be integrated and coordinated so that it should not be one department because we are now working as teams we are also going to be giving you more information about how we are enhancing our justice system by increasing the formation of our courts the high and lower courts including giving single jurisdiction to our regional courts and also the conversion that is ongoing of our branch courts into full service courts. So the point I am making is this is not a police cluster but it’s a whole range of departments that are involved with one effort of making sure we deliver services to the people of South Africa. Thank you.
Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
11 November 2009