No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
Police minister Bheki Cele addresses the media on the security detail of the Global Citizen Festival on December 05, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
Due to the secretive nature of its work and the large amounts of money that SAPS Crime Intelligence works with, the importance of professional leadership in this policing environment cannot be overstated, writes Zakhele Mbhele.
The state of systemic dysfunction that has plagued the SAPS Crime
Intelligence Division for at least a decade – which we have come to call "Crime-Intelligence-in-Crisis"
– is an issue that the DA has long driven in a sustained effort to highlight
the problem and call attention to the need for urgent remedial action.
This is alongside the other two major thrusts of issue-driving in
the Police portfolio: "The 4 Us" of under-staffing, under-resourcing,
under-equipping and under-training at station level and "Detectives-in-Distress".
These operational problems all stem from the same basic problem: chronic
mismanagement, rooted in cronyism and politicisation of the South African
Police Service (SAPS), a natural consequence of the governing ANC's cadre
This dysfunction of SAPS Crime Intelligence has long been
self-evident, not least because violent and organised crime has been increasing
year-on-year since 2012. According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS),
violent and organised crime had increased by 40% this time last year since the
collapse of Crime Intelligence started during the tenure of the former divisional
commissioner, Richard Mdluli.
These are the crimes that we all fear on a daily basis because
they entail direct violations of our property and person: carjackings, house
and business robberies and burglaries, street robberies (muggings) and theft
of/out of motor vehicles.
READ: Mokgoro inquiry - How charges were dropped against Mdluli
They are also the crimes that can only be tackled effectively
through crime intelligence for sustained reduction because they are driven by
syndicates or criminal gangs who are often well-organised and resourced, as
well highly motivated because their criminal activities are almost always quite
lucrative and profitable. Thus, police Crime Intelligence needs to undertake
sophisticated collection, collation, analysis,
coordination and dissemination of crime information to ensure intelligence-led
policing that contributes to the surveillance, infiltration, displacement and
ultimately neutralisation of crime syndicate activities.
Due to the sensitive and secretive nature of its
work and the large amounts of hidden money that SAPS Crime Intelligence works
with, the crucial importance of professional and ethical leadership in this
policing environment cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, we had precisely the
opposite of that with the previous division head.
As part of enabling the state capture project,
former president Jacob Zuma typically selected dishonest, corrupt or
incompetent people to head South Africa's security agencies, of which Mdluli
was a prime example.
Mdluli's tenure was characterised by alleged
high-level corruption and fraud and plunged the police into disarray. A litany
of misconduct allegations was pointed at him. From nepotism (Mdluli's family
members were appointed to the crime intelligence agent programme without merit) and misuse of
state resources (allegedly abusing covert state vehicles that he was not
entitled to and various safe houses were rented by the police for the sole use
of Mdluli and his family) to use of crime intelligence for political partisan
ends, including buying influence and access in ANC factional battles.
Despite all this, Mdluli remained on a seven-year,
fully-paid suspension, costing the taxpayer R8.3m, before he finally was purged
from the police with a golden handshake.
The Mdluli saga meant that a number of highly
skilled and experienced Crime Intelligence officers were removed, as they posed
a threat to him and his narrow agenda. The division was gutted and crippled,
which is why criminal syndicates now operate with impunity in South Africa,
without any fear.
According to Dr Johan Burger of the ISS, "Generally
speaking…the police's ability to generate crime intelligence has deteriorated
to the extent that criminals no longer fear to be identified and prosecuted so
that creates space for organised criminal groups to act almost freely
throughout the country…".
Therefore, if rational analysis shows that it was
cronyism trumping competence and putting politics before professionalism that
broke the SAPS Crime Intelligence Division, and indeed the whole police
service, then it is the opposite approach that will fix it, starting with an
overhaul of police leadership.
The DA's policing reform proposals are rooted in
the need for a strong professionalisation drive, resting on three
non-negotiables: a) fit-for-purpose appointments and promotions, b) quality and
ongoing training and, c) consistent and strong accountability enforcement and
It is now glaringly obvious that the fundamental
problem we face as a country in effectively tackling and reducing crime is a
lack of political will within the ANC national government to do the things that
are required to turn the police service around to make it an effective
The only solution to these problems so that we
stand a chance of reducing crime, and in particular rescuing SAPS Crime
Intelligence, is for the ANC to be voted out of power, and for a new national
government to be installed at the 2019 general elections that will have the
political will to fix the fundamentals in the police.
- Zakhele Mbhele is a DA MP and the party's spokesperson on police.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
This Jeep is achingly fast in a straight line, but that's about it.
'We got married and 6 months later I wanted a divorce'
'Call me Harry'
He's once again made an appearance for his annual molt.
The great mathematician died at 101.
Here are 7 things you need to know.
A room with a (spectacular) view.
The couple will leave the family in March.
Western CapeOdwyer PersonnelR14 000.00 Per Month
R 5 500 000
R 2 395 000
Apartments / Flats
R 3 000 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.