Police committee wants 'new blood' after SAPS receives second qualified audit in a row

The Portfolio Committee on Police has noted with "huge concern and disappointment" that the police have received a qualified audit for the second year in a row, which included understated irregular expenditure of close to R1bn.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said in a statement released on Friday that the qualified audit opinion raised serious concerns about the financial, procurement and contract management capabilities of senior management of the police service.

The police's annual report, which contained the report from the Auditor-General (AG), was tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

Beukman said Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khehla Sitole "need to shake up their management team" to bring the requisite skills with regard to the areas highlighted by the AG to strengthen the internal control mechanisms.

"It is quite clear that new blood is needed to turn the ship around. The suspension of the current chief financial officer and the debacle with regard to the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Forensic Data Analyst (FDA) contracts indeed do not bode well for the general effectiveness and performance of the police department, going forward," Beukman said.

The "debacle" Beukman referred to was what members of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) described as corrupt dealings between SITA, which procures services and goods for the police, and FDA. After a dramatic meeting last November, Scopa recommended that SITA look at their contracts with FDA again and stop paying them.

This culminated in FDA switching off three of the police's systems on April 4. The systems have since been switched back on.

Beukman emphasised that drastic measures were needed to ensure that an unqualified audit was achieved for the current financial year.

The committee's view was that the understated irregular expenditure of R968m was an indication that the Minister of Police should ensure that strict corporate and contract governance was restored within the SAPS environment.

Beukman said the AG had highlighted the lack of proper financial controls and consequence management as the root causes of the situation.

The committee maintains that the implementation of the National Development Plan recommendations about the National Police Board and a merit-based appointment process for the top management of SAPS is the only long-term solution to deal comprehensively with the challenges.

The management of the police service is expected to appear before the committee on Tuesday, October 9 about the AG's report. The SA Police Service audit committee has also been invited to attend. 

Sitole was appointed in November last year and Cele replaced Fikile Mbalula as police minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet shake-up in February.

The South African government's financial year is from April 1 to March 31.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 213 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 2777 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 420 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.96
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.94
-2.6%
Rand - Euro
17.60
-1.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.66
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.4%
Gold
1,659.71
-0.0%
Silver
18.82
-0.4%
Palladium
2,201.50
+2.4%
Platinum
868.00
+0.2%
Brent Crude
89.32
+3.4%
Top 40
56,921
-0.9%
All Share
63,264
-0.9%
Resource 10
59,793
+3.2%
Industrial 25
76,769
-2.3%
Financial 15
13,707
-2.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE