Making police trustworthy 'a challenge'

2012-05-29 15:38

Johannesburg - Transforming the police into a responsible, trustworthy service is a big challenge, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.

"To a large extent we also need to acknowledge that while there are pockets of excellence within the organisations, there is sadly a culture of unaccountability and poor management," Mthethwa told the Police and Prison Civil Rights Union summit in Boksburg.

He said it was a huge challenge to create the calibre of policeman who was "fully enshrined with democratic principles".

The SA Police Service had inherited these problems from an apartheid police force.


"This inheritance has had a number of important consequences... in that authoritarian policing has few [if any] systems of accountability, oversight and does not require public legitimacy in order to be effective."

Mthethwa said this called for "continuous de-education of unwanted old practices and re-education of the kind of cop we have".

"The SAPS, as an organ of government, must perform without fear or favour on any person who breaks the law.

"To enable it to do so, it requires the kind of police officers who conform to clear principles of batho pele, whose conviction is not influenced by external factors."

Mthethwa refused to comment on suspended crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli.


When asked in general about how corrupt police officers should be dealt with, he said they would be dealt with like anyone in South Africa.

Mdluli's suspension, disclosed on Sunday, was related to allegations emerging from the ongoing court inquest into the murder of Mdluli's former lover's husband Oupa Ramogibe in 1999.

He also faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of a crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the hiring of family members.

He was suspended but both sets of charges were later withdrawn and Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence in March this year.

Acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said on Sunday Mdluli had again been suspended.

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-05-29 15:41

    LOL!!! Inherited it!! LOL!!!

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-29 15:50

      If they inherited the problems from apartheid and have not fixed it in 18 years, that is the indication of incompetence of the grandest scale possible. Just another excuse to hide grand incompetence. Apartheid is not even in the picture any more.

      Mmannyo - 2012-05-29 15:56

      sack the whole lot then.

      Franklyn - 2012-05-29 15:58

      Selebi,Cele,Mdluli....yes,ALL inherited from the apartheid regime,for goodness sake man,GROW-UP and show some accountability to the tax-payers !

      Sharon - 2012-05-29 16:01

      Ok, so I move into a house and live in it for 2 years. Someone comes to visit, and says " Gee, but your toilet is really filthy!" Can I say "It was like that when I moved in?" Sorry, that excuse doesn't hold any water. The police force that the government "inherited" was not rife with corruption as it is now. Note to government: You created this problem, you fix it! Stop making excuses.

      Nigel - 2012-05-29 16:02

      Oh what absolute BS. I really didn't think they would stoop this low. They inherited an outstanding police force, already sworn to uphold the Law through the transition period, which they did. Government then made sure a huge number of the White SAPS resigned by simply halting their promotions, thus effectively ending their careers. Out went hundreds of years combined experience of highly trained officers, and in came the criminals, and now they turn around and blame apartheid. You lying ba$%&rd.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-29 16:04

      I fear our minister might have inherited something else from his parents for making statements like that...

      grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-05-29 16:11

      come on all, he just admitted that Selebi was an apartheid spy and that makes Mbeki and apartheid boss and that make Mbeki what I all along thought: A racist!

      Clive - 2012-05-29 16:27

      Stop giving rank to people who have never served and respect the many who have over 20 years behind them a chance to also lead, as they have the know how from ground level up. Most decission makers in SAP dont even know how to fill out a doc and close sucsesful units as to not hurt there friends the criminal youth and ex comrade. They again have stopped reservists who give there time free of charge, does not make any sence but again also do to well.

      pjcbs - 2012-05-29 16:35

      This man is an arrogant fool! The government ''inherited'' a functional police force that had specialized units able to do their job effectively. They broke the specialized units up, gave command to a bunch of MK caders that had no clue how to do their job, and employed new recruits that passed matric with 30%. Now he wants to earn respect??? He is right about one thing, they have to do with what they have, and that is dangerously poor quality people.

      Martin - 2012-05-29 16:36

      arm the public, we dont need to pay for a service that is a double bloody agent...thats so bad at their job they endanger the human race, bankrupt us or hurt our default even the good pure police men and women cannot be trusted, its not right, the anc has forsaken the elite meaning anyone who has an education and doesnt blindly follow the glorious anc, rebel it is still alive and well, its using the alias TRI-APARTEID

      Denise - 2012-05-29 18:21

      Apartheid has been credited with remarkable powers. It has been the cause of most, if not all, evils in South Africa. Unemployment, illiteracy, crime, child molestation, AIDS, sexual harassment, corruption, power outages have all been attributed to apartheid. Crediting apartheid with unreasonable powers obscures not only the history of SA, but also its present. Apartheid has also been blamed for SA's world-leading crime rate & widespread collapse of the state, but with little evidence. Crime under apartheid was managed with relative ease until the early 1990s. During the height of apartheid in the 1960s, SA was relatively crime-free. The best evidence of this is the historically small size of the SA Police force. In the early 1980s SA maintained a police to population ratio of 2:1000. Similarly the state spent a relatively modest percentage of the GDP on the military. This is in sharp contrast to the international image of SA as a garrisoned state. Simplistic links have been made in many different contexts between crime or general social instability & poverty. Yet blacks were substantially poorer in the 1960s than they were in the 1970s, and even more so in the 1950s & previous decades. If crime is traceable directly to poverty, or even to the ferociousness of apartheid, one would expect to find more crime in earlier decades. The stats show precisely the opposite, with a slow increase of crime starting in the mid 1970s & accelerating sharply in the 1990s.

  • dianne.b.hartley - 2012-05-29 15:46

    When all else fails blame apardheid and of course whites.

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 16:01

      its all our fault that they're a bunch of careless, lazy, overweight, chicken eating, gun losing, uniform selling, blind-eye turning, couldnt count to 20 unless their shoes were off, idiots... I see that now.

      Franklyn - 2012-05-29 16:15

      Hell,it really is getting tiresome....these guys quote this cliche at every oportunty....apartheids fault ! they have enriched themselves and missapropriated 10s of billions of rands(stolen may be a more appropriate word),these guys have no shame.Viva gravy train Viva.

      Rob - 2012-05-29 16:22

      Most just dont have the same work ethic & yes, they are fat, lazy, arrogant & just downright stupid. Entrance level standards have been lowered everywhere to accommodate this useless bunch of reproducing idiots in almost evey aspect of government departments. Waddya expect ?

  • E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 15:46

    ah thats it... apartheids fault, yet again. lol! Always passing the buck arent you ANC!

  • Jackie - 2012-05-29 15:49

    skirting around issues, mdluli, cele and selebi were not apartheid appointees. they are all anc deployees

      Nigel - 2012-05-29 16:03

      Exactly. Lying trash

      Franklyn - 2012-05-29 16:29

      bloody sickening isnt it ? unbelievable that they get voted in with massive numbers,truly-ignorance is bliss.

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-05-29 17:37

      It is not challanging, it is impossible

  • procold2 - 2012-05-29 15:51

    you dont say, the saps are rotten to the core and i think there will a lot worse be they get better,big up to the honest saps that are trying to still protect and serve the community amongst the what i think the biggest org crime syndicate in sa.

  • johan.cameron - 2012-05-29 15:54

    Very bad excuse. 18 years on and poor apartheid still gets the blame. These politicians should become stand up comedians.

  • dianne.b.hartley - 2012-05-29 15:55

    Not Mthethwa, he's just proved to be Mtwatwa, emphasis on TWAT!

  • henkvdwatt - 2012-05-29 15:56

    You had 18 years to correct it how long will it take then???? This lame excuse does not sit anymore, think of another one.

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 16:03

      irritating hey... As long as there are whites to blame, we'll be blamed.

      Rob - 2012-05-29 16:16

      Yes, thank God for Whites and apartheid. The black mans crutch in life.

  • muzi.m.khumalo - 2012-05-29 15:57

    How long wil we continue blaming apartheid for our problems. Our leaders need to own up and take responsibility for the current situation. Our country needs decisive leadership.

  • nishan.sitlu - 2012-05-29 15:59

    If the cops corrupt bosses are getting away with it, then they will obviously follow suite. Stop the corruption at the top and make examples of those chaps! At the moment they are examples that you can get away with corruption and basically doing whatever you want!

  • sboh.s.memela - 2012-05-29 16:00

    yet again the anc pulls out the apartheid card to cover up for their own incompetence, im a young black lady and guess what the anc lost my vote the moment i realised its either they scream racist or apartheid,more black people need to bypass their loyalty for the anc and see that the anc are using that against them for their own personal gain, the liberators are becoming the oppressors...when will people wake up and smell the coffee

      TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-05-29 16:07

      I am very thankful that you had those realizations.

      sharon.truebodyvice - 2012-05-29 16:13

      A lady with intelligence, Thank you I love you xxxxx

      Cynthia - 2012-05-29 16:26

      I salute you Ms Memela. Well said.

      indianajohn - 2012-05-29 16:39

      Miss Memela you give us all hope. My biggest wish is that ANC supporters realise that we are trying to help them.

  • Luviwe - 2012-05-29 16:01

    Tell no lies, claim no easy victories!! There was a stage when Steve Tshwethe was the minister of police and we saw an improvement in morale and commitment to the service of all communities, anyway Mr Fix it was not talking to popcru but to the entire men and women in blue. This is just politicking. Are you able to get your hands dirty to fix the problem Mr Minister without blaming someone else.

  • tony.dakyns - 2012-05-29 16:03

    Really ... come on, none of the thieves were in the police then. As long as we avoid the truth and keep blaming the past we won't progress an inch. Let's get SARS to run the police force and the police to run SARS! That way I won't have to part with so much cash and we will get the efficiency we so desperately need in the SAP.

  • indianajohn - 2012-05-29 16:05

    It's been TWO DECADES! That's half a career! Inherited? Oh my word I swear I can hardly take this crap anymore. They'll still be singing these excuses 100 years from now to explain why the last school in the country has shut down.

  • Piet - 2012-05-29 16:08

    The SAPS went for a uncontrolable nosedive since 1994..... It started when they made constables generals, and criminals contables.... So don't blame it on pre 1994.

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-05-29 16:13

      My thought exactly.

  • sharon.truebodyvice - 2012-05-29 16:08

    There was NO problem with the SAP before 94 the anc flucked it and everything else up

  • philschalkwyk - 2012-05-29 16:08

    The APARTHEID police force had crime totally under control. Look at it now!

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 16:13

      still wasnt anything to be proud of... but i see your point.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-29 16:09

    When I try to read between the lines and I hear words like Authoritarian I already hear the end of Cele (remember the bringing back of the old ranks) and who knows the beginning of a new Commissioner instead of General- and back and forth we go. Ai daai apartheid was darem 'n donner dat hy ons nounog so dom maak

  • tom.vorster - 2012-05-29 16:12

    Yup, must be Adriaan Vlok's fault that Selebi took a bribe; must be Pik Botha's fault that Cele was buddies with Roux Shibangu; George Fivaz is the cause of the string of brigadiers in Nelspruit being arrested for fiddling with their travel calms; General Johan Coetzee forced the Akornhoek captain to sell weapons he stole from the evidence safe; and last but not least it must have been the ghost of the Groot Krokodil who opened the weapons safe at Hazyview police station and allowed 150 R5's to walk out the door. FYI Nyathi, the wonderfully clean and much admired General Richard Mdluli, yes the one you have been bursting a valve to protect even with all the allegations hanging over his head, was a cop under the Apartheid regime - are you disowning him now and using him as your benchmark for your stupid statement?

  • aspruyt - 2012-05-29 16:14

    The ANC and their cadres will never take responsibility for anything. If it goes pear shaped they blame racism or apartheid! No one is responsible for you but yourself. Dead weight must be shed!

  • Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-05-29 16:16

    HAHA always blaming everything on apartheid. Probably tell his wife I can't get it up because of apartheid.

  • Tashie.lc1 - 2012-05-29 16:16

    APARTHEID APARTHEID APARTHEID!! SICK OF IT. STOP BLAMING AND START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY. YOU HAVE BEEN IN POWER FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS! A LIFETIME. Everybody please read this: Ineptocracy by David Hill. It shows us what a failure they are. FAILURE ANC! That's what you are. Just admit it and move over please. We are sick of your lies, your inadequacies, your stubborn refusal to realise what problems we have and to face them! You would rather march about a painting. DISGUSTING!

  • Mark - 2012-05-29 16:16

    As predictable a comment as one could expect. What did you expect when you consistently appoint skelms to the top job - miracles? Miracles happen when you appoint competent people to positions they are capable of fulfilling, even when their employees are lazy, unreliable and untrustworthy - not that the honourable minister would understand that because he's one of them.

  • Cynthia - 2012-05-29 16:18

    What a crock - inherited what problems from the apartheid police force??? PLEASE exaplain this to all the good people outy there who don't understand your stupid remark! LOL and go on laughing. I suppose you have to blame the corruption on something! Certainly not yourselves.

  • Phillip - 2012-05-29 16:21

    Full of surprises. Did Jacky Selebi serve under the old regime? I thought I was 55 years old.

  • Nigel - 2012-05-29 16:24

    The police force, years before 1994 was an even playing field for all races and an example of how people of all races could work together and get a very difficult job done. Same rights, same exams, same uniform, same rank, same powers etc - yes, long before 1994. It was a highly trained and very successful anti crime machine with high profile arrests with convictions all part of an ordinary day. They inherited a diamond, on a platter, and proceeded to turn into cow turd, as they have with almost everything else.

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-05-29 16:24

    Nathi ek hoop jy verstaan Afrikaans. Jy noem die probleem is oorgeneem van die Apartheids regering. Onthou net- 'n Vis vrot van sy kop af. Destyds het die polisie skollies en ander misdadigers gedonner. Nou loop en hou hulle handtjies en het sommer seks ook so terwyl hulle wag om opgesluit te word. Kom by my ou!! Hoe kan ek hulle ooit vertrou vra ek jou met trane in my navy blue oe en snot in my neus!!

  • Dianne - 2012-05-29 16:25

    What a crock of sh*t...... Any excuse to avoid the truth!!!!

  • tom.vorster - 2012-05-29 16:25

    Tell you what, to solve the problem change the rank structure - warrant officers can become inspectors; lt colonels can become superintendents - oh wait we've already done that to rid us of the smell of the old SAP.

  • Stuart - 2012-05-29 16:32

    While I agree with the Minister re: "inherited problems from an apartheid police force" it must also be said the new dispensation created a few new problems of their own. You cannot just open the floodgates and allow any Joe Blogs to be a policeman.... a lesson learn't after it is too late to remedy.

      Nigel - 2012-05-29 16:50

      StuartM - they did not inherit a corrupt police force. I do not understand why you agree with this part of his statement because it's trash.

  • dianne.b.hartley - 2012-05-29 16:33

    Besides, why do you think the alarm company's in this country make a fortune? Because they are phoned 1st instead of the cops because they respond the cops couldnt be bothered!

  • James - 2012-05-29 16:36

    "continuous de-education of unwanted old practices and re-education of the kind of cop we have" the only old practises which are now unwanted is good police work!

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-29 16:37

    What a load of BS!! the SAPS inherited a well structured, organized and disciplined institution and "transformed" it into a mess where htey employ criminals and keep them employed even after they are caught. The are rotten from the top (cele) to the lowest constable (screwing with an inmate). The only way to sort the mess is to remove everyone who is not suitable as per the parameter sof a first world country (yes, that means most of the cadres, their sisters and cousins) along with the minister of police that presides over this circus and replacing them with suitable people. Until this is done, we must forget about sorting the mess that the SAPS is this days.

  • MallyGold - 2012-05-29 16:43

    Nathi you say: "The SA Police Service had inherited these problems from an apartheid police force". In 18 years you failed to correct “these problems”. Are you that incompetent? I’m sure a piece of carpet could have fixed things. You’re not a piece of carpet are you? Are you??

  • Gavin - 2012-05-29 16:54

    step 1 - stop calling yourselves the police service, you are a police force or law enforcement. step 2 take down those stupid customer service signs at your stations, no one wants to go to SAP customer service as chances are they've just been robbed (by men in police clothes) step 3 - resign and let an honest person take over from you nathi. step 4 - stop disbanding the special investigative units every time they dig up dirt on ANC scum step 5 - what ever happened to thin/fit cops, noawdays the only way the cops will catch you is on a downhill I'm sure you can see where this is going...

  • mbele.nkululeko - 2012-05-29 16:57

    Over-worked Under-paid=Corrupt police force.

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-29 17:05

      Mblele, you are so wrong. if you employ people without propper screeening and then continue employing them when it becomes evident that they are incompetent, corrupt, criminals or as in many instances "all of the above" then you will never have a decent police. Real police people do not take their job as a job only (same as real world military carreer people). it has to be because they feel they want to serve and protect their community, and their reward is not only the salary, but the knowledge that they make people's lives better. Anyone who thinks a low salary is a good reason to be corrupt is simply a criminal, and most definitely does not belong in a police force.

  • Steve.E.DJ - 2012-05-29 17:00

    I was almost Hi-jacked by a police officer with a police bakkie on Sunday night, so next time they pull me over, dont think that i will stop again, they can suck my ballz

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-29 18:08

      Don't let them suck your ballz, you'll get Aids.

  • sian.okeeffe - 2012-05-29 17:01

    "The SA Police Service had inherited these problems from an apartheid police force" - give me a break - its been 18 years since they "inherited" it - almost an entire career for some cops ... I am so sick and tired of hearing "its apartheids fault"! We're nearly 2 decades past the end of apartheid, yet they still blame it for all the current woes of this country? Who do they think they are kidding? When will these ANC a$$holes stop blaming apartheid and take responsibility for their actions?

  • Modulor - 2012-05-29 17:02

    funny i used to trust the old apartheid cops implicitly...inherited what.... idiots excuse once a finger is pointed apportioning blame. Face it the SAPS are terrible at their job, and you are to blame for it....dunce. There isn't one apartheid era cop in service anywhere in SA...inherited from where.... gmpf...nothing but contempt.

  • Greg - 2012-05-29 17:03

    They enforce their authority by using fear. Even as a innocent person, I have no say against a policeman or women even when I am excersising my rights (which i have researched) What they say, goes.. But, in their defence, the majority of the people that need policing are pretty crazy, and can only be dealt with in force (fear) The problem for me is when they bring their aggressive attitudes to the "civilized/Privileged" [whichever you call it] areas were a simple request will do the job without resorting to violence or intimidation. I shouldn't be afraid of cops, I should look up to them..

  • Adolf - 2012-05-29 17:13

    The SAPS, as an organ of government, must perform without fear or favour on any person who breaks the law. And then they acted against Winnie and were suspended. The biggest problem in the SAPS is not inherited flaws from the apartheid era, not many of these policeman are left in any way, but a total lack of discipline and pride. Bring back militarism in the police and you will soon see a different police force. police Services in most countries were demilitarised 15 years ago but since ten the majority moved to militarising their police Forces.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-05-29 17:24

    start by giving each one of them a copy of the constitution of South africa and please intriduce it as a subject in the schools becuase nobody knows what their rights are they get abused ,for once anc begin at the beginning let them plegde it every morning at asembely .in the apartheid years we wore our uniform with pride we had leaders that knew how to lead ,these days the officers in the police are too scared to act againts the crooks in the police shamefull

  • rory.short1 - 2012-05-29 17:27

    The Minister is 100% correct. What has been happening for the last seventeen years I wonder?This has been known all along, I think, but not really addressed as the government has given top priority to cadre deployment and self enrichment rather than to addressing the problems.

  • Andrew - 2012-05-29 17:33

    Please please don't use the past as an excuse for the corruption and incompetance in the police force. The blame lies solely at the feet of the ANC for appointing political cadres with no police experience and for which we have seen huge corruption as is endemic in thye ANC. The blame lies full square on ate the feet of the ANC and NOBODY else!!!!!

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-05-29 17:35

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Lucas is currently filming "A new hopelessness" and "Apartheid strikes back" on location in SA?

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-29 17:56

      Careful Michael, the masses will think you are talking about Lucas Mangope. You will be accused of racism.

  • Joseph - 2012-05-29 17:42

    From the top if they steal take everything they have, only then will they be scared and then the saps will learn to respect people and not steal themselves, they will also be diciplined

  • Pat - 2012-05-29 18:36

    What do you de-educate. Theft corruption and all the nonsence that is \educated\ into their heads. Re-educate decent stuff like hard work and less strikes into their empty sculls. Tgis is now from top bottom.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-05-29 19:00

    Always lame excuses by heads of state.

  • Renate - 2012-05-29 19:19

    "To a large extent we also need to acknowledge that while there are pockets of excellence within the organisations, there is sadly a culture of unaccountability and poor management." "The SA Police Service had inherited these problems from an apartheid police force." The SAPS did NOT inherit these problems from an apartheid police force! THEY CREATED THEM! The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was adopted in 1996. A whole new chapter in the NEW SOUTH AFRICA and it has all gone wrong thanks to AA and all the rest...

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-29 19:38

    It's called an alibi, Minister. But don't worry - it's been used many times before. Don't feel shy.