SAPS plans new anti-graft strategy

2011-09-13 18:53

Cape Town - Police management will launch a new anti-corruption strategy on December 9 this year, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Briefing Parliament's police portfolio committee, chief operations officer Lieutenant General Bonang Mgwenya said corruption and fraud by police officers had been "prioritised as a strategic risk".

The new strategy - built on prevention, detection, investigation and resolution - was set to be approved by the police national management forum before the end of this month.

"Among its aims is to develop a culture in the SA Police Service that is professional and does not tolerate corruption and criminality," Mgwenya said.

"The planned launch of the anti-corruption strategy... is on December 9. An ethics and integrity indaba is planned to be held by March [next year]."

Mgwenya told the committee that 479 SAPS members were facing charges.

"A total of 479 departmental charges or disciplinary cases against SAPS members were recorded in 2010/2011."

She was not able to immediately respond to questions on whether the figures represented the "tip of the iceberg" when it came to corruption within SAPS ranks. She was also unable to say how the 479 figure broke down across provinces, or how many arrests were included in the total.

"We humbly request... we be allowed to forward information on this at a later stage," Mgwenya said.

'Widespread and systemic'

The figure of 479 meant less than a quarter of a percent of the more than 190 000 SAPS members were facing corruption charges.

This was at odds with an Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS) internal study, carried out at three Gauteng police stations in 2009. This study revealed that 85% of police officers believed corruption to be a "major problem" in the police.

Briefing the committee on Tuesday, ISS crime and justice programme head Gareth Newham said while the police could not be said to be "a corrupt organisation", various sources suggested corruption was "widespread and systemic".

"Numerous surveys of civilians and of police suggest perceptions, experiences and knowledge of widespread corruption."

The SAPS policy advisory council had said the police had insufficient capacity to investigate corruption.

"It also noted that discipline was poor, codes of conduct and ethics were not adhered to and that disciplinary issues were not dealt with timeously," Newham said.

"[Further], various studies show abuse and corruption targeting specific groups such as sex workers and foreign nationals."

Lifestyle audits and "sting operations" were among the most pro-active ways of detecting police corruption.

"Because you can't wait for reports... police corruption is very under-reported," Newham said.

Lawson Naidoo, of the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, called for a "dedicated independent agency" to tackle corruption in South Africa. Such a body should have a three-pronged mandate, including the ability to investigate and refer cases for prosecution, as well as prevention and education, he told the committee.

"But whatever model chosen... the single-most important factor in sustaining an independent agency is the existence of political will and support for the agency," he said.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-13 19:06

    What a joke! Corrupt masters wants to end corruption in the SAPS? With Cele,Nkabinde,Shaik etc? Dream on

      letsee - 2011-09-13 20:06

      A strategy built on prevention, detection, investigation and resolution? So what the heack they have today?

  • Crazyworld - 2011-09-13 19:15

    I wonder if this plan will start at the top!

  • Verdade - 2011-09-13 19:17

    Too late she cried!!! It's but a sinking ship, rotten to the core! That's what happens if you employ people with criminal records, illiterate, unfit, lack of morals, unproffessional, race based, corrupt = SAPS (well most of them, sorry you do get some good cops too)

  • Nanasei - 2011-09-13 19:50

    "A total of 479 departmental charges or disciplinary cases against SAPS members were recorded in 2010/2011." -> Yah neah, I welcome myself to SA where everything goes. I hope this new strategy works!!!!

  • Jonjon - 2011-09-13 19:57

    state should know that the only way to end corruption in the saps is to pay the poor police officers and make sure that all foreigners residing in south africa must be investigated how are they managing life without a salary because they are driving expensive cars but they are not investigated and they are the one who are forming corruption because they are involv but state does not investigate them and if state can start investigating this rich foreigner and do something about this issue i believe that corruption will go down.

      Antoine - 2011-09-13 23:24

      Jonjon, Cele is heavily immersed in a fraud involving hundreds of millions. As is Roux Shabangu, a pal of Pres JZ. As is the Min of Public works, Mahlangu-Nkabinde. Strange I see no foreign names in this colossal corruption/fraud only ANC bigwigs. So perhaps blaming it all on "the foreigners" is a red herring.....

  • letsee - 2011-09-13 20:06

    A strategy built on prevention, detection, investigation and resolution? So what the heack they have today?

  • - 2011-09-13 21:36

    So let me get this right - We (the ever suffering taxpayer) could end up paying for yet another department set up to protect us from our protectors. Right!?

      Antoine - 2011-09-13 23:31

      And inevitably those protectors, in turn will get corrupt as well. Requiring additional investigating protectors. (So for the tax-payer, it will be best if the proposed protectors are ineffectual and ignored, like the Public Protector is now. 'Will keep the wage-bill at least lower.)

  • Vernon - 2011-09-13 21:42

    lip service!!!!

  • Antoine - 2011-09-13 23:15

    So how do you reckon you'll make this "strategy" work? And if "The SAPS policy advisory council had said the police had insufficient capacity to investigate corruption" how will you morons make it work? Employ masses of internal investigators to look each individual cop 24/7 over the shoulder? Soon THEY will be corrupt as well. Your boss, Cele is a corrupt vark, just like his predecessor. And your entire force knows it. So the bosses can, but the ordinary cops can't? And you reckon a demoralised force will listen and be good boys and girls from now on? How DO you develop an ethical "culture" when the top cop, most of the government is corrupt to the hilt? Way too little, to late; corrupt fools that you all are. And you only have started to reap what you sowed; by now it's an unstoppable cancer. (Much like the ANC proper, actually.)

  • TDK1 - 2011-09-14 09:32

    This strategy would be applicable only to foot soldiers and senior manager who fell in favour of a a commissioner turned actor.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-14 10:11

    Since when are any figures coming out of the ANC realistic, based on fact or reality or a reflection of anything other than someones imagination. I have had to directly interact with 4 policemen in my life, three of them were as corrupt as hell.

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