Senior police officers promoted without security clearance, Parliament hears

2017-11-15 21:13
Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Fikile Mbalula releases crime stats for 2016/17

2017-10-24 09:27

Watch as Minster of Police Fikile Mbalula and senior management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) present the 2016/ 17 crime statistics to the Portfolio Committee on Police in Parliament. WATCH

Cape Town – The police admitted on Wednesday that in the past senior officers have been promoted without security clearances being conducted.

"That is a fact," acting National Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba told the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police. "We put a stop to it."

He conceded that security clearances weren't taken seriously within the police force. He said this meant that there were top generals without clearances, some of whom had resisted recent steps to address the matter.

"Top management has taken a decision: no more," he said.

He said "drastic steps" would be taken against top officers who do not attain their clearances by January 31.

"You don't want to give secrets to someone that is not vetted, that you can't trust."


Brigadier Leon Lombard told the committee that of the police's 31 lieutenants-general, 22 had top secret clearance, seven were in the process of obtaining it and two were denied clearance.

"I'm not going to mention names," said Lombard. He added that the two who were denied clearance had been suspended.

Of the 213 majors-general, 140 had top secret clearance, while five were denied clearance and five had not applied.

There are 690 brigadiers, of whom 263 have top secret clearance and nine had their applications denied.

There are 53 senior officers (lieutenants-general, majors-general and brigadiers) in crime intelligence. Of these 30 have top secret clearance, four have had theirs recently expired and 19 applications are being processed.

Lombard the State Security Agency was assisting with crime intelligence.

In total there are 8 856 crime intelligence personnel, of which 885 have top secret clearance, 179 have secret clearance and 180 have confidential clearance. The clearance of 1 397 officers has expired and 85 have been denied it.

There are 6 130 crime intelligence staff members without clearance, but Lombard said not all of them need it.

Concern over lack of procedure

Lombard said the vetting personnel was overstretched and it was uncertain that they would meet the January 31 deadline.

The committee wanted to know what happens to an officer who doesn't have the required security clearance.

Acting head of crime intelligence Major-General King Bhoyi Ngcobo said if security clearance is denied, the applicant can appeal.

On what happens if this is unsuccessful and a person is in a post, Ngcobo said "the act is quiet on that" and that the matter then becomes a labour issue.

"We need to get clarity on that," he said. "We need to draft something that will guide us. We don't have anything."

ALSO READ: Officer investigated for fraud was nominated for trip to France

Mothiba said the matter would then be referred to human resources, who will assist to transfer the officer to a position where a security clearance isn't needed.

In a statement released after the meeting, committee chairperson and ANC MP Francois Beukman said the committee applauds the 767 new security clearances issued since April 2017 but urged the police to also move with speed to include the four senior member certificates that have expired.

The committee has raised concerns about the lack of a detailed procedure to follow in cases where an officer fails a security clearance. To remedy this, the committee has instructed the police to urgently draft and implement an instruction note, setting out the process to be followed in cases where an officer does not receive a security clearance.

"It is the committee's considered view that policing has to be intelligence-driven and it is only vetted officers who can offer reduced risk factors within this critical environment," said Beukman.

Read more on:    saps  |  lesetja mothiba

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.