Loving Life TV

Ian Cameron – Expecting SAPS success is like believing a donkey can win Durban July

Home Forums ⚖️ CRIME INVESTIGATION LIST ⚖️ Ian Cameron – Expecting SAPS success is like believing a donkey can win Durban July

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #401679
    Nat Quinn
    Ground-level policing cannot be fixed if the management team and structure of the South African Police Service does not change. It is like trying to breed champion racehorses with donkeys.
    We can speak of partnerships; they will help locally with good relationships amongst communities and the local good cops. Still, such partnerships on higher levels (national & provincial) are all essentially flawed because of the compromised SAPS top structure. This compromise is the result of three main elements – political appointments, corruption and incompetence.
    At the BizNews conference in the Drakensberg, I shared the story of major general Mochologi. She received the rank on a silver platter within less than 12 years in the South African Police Service.
    She was appointed as a brigadier in 2011 without any police training or prior police experience. Not long after that, even though appointed in communications, she was given a major operational position as policing head for the entire Free State Province.
    The SAPS management claimed it was a ‘critical vacancy’. To me a critical vacancy needs critical attention for a critical appointment – not just a bench warmer. So essentially she was parachuted into an operational role requiring the commanding thousands of operational members with no idea of what they really do.
    Well, guess what? Last year, the same person was promoted to major general and became the new district commander of the Overberg district in the Western Cape, heartland of the Abalone smuggling syndicates.
    Read more: BNC#5: Crimefighter Ian Cameron on how criminals captured SAPS, but there is hope for the future
    Again, this is an important operational position now occupied by someone who does not possess the basic operational requirements of a police constable, never mind a general. She also failed or didn’t complete most courses required to have been done to be fit for purpose, at least on paper that is.
    When I exposed this unfair and ill equipped appointment publicly, major general Mochologi opened a Crimen Injuria case against me. Most likely a tactic to claim ‘sub judice’ in order for her not to be held publicly accountable. She obviously hopes it will all just blow over. But we won’t be silenced.
    Why do I start with this?
    It’s a good example of what has happened in many parts of the SAPS. Something that began in the early 2000s when Jackie Selebi was appointed as national commissioner. He was SA’s first completely political appointment with zero police knowledge to be made the nation’s most senior officer – effectively CEO of one of the most important state organs in any country.
    It’s ironic it is the same Thabo Mbeki, now one of the biggest critics of the ANC, who appointed Selebi as national commissioner of police, the first real ANC cadre publicly deployed in the South African Police Service on a national level.
    Selebi was one of the most destructive leaders the South African Police Service ever knew, eventually being imprisoned for corruption. Tellingly, he was also the person that disbanded most of SA’s specialized policing units. This clueless commissioner argued that most of the specialized work could be done by ground level police members. A case of arrogant ignorance. Not having the faintest appreciation for what he did not know.
    Now put yourself in the shoes of a ground level detective at a police station working in a gang ridden region. Imagine if you lived next to the renowned gang leader you need to investigate and that gang leader knows where your children go to school, where your spouse works. Logically, these criminal kingpins would know far more about local cops than those working at a specialized unit under a provincial command with checks and balances in place.
    How do you think the investigation could be done best? Or even at all? Because it’s simply not possible at a local level because of the extremely high risk of the investigator getting killed or extorted.
    After Jackie Selebi disbanded these specialized units with a ridiculous rhetoric that these crimes had to be solved and policed on ground level, he also disbanded the commandos. It was promised that commando’s would be replaced with something like reservists.
    But if you spoke to people like Dr Johan Burger from the Institute for Security Studies, he would tell you that while he was in the police management at that stage, as a general, he himself didn’t know about any alternative that was in place to replace the commandos.
    Don’t get me wrong, the commandos were certainly not the be all and end all of ground level crime prevention. It was also a military kind of structure. But the commando system was a statutory way of giving the community some power to be a force multiplier for the South African Police Service, especially in rural areas.
    Again, after the disbandment, no potential solution was proposed.
    After Selebi’s controversial exit, the ANC decided to appoint yet another incompetent cadre, Bheki Cele, as his replacement. Cele, now SA’s police minister, is remembered for public remarks about shooting and killing criminals.
    During Cele’s reign as national commissioner he pushed through hundreds, if not thousands of police recruits that didn’t pass the necessary qualifications at police colleges and also failed several remedial attempts. This was allegedly done to ensure that South Africa had enough police members for the FIFA World Cup.
    We should remember, too, that Cele was sacked for alleged corruption on the recommendations by the public protector, namely advocate Thuli Madonsela.
    In a training audit done shortly after Cele was sacked, it was shown that in the Eastern Cape, 47% of police members weren’t competent to carry a firearm while doing so. Nationally it was an alarming 20% – one in five cops. That was just the tip of the iceberg of Cele’s chiefdom in the police.
    After Bheki Cele, we saw the appointment of General Lucky Mkwanazi, a career police member with ground level experience and a reputation of being a better leader than the previous commissioners.
    But after a few months and he told parliament that he was unable to fulfill his duties as national commissioner because he kept on getting instructions from politicians about who to investigate and who not to investigate, after that he was sacked.
    The next national commissioner was general Riah Phiyega. Again, a cadre with zero police background or experience who was parachuted in by the ANC.
    She stood out as one of the first police commissioners that openly handed out medals like sweets to fellow SAPS political appointments, especially herself. Among these was the SAPS 10 year commemoration award (for serving in the police from 1995 to 2005), which she didn’t do.
    She also awarded herself the amalgamation reward which was given to 11 police agencies amalgamated into the service in 1994, something with which she was also not involved. The World Cup 2010 support award, which she also awarded herself, was for officers who worked during the tournament. Again, she wasn’t around. Not surprisingly, she also awarded herself the South African Police Service Gold medal for Outstanding Service. Seriously.
    When Dr Frans Cronje (then CEO of IRR) and I met with Phiyega about the Broken Blue Line 2 Report, she was more worried about the fact that her photo was on the front page, than the actual contents of the report. She was very upset about the slogan of the report, ‘Is the wolf guarding the sheep’.
    We made it clear that we would rather work with her to find solutions to the criminality in the SAPS, mentioned in the report, than to make the report public. At that stage, the report indicated that one out of every 10 cops had a criminal record.
    She declined our offer and along with her then two deputy national commissioners, neither of which were career police members, we were requested to leave her dilapidated office.
    Phiyega was sacked after the Marikana massacre that could easily have been prevented had those involved followed basic steps which they would have known had they been career members. Other reasons for her sacking were perjury and political interference.
    President Jacob Zuma suspended her on October 14 2015 subsequent to a suspension and investigation by a reference group appointed by the police minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko, which found Phiyega had committed perjury and ignored internal processes when demoting, suspending, promoting and removing several senior officials.
    The next national commissioner was general Khomotso Phahlane. General Phahlane was actually one of the better national commissioners in the previous 15 years, and I must say it was very disappointing when he was also found to have been involved in alleged corruption.
    General Pahlane was one of those police commissioners that understood the process of effective policing, he understood how ground level policing worked and he also seemed to know what had to be done in order to create a basic, but functional South African Police Service. He started with the back to basics campaign in the SAPS, which was actually quite promising, and then unfortunately he was removed because of alleged corruption.
    General Phahlane’s short time as the national commissioner of the South African police service was followed by the appointment of general Khehla Sitole. He was sacked not too long after his appointment after, in my opinion, the embarrassment he caused the ANC during his very poor performance in stabilizing conflict with the July 2021 riots.
    Another reason for firing him was his deliberate obstruction of the independent police investigative directorate while doing its investigations into several different matters. He was involved in several other different catastrophes regarding the South African police service including the shutdown of the firearm permit system due to non-payment, the shutdown of the PCEM system, also due to non-payment, which meant that the SAPS lost over 8 million pieces of evidence that could not be referenced in future.
    Sitole was also involved in the R45million so-called grabber deal, where the then minister of police, Fikile Mbalula and Sitole procured a grabber at inflated rates in the run-up to the ANC’s 2017 electoral conference at Nasrec.
    The current national commissioner is general Fannie Masemola. He is a career cop and on paper, certainly seems able, but unfortunately seems to be a lapdog of the minister of police, Bheki Cele. In fact, things have worsened severely during his time as national commissioner as he is overshadowed by a camera addicted Cele.
    Some people have even referred to the current minister of police as the minister of crime scenes and condolences. He seems to only dictate to members of the South African police service on crime scenes what they should and shouldn’t do, although he himself has no real knowledge of what it takes to be a ground level police member and his mandate is certainly not that.
    He only seems to come to the fore when there is an opportunity to appear in front of cameras instead of focusing on giving strategic direction to the South African police service and building a synchronized strategic approach with the Minister of Justice and correctional services and obviously the other relevant departments.
    I would like to quote a part of the Strategic Organised Crime Assessment (September 2022 p 31) of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) to summarise where the SAPS currently stands,
    “SAPS remains an institution without strategic direction when it comes to organized crime. It is still committed to a high visibility, low-impact approach that centers on taking down ‘high-flyers’ and making big seizures and large numbers of low-level arrests. This has enmeshed SAPS in a cycle of reward and focus that disincentivizes intelligence, analysis and investigation.
    “Promotion is based on stats, and not impact, while there is poor to no training in intelligence or detective capabilities. Although there have been several notable joint initiatives, trust between SAPS and Western law enforcement agencies is patchy. Unless there is a significant improvement in this regard, operations against sophisticated transnational organised crime networks will suffer from a lack of crucial intelligence and high-level operational support.”
    In conclusion, the South African Police Service cannot be expected to change on ground level if the top structure isn’t replaced and the relevant legitimacy audits are done.
    You cannot win the Durban July on a mule, and you cannot breed champion racehorses with donkeys.
    It seems that that is often overlooked in the name of political correctness or sticking our heads in the sand, hoping the problem might go away. The SAPS is a compromised state organ that will not and cannot fulfill most of its constitutional obligations because it has been politically and criminally hijacked.
    Thousands of remarkable humans work in the blue uniform we all once respected and sometimes still do, but the current situation is by no means sustainable. Every member of the senior officer corps in the SAPS must be polygraphed, skill audited and either removed, replaced, or restructured.
    If that does not happen the ground level change won’t either.
    *Ian Cameron is the director of Community Safety at Action Society


    source:Ian Cameron – Expecting SAPS success is like believing a donkey can win Durban July (biznews.com)

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.