Monday, October 27, 2014
Zuma's probe into Phiyega welcome - Dianne Kohler Barnard
Zuma's probe into Phiyega welcome - Dianne Kohler Barnard
Dianne Kohler Barnard
DA MP says a career police officer has not headed SAPS since 2000 and the effects have been devastating
DA welcomes probe into Phiyega
The DA welcomes the fact that, after writing to President Jacob Zuma not once but twice, he has now ordered a ministerial probe into the conduct of the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, but will further request that the terms of reference be expanded to include Phiyega's entire record in office to determine whether or not she is indeed a fit and proper person to hold this crucial office (see Sunday Independent report).
This comes after reports that President Zuma has ordered a ministerial probe into her handling and interference in the Western Cape Police Commissioner Lamoer issue for allegedly defeating the ends of justice by tipping him off to an ongoing investigation he was the subject of. The probe will also look into the possibility that Phiyege misled the public when she claimed she was not awsare that Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma, whom she had appointed Gauteng police commissioner, faced criminal charges.
Phiyega was appointed 12 June 2012 after two terrible failures by her non-police predecessors. Despite requests from all sectors that he choose a career police officer, the President chose her, and the DA was cautiously optimistic that with her much vaunted managerial experience she would manage a major turnaround at the SAPS.
Instead she has stumbled from crisis to crisis.
There has not been a career police officer in the position of National Police Commissioner since 2000 and the effects of political appointments have been devastating. We now have an under-resourced, under-trained and increasingly brutal police service.
At the outset of her tenure, the DA sent her a to-do list of the top priorities we believed she needed to focus on. This included the following:
Ensuring that every single police station in this country was provided with water, sanitation facilities and electricity and address the needs of the 153 stations where police officers in the line of duty are going without such basic services;
Reintroducing and strengthening the specialised units controversially disbanded by Jackie Selebi including the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units, Anti-Hijacking units, the Narcotics Bureau and anti-Gang units;
Demilitarise the police service, as recommended by the DA and the National Development Plan, to ensure that a culture of service returns to the SAPS which puts people first
Enhancing station management skills to ensure that professional police stations were properly managed and resourced with the right expertise;
Introducing mandatory specialised training and fitness requirements to ensure that the police were not only fighting fit, but also skilled in combatting violent crime;
Enforcing performance agreements in the SAPS and recognising and rewarding exceptional performance; and
Empowering station commanders to encourage local initiatives at the station-level to develop innovative and localised policing strategies which responded to the specific needs of communities.
Of these seven priority interventions which we asked Commissioner Phiyega to address, she has failed to make any discernible difference in relation to any single one of them.
Instead the country watched in horror as the police shot dead 34 miners at Marikana. Since this tragedy, and after she congratulated them for their actions, she has moved from crisis to crisis.
We will thud write to the President to ask that he adds the following on to this investigation by the Ministers, which we can only conclude will lead to the legislatively mandated Judicial Commission to determine whether or not to rid us of this latest Police Commissioner whose tenure has been marred by the following:
The annual crime statistics release has now been bungled twice in the two years under this NPC. Last year the incorrect census data was used, skewing the figures, and this year the wrong stats were used for both KZN and Limpopo, with nonsensical data being reported, handed out and put up on the SAPS website. One is hard pressed to find a South African who believes anything but the fact that the annual murder rate is once again up.
Richard Mdluli remains on suspension and the Crime Intelligence Unit is in tatters. She then both hired and then suspended a new head of Crime Intelligence after he laid charges after listening to her allegedly tipping off the Western Cape Police Commissioner that he was under investigation.
The NPC is driving what can only be described as a taxpayer funded witch-hunt against the head of the Hawks KZN, Major-General Johan Booysen. The Attorney she hired cleared the Maj-General of any and all accusations, and insisted he be allowed back to work. He had previously been cleared twice in the Labour Court and one in the High Court. She is once again wasting taxpayers' money taking this on review, and putting him on special leave. She has come out of that hearing extremely poorly, "her evidence was evasive and unsatisfactory and she had no insight or knowledge of the factual content relating to these events". "The charges against Booysen were contrived to get rid of him".
Throughout the Marikana crisis she showed her lack of knowledge of policing and failed to acknowledge the police's responsibility in the death of 44 people, going as far as to say that they did not kill them;
No progress has been made in addressing police brutality;
She has failed to rectify the resourcing crisis in the SAPS;
No decisive action has been taken against SAPS members found to have criminal records - except that she set up Boards of Inquiry illegally, and the results were thrown out in court
There are 39 000 operational SAPS members without firearm competency certificates; a massive increase from the 21 000 in 2012.
There are at least 20 000 operational SAPS members without driver's licences
After the Jackie Selebi closures, the SAPS is still without anti-hijacking units, the narcotics bureau, or the anti-gang units. International best practice shows that these are crucial in gang- and drug infested areas.
The impact of the militarisation of the SAPS was seen at Marikana as well as with the increasing levels of police brutality. The re-introduction of military ranks and concomitant shoot-to-kill mentality means that our police now treat the public as the enemy rather than serving to protect them. Commissioner Phiyega stated at the Farlam Commission in 2012 that the SAPS would be demilitarised but failed to say when, contradicted statements made by her political boss, Minister Mthethwa and since then nothing has been done in this regard.
Police officers are currently only required to walk 1.6 km for their fitness assessment and do one minute bent-knee curl-up and one minute push-up. The majority of them fail this test.
Performance agreements have not been instituted within the SAPS and a fair promotion policy has not been implemented.
Empowering Station Commanders to be innovative with their policing strategies has become more pertinent but has not been done.
Instead of addressing these issues, the National Police Commissioner has embarrassed herself time and time again through a lack of policing knowledge and as a result, has shown a lack of leadership. Unfortunately, Phiyega has become better known for what she says rather than what she does.
She has pulled the gender card, claiming she's coming under intense public scrutiny because she is a woman. She claimed that her predecessors had never received the same attention. The reality is that she is coming under scrutiny for failing to show leadership at crucial moments.
The time has now come to seriously consider discharging Riah Phiyega.
Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, September 28 2014
Riah Phiyega's amazing medals - Dianne Kohler Barnard
Dianne Kohler Barnard
24 October 2014
DA MP says the national police commissioner's stunning achievements apparently include time travel
‘Congratulations' to Commissioner Phiyega on four medals for ‘outstanding service'
The DA hereby congratulates the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, for the four medals she has received for her excellent contribution to the police.
The DA received a reply to a parliamentary question revealing that Commissioner Phiyega received 4 medals from former Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa.
These medals included:
1. A SAPS 10-year Commemoration Award. The DA congratulates Commissioner Phiyega for the amazing feat of earning this medal in her 2 years of service. No one else would have been able to pull off 10 years of excellence in 2 short years.
2. A Gold Medal for outstanding service. The DA applauds Nathi Mthethwa for his excellent judgment in awarding this medal to the Police Commissioner. With crime rates on the rise, Marikana, police brutality, mall robberies escalating out of control, thousands of convicted criminals in the SAPS and many other issues still outstanding, one can clearly see how the Commissioner's ‘excellent service' has affected the SAPS. With wise decisions such as this one, it is a mystery why President Zuma had Nathi Mthethwa demoted to the Arts and Culture Portfolio.
3. The World Cup 2010 Support Award for Officers who worked on the World Cup. This is arguably Riah Phiyega's greatest achievement. It is incredible that she was able to earn this award given that the World Cup took place a full two years before the Commissioner even joined the Police.
4. An amalgamation medal for the 11 police agencies that were amalgamated into one service in 1994. This is extremely well done given that this, too, far preceded her time at the SAPS by 18 years.
But we think Riah Phiyega can do even more for her country.
I will personally bestow a fifth medal on Riah Phiyega on one condition: If she agrees to resign, we will provide her with a DA-sponsored patriotic duty award. Surely, having reached such heights at the SAPS, the time has now come for the Police Commissioner to step aside and give the next person a chance. That would be a patriotic act worthy of celebrating with a medal.
Of course, I will also be submitting further Parliamentary questions to the Police Minister to determine exactly how it is that the Police Commissioner was able to win these medals. It's almost too good to be true.
Text of the parliamentary reply:
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 1669
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 19 SEPTEMBER 2014
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 17-2014)
1669. Ms D Kohler (DA) to ask the Minister of Police:
(a) How many medals did the National Police Commissioner wear at the 2014 National Police Remembrance Day, (b) what was each medal awarded for and (c) who awarded each medal to the specified person?
(a) Four (4),
(b) - SAPS, Gold medal for outstanding service
- SAPS, 10 year commemoration
- Soccer world cup 2010 support
(c) Medals were awarded by the former Minister of Police
Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, October 24 2014