Cele finds pockets of excellence during provincial visits

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pretoria - National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says he has found "pockets of excellence" in some parts of the country during his visits to police management in all nine provinces.

The visits, which were completed in six days, were part of assessing the working conditions and the level of policing in the country's police stations.

"During the visits, the South African Police Service (SAPS) delegation, led by National Commissioner Cele discovered pockets of excellence in some provinces that needs to be spread in all other provinces to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of police operations," the office of the SAPS National Commissioner said in a statement.

However, there were provinces with serious challenges that National Commissioner Cele pledged will be addressed swiftly in ensuring that resources, skills and capacity are equal to the fight against crime.

He said there was a strong belief that the visits would yield good results in channeling all SAPS resources in fighting crime and creating safer communities.

"Our members will carry the organisation in high esteem and with the dignity it deserves.

"To this end, issues of police morale, posture, wellbeing and recruitment will be addressed so that police continue to bite heavily on criminals hence we say with all our plans in the pipeline: Run Tsotsi Run!" said National Commissioner Cele.

Speaking to Radio 702 on Wednesday morning, National Commissioner Cele said the top management must retreat and work on what they think is best and spread it to the entire organisation across the country and other relevant machinery.

He affirmed that all national deputy and divisional commissioners will be deployed to provinces to empower the provincial structures.

"To improve policing services, all national commissioners, deputies and divisional commissioners, will be allocated to spend one day a month in each province to mentor the problematic police stations," he said.

Top SAPS management will soon attend a two-day intensive retreat to map a way forward taking into account the provincial visits.

Responding to the recent spate of mall robberies, he said the top SAPS commissioners, including the Head of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat, were working on a plan to curb them. "We are working on it and we will respond to it," he said.

He said his department was working hard to make people feel safe and achieve their mandate.

"We have got one mandate to make people in South Africa feel safe. When they go out to shops and walk on the streets they must feel safe. That is the mandate we must fulfill and we are working hard to achieve this mandate," National Commissioner Cele said.

He said: "Although crime will not be completely eradicated, they are all working hard towards a level where people of South Africa will see something abnormal when a person is being raped or murdered, by putting crime to the accepted level."

Meanwhile, Commissioner Cele has dismissed media reports that there is a conflict between Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy Fikile Mbalula, which might jeopardize their efforts to fight crime.

"I have never witnessed any form of clash between the two," he said.

"We have meetings every Monday to chart our week forward and as far as I understand, we are a great team that will do a turn around," he said