SAPS disciplinary processes audited

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pretoria - An extensive audit of the disciplinary processes within SAPS has been completed, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

The audit was carried out by a joint team from Civilian Secretariat for Police and SAPS Human Resource Development and a final report on the audit will be submitted to the minister at the end of the month.

Mthethwa said the preliminary findings of the report highlighted "deficiencies" in the approach to discipline within SAPS.

"In some cases the audit even resulted in cases being reopened and in other cases, the actual officials involved in the disciplinary process themselves being charged. The National Instruction on promotions as it currently stands does not sufficiently address issues of discipline management," he said.

This is being reviewed as part of a final audit report and weaknesses will be rectified.

Mthethwa was responding to a question in Parliament on Wednesday, related to whether SAPS officials have been promoted or transferred to other positions after they were investigated for wrong-doing in their previous positions.

The National Instructions on Promotions currently allowed for people who had been investigated for wrong-doing to be promoted, as it provides that employees against whom criminal or disciplinary investigations were pending or had criminal convictions or findings of misconduct may be considered for promotion, he said.

"While SAPS is supposed to pay due regard to the merits of the cases to establish the suitability of a member and only members found suitable are promoted, I am not happy with this situation. Indeed there is a need to begin to hold managers in the SAPS accountable," Mthethwa added.

As part of efforts to create a professional police service, the organisation needed to eliminate any bad practises that existed.

"In this regard we must not only review the actual standing order to align it with the type of service we want to build but call managers to account for their actions," he added.

Mthethwa noted the importance of people being promoted as part of their career-pathing, but officials should not be promoted into positions where they did not have capacity or skills.

"If someone performs well in the area of crime prevention or detective services the promotion should reflect the skill and the person should not then be promoted into another area where the person cannot build on," he explained.

Mthethwa also addressed the issue of whether SAPS had a policy on standard lease period for the buildings it leased from other government departments and private companies.

The policy regarding standard lease periods is determined by the Department of Public Works (DPW) and not by SAPS, he clarified.

However, SAPS acknowledged that it had not always informed DPW timeously of leases expiring and this had to be addressed, he said.

"Over the last two months I have been engaging with SAPS about how they manage their infrastructure and have instructed them that effective management must become one of their priorities for the next year.

"I will be expecting to see a marked difference in how SAPS is managing this infrastructure over the next year and have informed them I will be holding them accountable," Mthethwa added.

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