Media Release: Minister Bheki Cele Agrees SAPS Western Cape is Failing Residents | Western Cape Government

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Media Release: Minister Bheki Cele Agrees SAPS Western Cape is Failing Residents

22 March 2019

Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, says he is pleased that the national Minister of Police, Bheki Cele has agreed to establish a specialised team to intervene in systemic SAPS’ failures, amongst others, to fully present case dockets before the court.

The Western Cape Government, as part of its oversight mandate, has implemented a monitoring programme called Watching Briefs that observes the progress of identified cases in courts, which are primarily gang related, and reports police inefficiencies. 

These reports are compiled on a quarterly basis and provided to the Provincial Commissioner to address. 

The recent Watching Briefs report, for the period 1 October to 31 December 2018, indicates that more than 300 cases were struck off the court roll, due to:

CASES STRUCK OFF COURT ROLE FOR QUARTER 3

DOCKETS NOT AT COURT

129

INVESTIGATION INCPOMPLETE

126

WITNESSES NOT AT COURT

31

UNAVAILABILITY OF FORENSIC REPORTS

19

ACCUSED NOT BROUGHT TO COURT

7

TOTAL

312

 

The report further shows that for this period, Nyanga station was responsible for close to 20% of the dockets not being at court, while only ten stations are responsible for 53% of cases being struck off the roll, also due to dockets not being at court.

Upon receiving the report, Minister Winde wrote to Minister Cele to highlight these systematic failures of SAPS. Included in the correspondence, Minister Winde proposed that “a team of suitably skilled and qualified individuals be established, to develop an intervention so that these failures could be addressed.”

In response to Minister Winde’s proposal, Minister Cele said: “I am in support of the proposal as outlined in the letter from the MEC, Western Cape Community Safety. The Secretariat is advised to adopt the project and implement the project at a National level and by all Provinces (Department of Community Safety and Liaison).” [sic]

Minister Winde said: “This is a victory for the people of the Western Cape and it demonstrates what can be achieved through effective oversight. I am looking forward to further engagements with Minister Cele and the secretariat. We need to discuss how the team who will intervene in SAPS’ failures will be established, what their terms of reference will be, as well as timeframes.

As much as I commend the Minister for agreeing with the Western Cape government in this regard, I’d like to remind him of our other offers that we’ve made to his office, so that visible policing in our communities that are plagued by gang violence can be improved.

This includes the R5 million to reignite the reservists programme, as well as our request for the provision of desks inside police stations where our volunteer Government employees can act as Commissioners of Oaths and certify documents.

Through a pilot project which we held between12 February and 4 March at a kiosk outside Cape Town Central police station, 2582 persons were assisted and 4216 documents certified. This showed that 4 officers could be relieved from this administrative duty to go on patrol.

Minister Winde said: “Minister Cele should use this opportunity and prove that he is fully committed to addressing crime in the Province. We need to be aggressive and innovative if we are going to combat crime, and make this the safest Province in the country.”

Media Enquiries: 

Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Alan Winde
marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za
(021) 483 3873 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)