Empower police detectives: iLIVE
I agree with your editorial comment yesterday about SAPS detectives. I saw on TV how a police officer carried a retrieved pistol with his ungloved hand [after the Marikana shooting].
I know of a case that SAPS detectives in Katlehong have failed to solve for five years. They have yet to arrest a person who activated and abused a cellphone SIM card to the tune of R45000. This despite more than 50 pages of itemised bills that point to a particular person.
I believe if we had competent detectives, he could have been identified and arrested. - Mfuleni Kathorus, by e-mail
IT WAS refreshing to read on your front page yesterday that the parliamentarians serving on its police portfolio committee have awakened to the need for proper training of police personnel ("MPs condemn sloppy detective work"). They reason, correctly, that legislating for this is an appropriate strategy, having regard to the parlous circumstances of policing.
It is fervently to be hoped that they will now reconsider their attitude on training of the Hawks as well as the detectives who were under the spotlight in the hearing.
The Constitutional Court has identified the attributes of a successful anti-corruption entity in its March 2011 judgment in the Glenister case. They are: specialisation, training, independence, guaranteed resourcing and security of tenure of personnel. The SAPS Amendment Bill, at present awaiting presidential signature, does not make any provision for the proper training of specialist Hawks personnel. It is not too late to address the shortcomings of the bill. The need to ensure adequate training is but one of its deficiencies.
Now that it has dawned on the committee that "ensuring adequate training and reasoned promotion" through legislative measures is indicated, the time has come to do so in respect of the Hawks, too.
A failure to join the dots between what's going on in the committee and the gaps in the bill could lead to the remedial legislation in respect of the Hawks being struck down for want of compliance with the criteria identified by the Constitutional Court.