20 February 2011
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Developmen, Jeff Radebe
It was just over three months ago, on 24 October 2010 (also a Sunday), when the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) Ministers jointly signed the Delivery Agreement with the President. That signified the cluster’s undertaking to embark on a prioritized Programme of Action towards making South Africa safe for all and attractive to visitors and investors.
The objectives to have a stable, safe and thriving democratic dispensation rests on our shoulders as the JCPS cluster, as we are custodians of the Constitution and all laws of the Republic. We are charged with ensuring that the relevant defence, police and correctional mechanisms are in place and work efficiently and effectively. We have pledged and committed ourselves to the President and to the country towards curbing any threat to our people’s citizenship and their physical integrity – this extends to our economy and the national territory.It remains our continued obligation as a cluster to ensure that the appropriate foundation, reflective of our Constitutional principles and ideals, is laid down and sustained.
In carrying out our main business, we are steadfastly monitoring various activities that will assist us to meet all our Outputs and in turn contribute towards the realization of our Outcome. We have employed a focused approach which channels available resources towards ensuring that "All People in South Africa are, and Feel Safe" (Outcome 3). Our efforts must be seen in the context of other Government priorities which all contribute towards improving the quality of lives for all in our country.
Our Delivery Agreement entails the Cluster’s plan on priority interventions with associated targets and measurements that have been assigned to all stakeholders.
Economic development and job creation cannot be realized without investor confidence in the economy and a sense of security. It is also acknowledged that the development of the rural parts of our country cannot be fully realized without freedom from crime. Our fight against all forms of crime, including corruption, creates a conducive environment for the pursuit of and links up with other identified government priorities.
In line with government’s new growth path, the cluster will make a contribution, both directly and indirectly towards the realization of our goal. As you shall see, we are making strides in the fight against corruption. Addressing this aspect will boast investor confidence and the growth of our economy. This in turn will lead to more jobs being created. In a more direct way, the cluster will fill all vacant funded posts as soon as possible. In addition, we will embark on a more vigorous learnership programs in order to provide skills to the communities in order to make them employable. The Department of Correctional Services has already lifted two year moratorium on filling the vacancies and all other cluster departments shall follow.
There will be an Indaba between the Economic, JCPS, Governance and Administration Clusters and civil society to review and evaluate the effectiveness of diversion programmes. The Indaba will also address prejudice suffered by rehabilitated offenders who are released from correctional facilities. This is aimed at assisting rehabilitated offenders to access job opportunities and financial support for their businesses.
Today’s presentation is a combination of the results of work we have carried out in recent years, and our plans for the year and years ahead.
Output 1: Reduced overall levels of serious crime in particular contact and trio crimes South Africa has unacceptable high levels of crime and the situation must be interdicted.We are determined to reduce overall levels of serious crime with a specific focus on reducing contact and trio crime levels so that we are able to enhance the people's feeling of safety in our country.
There has in general terms been a reduction in most serious crimes - including contact and trio crime categories. According to the 2009/2010 crime statistics, organized business robberies, and cash heists for example, have declined.Over the past years, there were increases in business robberies; however from last year we began to experience stabilization in this area.These successes can be attributed amongst other things, to effective partnerships between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the business sector. We are now focusing on small and informal businesses.
There has been a noteworthy decrease in the volume of sexual offences cases that have been processed. For the period from April 2008 to March 2009, a total of 70 514 cases were reported, whilst a total of 68 332 cases were reported between April 2009 and March 2010. This confirms a 3% reduction rate of sexual offences.
We have set a target to increase the trio crime detection rate from 13.5% to 34% by 2014. A 24% increase in the finalization of trio crime cases was achieved in 2010. Of the 276 trio crime cases that were finalized, 239 resulted in convictions, translating into 86.6% conviction rate.
We are determined and convinced that our security agencies are better prepared than ever before to detect and combat crime. We are encouraged by the successes that these agencies have achieved in recent times in the war against criminals. The one case worth mentioning is the recent sentencing of the “sugar cane serial killer” in KwaZulu-Natal. Dedication and distinction are the attributes of both the investigation and prosecution teams that worked on this complex case.
There has been a focused attention on improving crime information and Intelligence to support crime prevention and investigation.The recent discovery of arms cache at various locations across the country was not a coincidence.
Operation Duty Calls implemented during the festive season succeeded in making South Africa a safe place. Police visibility has and still contributes a great deal in the success of tourism industry.
Output 2: Effective and integrated Criminal Justice System (CJS) We have made significant headway in the implementation of the Seven Point Plan following the review of the CJS which relates to this Output. These interventions which are being implemented will lead to a more efficient and effective criminal justice system.
We will continue to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the police in the identified fields. The Police appointed 2 396 general detectives and brought the total detective establishment to 22 687 in 2010. A total of 4 993 recruits reported for training at various colleges in January this year. To ensure a highly skilled police service, all members of the police service will be introduced to basic detective work.
More Judicial officers were appointed last year: 41 judges and 107 magistrates to relief pressure points. The NPA appointed 83 prosecutors; and Legal Aid South Africa made 93 appointments.
In order to turn the situation around on case backlogs, we have appointed 56 regional magistrates and 17 district court magistrates on contract. They have been deployed in the backlog courts to give backlog cases a focused attention so that those cases are finalized without further delays.
In this financial year, a total of 56 additional Regional Courts and 17 Districts Courts finalized 10 022 cases in the first 2 quarters. There was at the end of November 2010 in total 35 909 backlog cases (17,8%) at all court levels. The backlog target set in the Delivery Agreement was to reduce the 42 682 backlogs in 2008/09 to 38 414 in 2014. We have already met that target and will therefore set new targets during 2011.
There has been an improvement in the number of cases finalized. There were 233 659 cases finalized in the first 6 months of 2010, compared to 232 776 cases finalized in the corresponding period in 2009.A positive clearance ratio of 7.1% was managed by the Lower and High Courts in 2010.
Strategic frameworks as well as policy and legislative interventions also received attention.
On transformation of the Judiciary, good progress has been made with finalizing legislation dealing with the Superior and High Courts. The Constitution Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill have been approved by Cabinet and will be introduced into Parliament this year.
The White Paper on the Management of Awaiting Trial Detainees (ATDs), which focuses on remand detention and rehabilitation of offenders, has been finalized and approved by Cabinet in October 2010. Cabinet also approved the Correctional Matters Amendment Bill which will provide for a new medical parole policy, to strengthen the general policy on parole and correctional supervision, and to provide for a legislative basis for the management of remand detention as envisaged in the White Paper.
Long outstanding matters involving ATDs are being prioritized by the Cluster. Positive results have also been achieved regarding reducing the number of children in Correctional Centers.As at October 2010, there were only 290 ATD children country-wide in our Correctional Centers.
Rural development can never be complete without those found in rural areas being and feeling safe. We are implementing rural safety plan to respond to the safety and security needs of the rural communities. In the previous (2009/2010) and current (2010/2011) financial years, the SAPS procured 1 385 new vehicles to enable the police the fight crime in rural areas. The benefits of deployment of those vehicles are already being realized, with crime analysis showing that crime levels are beginning to stabilize.
Output 3: Corruption within the JCPS Cluster combated to ensure its effectiveness and its ability to serve as deterrent against crime Achievement of government priorities will to a considerable degree depend on clean administration of affairs within state organs.A corruption baseline report indicating information on cases of corruption with the JCPS Cluster is being developed. The report will bear testimony to our resolve that government is serious about fighting corruption even within its own ranks.
While the report is being finalized, it is worth noting that in the police, 119 police officers and staff members were dismissed following investigations on fraud and corruption in 2009/2010 financial year. The police cannot effectively fight crime when some of its components and members are themselves involved in criminal activities.Therefore the clean-up within the police and the cluster will continue unabated.
In December 2010 the Department of Home Affairs arrested a number of officials implicated in fraudulent activities including their involvement in the production of Identity Documents (ID’s) and passports.This attests to the zeal and determination with which the cluster intends to rid itself of corrupt elements in the interests of national security.
Output 4: Perception on the management of crime among the population improved The Delivery Agreement directs that an annual victim survey be conducted. The survey is receiving attention and will take place in the next few months.
To better provide care for and support to the victims of crime, the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres has increased from 17 to 22 in the current financial year. The Police are also increasing the number of victim-friendly rooms at all the police stations country-wide. There were at the end of Quarter 2 in 2010, 866 such victim-friendly facilities already in place country-wide.
As at December 2010, 978 offender names have been registered in the Sexual Offences Register. The Register will serve as a useful tool that will guard against exposing convicted sexual offenders to children and people with mental disability.
Output 5: Levels of corruption reduced thus improving investor perception, trust and willingness to invest in South Africa Through the Delivery Agreement, the cluster has undertaken to ensure prosecution of at least 100 people by 2014 who have accumulated assets of at least R5 million through illicit means. We are confident that the implementation of the plan we have in place will improve investor confidence in our economy which will lead to more investments and more jobs.
In the last two years President Zuma issued proclamations authorizing the Special Investigating Unit to investigate state organs across the three spheres of government. The seizure of assets estimated at R250 million in this financial confirms that we remain resolute to fight the scourge of corruption. In this financial year alone, the President issued 16 proclamations authorizing investigations relating to corruption in procurement and contracts with the estimated value of R15 billion. Out of that R10 billion of it is in the form procurement investigation that is currently being undertaken.
As we speak, there are 19 persons facing various corruption and related charges in our courts. These individuals form part of 100 people we must address by 2014 and fall under the criterion I have referred to already. We have in addition, restrained assets worth more than half-a-billion rand. To any doubting Thomas, the message could not be clearer.
Output 6: South Africa’s borders effectively safeguarded and secured A Task Team (comprising of SARS, DOD, SAPS, DPW, NIA and DHA) has been established to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach is implemented to ensure border post security and borderline integrity. The establishment of a Border Management Agency is receiving due consideration and will be finalized by 2014.
The Movement Control System (MCS) and Advanced Passenger Processing System (APP), operationalised ahead of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup continues to be invaluable in ensuring that we detect and prevent undesirable persons from entering South Africa. We now have a more reliable system capable of providing updated statistics on traveler movements.
Members of the South African National Defence Force will continue to safeguard our borders, through a four-phase deployment plan. The 1st and 2nd phases involving borders with Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland have been finalized. Phases 3 and 4 which involve borders with Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana will be rolled out soon.
The cluster will also be looking at alternative ways, including the use of technology, to safeguard our borders.
Output 7: Integrity of Identity and Status of Citizens and Residents secured.
We have launched a campaign whose aim is to ensure that parents register their babies within 30 days of birth and are issued with birth certificates so they can receive social services provided by government.With all babies being registered within 30 days, government can plan to issue ID’s to those who are 16 years and older. This is yet another intervention aimed at making our National Population Register secure, credible and accurate.
Through the assistance of Stakeholder Fora, established throughout the country, by October 2010 a total of 635 358 births were registered and 713 776 first time IDs issued. The campaign has resulted in 89% of South Africans registering births within 12 months and of these, 51% of babies were registered within 30 days.
In an attempt to clean up our population register, the Department of Home Affairs implemented the Zimbabwe Documentation Project which allowed all undocumented Zimbabweans to apply to have their stay in South Africa regularized by 31 December 2010.In this regard, 275 762 illegal Zimbabwean nationals heeded the call.
Output 8: Integration of ICT Systems and Development of a Cyber-Security Policy implementation plan to combat cyber-crime activities Technology and modernization programme is being implemented within the cluster. This includes alignment and integration of systems where appropriate. Integration of the Department of Home Affairs identity systems with those in the Criminal Justice System is one of the projects currently underway. The Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) has been made available to the Master of High Court and is being rolled out to all High Courts.
A draft Cyber Security Policy has been developed and will be considered by Cabinet this year. The draft Cyber-Security Policy aims to provide a framework to bolster and improve South Africa’s cyber-security. The policy will enable government to fight crime such as child sexual material on the internet and the attacks on information systems as well as identity fraud.
The JCPS Cluster has done reasonably well in joint operations and will continue doing so in 2011. Many of the planned JCPS transformation activities are now firmly entrenched in the stakeholder departments through strategic and operational plans.
Focus area in 2011 will be on the promotion of a “Zero Tolerance to Crime” culture through campaigns amongst especially young people to promote discipline, patriotism and civic education which will be facilitated by State Institutions, the private sector, civil society and in the individual families and households.
Ladies and gentlemen, as government and as a country, we are stemming the tide against corruption and we are indeed making strides in the fight against crime.
Cell: 079 462 5081
Issued by: Department of Mineral Resources