MINISTER DAN PLATO
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF COMMUNITY SAFETY
Following recent admissions by the Acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi at a SAPS briefing to Parliament that “other powers beyond us” were deciding whether a case should be prosecuted and that external powers allegedly take cases away from SAPS – I have written to the National Commissioner to find out how these actions have affected the Western Cape. (The office of the National Police Commissioner has confirmed receiving the letter)
In terms of my oversight role as Minister of Community Safety in the Western Cape, I would like to know from the National Commissioner if any such incidents have occurred in the Western Cape, and if so, what the details of these cases are.
Any interference in SAPS ability to conduct its policing function and ensuring the safety of our citizens is not only undemocratic, it is illegal and criminal. There is no room for politics in the South African Police Service (SAPS).
It is critical that the correct example be set at the highest level in the police service so that the same ethical approach can be respected and adopted at lower levels too.
It is reported that National Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa’s office has requested specific information regarding the Commissioner’s claims – I welcome this request and would like to appeal that should any of this alleged meddling affect cases in the Western Cape, I would like to know the details of these cases so that the necessary corrective action can be taken – the cases must be properly investigated, without fear or favour.
Effective oversight over the South African Police Service (SAPS) as written in the Constitution requires provincial governments to, among other responsibilities, “monitor police conduct, oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service, including receiving reports on the police service; and to promote good relations between the police and the community.”