20% 3 119 31%
personal loyalty to him, rather than expertise and knowledge to run the police. For example, [suspended Hawks boss Berning] Ntlemeza was illegally appointed without following a clear process and despite the knowledge that he was dishonest,” he said. Sapu blamed political interference, saying it was South Africa’s main problem. “There is a perception out there that suggests that politicians are appointing a national commissioner to look after their own interests ... and to cover up their corrupt activities, as opposed to serving the Republic without fear or favour. “We firmly believe a career cop will make the best national commissioner, as long as there is a healthy arm’s length between the minister and the national commissioner,” Kwinika said. Newham argued that the Hawks’ poor performance could improve if the appointment process of the unit’s head was changed. He said there had been a huge decline in performance, despite a budget increase of more than twofold from the 2007/08 financial year (R36 billion) to the 2016/17 financial year (R87 billion). He said the ISS based its argument on the Hawks’ performance, which showed that the unit had gone down from 14 793 arrests in 2010/11 to 5 847 in 2014/15. In 2010/11, it had secured 7 037 convictions; in 2014/14, convictions were down to a mere 1 176. He added that statistics also showed that 3 119 more people were killed last year than five years ago – which meant that the SAPS was underperforming. Newham said they were not saying President Jacob Zuma or any future president should lose his constitutional powers to appoint police unit bosses, but that the recommended candidates should be chosen through transparent selection processes. “The process we propose would ensure that the relevant experience, expertise and characteristics of the different applicants will be weighed up against one another so that the best possible [candidates] are considered. Among the minimum criteria is that the [person] appointed must possess integrity beyond reproach,” he said.
Newham said South Africa was spoilt for choice when it came to people who were qualified and experienced to enhance the safety of citizens and take the police service forward as an organisation.
“I know of excellent senior police [members] and other top public service managers who could do a good job of managing the police and the Hawks.
“However, our campaign is about asking that clear criteria be adopted for assessing applicants and that a transparent and competitive process be used to develop a shortlist of potential candidates ... we are not interested in lobbying on behalf of specific individuals,” he said.
The campaign was also based on the National Development Plan (NDP) segment that states: “The national commissioner of police and deputies should be appointed on a competitive basis. A selection panel, established by the president, would select and interview candidates for these posts.
“Clear and objective criteria should be established to ensure that the incumbents are respected and held in high esteem by the police service and the community.”
The NDP document on government’s 2030 vision has been adopted by the ANC. 15 000 12 000 9 000 6 000 3 000 0 14 793 7 037 TALK TO US Do you agree that the appointment of the national police commissioner and the Hawks boss should be more transparent? SMS us on 35697 using the keyword SAPS and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50