27 Jan 2017
Keynote address by the Minister of police, the Honourable Nkosinathi Nhleko delivered at the South African Police National Police Day Outreach Programme in Rustenburg
SARPCCO Police Chiefs:
Commissioner Makgope, Botswana
Major General Shilunga, Namibia
Deputy Commissioner Mohaneng, Lesotho
Deputy Commissioner Matibiri, Zimbabwe
Commissioner Magagula, Swaziland and partner
It is a great honour for me to celebrate National Police Day 2017 with colleagues, members of the SAPS and the communities of Boitekong.
National Police Day is a very special in our calendar. A day in which our men and women in blue, rededicate themselves to the noble and critical vocation they have taken. On this day we take pride in the job we do and use this occasion to reaffirm and remind ourselves about the six pillars of the back-to-basics approach adopted by the SAPS.
On a day where the police and their work are in the spotlight, it is perhaps apt that I share with you the six pillars of the White Paper on Safety.
- an effective criminal justice system;
- early intervention to prevent crime and violence and promote safety;
- victim support;
- effective integrated service delivery for safety, security and violence and crime preventions;
- safety through environmental design; and
- active public and community participation.
Clearly it is imperative that our approach to policing is based on an integrated and developmental approach. This tenet also says boldly and clearly that safety extends far beyond the purview of just the police, but calls for a broad societal role in making our country safe and secure from crime.
As members of the SAPS we play a pivotal role in making South African citizens enjoy their freedom and democracy in a meaningful manner.
It is deeply rooted in the ideals of the National Development Plan which envisages a situation where people live in safe environments with equal access and recourse to high quality of services when affected by crime and violence.
More importantly, it talks to preventative action, which will be achieved by the concerted effort of all sectors concerned to address the fundamental causes of crime including roles by departments such as Health, Social Development, Education, the Criminal Justice System and co-operative governance. So much can be achieved in the fight against crime if we work together.
The White Paper on Policing places an emphasis on the core of policing and, provides a framework that will regularise SAPS as part of the broader public service. In that way, we hope to enhance effective civilian oversight over SAPS.
The SAPS of today is an institution committed to justice and the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It is by no means a perfect institution, but so much is happening for the good of all our citizens.
We are gravely concerned about crimes against women and children, drug and alcohol abuse in our society. We urge communities to work harder to isolate criminals and rid society of all these crimes and causes of so much strife and suffering.
On National Police Day we fully recommit to the noble values that are now among the key tenets of the SAPS. We must recommit to a people-centred, demilitarised, professional and service-driven policing dispensation in our country. We are nothing without our people and on National Police Day we all must rededicate ourselves to serving our people with excellence and all we have in our power.
It is important for our nation to heal and the role of the SAPS is critical in rebuild our nation. By training the police right, we are confident they will play their part with confidence and help make our nation cohesive and peaceful. We all must embrace the SAPS and help the service to more geared to account to the citizens and the constitution.
We are working even harder in the SAPS to ensure that members restrain themselves when handling crowds and politically volatile situations. Unlike in the past, the SAPS are not there to prevent our citizens from protesting and airing their grievances freely.
In December we were proud when almost 5 000 SAPS recruits graduated after eight months of intensive training at the SAPS academies in Tswane, Phillipi, Bisho and Chatsworth with an even stronger and longer module in crowd management.
We are surely beginning to inculcate the ethos of the Marikana commission recommendations in our work, and believe there is a greater impact out there where we serve our people. Days of seeing SAPS being at the forefront of human rights abuse as was the case during apartheid, are indeed a thing of the past – save for a few and unfortunate incidents. Overall, our men and women understand that their job is first and foremost about serving all our South Africans.
Recent incidents in which police are murdered sadden and disturb us a lot. We urge our people to play their part in exposing criminals who threaten or take the lives of our members. Attacks on SAPS members are in effect attacks on the Constitution. They must stop and stop now.
It is also a great honour for me to hand over to the Kollobe family, be part of the handing of food parcels and the planting of trees in Boitekong.
No matter how small these gestures may seem, they represent the genuine and holistic efforts of our Government to change the lives of all our citizens for the better. We are grateful to the South African Security Agency (SASSA) and the Department of Social Development for identifying the families that needed this kind of urgent relief from the state.
I also look forward to vibrant engagements with the community members of the Ikageng Village and all the people present at this SAPS community outreach event.