Communities across South Africa suffer a daily and persistent attack on their constitutional rights because of violent crime. Crime (and the fear of crime) violates people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom and security of the person, and limits their freedom of movement.
Poverty and unemployment, combined with poor service delivery and infrastructure, have created neighbourhoods where people do not feel safe in the streets and in their homes. In these neighbourhoods, women and children in particular risk their safety by going to the toilet or walking to school. One such community is Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.
Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) works closely with other organisations who are based in Khayelitsha and who have strong membership in the area. As a result of its experiences and those of its partner organisations, they have become concerned with the progress that SAPS has made towards ensuring a democratic and effective police service for poor and working-class communities.
This is why, for the first time, Ndifuna Ukwazi has decided to publish a shadow report on SAPS. In this case, our report is a response to the 2012/2013 SAPS Annual Report.
NU analysed various reports from SAPS, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), and the Auditor-General. It also monitored and participated in proceedings of the O’Regan–Pikoli Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating alleged inefficiency by the police in Khayelitsha and an alleged breakdown of relations between the community and the police. Where applicable, the shadow report includes excerpts from community testimony and data on Khayelitsha, to demonstrate how this specific community experiences national trends.
This shadow report is not a comprehensive analysis of policing in South Africa. It focuses on a few key areas within SAPS, namely how the budget is spent; the quality of leadership and management; the quality of training; the issuing of Information Systems (IS) and Information Communication Technology (ICT) tenders; and the reliability of the data SAPS supplies.
The findings in this report are based largely on reports produced by SAPS and other government departments, not on the first-hand collection of evidence. These findings clearly indicate that SAPS has a long way to go towards becoming a democratic service that is effective and accountable, under ethical and professional command.