RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZE VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY
departure of Neville Melville as Executive Director of the Independent
Complaints Directorate (ICD) presents South Africa with the opportunity to
debate the role, functions and success of the ICD.
In its presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security it was
obvious that the ICD is not achieving its mission as set out. The ICD indicated
their belief that perhaps they should rather be doing research in an attempt to
make a real difference in the quality of policing.
The budget for the ICD is R 25 million and yet it is a separate vote. Supposedly
this indicates a commitment by Government to adhere to the principle of an
independent police watchdog. However, more than 70% of that money is spent on
staff costs; both Nationally and Provincially the ICD is characterised by a
top-heavy management structure. It would appear that actual investigation and
the processing of complaints comes a very distant second place after these other
The fact is the ICD, years after its launch, is still not established in all
Provinces. At the Portfolio Committee ICD representatives could not quantify or
qualify the difference that they are making in addressing complaints against
members of the SAPS.
The time has come to make a decision on whether we are serious about the ICD and
its work. If we are serious about the ICD, those elements that are constraining
the ICD to perform its duties need to be addressed. If the ICD requires more
funding then it needs to be addressed. Decisive action is required immediately
regarding the ICD.
Clarity is also required on how the ICD is going to interact and liase with the
new Inspectorate under the leadership of Commissioner Chetty.
Corrupt and irresponsible police members do not only betray the right to safety
of South African citizens, they also endanger the lives of their colleagues who
are dedicated in their protection of our people.
Annelizé van Wyk
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security
14 April 2000