2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


ROLE, FUNCTIONS AND SUCCESS OF THE ICD

MEDIA RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZE VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY

The 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 expenses.

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.



Enquiry:
Annelizé van Wyk
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security


Cape Town
14 April 2000