ISS cautions Saps over management reforms

The ISS’ says police management need to look inward to understand what militarization means in Saps.

Picture: Saps.

PRETORIA - While the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has welcomed police management's decision to demilitarise the service, it says it's going to take much more than simply changing the rank structure.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane revealed details in Pretoria yesterday of the police's restructuring programme.

The general announced the initiative in Parliament last year that will include a back-to-basics approach to policing.

LISTEN: Johan Burger of ISS policing on public order policing can it be fixed.

The ISS' Johan Burger says police management need to look inward to understand what militarisation means in the police services.

"The tone and language used by police and political leaders militarises the minds of police more than the rank changing."

He used the American police as an example.

"They are probably far more militarised than the police in this country and their ranks haven't changed, but what has changed is the way they conduct themselves, the way they are trained and the way they do things."

Burger's colleague, Gareth Newham, has also been appointed to the panel of experts that will help the police implement the Marikana Commission of Inquiry's recommendations.


Yesterday, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said the restructuring of police management was to place people with the appropriate skills in a position where they could use them best.

The minister said the police management structure was finalised and officers were in the process of being appointed.

"The point of emphasis is placing people with skills wherein they can utilise them."