ISS encouraged by Khomotso Phahlane leadership role in Saps

The ISS Gareth Newham says Phahlane has conducted a full assessment of the police’s management structures.

Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Pahlane arrives in Vuwani for readiness briefing and addressed the media later. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies says it's encouraged by the leadership acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has provided to the South African Police Services which is evident in the interventions announced in Parliament.

Yesterday, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, accompanied by South African Police Services senior officials briefed Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police, where it was revealed murder was up by 4.9 percent in the 2015/16 financial year.

The figures show that violent crime continues to increase although marginally but police management has announced wide ranging plans to turn this around.

The ISS Gareth Newham says Phahlane has conducted a full assessment of the police's management structures.

"Looking at his top management and saying where do we have inefficiencies? Who are the dead wood? Where do we need posts to be filled? And then he filled those posts with dedicated, highly experienced officers, so we're quite impressed with about 18 new appointment."

He says the changes are evident in the ways the statistics were presented.

"You could see there's a level of determination, there's high level of skill and understanding as Member of Parliament said we don't fear like you're trying to pull a wool over our eyes."

From early next year, crime stats will be released on a quarterly basis.


Parliamentarians have stressed the upward trend in contact crimes, which includes murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual offences, have to be addressed as a priority.

Overall, contact crimes have gone up by 1 percent.

Police Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said citizens have to play a part.

"Because most of the contact crime is between people who know each other, so it's really I think duty on community members to become involved with their community policing forums but also to ensure that they work together with the police in fighting the scourge."

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Zakhele Mbele said it appears crime fighting is regressing.

"There has been stagnation in many categories where the numbers we saw 10 years ago are still the same numbers, so we're not making a turnaround and this remains rooted in the chronic neglect under the police for the past 10 years."

The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Groenewald raised concern about the consistent increase in contact crimes over the last four years.


At the same time, Parliamentarians called on police management to do more to ensure crime is reduced.

The statistic show that the national murder rate is now 34 per 100,000, up from 33 last year.

Beukman has welcomed drop in some crimes including sexual offences, but is concerned about an increase in contact crimes.

"It's essential that the police services ensure that from a policing point of view, in terms of visibility as well as crime detection, that more effort is made to decrease the figures."