The crime intelligence arm of South Africa is a complete fiasco and has been caught up in a frightful disregard to the democracy of the country. The crime intelligence sector of the South African Police is so secretive in all their dealings, additionally their mandate to gather information is highly questionable. Despite having a secretive and incredible large and diverse budget.
The crime intelligence division is a vitally fundamental structure of combating crime within the country and is not performing at its best. Crime intelligence is a powerful intelligence organization which prescribes to all the institutions involved in Intelligence gathering. They are also linked in a very worrying with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).The failing structure within this section is hampered with committed fraud and corruption and the wrestle for political control. Maladministration brought into the system by improper political interference, infighting and poor governance are the leading causes for the shambles of the crime intelligence division.
Crime intelligence provides information to the police and especially in view of organized crime. While organized crime is most often concealed under legitimate business and not easy to recognize they are to gather enough evidence to avert a disaster and contribution to the courts for prosecution. With the ailing department, low-grade officers who cannot trust their leaders are now providing details of planned crime.
There is no doubt that the crime intelligence sector rule is in crises, many questions have been asked over the past few years by senior police officers. They allege that the crime intelligence sector is not carrying out their mandate of gathering information. It is the officers on the ground that has their own contacts that help them to tackle some of the crime. The officers have admitted that relationships are strained.
Recently, Richard Mdluli, head of the crime intelligence division of South Africa, had been suspended on corruption and murder charges. During this time highly competent and qualified crime intelligence officers were ousted as they created a threat to him. There was an outcry upon Mdluli’s return to duty, and this was referred to as a dangerous move, with possibilities of crime remaining undetected. The complete shambles of this department is a fiasco.
This claim was disputed by the national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makagle, who said it was not true and that the department works hard to fight crime. Makagle also said that the department showed potential for improvement.
Confidence in this unit is doubtful. The dysfunction in the division has serious implications for reducing crime. The department cannot function effectively and efficiently. Another aspect relating to the shambles within this division is the training facilities. The predictions of crimes about to happen or happening presented insufficient evidence to understand the true reality of the crime. It was going back to past crimes and evaluating an outcome for a new crime. Not enough information is gathered or technical details given of a suspected element of crime within the system.
Former Police Commissioner George Fivas, who retired in 2000, admitted in a report that the department’s standards are irregular and raised a concern. He confirmed that there was undeniably something wrong within the structures of the crime intelligence division and cautioned the importance of this department.
He explained that the crime intelligence department’s primary goal was to provide a superior intelligence system to protect the citizens of the country Many concerns surrounding the manner in which the crime intelligence worked remained uncertain. Fivas criticized the State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele’s statement referring to the protection of the crime intelligence division needed.
He referred to the ongoing service delivery protests and in particular the Marikana incident, that constituted the high policing involved in disbanding these acts. He said the police acting alone could not solve the situation. The intelligence sector should tell the ground police what is happening in a timely process and then they could move to prevent terrible crimes. The crime statistics are high, and with the large amount of service delivery protests, the police could not concentrate on more serious crimes occurring around the country.
Top rank officials from the police crime intelligence sector have been suspended, dismissed or placed under investigation over the past four years. The allegations include participation of interfering with state witnesses, criminal charges, theft, fraud and corruption. Cash in transit robbery involving large sums of money and the discrepancies about qualifications are other reasons for the action taken against crime intelligence officers.
The crime intelligence of South Africa is a complete fiasco, and the realization that South Africa is a crime ridden country will not change until this division is investigated. The corruption, fraud and deliberate intimidation must urgently be accessed. Until this is done, the country will not be able to deal with crime effectively. The crime fighting abilities of the Police Service has been severely compromised as criminals tend to run amok. The fact that the Police Service have to create situations in order to make them look good in order to their criminal activities , bear nothing good for the future of the country and its famed Constitution.
Editorial by Laura Oneale
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