N EARLY 60 percent of the crimes reported to SAPS 10111
call centres don’t get properly registered. And because of
that they don’t get investigated.
Auditor-General Terence Nombembe discovered this latest
scandal to hit the national emergency police line during his
He also found that the SAPS’s claims for its performance in
visible policing could not be verified because of a lack of
His findings are contained in the SAPS annual report for
2011/12 that was tabled in Parliament on Friday.
Now the SAPS top brass will have to explain the failings
when they appear before Parliament’s police oversight
committee later this month.
So-called “positive incident reports” to 10111 call centres
are supposed to be entered on the SAPS Case
Administration System (CAS) to generate a docket with a
Nombembe said 58 percent of positive incident reports
“were not linked” to dockets on the [Case Administration
“The completeness of the actual reported performance
indicators, for… visible policing, cannot be verified due to an
inadequate audit trail that resulted from a lack of
administrative controls in the department,” Nombembe
National Assembly police oversight committee acting
chairwoman, ANC MP Annelize van Wyk, said the figure of
58 percent was “a huge number” that could not easily be
“It is definitely alarming,” she said yesterday.
The SAPS would be expected to explain this failing to the
committee “and more importantly, how they plan to correct
it”, Van Wyk said, adding that visible policing by the SAPS
had long been a source of concern for the committee.
However, she did not believe the lack of proper procedures
would have had an impact on SAPS crime statistics.
The DA spokeswoman on police, Dianne Kohler Barnard,
said the AG’s report on the SAPS was “one of the most
damning in a decade”.
She said Nombembe’s finding showed many cases were
“falling through the cracks of a disintegrating administrative
“While citizens believe that their cases are being
investigated by a SAPS that costs them R62.4 billion per
annum, the criminals will no doubt be delighted to hear that
the majority of their activities are never even looked at by
our ailing SAPS.
“Justice is not being served,” Kohler Barnard said.
“If dockets are not being opened on the CAS system then
the crimes will never be investigated.”
She said Nombembe’s finding, that he could not verify SAPS
information on its performance related to visible policing
because of an inadequate audit trail due to “lack of
administrative controls within the department”, reflected
the “utter chaos” in this area.
Nombembe also found that commanders at station level
did not exercise oversight to ensure that “entries occurred,
were authorised and were captured”.
Kohler Barnard said even if people affected by crime had
taken the trouble to report it at a police station, “reported
cases may or may not actually be investigated”.
Nombembe routinely checks information that departments
provide about meeting performance targets in their annual
reports to assess whether it is valid, accurate and complete.
While he gave the SAPS an unqualified audit opinion for the
2011/12 financial year, he raised matters of emphasis
related to under-spending and its financial reporting.
The department spent 98.9 percent of its nearly R63 billion
budget in 2011/12, leaving just over R617 million unspent.
This included R525m on administration and R92m for
detective services. Nombembe said the amount “essentially
comprises an underspending on capital infrastructure
(R266m, or 28.5 percent) and on the revamp of the criminal
justice system (R350m, or 19 percent)”.
He said he could not yet determine the full extent of
possible irregular spending by SAPS – put at more than R1.9
billion – as it was still under investigation.
Nombembe said this was linked to “possible irregular
procurement” with regards to the SAPS firearm registration
system, the refurbishment of Nyalas (police armoured
vehicles) and the terrestrial trunk radio contract.
“This possible irregular procurement is still under
investigation as these contracts are complex, technical and
voluminous of nature,” he said. Due to the legal
complexities the contract would be referred to the National
Treasury for a final ruling.
Kohler Barnard said the SAPS failure to spend R351m on
revamping the criminal justice system was “bizarre” as it
was “the very system which is needed to provide us with
accurate case information and statistics”.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa needed to ensure SAPS
commanders instilled discipline with regards to logging
incident reports. “We cannot afford to have a police service
that continues to slip up on even the most basic duties,” she