Peace and Stability
30 August 2002
Overview of ANC policy
Our vision derives from the Freedom Charter, which proclaimed in 1956 that There Shall be Peace and Friendship. This was against the backdrop of an apartheid state and security system, which fundamentally undermined the human dignity and the rights of our people and simultaneously promoted war in the region and continent.
- Building on this vision of the Freedom Charter, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) thus clearly elaborated our policy approach:
- The Defence force, the police and intelligence services must be firmly under civilian control, in the first place through the relevant ministry, answerable to parliament. These security forces must uphold the democratic constitution, they must be non-partisan, and they must be bound by clear codes of conduct.
- The size, character and doctrines of the new defence force must be appropriate to a country engaged in a major programme of reconstruction and development. The rights of soldiers must be clearly defined and protected.
- The police service must be transformed, with special attention to representativity, and gender and human rights sensitivity. National standards and training must be combined with community-based structures to ensure answerability to the communities served.
- The system of justice should be made accessible and affordable to all people. It must be credible and legitimate. The public defence system and the prosecution system must be reformed.
The 1997 National Conference in Mafikeng assessed progress in transforming this important apparatus of the state. It noted in the Strategy and Tactics that the creation of a better life for all our people, must also mean the safety and security of all our citizens. Conference also adopted a range of resolutions on Peace and Stability, in the areas of Correctional services, Defense, Justice, Safety and Security, Immigration; and Intelligence and Governance.
- The National General Council (July 2000) reviewed implementation of these resolutions, and noted the progress achieved. It reaffirmed the policy framework on peace and stability adopted at 1997 National Conference, with the following major elements:
- The twin principles of peace and stability are important and indispensable prerequisites for achieving the strategic objective of the NDR, and consequently the inclusion of the principles of peace and stability as the fifth pillar of the RDP;
- A paradigm shift in respect of the notion of security from one chiefly concerned with the security of the state and the military dimension of security to an approach that emphasizes the security of the people and the non-military dimensions of security; and;
- We must pursue and implement a comprehensive, integrated and holistic approach to the question of peace, stability and security, which includes and reflects local, regional, continental and international dimensions.
The NGC further confirmed our believe that the struggle for economic and political transformation will ultimately minimize the basis for crime and violence by enhancing social integration, improving equality and equity, raising living standards and employment, and ensuring the dignity of individuals. But crime and violence also aggravate poverty, both by oppressing individuals and by undermining economic and social development.
- For this reason, we need to ensure an integrated approach to development that includes an emphasis on achieving peace and stability in our communities, our country and our region. Central strategies to achieve this end include:
- An integrated and holistic approach to crime prevention and poverty alleviation;
- The improvement of the service and working conditions of personnel in the security services;
- Improvements in service delivery by the criminal justice system;
- Improved and re-oriented training programmes for the security services;
- Public-private partnerships;
- The establishment of a system of investigations that is led by the prosecution services and driven by intelligence;
- More effective border control; and
- To reduce the burden on Correctional Services through alternative containment mechanisms and a reduction in the prison population awaiting trial.
- In the defence force, transformation must continue to ensure full representativity in the context of rationalization and the implementation of civic education programmes.
Implementation – government policies and programmes
The achievement of a better life for all requires the creation of a humane society where peace, security and dignity replace crime, fraud, corruption, human rights abuse and lawlessness. Recognizing the impact that high levels of crime have on the quality of life in communities, the fight against crime has been highlighted as a key programme of government.
- The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) is implementing a multi-disciplinary strategy to achieve peace and stability, which are aimed at:
- Stabilizing and reducing the levels of crime, especially violent crimes;
- Neutralize specific crime generators;
- Improve the sense of safety and security amongst communities;
- Improve service delivery of the cluster departments; and
- Develop and transform the cluster departments.
The Cluster strategy has been divided into five programmes: development and transformation of cluster departments, crime prevention and combating, security, prosecution and the judiciary and detention.
- Preventing and combating crime: In recognition of the unacceptable high levels of crime, Cabinet approved a National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) in 1996, directed by Ministers from the JCPS cluster. The original NCPS motivated for a new paradigm, including:
- A focus on shifting from an exclusive emphasis on crime control to crime prevention;
- A shift in emphasis from crime as a security issue, to crime as a social issue;
- That the state must mobilize all three spheres of government and civil society to overcome crime;
- Improvement in the Criminal Justice System requires better cooperation and integration between the departments that constitute the system;
- A greater emphasis on a victim-centred, restorative justice system; and
- Viewing safety as a basic need.
The NCPS thus identified as the main pillars the re-engineering of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), dealing with trans-national crime, changing public values and crime prevention through environmental design. Amongst the priorities identified for this first phase of the NCPS included crimes involving firearms, organized crime, gender violence and crimes against children, violence associated with inter-group conflict, vehicle theft and hijacking and dealing with corruption within the CJS. This approach was encapsulated largely in the 1998 White Paper on Safety and Security, which also called for a Review of the NCPS.
The second term of government in 1999 identified the need to speed up change in a number of areas, including the fight against crime. The changes to achieve this goal were largely based on the NCPS Review, completed in July 1999. Based on this review, a framework and set of priority crime categories were adopted. This included:
- An ongoing programme to strengthen the Integrated Criminal Justice system
- Disciplined focus on the National priority crimes
- A new emphasis on information, intelligence and evaluation in order to generate a knowledge-driven approach to crime
- An expanded programme of local crime prevention
- Co-ordinated investment by government at all levels focused on areas of high poverty and high crime; and
- Mobilisation of political parties and civil society organs to pursued the public not to buy stolen goods
Priority crime categories included firearms, organized crime, white-collar crime, vehicle crime, corruption in the criminal justice system, inter-personal violence, domestic violence and rape.
Based on this framework, the Cluster set strategic goals for the period 2000-2004. Amongst the goals was the stabilizing of crime levels in 145 police station areas, which accounted for 50% of serious crimes. By mid-2002, crime levels in more than a 100 of these police stations have stabilized and measurers introduced to deal with the remaining areas. In addition, the stabilized areas will be subjected to a programme of normalization, including assistance with developing social crime prevention plans, improving capacity in these areas to normalize service delivery, the establishment of Sector Police Units in 50 of these areas; and incorporating the functions of the Metropolitan Police services into the sector policing concept. The Cluster will also extend these prioritized areas to a further 195 station areas.
There are also specific programmes (including the use of legislation) to deal with the priority crime categories, such as organized crime, drug peddling, gangs and firearms and we are beginning to make real progress in each of these areas.
On crimes against women and children, the police identified 128 station areas that contribute at least 50% of the national rape statistics in the country, where special projects will be implemented to give effect to the interdepartmental anti-rape strategy. These projects, jointly implemented by the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Health and Social Development and the SAPS, will focus on increasing the number of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Units of the SAPS, victim support programmes; and prevention and public education programmes.
The SAPS Act 68 of 1995 provides for the establishment of Community Policing Forums and empowers the Minister to make regulations regarding the operations of CPFs; the first of which were promulgated in 2001. A review of the operations of CPFs is being done, with recommendations on amendments to the regulations. A major focus of the review is to consider the feasibility of community safety forums as vehicles for the local coordination of crime prevention initiatives and rationalization of community interaction with the criminal justice system.
Prosecution and the Judiciary: We have rationalized the system of justice with the unification of the 11 apartheid based systems of justice; the introduction of the Constitutional Court, various Labour courts, the Land Claims Court and other specialized judicial institutions. The Lower courts also benefit from a strategy to separate judicial and administrative functions and they are now employing court managers for the latter as a roll-out of a piloted initiative.
The establishment of the National Prosecuting Authority has transformed the management and functioning of the prosecuting service. Progress is being made in all areas, including increasing average court hours to at least four hours, increasing conviction rates, and increasing the numbers of seizures and forfeitures of the Assets Forfeiture Unit. The Directorate of Special Operations has also continued to make an impact in combating organized crime, notably urban terror and gangsterism in W Cape; vehicle hijacking in Gauteng and taxi violence and racketeering in the E Cape.
An important challenge of the National Crime Prevention Strategy is to reduce case backlogs and the population of awaiting trial prisoners. Through an Integrated Justice System measurers are being put in place to improve coordination, programmes to modernize service delivery, and ways to further raise the efficiency of the system through improved case flow management, changes to the Legal Profession, improving sentencing procedures, the demarcation of magistrate courts in line with the new local government demarcations, the appropriate use of plea bargaining, review of appointment procedures for magistrates and the increase used of alternative dispute resolution processes for civil matters.
- A pilot project at the Durban Magistrates Court to develop an integrated case management system has produced very good results, in the context of reducing the average case cycle. The project will be rolled-out in Johannesburg and other areas. The introduction of Saturday and additional courts have also helped to address the case backlogs and the case cycles.
The programme to support and empower victims of crime is being implemented, addressing the unique needs of groups of victims and witnesses, such as women, children and the disabled, through heightened awareness of their needs, adjusting physical infrastructure, developing procedures to protect their rights and the introduction of the National Community Safety Centre Programme. The protection of children is receiving priority attention, and the Child Justice Bill will be introduced in Parliament during 2002. The Maintenance system is also receiving urgent attention.
Various independent bodies have been established to uphold and promote the values of the Constitution, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector and the Commission on Gender Equality.
Correctional services: Transformation in this area has been uneven, with major policy developments taking place to consolidate the paradigm shift in line with Section 35 of the Constitution. On the other hand, the lack of stability in senior management resulting in major managerial weaknesses, combined with extensive corruption in the system and serious overcrowding has undermined rehabilitation efforts and the human rights of prisoners.
Steps at policy levels have included the demilitarization of the department, adoption of representativity and equity policy, shift to a balance between secure, humane custody and rehabilitation, the adoption of unit management of prisons and the adoption of a code of conduct. However, the process of change management and implementation of new policy have been weak, resulting in lack of buy-in and repeated revisiting of policy. Whilst work was done to align the institutions to Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, there was insufficient popularization and education on the content of the Act.
The extent of corruption at all levels of the system has been a major blockage to transformation. The processes of the Jali Commission, the anti corruption programme of the Minister and the Commissioner and steps to build sustainable capacity within the department will make an impact, but will need a sustainable programme over a longer period to impact on corruption.
- Amongst the major challenges facing the department are:
- Dealing with overcrowding: Measurers to deal with this problem include reducing the numbers of awaiting trial and sentence prisoners by the JCPS cluster; the establishment of a task team to make recommendation on an anti-overcrowding strategy and the programme to renovate, maintain old prisons and to build new prisons.
- Implementation of rehabilitation programmes: A concept document is being developed and there was an increase in the budget for rehabilitation. The department also provides services to at least 17 other government departments, as well as it’s own consumption and Adult Basic Education with the help of external stakeholders. The department is also planning to build 14 skills training centers, with three already opened at St. Albans, Upington and Kimberley.
- More appropriate recruitment and training of staff: The department has set aside R52 million to deal with this task, which will include changing the organisational culture, image and training.
- Dealing with corruption and crime in the system: The Jali Commission is investigation corruption, mal-administration, violence in nine management areas – it has completed the interim report on the Durban Westville Prison and is in progress at Grootvlei prison. This will form the basis of a comprehensive response by government to clean out the system.
Defence: The concept of security embodied in our Constitution goes beyond mere territorial defense – it embraces security of persons, environment, and an end to human conflict in general.
Using this as a starting point, the policy framework of the South African National Defense Force and defence evolved through the comprehensive Defense Review conducted during the first years of our democracy, which then formed the basis of the White Paper on Defense and subsequent legislation that governs this important area of our national security.
The major emphasis over the last eight years have been to build an integrated defence force, a new military culture and policies appropriate to a democratic society. In particular, the challenge has been to maintain a core force that is able to meet its commitments to defend our territorial integrity, including our borders and coastline; to participate in peace support operations, to support the SAPS and to support social delivery. With the overall emphasis of government budget on social spending, the Defense budget has declined for the past few years.
One of the major challenges of our democracy was the integration of seven different military formations into a single SANDF, which is representative of the demographics of the country, uniformly trained, with a code of conduct and uniformity of purpose. Special training programmes were put in place to fast track black officers, with special training programmes for former Non-statutory forces members. The Employment Equity and Affirmative action programmes are on track in the force.
Another major challenge is to build a defence force appropriate to the needs of the country. The SANDF has thus started a process of rationalization of the armed forces from 104 000 members in 1994 to the present 76 512. Mechanisms to achieve this included the rationalization of non-statutory forces (NSF) pensions, natural attrition and employee-initiated retrenchments.
The development of new training methods took time to develop, and representativity on the courses has been developed. However, there is still a shortage of instructors from former NSF and TBVC forces, and instructors at the National War College are being augmented with staff from Ghana, Kenya and the UK. English as a language of command and control and as a medium of instruction is being implemented in the force, with programmes to develop members’ proficiency in English. The low numbers of women in the command and control structures remain a challenge.
The integration and transformation of the ethos of the defense force presented its own challenges. For example, a Ministerial Inquiry had to be set up after the shooting incidents at Tempe and Phalaborwa, which identified specific areas for attention. Mechanisms to improve internal disciplined are also being reviewed. The development of new military doctrine based on the White paper has not taken root, though there is work in progress to speed this up, with external help. Work is also in progress on strengthening the Defense Secretariat.
The procurement programme to replace obsolete equipment is on track, with the acquisition of air force and naval force equipment and will continue into the next decade. However, we need to learn lessons from the perceptions of corruption in the package and the subsequent work done by the Joint Investigations Task team.
A country-wide recruitment campaign for the Reserve Forces has not been successful, mainly due to budget constraints; the representativity of the RF therefore remains an issue. New units based on townships and rural communities have also not occurred and members have joined existing units. Supervision of the reserve forces remains an important issue, especially in the context of complaints of civilian abuse by some of the Commandos.
A new programme, the Youth Foundation Training, was started in 2000, to assist black matriculants to improve their mathematics and science symbols, in order to prepare them for training in especially the navy and air force. The force has also done visits to schools as part of its recruitment and awareness campaigns.
The erection of war memorials and heroes acres has not happened, although progress is being made with the national memorial for fallen heroes at Freedom Park. The Service corps continue to receive government and donor funding, though efforts to make it independent has not materialized, in the context of a negative report from the Auditor General on corps finances. The Veterans Bill was passed, and the Military Veteran’s Board and a directorate in the department were established.
As we are beginning to put in place the building blocks for the African renaissance, our role in security on the continent is becoming more important. For example, we have to date deployed 930 members of the SANDF in the United Nations, OAU and other missions, covering a wide range of tasks, and members are deployed in Uganda, the DRC, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Algeria, the Comores and Burundi. The SANDF also participated in SADC initiatives in Lesotho. Support to the SANDF has included securing the launch of the African Union and other international events that we hosted such as the World Conference Against Racism, the World Summit on Sustainable Development and so forth. The Defense force also played an important role in rescue operations during the floods in Mozambique. All SADC member states also have the opportunity to annually train members of their armed forces at our establishments.
A number of pieces of legislation are in the pipeline, including the Defence Bill, aimed at regulating the defense function; the National Conventional Arms Convention Bill; the Defense Acquisition Bill; Military Discipline Bill and the Prohibition of Anti Personnel Mines Bill.
Challenges over the next period include rationalization and further downsizing of the Defense force; finalizing the NSF pensions dispensation; human resource development to ensure the right type and profile in the defense force; ensure a comprehensive health assessment to ensure a healthy, fit fighting force and disposing of unutilized excess stock.
Intelligence: The impact of transformation in the intelligence services is evident in the change of management at all critical levels. Much work however still needs to be done. For a better defence of the country and our people we need; for example, to ensure that we have the right people in the right positions in terms of capacity, including the full participation of women in all management levels. To address these issues a Review Commission on Promotions was appointed in June. It will also carry out an audit of the personnel within the intelligence services.
As part of the transformation of the services, there has been a policy shift in the overall understanding of security. Security has now been developed to draw in and emphasize economic intelligence, food and environmental security.
A number of key areas of concern were identified by the NGC. The intelligence community has concentrated on two of these. As part of our commitment to improve the services and working conditions of the security services, a new policy on conditions of service has been developed. This seeks to ensure that the services work in an environment in which each can contribute to the best of their ability and in which they can thrive and grow.
The NGC also identified the need for improved re-orientation training programmes. In line with this, the intelligence community has established a new institution, the South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI), which seeks to produce a new cadre of intelligence that is professional, skilled and committed to the provision of comprehensive security to our people and the country.
An important part of the work of intelligence is the defence and preservation of our democracy. The services conduct investigations and advise on policies and annually produce national intelligence estimates, which highlight threats to our democracy, developments internationally, economic trends and shifts including opportunities. It also produces specific products on a regular basis.
In view of the increasing importance that our country has assumed in continental and world affairs; mainly, in relation to peace efforts, the pursuit of sustainable development and the transformation of the global system, a greater burden on the intelligence services has been placed to provide guarantees for peace and stability.
Although from an intelligence perspective there is at present no direct threat to the stability and the peace of the country, the services remain concerned about extremism, urban terrorism, taxi violence, political violence, gangsterism and espionage activities of foreign intelligence agencies. These have necessitated some greater co-ordination and collaboration with other security agencies; namely, the SAPS and the SANDF. The events of September 11 in the US have shown that lack of co-ordination of intelligence agencies could lead to disastrous intelligence failures. On our part we have paid a great deal of attention to this requirement.
- The added responsibilities of the services in the new dispensation have necessitated a focus on its resourcing. This is not to argue that there is competition with the imperative of social delivery. Rather, as stated above, the betterment of the lives of our people and the continuation of the NDR demands that equal consideration is given on how the defense and the security instruments of the state are being resourced. This is the critical challenge that the intelligence community is faced with.
There are a number of bills in Parliament that seek to give greater effect to the work being done by the services, such as the Monitoring and Interception Bill.
A new structure, the Presidential Support Unit (PSU), was established to advise the Presidency on matters relating to conflict and peace in the region and the continent.
- An equally important challenge therefore concerns the issue of the extent to which our people understand the role of intelligence. It has become necessary to embark on a campaign of education about the role of intelligence in a democracy. Intelligence services that are required to drive all investigations in the fight against have embarked on a process of making themselves accessible to the public. A challenge that also exists therefore is how the ANC assists with the mobilization of communities to co-operate with the services to provide them with the information that is required in investigations concerning crime and the protection of the state and the people.
Challenges – issues for discussions by ANC structures
- Strengthening social mobilization against crime and the proposals on the new roles of Community Policing Forums.
- Strengthening and supporting government measurers to deal with domestic violence, rape and the abuse of children and women.
- Strengthening the transformation of the judiciary and access to justice to all our people especially most marginalized sectors, including issues of justice in rural and farm areas.
- Balancing social delivery imperatives with requirements to build a fully equipped national security system.
- How to fully realize the participation of our people in their own security and that of the state for purposes of the NDR?
- Ownership of intelligence services by communities as a vital instrument of security.