The affordable education loan option
Cape Town - Police top brass could not provide answers to questions put to them by the parliamentary police committee on Wednesday, with SAPS boss General Riah Phiyega left embarrassed and told that her “own people are letting her down”.
Questions like the average number of police officers away from work on any given day could not be provided.
“It won’t be easy to tell because capturing is done over 14 days,” said human resource management divisional commissioner Lieutenant-General NNH Mazibuko. He said he would print a report from the salary system for the MPs. Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald raised the issue of sick leave: “If they can’t tell us, I have a serious problem because they don’t care about sick leave in the SAPS”.
The SAPS 2012/13 annual report showed sick leave cost the police R618 million between January 1 to December 31 last year, with a total of 1 039 482 days lost. This is separate from incapacity leave, which cost the police R189.4m and 8 889 lost days.
However, these figures actually represent a decrease in the average sick days by eight days to 32 days sick leave from 2011, according to the police committee researchers.
“This should have been positive,” said committee chairwoman Annelize van Wyk. “National commissioner, your own people are letting you down. I get the feeling some of them are looking at the annual report for the first time.”
The exchanges come against the background of rumours that Phiyega was isolated from her police management team. This arose most recently over the bungled appointment of Gauteng police commissioner Major-General Bethuel Mondi Zuma, whose name was withdrawn after it emerged he was facing charges of drunk driving. The police generals were also peppered with questions over:
* Legal fees and costs related to former national commissioner, now convicted fraudster, Jackie Selebi, who was this week photographed shopping even though he is on medical parole.
* Matters related to suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
* Potential damages claims by the families of the 34 Marikana miners killed by police in August last year and from the more than 270 miners injured that day.
Phiyega confirmed negotiations with Selebi’s lawyers to finalise repayment of his legal fees were under way. The costs were estimated at R17.4m last year. And she confirmed the SAPS would also appeal the Pretoria High Court ruling ordering the reinstatement of criminal charges and disciplinary proceedings against Mdluli.
This follows Tuesday’s announcement by the National Prosecuting Authority that it had filed its notice of appeal. Meanwhile, it emerged in police minister Nathi Mthethwa’s parliamentary reply that the SAPS was still determining how 306 officers were hired despite criminal convictions.
“Due to the fact that the verification process has not yet been concluded, it is not possible to indicate whether any individual will be held accountable,” it read.