Winde’s police audit promises, designed to eliminate any gangs ties, in limbo

Premier Alan Winde continues to call for police audits. File image

Premier Alan Winde continues to call for police audits. File image

Published Feb 10, 2024


Cape Town - A year has passed since Premier Alan Winde initially announced that the Western Cape’s provincial government would be allocating funds for lifestyle audits of high-ranking police officers.

But the audits designed to eliminate any potential ties to gangs and weed out corruption in the police have yet to materialise.

Instead, Winde and Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen told the Weekend Argus that they were waiting on the Western Cape police commissioner to take action.

“The Western Cape government has on numerous occasions requested the Western Cape police commissioner to agree to conduct lifestyle audits of some senior SAPS officials in the province.

“To date, there has only been an acknowledgement of our request,” said Winde in a statement. “We firmly believe that lifestyle audits are critical tools at our disposal that enable us to detect and prevent fraud and corruption in the public service.

“We cannot have doubtful clouds hanging over the any SAPS officer, regardless of rank. We need a professional and dignified service that adheres to their constitutional mandate. We will continue to engage with the SAPS on this critical matter.” Provincial police did not respond Weekend Argus queries.

In 2022 a judgment by Judge Daniel Thulare stated there was evidence that gang members had infiltrated the top structures of the police in the province.

A week ago, Constable Lubabalo Malongwe appeared at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court following his arrest after the disappearance of 15 firearms and eight imitation guns which were booked for ballistic testing.

Allen’s office, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and others called for a full-scale investigation into the corruption at the station.

In November, Winde and Allen’s office said they were concerned that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) had not been available to provide an update on investigations into Judge Thulare’s findings.

The judge said at the time: “The evidence suggests not only a capture of some lower ranking officers … senior management of the SAPS in the province has been penetrated to the extent that the 28 gang has access to the table where the provincial commissioner in the Western Cape sits with his senior managers and study crime, develop crime prevention strategies and decide on tactics and approach to the safety and security of inhabitants of the Western Cape.

“This includes penetration of and access to the sanctity of the reports by specialised units like the Anti-Gang Unit and Crime Intelligence, to the provincial commissioner.”

But when questioned about the police audit, Phaladi Shuping of Ipid said it was a police matter.

Richard Mamabolo of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said the union was concerned about this trend as it has also been reported in other provinces.

“What has been established in Gauteng was that (the guns) would end up in the hands of criminals, with some committing heinous crimes, and to this extent, there have been arrests made.”

Ian Cameron of Action Society, who began the campaign #CeleMustGo, said the audit had to be done independently.

“We welcome a police audit and that it should be done throughout the country via the Ombudsman,” he said.

“Lifestyle audits where accommodation for top-ranking officers must also be monitored.”

In January, Allen’s office said Ipid second quarter 2023/2024 showed that between July 2023 and September 2023, 196 cases were registered with the entity for investigation.

Of the 1 276 cases countrywide, the Western Cape has the second highest behind Gauteng’s 210.