By Monica Brown


Greetings to you on this very cold day.

We have finally come to discuss the last part of this topic. In Part 1 we looked at crime in a holistic view and it allowed me to vent a little about it as well. Part 2 we looked at the legislative side of how crime is managed in South Africa. we also highlighted the new amendments and gave you links to look deeper into it. Part 3 we looked deeper at the latest crime statistics that was released by the Police Minister Bheki Cele not too long ago. We also looked at what the crime stats were like before and during the COVID-19 timeframe. I really was surprised how it showed a complete different picture all together.

Nevertheless crime is also bringing down the economy of our country as we have to divert needed funds for other important matters to policing and correctional services. We not a nation that only look at the doom and gloom, we normally bounce back. In this instance I am not too sure how we going to get it right.

In Part 4 we are looking deeper into all the different programs that the Police Minister Bheki Cele are making known to us. Secondly we check on what agencies are responsible for what part of policing and intelligence.Further we will also at community partnerships and the rights of Victims of crime.

Crime has a severe impact on the quality of life of all South Africans, particularly the poor. High levels of crime also hampers efforts to stimulate growth or to increase investment and reduce poverty.

Minister of Police, Bheki Cele as well as President Ramaphosa clearly highlighted the following positive moves in the fight against crime in South Africa

-New leadership had been appointed in the SAPS, Hawks, NPA and State Security Agency to ensure the stability, integrity and capability of these key crime-fighting bodies.

-An additional 12 000 new police personnel have been recruited to ensure the SAPS has the capacity it needs, and a further 10 000 will be recruited and trained this year.

-Specialised multi-disciplinary units have been established to address economic sabotage, extortion at construction sites and vandalism of infrastructure.Government has embarked on a process of reform to improve the effectiveness of our fight against crime, corruption and sabotage. We have established specialised SAPS units to work with business, private security and SOEs to tackle illegal mining, construction site extortion, cable theft and vandalism of economic infrastructure.

-Multi-disciplinary economic infrastructure task teams are now operational in 20 identified hotspots.

-Community policing forums will be re-established to improve relations and coordination between local police and residents.CPFs are the police’s strongest link to communities and play an integral role in the Safety Partnership.Total of 1156 police stations in the country have active CPFs.

-Our security services are developing implementation plans to address the range of recommendations made by the expert panel into the July unrest.

-Key anti-GBV laws passed, strengthening criminal justice response and supporting survivors

-R324 million in illegal drugs seized.Drug trafficking syndicates, gangs and other forms of organised crime represent an urgent and growing challenge in South Africa. The SAPS is making progress in disrupting and preventing organised illegal activity.30 Illegal drug laboratories dismantled and 1 369 people arrested for serious organised crime activities with 220 convictions secured.

R21 billion allocated for the National Strategic Plan on GBV over the next 3 years.The National Strategic Plan on GBVF

The National Strategic Plan on GBVF is the government’s comprehensive strategy for tackling all forms of violence and abuse against women and children. Since the launch of the strategic plan in 2020, several new interventions have been implemented.

  • Extensive legal reform
  • Support for survivors through the provision of evidence kits at police stations
  • Psychological and social services
  • The establishment of a GBVF Response Fund
  • Support for Thuthuzela and Khuseleka Care Centres, which provide vital services for GBV survivors

-DNA processing backlog reduced from 210 000 case exhibits to around 58 000

-Government is working to establish the Border Management Authority (BMA), a new type of law enforcement agency, to clamp down on crime and illegal immigration, improve security and monitor the movement of people and goods across the country’s borders.A BMA Commissioner and two Deputy Commissioners have been appointed and Home Affairs is embarking on a recruitment drive to fill all strategic positions.

-The Department of Basic Education and SAPS Partnership Protocol continues to promote safety and security in all schools.

It aims to:

  • Strengthen Safe School Committees in addressing crime and violence
  • Link all schools to local police stations
  • Raise awareness about violence and its impacts among young learners
  • Implement school-based crime prevention programmes in collaboration with local officials responsible for school safety

Let us look deeper at what the function is of every agency responsible for policing and crime intelligence

  1. SAPS-South African Police Service

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa. Its 1,154 police stations in South Africa are divided according to the provincial borders, and a Provincial Commissioner is appointed in each province. The nine Provincial Commissioners report directly to the National Commissioner. The head office is in the Wachthuis Building in Pretoria.

The Constitution of South Africa lays down that the South African Police Service has a responsibility to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, uphold and enforce the law, create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community, investigate any crimes that threaten the safety or security of any community, ensure criminals are brought to justice and participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.

2. The Hawks

The elite, independent unit in the South African Police Service investigates priority crimes such as cash-in-transit robberies, theft of fuel from Transnet pipelines, drug trafficking, human trafficking, corruption, commercial crimes, organised crimes, cybercrime and money laundering.

3. NPA- National Prosecuting Authority

The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) is the agency of the South African government responsible for state prosecutions. Under Section 179 of the Constitution and the National Prosecuting Authority Act of 1998, which established the NPA in 1998, the NPA has the power to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the state and to carry out any necessary functions incidental to institution of criminal proceedings. The NPA is accountable to Parliament, and final responsibility over it lies with the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services.

The National Prosecution Service (NPS) is composed of the various DPP offices (and their subordinates) and are responsible for the day to day criminal prosecutions. State Advocates (attached to the office of the DPP) prosecute matters in the Superior Courts, whilst Public Prosecutors (attached to various Magistrate’s Courts), prosecute matters in the Lower Courts.

Investigating Directorate

The Investigating Directorate (ID) was created in April 2019. Its mandate is to investigate and prosecute high-profile and complex crimes, especially under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, and the Public Finance Management Act.

The ID is sometimes called the “New Scorpions,”after the NPA’s former Directorate of Special Operations, better known as the Scorpions. The Scorpions, launched on 1 September 1999 and controversially disbanded in July 2009, was also an elite unit which investigated organised crime and pursued politically sensitive cases.

It is currently working with the Zondo Commission on prominent cases relating to state capture, and since its establishment has been led by Hermione Cronje, who tendered her resignation on 30 November 2021.As of January 2022, it is reportedly investigating allegations and evidence contained within the first part of the Zondo Commission Report.

Specialised Commercial Crime

The Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU) was established to prosecute serious economic offences such as fraud. Some of its cases are also high-profile – for example, it is currently investigating fraud at Steinhoff and VBS Mutual Bank.In 2012, there was a scandal when SCCU head Lawrence Mrwebi unlawfully dropped fraud and corruption charges that SCCU prosecutors had been pursuing against Richard Mdluli, the former head of the police’s Crime Intelligence Division.

Asset Forfeiture

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) was established in May 1999, to give effect to certain provisions in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act which allow for the criminal or civil seizure (and subsequent forfeiture to the state) of assets belonging to perpetrators of crime. Once forfeited, these assets are realised and are utilised to compensate the victims of crime and/or are ploughed back into law enforcement.

Sexual Offences and Community Affairs

The Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) unit was established in October 1999 to combat gender-based violence against women and children. SOCA comprises the Sexual Offences Section; the Domestic Violence Section; the Maintenance Section; and the Child Justice Section.

Witness Protection

The Office for Witness Protection supports vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and related persons during judicial proceedings. The unit also provides assistance and co-operation to other countries, tribunals and special courts, in the field of witness protection. The functions and duties of the office are classified “SECRET” in terms of the Witness Protection Act.

Priority Crimes Litigation

The Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU) was created by Presidential proclamation on 23 March 2003 and mandated to direct investigations and prosecutions for crimes arising from to the Rome Statute, crimes against the State including national and international terrorism, matters emanating from the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) process and contraventions of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act (Act No 15 of 1998), the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act (Act No 87 of 1993), The National Conventional Arms Control Act (Act No 41 of 2002), The Nuclear Energy Act (Act No 46 of 1999) and The Intelligence Services Act (Act No 65 of 2002).

Administrative units

The following units oversee aspects of the NPA’s internal organisation:

  • The Integrity Management unit monitors and maintains the NPA’s integrity and oversees the reactive systems and processes where there has been a compromise of the organisation’s integrity
  • The Corporate Services unit provides corporate service support to multiple business partners within the NPA.

4. State Security Agency

The mandate of the State Security Agency (SSA) is to provide the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and well-being of our people. This allows the government to implement policies to deal with potential threats and better understand existing threats, and, thus, improve their policies.

It was created in October 2009 to incorporate the formerly separate National Intelligence Agency, South African Secret Service, South African National Academy of Intelligence, National Communications Centre and COMSEC (South Africa).

Among the areas of focus of the SSA are the following matters of national interest:

Terrorism, which refers to deliberate and premeditated attempts to create terror through symbolic acts involving the use or threat of lethal force for creating psychological effects that will influence a target group or individual and translate into political or material results.

Sabotage, which refers to activities or purposeful omissions conducted or planned for the purpose of endangering the safety, security or defence of vital public or private property, such as installations, structures, equipment or systems.

Subversion, which includes activities directed towards undermining by covert unlawful acts, or directed towards, or intended ultimately to lead to the destruction or overthrow by violence of, the constitutionally established systems of government in South Africa.

Espionage, which refers to unlawful or unauthorised activities conducted for acquiring information or assets relating to sensitive social, political, economic, scientific or military matters in South Africa, or for their unauthorised communication to a foreign state

Organised crime, which includes analysis of the origins and reasons behind organised crime, the identification of key role-players, the nature and extent, as well as the modus operandi, of organised crime syndicates.

Political responsibility for the agency lies with the Minister in the Presidency.

Intense community centered and intelligence led-solution is needed to fully address crime. Someone Somewhere, Somehow – Knows Something! as quoted by The Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Let us look closer at what communities are doing in the fight of crime in partnership with SAPS.

Community Partnerships with SAPS closes the gap between the police and the community by establishing a working relationship and deep engagement between the two. Therefore, communities share responsibilities with the police, such as street patrolling and guarding private and public properties.

Community policing has proved most successful in rich (often white) areas, due to financial donations and the desire of citizens to prevent crime. Yet even here, its impact on crime reduction is difficult to assess.

To develop community policing in South Africa there are things like basic resources, trust, (policy specific) education, incremental resources and full partnership needed.

Currently SAPS is running education and awareness campaigns on the community’s role to fight crime. Secondly SAPS is mobilising civil society organisations to become active members of the community police forum. Supporting the police in crime prevention initiatives.

What are the 5 objectives identified in the white paper on policing?

The NDP sets five priorities for the achievement of the above vision:

  1. Strengthen the criminal justice system
  2. Make the police service professional
  3. Demilitarise the police
  4. Build safety using an integrated approach
  5. Build community participation in safety

We need to enhance the significant role played by community safety structures such as Community Police Forums, Ward Safety Committees, and Community Safety Forums as stipulated in the National Crime Prevention Strategy of 1996 and White Paper on Safety and Security of 1998.

Both sought to improve, among others, the functioning of the criminal justice system and in particular the police, in the local domain and to enhance crime prevention activities.

Although CSF and CPF are similar in practice, a clear distinction between the two institutions needs to be drawn. While the CPF is confined to a police station precinct and focuses very narrowly on policing and associated matters, a CSF will have a more inclusive jurisdiction area as it is intended to fulfil a very different and broader role.

Most of the components for more effective community policing are already out there and they just need to be pulled together and deployed with political and operational commitment.

Victim Support and the Rights of Victims of Crime in South Africa


The Victims’ Charter applies to all victims of crime who have suffered directly or indirectly as a result of the crime and also aims to incorporate some restorative justice principles, to ensure that the needs of victims are met by the services rendered in the criminal justice system.

What are the models of victim support in South Africa?

There are three general models of victim support, namely the care model, the criminal justice model and the prevention model.

What is a victim support model?

Following an incident of victimisation, victim support is the provision of services related to legal matters and social justice but also the empathic assistance to a victim to restore and encourage self-fulfilment and confidence, in order to achieve a similar state as before the crime.

How victims can be supported and empowered through victim support models?

The approach to services within Victim Empowerment should focus on restorative justice. The perpetrator should be held accountable for his/her actions and where possible should make amends to the victim. This approach is based on an understanding of crime as an act against the victim, family and the community.

How are victims of crime assisted in South Africa?

Victims require practical assistance in the direct aftermath of the crime. Beyond information, this could include medical treatment, financial assistance, transport, and other practical assistance, such as the repair of broken windows or locks after a burglary.

What are the four basic elements of victim empowerment?

The four basic elements of victim empowerment are emotional support, practical support, providing information and referral to professional support services.


Final Thoughts

Awareness initiatives that is focused on the responsibilities of the police towards people, who have been victims of crime is essential.

A crime stat is only a crime stat once it has been reported to SAPS.There are so many incidents and crimes not reported due to various reasons. A large number of crimes simply go unreported because of the nature of the crime or because of a lack of confidence in the system.

Everything starts with you.Finally it will continue with follow up commitment from SAPS.

Even in your most emotional state, standing at the police station, there should be someone here for you.If they not assisting you as a victim then there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

South African police stations are failing to effectively help victims of gender-based violence and rape. Apprehending suspects is even more difficult as a high number of victims often withdraw the cases.

Not being able to use rape kits is another obstacle as well as the process of analysing DNA is taking forever due to the heavy backlog.


In conclusion I just want to say that writing this article really gave me a closer insight into all the different crimes at different police stations and in different areas. I analysed and will in detail discuss the different crimes and possible solutions that we can look at as communities to safeguard ourselves.

Our criminal justice system continues to fail victims of GBV and in some cases they do have some successes.

Keep safe and warm.

Comment below.

Monica Brown, Changemaker, Activist And Social Entrepreneur, CRW NEWS Freelance Columnist

Article Reproduced with Permission from Monica Brown

To view the original article by Monica Brown on LinkedIn visit here

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