SAPS order quicker destruction of all confiscated firearms
3 October 2017
Cape Town - Police stations around the country have been ordered to quicken the process of destroying all confiscated firearms, MPs heard on Monday.
Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, who was acting in interim police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba's stead, told MPs that a decision was made last week to speed up audits of all confiscated firearms.
They first have to complete the audit process before destruction can take place in phases, he said.
They therefore did not have a date for when it will be completed, but the SAPS are committed to destroying all illegal firearms in their possession as soon as possible, following a spate of embarrassing incidents where firearms have gone missing.
The police delegation were before Parliament to account for their 2016/17 annual report.
Mothiba was absent due to an overseas visit. MPs were not impressed, saying his first duty was to account to Parliament.
"If you look at the Auditor General's report, it's the first time in eight years that the police service has a qualified audit. It sends a sign that the accounting officer is not here," committee chairperson Francois Beukman said.
The report was the "most important business" dealing with a budget of R84bn, and it was "totally unacceptable," he said.
Distracting away from policing
MPs had heard earlier in the day how the police service received a 50% qualified audit opinion for the year in review.
An official from the auditor general's office said the police will need to upscale its internal controls, especially when it came to irregular expenditure and conflicts of interest in procurement.
"Wherever there is a failure, it is because an internal control failed."
MPs said they were tired of hearing that procurement processes and other administrative issues received "non-compliant" labels.
ANC MP Livhuhani Mabija said she was very worried that the trend had not changed. DA MP Zak Mbhele said it was distracting away from the task of policing.
His colleague Dianne Kohler Barnard said the police have shown no "consequence management", as it appeared they "never fire anyone".
The SAPS have the second biggest budget in the fiscus at just over R80bn, behind the department of social development, who administer the nation's R160bn social grants scheme.
The police will continue its annual report feedback tomorrow, with the Hawks also due to be present.