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Cops ‘filling their bellies’ at R100k a day

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) spent just under R40m on catering during the last financial year.

The SAPS’s annual report, tabled in Parliament in September, shows the police spent a total of R39.5m on catering across its five programmes in the 2015/16 financial year.

This amounted to approximately R3.3m a month, or just over R100 000 a day.

The figure was slightly down from the previous financial year’s R40.1m.

Democratic Alliance shadow minister of police Zakhele Mbhele said in a statement that the “exorbitant” amount was “shameful”.

“This money could have gone a long way to addressing this woeful state of affairs in our police service, one on which millions of South Africans rely to keep them safe,” he said.

He said police leadership could no longer plough millions of rand into “filling their bellies” at the expense of their statutory obligations in good conscience.

Mbhele said he hoped Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane’s “back-to-basics” approach in the current financial year would demonstrate a marked departure from overspending.

73% of targets met

A 20-strong police contingent, including Phahlane, appeared before Parliament’s portfolio committee on police on Tuesday to answer questions on the SAPS’s financial performance in 2015/16.

Major General Leon Rabie told the committee that 73% of the police’s financial targets were met in 2015, in line with previous years.

The police spent approximately R76.7bn on all its programmes, with a surplus of R47 000.

Broken down into its five programmes, the police spent:

– Administration: R16.9bn

– Visible policing: R38.3bn

– Detective services: R15.9bn

– Crime intelligence: R3.1bn

– Protection and security services: R2.4bn

‘We will keep police accountable’

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said MPs would not compromise on keeping the police accountable and compliant with financial controls and legislation.

They would focus on repeat findings and steps accounting officers had taken to address matters the Auditor General has raised.

An Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) representative told the committee on Tuesday the police’s 2015/16 financial report did not compare favourably with those from previous years.

Although the SAPS achieved an unqualified audit, a number of weaknesses were found.

These included instability in top leadership positions, inadequate implementation of plans, an inability to submit reliable financial statements and not complying with legislation.

He said the AGSA hoped the appointment of a new chief financial officer for police in October last year, Lieutenant General Phalaphala Ramikosi, would see an improvement in the 2016/17 report.

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