Enormous waste in Crime Intelligence must be probed

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP – DA member of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence
27 Sep 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP.

It is disheartening to serve on a committee that must rely on local newspapers for revelations within our portfolio.

Over the weekend, information surfaced from an undisclosed source indicating that Crime Intelligence has allocated R100 million towards vehicles that remain unused. Additionally, it has been brought to light that they have not engaged in undercover operations for the past two years.

Reportedly, these unused vehicles include Audi A3s and A4s luxury sedans, Golf GTIs, and Ford Everests, which are parked at the police intelligence headquarters in Pretoria. Astonishingly, City Press reports that R12 million was spent on Ford Everests during the 2020/21 fiscal year. These 80 unmarked vehicles were supposedly requested by intelligence officers responsible for covert operations.

This revelation may provide insight into how the July 2021 riots went virtually unnoticed by official security agencies, despite extensive information circulating on social media.

Adding to the concerns, it has come to light that most of these vehicles are unregistered and have forfeited their factory-issued warranties due to prolonged inactivity.

In my experience, when insiders resort to leaking information to the media, it suggests they have exhausted all other avenues for addressing the issue and are driven by frustration to take such measures.

On the contrary, if past patterns hold, we can anticipate a thorough investigation to identify this whistleblower, while failing to address the substantial mismanagement of taxpayer funds and the alarming crime rates that could have been mitigated by an effective Crime Intelligence Unit.

Furthermore, learning that undercover operatives have not convened for a year is deeply concerning.

The citizens of South Africa should have confidence that skilled professionals are safeguarding their security, actively pursuing drug lords, kidnappers, and CIT gangs. Regrettably, these revelations cast doubt on that narrative.

This is one of the entities under the JSCI that faced severe criticism during the Zondo Commission. However, these revelations remain just that – revelations – with no visible arrests.

I intend to pose a series of questions to the new Minister, although I anticipate receiving answers in secret within the confines of JSCI sessions, where I am bound to confidentiality. In this case, however, I will appeal to the PFMA that requires anyone who has reason to believe corruption and mismanagement have been committed must report it.

Concealing poor management practices and extravagant spending, which weigh heavily on the dedicated members of this committee, is indefensible.

It’s no surprise that the Treasury is taking a firm stance, demanding massive budget cuts, when such issues are brought to light.

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