Amnesty International is concerned at reports of irregular expenditure amounting to R1.6bn within the South African Police Service relating to the procurement of PPE. Of that, approximately R363m resulted in financial and material loss, which could have been used on other programmes to combat the country’s high rate of crime and gender-based violence.
Amnesty International South Africa Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed said: “It is shocking that crucial money that could have been used to tackle crime and the scourge of GBV and sexual assault in South Africa is being lost through irregular means. This money could have been better spent on things such as training police officers in dealing with cases of gender based violence and resourcing police stations.”
“A proper investigation must be conducted and action taken against those found to be responsible,” Mohamed said.
Daily Maverick on Sunday reported that, according to a confidential risk-based and compliance draft internal audit report, the SAPS “blew” more than R1.6bn in irregular personal protective equipment (PPE) procurements that took place between March and August 2020.
Amnesty International South Africa earlier this month launched the second arm of its Interrupter Campaign, #InterruptTheJusticeSystem that calls for Police Minister, Bheki Cele, and the SAPS to prioritise:
Capacity-building: By providing appropriate, mandatory, initial, and continuous training for all relevant professionals, including police and investigating officers, detectives, and other law enforcement officials who work with victims and survivors of gender-based violence. The training should include legal obligations (including the rights of non-nationals, explaining the rights to the victim, giving them the option to speak with a female officer, and taking them to a private room to give their statement); prevention and detection of cases; gender equality; rape myths; and harmful cultural and societal attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes;
Accountability: Setting performance targets that include ensuring all investigations are completed in an efficient, effective, comprehensive and sensitive manner.
Resource allocation: Officers and stations must have appropriate and adequate resources to investigate cases, including timely access to vehicles, appropriate testing kits and technology, victim-friendly rooms.
Efficiency: The quality and timeliness of effective, efficient and sensitive investigations must be improved, as well as the supervision of investigating officers.
Amnesty International South Africa is calling on the SAPS to CARE.
For more information or to request an interview please call Amnesty International South Africa’s Media and Communications Officer Genevieve Quintal on +27 64 890 9224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org