Amid controversy about reports of missing and stolen guns and ammunition in the country, the South African police (SAPS) is said to have spent over R52 million for just 169 torches.
The Democratic Alliance released a statement expressing fury over SAPS spending millions on torches from the 2015/16 financial year.
This came after media reports revealed the SAPS paid a Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) a ridiculous amount of police torches. This amounts to R300 000 paid per torch.
“The invoice for the contract was paid for by the section in which former Acting National Police Commissioner General Khomotso Phahlane’s wife works. FDA is owned by a businessman that has been implicated in potentially corrupt transactions with Phahlane through the provision of luxury vehicles to him and his wife.
“The DA will therefore write to the Secretary of Police, Mr Alvin Rapea, to request a specific investigation and analysis project of the SAPS expenditure over the last 5 financial years by the Civilian Secretariat, as per section 6(1)(b) of the Civilian Secretariat, in order to closely scrutinise potentially irrational or wasteful large contracts” The DA Shadow Minister of Police Zakhele Mbhele said, adding that the DA will call for further investigation.
The reports also state that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating other suspicious transactions between the SAPS and FDA.
Meanwhile, the police Minister Fikile Mbalula had last week signed into law that would give him a greater say in the top structures of the South African Police Service (SAPS), including who gets appointed and promoted.
Briefing the media in Pretoria, the minister confirmed he had gazetted the new regulations on 27 October, saying ridiculous spending by SAPS cannot go on, especially when the police force is under-resourced.
“SAPS annual reports always show that the department’s budget is fully spent yet police stations are always under-staffed and under-resourced. Stations are often told that there is not enough money when they ask for additional vehicles and personnel up the chain of command.”
The DA, however, believes that the SAPS budget continues to be misspent due to “skewed priorities and irrational procurement in supply chain management.”
“We amended the SAPS Employment Regulations of 2008 with a view that the minister must concur to certain categories of actions, in particular, those that the Auditor-General has highlighted as problematic causing us the qualified audit,” he said.
Numerous key decisions which were in the past left to the sole discretion of the national commissioner now require a green light for the political head of the police.