NEWS & ANALYSIS

ANC conference resolution: On peace and stability

Party says middle management of security structures must be transformed, as should judiciary

Resolutions of the ANC's 53rd National Conference, Mangaung, December 16-20 2012

5. PEACE AND STABILITY

The Commission affirmed the 52nd National Conference Resolutions and noted the progress made in their implementation.

The Commission considered that at the 4th National Policy Conference we recommended various policy changes to be considered by Conference. In charting the way forward we therefore considered the following questions:

1. Whether to adopt the substance and text of the policy amendments proposed by the Policy Conference;

2. Whether the Commission wished to review the policy changes proposed at Policy Conference; and 3. Whether the Commission proposes to put forward additional policy proposals for further consideration, in Correctional Services, Defence and Military Veterans, Justice, Home Affairs, and Police.

The proposed resolutions that follow incorporate both the National Policy Conference recommendations and the current refinements introduced in our recent discussions in Commission. As such the report is comprehensive.

CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

Recidivism

Noting that:

■ There is a high rate of recidivism as a result of among other things, the quality of the rehabilitation programmes and decisions of parole boards; and

■ Correcting offending behaviour is a societal responsibility.

Therefore resolves that:

1. The capacity of the parole boards and case management committees be strengthened to ensure effective standard operating procedures and improvement in the quality of decisions;

2. There should be a deliberate effort to involve the community in the integration of former inmates into society;

3. The ANC should play a leading role in ensuring victim participation in the parole process; and 4. The ANC should mobilise communities to play a positive role in offender re-integration.

Remand Detention

Noting that:

■ The high number of inmates who spend long periods in Remand Detention; and ■ Challenges still remain in ensuring that victims of crime participate and make inputs in parole hearings.

Therefore resolves that:

1. The Department should provide support and information to victims of crime to enable their increased participation in parole hearings;

2. The Departments of Correctional Services, Justice and Constitutional Development and the Police should ensure that the issue of inmates who spend long periods in Remand Detention is addressed through better case flow management.

DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS Exhumation and Repatriation of Cadres Buried Outside the Country

Noting that:

■ Many of our fallen comrades remain buried outside the country;

■ The original view of the ANC was not to take responsibility for the exhumation and repatriation of the remains of its members who died in exile.

■ The overwhelming desire of the families and comrades of those who are buried outside of the Republic is that their mortal remains should be re-buried at home.

Therefore resolves that:

1. The newly elected NEC should expeditiously

Resolve this matter, including the manner in which the state should take charge of the exhumation and repatriation of comrades who are buried outside the country.

Welfare of Military Veterans

Noting that:

■ Many former MK members remain destitute, unemployed, poor, and do not receive much assistance from the state; and

■ Some of these former members were demobilized from the SANDF with little safety nets for their survival.

Therefore Resolves that:

1. There should be programmes to uplift and attempt to reintegrate former MK members within the structures of the ANC and broader society in order to utilise the skills which they acquired in their training and education, particularly in politics and security.

Creation of a Stand-alone Ministry for Military Veterans

Noting that:

■ The 52nd National Conference resolved that a Military Veteran's Ministry should be established; and

■ the Department of Military Veterans was subsequently established under the auspices of the newly reconfigured Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans; and

■ Unhappiness still persists among others, that the Department of Military Veterans is under resourced.

Therefore resolves that:

1. There should be a dedicated budget for the Department of Military Veterans which should be adequately resourced.

POLICE

Noting:

■ That the ANC resolved in 1994 to establish a single Police Service;

■ That the resolution relating to a single police service has not been fully implemented ■ The existence of several police services under different municipalities and entities ;

■ The different training, disciplinary standards in these police services as well as the different remuneration levels;

■ The constitutional injunction that there should be a single police service

■ The constitutional provision that provides that national legislation must provide a framework for the establishment, powers functions and control of municipal police services;

■ The current statutory responsibilities of the different police services

Therefore resolves that:

1. The newly elected NEC must further interrogate the challenges inherent in the execution of the resolution by the end of 2013.

2. The National Commissioner should ensure the implementation of general, training, operational and discipline standards in relation to policing to foster synergy, uniformity and consistency throughout the Republic.

Conditions of Service for SAPS members in the lower levels

Noting that:

■ It is problematic for members of the security forces to be unionized, and

■ the conditions of service in the SAPS are not satisfactory and need attention at the lower levels.

Therefore resolves that:

1. The Department of Police should review the conditions of service for members of the SAPS at lower levels.

36 STREET COMMITTEES

Noting that:

■ The 52nd Conference took a decision to establish street committees in order to help fight crime;

■ The resolution has not been implemented.

Therefore resolves:

1. To urge the incoming NEC to ensure that its structures implement this resolution.

TRANSFORMATION IN SECURITY DEPARTMENTS

Noting that:

• The transformation of the security departments has in the main been hampered by the middle management that continues to resist change and targets progressive personnel for dismissal.

Therefore resolves that:

1. Tools of transformation and employment equity should be directed at transforming the middle management of security structures;

RHINO POACHING

Noting:

■ The upsurge in rhino poaching and the detrimental effects thereof to our national heritage; ecology; environment and tourism.

Therefore resolves that:

1. Harsher sentences be handed down on those convicted of this crime.

COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

Noting that:

■ Some of the National Key Points are being secured by private security companies and the risks that this state of affairs poses to national security.

Further Noting

■ The country does not have a comprehensive National Security Strategy to ensure cooperation and synergy between security organs.

Therefore resolves that:

1. Government expedites the crafting and execution of a Comprehensive National Security Strategy;

2. National Key Points be secured by National Security Agencies.

HOME AFFAIRS

Noting that:

■ The presence of undocumented migrants in the Republic poses both an economic and security threat to the country;

■ There is empirical evidence that the majority of asylum seekers do not qualify for refugee status and protection;

■ The cross-departmental responsibility and competencies for border management creates duplication of tasks; weak data collection and control; and ■ There are challenges relating to legislation regulating access to citizenship by foreign nationals.

Further noting that:

■ The Department is embarking on a modernization process to develop a single national identity system which is based on biometrics, and which will be used in the Integrated Justice System to fight crime more effectively; and ■ There is a need to balance the inward flow of low skilled labour to curtail the negative impact it has on domestic employment.

Therefore resolves that:

1. Government should reconsider its policy relating to centers for asylum seekers during consideration of their status;

2. There should be awareness programs to combat xenophobia and educate society against narrow nationalism;

3. Home Affairs should take a lead in the border management agency as a department which is seized with immigration issues.

4. Legislation should be introduced to criminalise the fraudulent acquisition of 37 vital documents such as Identity Documents and provide for such crimes to be treated as a serious offence;

5. ANC branches should be involved in Stakeholder Forums of the Department as a demonstration of "the people" governing as per the Freedom Charter; and 6. There is a need for a single national identity system which will contain a profile of all South Africans and documented foreign nationals who comply with our laws.

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Noting that:

■ Newly appointed judges get assimilated by the dominant culture in the judiciary and hence do not enhance transformation;

■ Black lawyers not being briefed sufficiently by the government impedes the development of black lawyers as future judges;

■ Some court jurisdictions are not aligned to municipal demarcations and as a result affect negatively access to justice; and

■ There has been no comprehensive approach by the ANC to traditional leaders in general and the Traditional Courts Bill in particular.

Further noting that:

■ The principle of separation of powers means that we should discourage the encroachment of one arm of the state on the constitutional terrain of another, and that there must no bias in this regard

■ The Progress Report on the implementation of some of the recommendations since the 52nd National Conference. In particular the Commission noted that the Constitution 17th Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill have now been passed by the National Assembly to advance the transformative objective of the Constitution and further enhance the independence of the judiciary.

■ The state seems to consistently lose cases in courts.

Therefore resolves that:

1. The ANC reaffirms the position that the branches of the state are co-equal parties entrusted with distinct constitutional powers in their quest to realize the ideals of a democratic South Africa. Each branch of the state must therefore observe the inherent constitutional limitations regarding its own power and authority and that no branch should undermine the others when exercising its constitutional mandate;

2. There should be holistic criteria for eligibility to judicial appointment which include amongst others social activism;

3. Government should strengthen briefing black lawyers so as to acquaint them with defending the state and not individuals, thus creating a pool for potential judges;

4. In order to facilitate access to justice, court jurisdictions should be aligned to municipal demarcation as much as it is reasonably possible; and

5. The LOCUM system in the Magistrates Courts, should be regulated to eliminate its abuse and to enable transformation of the judiciary.

6. The Criminal Justice System should redouble efforts to ensure that case flow management is optimized in order to reduce backlogs.

7. The NEC should be seized with the contradictions pertaining to the constitutional provisions relating to Traditional Leaders and their role and function in society with particular reference to their adjudicating powers.

8. The state should investigate the reasons for the perception that it has a poor success rate at courts, and inter-alia consider the quality of its legal advice.

Source: African National Congress. The full and original text of the resolutions can be accessed here - PDF.

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