Policing Powers for the SANDF

I am of the opinion that until a clear understanding is established on the working of formations, such as the 100 000 strong French Gendamaire and their Reserves which fall under the control of the French Department of Defence; the United States National Guard, which can be deployed by their State Governors: the Italian carbinieri and other Italian uniformed formations, and similar organisations which fall under departments of defence in numerous countries, fruitful input cannot be achieved.
As there are numerous systems that have been implemented by military organisations which are tried and proven, these should be very carefully assessed before input is sought from non-military experienced commercial organisations. This type of approach is being shown as unworkable and apart from being extremely expensive, does not provide for the commonality of structure needed in joint military co-operation.
I feel that it is important for the committee to take cognisance of the fact that any military police force can only function efficiently when it is a disciplined force; while the theory of management may play a role in the day-to-day administrative functions; it would in reality be a minor consideration.
As is being experienced at this moment, the attempts to introduce commercial/business structures to replace or substitute for systems that have been developed internationally over many, many years is both ineffective, costly and results in personnel levels increasing.

Basically there is no substitute for command, and the ability and willingness to execute it.

Points to consider include:
· To what extent should the policing powers of the Commandos (Territorial Forces) be increased? Should these elements be linked to the Military Police?
· What powers, when a State of Emergency or Martial Law, has not been declared, be accorded to the Defence Force members when acting in support of the South African Police Services ?
· Could the Police Act be amended to provide the required authority and protection for members of the SANDF under certain circumstances?
· Is adequate training given to SANDF members in respect of Police-support-duties?
· As the Territorial Force’s primary task is defined as Rear Area Protection, very much in line with that of the French Gendaramie who have full policing powers, is there any reason why they should not be incorporated in the existing Military Police?
· Could Powers of Arrest be granted to specified SANDF rank levels?

There is no question that detailed information concerning the international approach is not readily available. It is simply a question of seeking and requesting details and studying structures in other countries detailing systems which support law-enforcement agencies by the military and how they work under the provided legislation, should provide a much needed basis from which to work.
What may be of interest to the committee is that I have arranged for Major General Roger W SandIer, USA (Retd) to once again visit South Africa. As a highly qualified officer, General SandIer was commissioned by the Pentagon to provide the structure and legislation for the establishment of Active Reserve Force units in countries other than the United States.
As the executive director of the United States Reserve Officers' Association. which is incorporated by the United States Congress he is familiar with the requirements and limitations of NATO members' defence forces and most other national military formations.
Attention could also be given to the recent creation of defence forces by the new nations in the Balkans, in what was formerly Yugoslavia, as an example the defence force of Croatia which recently came into being was re-engineered from a regional police force during a state of conflict. This could provide some interesting reverse examples of military/police co-operation.

SJ McIntosh

April 25, 2000