Ministry of Defence
5 May, 2000
SUBMISSION BY THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE ON THE GRANTING OF POLICE POWERS TO MEMBERS OF THE SANDF
In terms of the White Paper on Defence, which was approved by Parliament in May 1996, the primary role of the SANDF is:
"to defend South Africa against external military aggression. Deployment in an internal policing capacity shall be limited to exceptional circumstances and subject to parliamentary approval and safeguards"
The SANDF is thus an organisation that is designed for combat and to support combatants in the field, in the air and at see. The training, doctrine and equipment used by the SANDF is developed for hard and intense combat with a variety of potential collateral uses to other departments
Further to this, the White Paper foresaw that the SANDF would only be deployed in
"the most exceptional circumstances, such as a complete breakdown of public order beyond the capacity of the SAPS, or a state of national defence"
The serious crime situation has prompted the Govemmert to formulate a strategy which would address these problems. The National Crime Prevention Strategy is based on four pillars:
· criminal justice process;
· community values;
· environmental design and
· trans-national crime.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy was approved by Cabinet and implemented in May 1996. The process is managed by the Departments of Safety and Security, Justice, Correctional Services, Welfare, and Defence.
The SANDF is involved with pillar one of the NCPS dealing with certain and rapid justice, and pillar four which deals with regional co-operation, stability and cross border crime in co-operation with and support to the SAPS. This effort is being co-ordinated by the National Operational Co-ordinating Committee structure.
Military Strategic Concept
In order to combat crime effectively the President has employed the SANDF in support of the police in certain specific areas where support and assistance are most needed.
The deployment of the SANDF in the role of assisting the SAPS can only be executed as a secondary task within the framework of the means at the SANDF's disposal allowed for by its basic structure.
Further to this the SANDF will execute its tasks under its own command
according to its own judgement and doctrine. Deployments in support of the
SAPS will be jointly planned by the SANDF and the SAPS using the National
Operational Co-ordinating Committee mechanism.
The SANDF will not become embroiled in the combating of routine crime, but should concentrate on the following priority areas as agreed between the two departments These priority areas are
crime which is a threat to the constitutional dispensation of the state such as the expansion of para-military forces, inter group conflict and cross border crime;
combating crime which is in accordance with international practices with respect to defence forces such as cross border crime, including drug smuggling, smuggling of stolen goods, vehicles and illegal crossing of the border line. This would include crime along the coastline, consisting of weapons and drug smuggling and the exploitation of our marine resources as well as use of the republic's air space for customs avoidance weapons and drug smuggling; and
serious crime which is current prevalent in our society and where the SANDF plays a significant role and includes the prevention and confiscation of illegal firearms in relation to the illegal trafficking thereof, stock theft along the borders of the republic that may involve heavily armed groups that violate the territorial integrity of the country, organised armed attacks on farms and small holdings, vigilante types of violence and urban terrorism.
The prerequisites for this strategy are that:
· SANDF operations and actions must be preventative in nature
· SANDF involvement in operations must be restricted to specific time scales
· SANDF must not be involved in investigating crime
· All operations must be co-ordinated within the National ordinating Committee mechanism
· All operations must be subject to timeous intelligence National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC)
· The conduct of counter intelligence must receive urgent priority in order to maintain the integrity of the SANDF.
· During border safeguarding operations, the SANDF must concentrate on Border Line Control operations and not become involved in border post control.
Military Strategic End State
The military strategic End State is the withdrawal of all SANDF members deployed within the Republic; working in support of the SAPS to combat crime, and refocusing these forces on the primary role of the SANDF
Any further deployment of the SANDF in support of the SAPS will only occur in exceptional circumstances, with a limited time duration to stabilise a specific region.
The first task identified in these focus areas is borderline control. This includes the combating of cross border (transnational) crime including weapons, drugs, vehicles and goods smuggling, and illegal crossings of our land, air and maritime border lines.
The second task falls into the category of combating crime in support of the SAPS.
Support for the SAPS is devoured at the request of the Minister of Safety and Security and is authorised by the President. It is accepted that the preferred state is one where the SANDF is no longer deployed in this manner except for exceptional circumstances. In the interim, such support for the SAPS implies that soldiers require necessary powers to execute this task. Such powers to be allocated only for the duration of the assigned task.