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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Chapter 14 - South African Police Service

214 Establishment

(1) There shall be established and regulated by an Act of Parliament a South African Police Service, which shall be structured at both national and provincial levels and shall function under the direction of the national government as well as the various provincial governments.

(2) The Act of Parliament referred to in subsection (1) shall-

i     the exercise of police powers;

ii     the recruitment, appointment, promotion and transfer of members of the Service;

iii     suspension, dismissal, disciplinary and grievance procedures;

iv     the training, conduct and conditions of service of members of the Service;

v     the general management, control, maintenance and provisioning of the Service;

vi     returns, registers, records, documents, forms and correspondence; and

vii     generally, all matters which are necessary or expedient for the achievement of the purposes of this Constitution.

215 Powers and functions

The powers and functions of the Service shall be-

216 Minister and National Commissioner

(1) The President shall, subject to this Constitution, charge a Minister with responsibility for the Service.

(2)

(3) The President may, if the National Commissioner has lost the confidence of the Cabinet, institute appropriate proceedings against the Commissioner in accordance with a law.

217 Powers of provinces

(1) The Premier of a province shall charge a member of the Executive Council of the province with responsibility for the performance by the Service in or in regard to that province of the functions set out in section 219 (1).

(2) The member of the Executive Council referred to in subsection

(1)

(3) A provincial legislature may pass laws not inconsistent with national legislation regarding the functions of the Service set out in section 219 (1).

(4) No provincial law may-

218 Responsibilities of National Commissioner

(1) Subject to section 214 and the directions of the Minister referred to in section 216 (1), the National Commissioner shall be responsible for-

i     are necessary to achieve the objectives referred to in section 215; and

ii     are appropriate for the National Commissioner to take responsibility for.

(2) The National Commissioner may after consultation with the Executive Council of the province concerned assign responsibility for any function set out in this section to a Provincial Commissioner: Provided that the National Commissioner shall ensure that sufficient resources are made available to the Provincial Commissioner for such purpose.

219 Provincial Commissioners

(1)Subject to sections 214 and 218 and the directions of the relevant member of the Executive Council referred to in section 217 (1), a Provincial Commissioner shall be responsible for-

i     the establishment and maintenance of police stations;

ii     crime reaction units; and

iii     patrolling services;

(2) Subject to sections 214 and 218 and the directions of the National Commissioner, a Provincial Commissioner shall be responsible for-

220 Co-ordination and co-operation

(1)A committee consisting of the Minister referred to in section 216 (1) and the respective members of the Executive Councils referred to in section 217 (1) shall be established to ensure the effective co-ordination of the Service and effective co-operation between the various Commissioners.

(2) The Act referred to in section 214 (1) shall provide for the appointment of a Board of Commissioners, consisting of the National Commissioner and the Provincial Commissioners and presided over by the National Commissioner or his or her nominee, in order to promote co-operation and co-ordination in the Service.

221 Local policing

(1) The Act referred to in section 214 (1) shall provide for the establishment of community- police forums in respect of police stations.

(2) The functions of community-police forums referred to in subsection (1) may include-

i     the provision, siting and staffing of police stations;

ii     the reception and processing of complaints and charges;

iii     the provision of protective services at gatherings;

iv     the patrolling of residential and business areas; and

v     the prosecution of offenders; and

(3) The Act referred to in section 214 (1) shall make provision for the establishment by any local government of a municipal or metropolitan police service: Provided that-

222 Independent complaints mechanism

There shall be established and regulated by an Act of Parliament an independent mechanism under civilian control, with the object of ensuring that complaints in respect of offences and misconduct allegedly committed by members of the Service are investigated in an effective and efficient manner.

223 Acts of members outside their territorial jurisdiction

(1) No act of a member of the Service shall be invalid solely by reason of the fact that it was committed outside the province in which that member is stationed.

(2) The National Commissioner shall by regulation determine the procedures and the relevant powers of the members of the Service to enable them to perform their functions outside their area of provincial jurisdiction.

National Defence Force

224 Establishment of National Defence Force

(1) The National Defence Force is hereby established as the only defence force for the Republic.

(2) The National Defence Force shall at its establishment consist of all members of-

(3) Save for the National Defence Force, no other armed force or military force or armed organisation or service may be established in or for the Republic other than-

225 Chief of National Defence Force

Subject to section 236 (1) and (2), the President shall appoint a Chief of the National Defence Force, who shall exercise military executive command of the National Defence Force, subject to the directions of the Minister responsible for defence and, during a state of national defence, of the President.

226 Members of National Defence Force

(1) The National Defence Force shall comprise both a permanent force and a part-time reserve component.

(2) The establishment, organisation, training, conditions of service and other matters concerning the permanent force shall be as provided for by an Act of Parliament.

(3) The establishment, organisation, training, state of preparedness, calling up, obligations and conditions of service of the part-time reserve component shall be as provided for by an Act of Parliament.

(4) The National Defence Force shall be established in such a manner that it will provide a balanced, modern and technologically advanced military force, capable of executing its functions in terms of this Constitution.

(5) All members of the National Defence Force shall be properly trained in order to comply with international standards of competency.

(6) No member of the permanent force shall hold office in any political party or political organisation.

(7) A member of the National Defence Force shall be obliged to comply with all lawful orders, but shall be entitled to refuse to execute any order if the execution of such order would constitute an offence or would breach international law on armed conflict binding on the Republic.

(8) Provision shall be made by an Act of Parliament for the payment of adequate compensation to-

227 Functions of National Defence Force

(1) The National Defence Force may, subject to this Constitution, be employed-

(2) The National Defence Force shall-

i     upholding the Constitution;

ii     providing for the defence of the Republic; and

iii     ensuring the protection of the inhabitants of the Republic, in accordance with this Constitution and any law;

(3) The employment for service, training, organisation and deployment of the National Defence Force shall be effected in accordance with the requirements of subsection (2).

228 Accountability

(1) The Minister responsible for defence shall be accountable to Parliament for the National Defence Force.

(2) Parliament shall annually approve a budget for the defence of the Republic.

(3)

i     A quota of seats per member of the committee shall be determined by dividing the total number of seats in the National Assembly held jointly by all the parties referred to in paragraph (a) by the total number of members of the committee plus one.

ii     The result, disregarding third and subsequent decimals, if any, shall be the quota of seats per member.

iii     The number of members that a participating party shall be entitled to designate on the committee, shall be determined by dividing the total number of seats held by such party in the National Assembly by the quota referred to in subparagraph (ii).

iv     The result shall, subject to subparagraph (v), indicate the number of members that such party is entitled to designate on the committee.

v     Where the application of the above formula yields a surplus not absorbed by the number of members allocated to a party, such surplus shall compete with other similar surpluses accruing to another party or parties, and any member or members which remain unallocated shall be allocated to the party or parties concerned in sequence of the highest surplus. (d) The committee shall be competent to investigate and make recommendations regarding the budget functioning, organisation, armaments, policy, morale and state of preparedness of the National Defence Force and to perform such other functions relating to parliamentary supervision of the Force as may be prescribed by law.

(4) (a) The President shall, when the National Defence Force is employed for service referred to in section 227 (1) (a), (b) or (e), forthwith inform Parliament of the reasons for such employment. (b) If, in the case of such an employment referred to in section 227 (1) (a) or (b), Parliament is not sitting, the President shall summon the joint standing committee referred to in subsection (3) to meet expeditiously, but not later than 14 days after the commencement of such employment, and shall inform the committee of the reasons for such employment.

(5) Parliament may by resolution terminate any employment referred to in section 227 (1) (a), (b) or (e), but such termination of employment shall not affect the validity of anything done in terms of such employment up to the date of such termination, or any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred as at the said date under and by virtue of such employment.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.