BNC#5: Crimefighter Ian Cameron on how criminals captured SAPS, but there is hope for the future

Here is the recording of crimefighting activist Ian Cameron’s keynote, the most powerful of all presentations at the fifth BizNews Conference. That’s saying something, given the impressive lineup. Cameron, who is at the NGO Action Society, uses official data and personal experience to detail how leadership at SAPS (South Africa’s police service) was hijacked by criminal elements, resulting in a mere 15% conviction rate for murder and 3% for reported rapes. He details how the law enforcement agency was systematically captured but concludes there is hope – highlighting early but significant successes achieved through often abrogated devolution of responsibility by provincial structures.

Please see timestamped topics below:

  • 00:00 Alec Hogg’s introduction of Ian Cameron
  • 00:27 Ian Cameron on Action Society
  • 01:15 On his confrontation with Bheki Cele
  • 11:03 On Gayton McKenzie and Herman Mashaba’s BNC#5 presentations
  • 12:49 On the case for the prosecution
  • 13:22 An overview of SAPS over the last 20-25 years
  • 15:33 On the millions of illicit firearms in circulation
  • 16:11 On the SAPS having been hijacked by criminals
  • 17:52 Overview of crime statistics in SA
  • 23:47 Rape cases reported and GBV statistics in SA
  • 25:48 Child murder statistics in SA
  • 27:05 On overburdened detectives
  • 27:48 On good cops who make good arrests having targets on their backs
  • 28:45 On the loss of reservists
  • 29:37 On the new DNA Act signed by the President
  • 30:05 On George Fivaz
  • 30:34 On Jackie Selebi
  • 32:02 On Nhlanhla Mkwanazi
  • 32:53 On Bheki Cele
  • 33:47 On Riah Phiyega
  • 34:58 On Khomotso Phahlane
  • 36:02 On Khehla Sitole
  • 36:52 On Fannie Masemola 
  • 37:22 On Major General Mochologi

Excerpts from Ian Cameron’s BNC#5 presentation

Ian Cameron on Gayton McKenzie and Herman Mashaba playing stupid politics 

I’m going to say something directly. I joke about it now, but I’m very disappointed about what happened yesterday morning because while – and I’m going to say it very bluntly – two people stood there playing stupid politics, one woman is raped every 10 minutes in South Africa. While Gayton – and I’m disappointed that he’s not here this morning – put on a stupid tweet about a stupid song he played when he walked up because Helen Zille was sitting in the front row, there are at least four people murdered every hour. 

Read more: PREMIUM: BNC#5: SA’s wannabe dictator Gayton McKenzie rants about Zille, illegals, death penalty – and more

So he’s playing stupid songs, making stupid jokes, and playing stupid politics. And I’ll show you now what the result is of irresponsible people that get into the wrong positions. 

On Jackie Selebi and Thabo Mbeki’s role in SAPS becoming a criminal syndicate

This gentleman came in; may he never rest in peace. Jackie Selebi disbanded all of our specialised units. He was part of the disbanding of the Commandos. And when they announced that they were disbanded and, you know, a lot of people speak highly of Thabo Mbeki. Thabo Mbeki was the start of the organised crime syndicate that SAPS has become. So we need to be very careful to glorify someone that appointed this criminal as the National Police Commissioner. 

Read more: PREMIUM BNC#5: Mashaba’s Q&A where he addressed Coalition politics; McKenzie’s assertions; Ejecting the ANC in 2024 and more

And when Selebi came in, they disbanded all the specialised units and said that things must be combatted on ground level and station level. So obviously, it would help the stations because now you take murder and robbery units, etc., and place them in stations. So you still had a few years to go, let’s say up to ten years, where you’ve still got some specialised capability to operate and combat these things. 

He was jailed for corruption, disbanded the specialised units, and they promised, specifically, Thabo Mbeki promised, that there was an alternative for the Commandos. But someone like Johan Burger, that was working with Selebi at that stage, said that we were all generals, but we didn’t even know of the alternative. So the alternative was a lie.

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