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NSSD: REPORT TO Portfolio Committee: BY Dr Silas Ramaite SC. WITNESS PROTECTION UNIT PRIORITY CRIMES LITIGATION UNIT. 03 May 2007. WITNESS PROTECTION UNIT. 2006 - 2007 REPORT TO JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE. D. ADAM HEAD: WPU. INTRODUCTION.

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nssd report to portfolio committee by dr silas ramaite sc

NSSD: REPORT TO Portfolio Committee: BY Dr Silas Ramaite SC

WITNESS PROTECTION UNIT

PRIORITY CRIMES LITIGATION UNIT

03 May 2007

witness protection unit
WITNESS PROTECTION UNIT

2006 - 2007

REPORT TO JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

D. ADAM

HEAD: WPU

introduction
INTRODUCTION
  • MANDATE:
      • Witness Protection Act 112/98. Provide protection, support services and provide for incidental matters to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and related persons in Judicial Proceedings.
  • SUPPLEMENTARY MANDATE:
      • Transform, redesign, modernize and set best standards in witness protection to meet the challenges of 21st Century law enforcement, both nationally and internationally.
      • Enhance confidence in the Criminal Justice System and the Witness Protection Programme.
the role of witness protection
THE ROLE OF WITNESS PROTECTION
  • The vulnerable and intimidated witness is an indispensable part of Judicial Proceedings, in particular criminal prosecutions.
  • Witnesses can be overtly or implicitly threatened, harmed, or assassinated and must be provided with protection.
  • Associates of organized crime groups often appear in court to frighten witnesses into not testifying (Courtroom Intimidation).
  • Witness related persons intimidation, threat of harm or assassination strikes at the root of the criminal justice system.
the role of witness protection1
THE ROLE OF WITNESS PROTECTION
  • Organized crime groups are sophisticated structures who will spare no cost to intimidate or assassinate witnesses or their related persons.
  • Witness Protection Programmes offer an effective method to counter the threat to witnesses.
  • Witness protection has become a very powerful instrument in South Africa and internationally in combating organized crime, serious crime, corruption and terrorism.
  • The major effect of witness protection is the conviction of highly organized criminal groups and their leaders, on the basis of testimonies that otherwise would not have been given.
  • The UN and Head of Experts’ aims and objectives are to combat crime across borders and ensure the safety of witnesses. Lend co-operation to International Tribunals and Courts.
strategic direction of the witness protection unit
STRATEGIC DIRECTION OF THE WITNESS PROTECTION UNIT
  • Transform, redesign and modernize the Unit, supported by enabling technology to ensure excellence in service delivery both nationally and internationally to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, guided by:
    • The Constitution and Bill of Rights
    • The National Crime Prevention; Strategy: Co-Ordinated Law Enforcement Approach;
    • Victim Charter;
    • Batho Pele;
    • International Best Practice
the unit s strategic plan and deliverables
THE UNIT’S STRATEGIC PLAN AND DELIVERABLES
  • FOCUS AREAS OF THE UNIT’S STRATEGIC PLAN.
  • ENHANCE CONFIDENCE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAMME.
  • TRANSFORM, REDESIGN AND MODERNIZE ALL FACETS OF THE UNIT.
    • Seamless administration, optimal and secure operations, optimal financial management, optimal usage of resources, optimal partner and stakeholder co-ordination and co-operation, integrated law enforcement approach, value for money and compliance with best world standards.
    • In particular prioritize and focus on achieving the WPU Output / Action, Outcomes, Targets and JCPS Plan of Action 2006/2007:
the unit s strategic plan and deliverables1
THE UNIT’S STRATEGIC PLAN AND DELIVERABLES
  • OUTPUT
      • Provide effective and efficient protection, support services and provide for incidental matters to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and related persons in any Judicial Proceedings.
  • OUTCOMES
      • Improved confidence in witness protection nationally & internationally.
      • Improved effectiveness of witness protection as a tool in combating crime.
      • Set world best standards.
the unit s strategic plan and deliverables2
THE UNIT’S STRATEGIC PLAN AND DELIVERABLES
  • TARGETS
    • No witness or related person on the programme who complies with the protection agreement to be threatened, harmed or assassinated.
    • Reduction in the number of witness grievances / complaints.
    • Reduction in the number of witnesses voluntarily walking off the programme.
    • Reduction in cycle times of witnesses stay on the programme and number of cases “fast tracked.”
    • Increase conviction rate of cases with witnesses on the programme.
    • Increase successful re-integration back into society after testimony and discharged from the programme and after Care.
summary of performance achievements 2006 2007
SUMMARY OF PERFORMANCEACHIEVEMENTS 2006 – 2007
  • OUTPUT / ACTION
    • The efficient and effective service delivery to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and related persons is confirmed by the outcomes and targets achieved hereunder.
  • OUTCOMES
    • Confidence in witness protection is acclaimed by all partners and stakeholders nationally. Internationally RSA WPU is recognized as being in the TOP 5 in the world by its

peers in the field of witness protection.

    • The effectiveness of witness protection as a tool has ensured the successful arrest, prosecution and conviction of a number of accused persons in serious crimes dealt with by SAPS, NPS, DSO, AFU, SCCU and SOCA.
    • RSA WPU has set best world standards in its redesign - Internationally acclaimed legislation, operating model and Best Practice Forms. Transformation has ensured a human rights culture and ethos. Modernization has ensured phased in specialized training, supported by enabling technology and by two (2) Operational Centers to achieve its Key KPI: No Witnesses or Related persons to be threatened, harmed or assassinated on the Programme, who comply with the Protection Agreement.
summary of performance achievements 2006 20071
SUMMARY OF PERFORMANCEACHIEVEMENTS 2006 – 2007
  • TARGETS
    • No witnesses or related person on the programme were threatened, harmed or assassinated for the past six (6) years.
    • The reduction of grievances dropped from 90% in 2001 – 2002 to 2% in 2006 – 2007.
    • The reduction in the number of voluntary walking offs from the programme dropped from 40% in 2001 – 2002 to 3% in 2006 -2007.
    • The reduction in cycle time of witnesses stay on the programme has dropped from 2.5 years in 2005 – 2006 to 2 years in 2006 – 2007. This is due to the phasing in of the Aftercare and Resettlement Strategy.
    • The conviction rate of cases with witnesses on the programme increased from
    • 80% in 2005 – 2006 to 90% in 2006 – 2007. This ensured value for money and the effectiveness of witness protection as a tool.
    • The successful re-integration back into society after testimony and discharge has been maintained, 100% in 2005 – 2006 and 100% in 2006 – 2007.
other major achievements
OTHER MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

1. Sustained 5 Years in a row, clean bill of health from the Auditor General.

2. Witness protection acknowledged as an effective cross cutting tool in the combating of the priority crimes in Africa, identified by the Africa Prosecutors Association.

3. Provided assistance to a number of African Countries to ensure the development and establishment of effective witnesses protection legislation and programmes.

4. Provided co-operation and assistance to International, sharing RSA best practice and assisting with logistical support of witnesses / refugees in RSA.

5. Ensured RSA WPU acquired membership of Europol Head of Experts.

other major achievements1
OTHER MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

6. Provided co-operation and assistance to the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom.

7. Sustained monthly training, March 2006 – March 2007, in co-operation with Justice College to Specialized Organized Crime Prosecutors.

8. Played a major role in assisting the UNODC Head of Experts in the field of witness protection to develop Best Practice Guidelines and ensured the success of Experts Meeting in November 2006.

9. Ensured world first advanced training: RSA only country in world where Witness Protection is offered as a subject as part of LLB and part of LLM - Free State, University.

major challenges
MAJOR CHALLENGES

1. The targets are impacted upon by the ability of the CJS to Fast Track WPU Cases negative impact of case backlogs.

2. The impact of inflation, cycle times and increase demand for services on Unit’s Budget, 80 % of budget relates to protection, support services and incidental services.

3. Inadequate budget has an impact on sustaining transformation, redesign and modernization supported by enabling technology and specialized training.

4. The lack of capacity and ability to build capacity has an impact on WPU’s capability, as SAPS and Prosecution Services continue to increase capacity.

the impact of challenges on work
THE IMPACT OF CHALLENGES ON WORK

1. Inadequate budget and lack of capacity impacts on service delivery, sustaining 24/7.

2. Impact on the wellness of personnel resulting in burn out etc.

steps taken to mitigate the challenges risk
STEPS TAKEN TO MITIGATE THE CHALLENGES / RISK

1. Risk Mitigation Plans and Action Plans have been developed and implemented.

2. Continuous re-organization and re-prioritization, required to achieve WPU’s mandate.

total number of persons on the programme as at 31 march 2007
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS ON THE PROGRAMME AS AT 31 MARCH 2007
  • 229 Witnesses
  • 268 Related persons

TOTAL: 497

budget
BUDGET
  • The Unit, through budget containment measures has ensured remaining within budget. Budget allocation R63,2 million.
  • Estimated saving ± R500 000
equity profile
EQUITY PROFILE

1. The Unit has 42 Permanent WPU Officials. The Profile is made up as follows:

    • Total Males = 19 – 45%
    • Total Females = 23 – 55%
    • Breakdown of Males
  • African - 10
  • White - 4
  • Coloured - 4
  • Indian - 1
    • Breakdown of Females
  • African - 10
  • White - 8
  • Coloured - 1
  • Indian - 4

Note: The Unit is assisted by 65 SAPS members attached to it’s 9 Regional Offices. Phased in own capacity structure for Protectors was established in November 2006. Agreement has been reached with SAPS that the said members be transferred to WPU after interview process. 94 Protector posts were advertised in January 2007.

priority crimes litigation unit
PRIORITY CRIMES LITIGATION UNIT

2006-2007

REPORT TO JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

ADV ANTON ACKERMANN SC

HEAD: PCLU

mandate
MANDATE
  • Created by Presidential Proclamation on 23 March 2003.
  • Manages and directs investigations and prosecutions as specified in the Proclamation.

SUPPLEMENTARY MANDATE

  • Contraventions of nuclear, chemical/biological and conventional arms control legislation;
  • Prosecutions arising from TRC;
  • Selected civil claims impacting on the work of the NPA;
  • Tracing of persons reported missing by TRC.
slide23

THE ROLE OF THE PCLU

  • PROSECUTIONS
  • Investigations are conducted by SAPS and DSO.
  • Provides legal support to such investigations.
  • Institutes prosecutions arising from such investigations.
  • Actively engages with State departments, controlling bodies and agencies which may enhance the investigations and prosecutions dealt with.
  • Actively involved in mutual legal assistance and extradition.
  • Engages in proposing legislative amendments.
  • Conducts legal research and furnishes legal opinions.
  • Provides assistance to DPP’s.
slide24

Continued …

MISSING PERSONS’ TASK TEAM

  • Investigates cases of persons who disappeared as reported by TRC with the aim of locating, exhuming and returning the remains to the families.
  • Engages with other State departments, Provincial and Local Government and Non-Governmental organizations as well as the families themselves.
  • Aligned to the Ministry’s TRC unit.
  • Develops forensic and DNA skills.
  • Contributes to Government’s restoration of dignity programmes.
slide25

STRATEGIC DIRECTION OF THE

PRIORITY CRIMES LITIGATION UNIT

Committed to ensuring that all investigations and prosecutions:

  • are successful;
  • that a reduction in crime is achieved.

This direction requires focus on enhancing:

  • investigative capacity;
  • prosecution efficiency;
  • engagement with relevant role players and stakeholders;
  • legislative developments;
  • research and training; and
  • transferring of skills within the NPA.

The Missing Persons’ Task Team is a short-term project dedicated to finalizing the investigation of the reported missing persons.

slide26

THE UNIT’S STRATEGIC PLAN

AND DELIVERABLES

  • Strategic plan and outcomes focus on above areas.

Summary of Performance /Major Achievements

  • Prosecutions
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation
  • S v Geiges, Wisser & Krisch Engineering

Serious case of international nuclear proliferation – Trial set down in the Pretoria High Court.

  • Thefts at a nuclear facility investigated - insufficient evidence to justify a prosecution.
  • Three further sensitive matters under investigation.
continued
Continued …
  • Chemical / Biological Non-Proliferation
    • Unit part of SA delegation at International Conference in The Hague.
    • Decision taken not to prosecute in two matters.
  • Mercenary Activities
    • S v Archer & 6 Others

Seven persons acquitted in the Pretoria Regional Court on charge of attempting to overthrow the Government of Equatorial Guinea. Accused acquitted on basis that they were unaware that their conduct was unlawful. Discussions taking place with foreign countries regarding the role of foreign nationals.

slide28

Continued …

  • International Terrorism
    • PCLU attended UN Counter-Terrorism Conference in Namibia.
  • Conventional Arms
    • Assistance provided to Czech Republic re international arms smuggling.
    • Export of military vehicle to conflict region in Africa under investigation.
  • Statute of Rome
    • Complaint that deportation of Pakistani national constituted an offence i.t.o. the Statute – under investigation.
    • Opinion furnished re SA jurisdiction for taking over cases from Rwandan International Criminal Tribunal.
    • Assistance to Belgian Government re murder of Belgian peace keepers.
continued1
Continued …
  • Civil Litigation

Singh v The Minister & NDPP

Attempt to institute a private prosecution against former NDPP and other key NPA officials successfully opposed.

  • Other Matters

Assistance provided to foreign law enforcement agency re human trafficking.

  • Legal Research and Opinions

Research and/or opinions provided to DPP’s and DSO on various matters.

continued2
Continued …
  • TRC Prosecutions
    • S v Van Zyl & Another (Pebco 3)

Accused indicted in High Court. Review of Amnesty decision pending.

    • 16 other matters identified for investigation.
    • Representations received.
    • Ministerial request for reopening of Samora Machel air crash investigation.
    • Guidelines - multi-departmental task team set up. Previous decisions reviewed and 20 cases closed.
continued3
Continued…
  • Missing Persons

(i) Exhumations conducted

      • Minister requests formulation of guidelines
      • Ten exhumations conducted and 22 planned
      • Seven cemeteries surveyed
      • Forty eight burial sites forensically examined
      • Site of Pebco 3 murder examined

(ii) Identifications

      • Fourteen victims positively identified
      • 11 DNA tests concluded
      • 3 other matters under investigation

(iii) Reburials

      • Nine reburials conducted
      • Fourteen reburials pending
major challenges1
MAJOR CHALLENGES
  • PROSECUTIONS
      • Professional staff inadequate for case load
      • Office space inadequate- breaches of security
      • Difficulty in obtaining evidence in mercenary cases
      • Delays with TRC prosecutions
  • MISSING PERSONS
      • Cases outside South Africa’s borders
      • Cases not reported to TRC
      • Ongoing destruction of records
slide33

THE IMPACT OF CHALLENGES

ON WORK

  • Inadequate staff to attend to all cases
  • Inadequate office space
  • Delays with TRC prosecutions – evidence being lost

STEPS TAKEN TO MITIGATE THE CHALLENGES/RISK

  • Risk Mitigation - and Action Plans adopted
  • Continuous re-organization and re-prioritization in progress
budget conclusion
BUDGET / CONCLUSION
  • BUDGET
    • Unit has operated within budgetary constraints.
    • Savings effected due to delays in implementing TRC prosecutions.
  • CONCLUSION
    • Despite difficulties, the PCLU continues to function and give proper attention to cases falling within its mandate.