About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

09 Jul 1998: Matthews, Joe

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POM     Minister, kind of switching gears from the last time we talked when we had done a lot of historical stuff, background stuff, but the more often I come here the more often I hear people talk about crime, crime, crime and crime. So a couple of questions. One is, why is not a greater proportion of the budget allocated to crime since internationally at least South Africa is perceived as a crime driven country, keeping away foreign investment. Two, why are there not more police hired to put on the street? Three, why is the process of transformation in the police force apparently - it appears to be so slow? If you can just start with those three.

JM     Well I think first of all the violence in the country - you had a government representing 20% of the population which was fighting a war against the majority and that was a fierce struggle which went on at all levels and I believe that it created on both sides a culture of violence. Violence became endemic and nobody was interested in fighting crime, they were fighting their political battles. The ANC and other liberation movements brought AK47s from Russia into this country. That would not have happened in normal conditions. The SA government on its part did the same. The disclosures in the TRC show that. They were prepared to go to any lengths in that fight. Now in the process the fight against crime took a back seat. The police were not interested in fighting crime and in fact used criminals and others in the fight against their political opponents. Then you get a change in the constitution of SA and the first thing is the entire authoritarian machinery is dismantled. Your informer system is dismantled already under De Klerk, the intelligence services are in turmoil, their programmes slashed, the whole security apparatus in terms of legislation repealed at one stroke. The detentions without trial are no longer possible. So the dismantling of an authoritarian regime in the country, which had existed for a very long time, controls on media, controls on everything, the dismantling of that and the sudden emergence of a transparent society where everything is reported, where you couldn't arrest people without trial, you had to have the rule of law, that weakened the state machine and you had to reorganise and recreate the coercive machinery in an entirely new environment. The chaps who were experienced, for instance, in building up an informer network left the service. We know them, it's General Basie Smit, he's the expert, but politically he was not acceptable. So they leave the service in droves and hurried especially by the fact that they got their big 'lumpers' as they call them in Britain.

POM     Lumpers?

JM     That's the lump sum, lump sum plus your pension. They got their lumpers and off they went leaving less experienced people. Then we had to put together the fragmented police services, eleven different police agencies and make them into one service, a service which was backward in many respects. It's easy enough to bash an oppressed people, it's quite another thing to confront international criminal syndicates. More intelligence is needed to deal with syndicates than you need when you just have to bash people and so on, it's easier. So the technology, sanctions, nobody has given equipment, modern equipment and technology to the SA police for decades, it was not acceptable. Let's give one example, fingerprints. SA still uses a manual identification of finger prints. It takes 27 days on average to identify a fingerprint. We've got 20,000 people in prison awaiting results from the criminal record office at a cost of R1 million a day to feed those people and it takes the FBI a few seconds to identify a fingerprint because they've got the equipment, they've got a modern technology. Britain has got surveillance equipment for dealing with car hijackings. Every time there is a car chase through London the control room in London is watching that car chase. We haven't got that sort of thing. None of that sort of equipment.

POM     Why wouldn't the cabinet, recognising the extent of the problems that you face in this regard, not allocate more money?

JM     But it's not a question of throwing money at the problem. One of the questions is the money that we now have, what is that money being used for? And that is why we brought in Mr Meyer Kahn as an experienced businessman to find out if we are getting value for money. We've got R13 billion and I can't explain to you what that R13 billion is doing. I can't. Because what's been happening, simple arithmetic, increase by 4% each year taking into account inflation and up, up goes the budget from R8 billion it's now R13 billion and you cannot justify that to an intelligent person and say, look apart from the salary what exactly is this money doing? We've got over 30,000 vehicles. I can't tell you at any one time where those vehicles are. Are they in the workshop? Are they in use? Who's driving? What's happening? The amount of waste, not just in the police service but in government, in SA government in general, the amount of waste is colossal.  So we say all right and then let's take the manpower, 80% of our detectives are untrained. Well, for God's sake, you've got no investigative capacity. So we started a detective agency with the help of the FBI and say can you start training detectives? Because you didn't need detectives of the type that are required to fight crime in the old days. You just needed a chap who could recognise a communist, just everybody under a bed was a red. That was easy detection.

     What is happening is that we are tackling simultaneously the entire restructuring of the police service at a time when there is a crime crisis. You have got all these constitutional freedoms, international criminals can come in here and there is nothing you can do about it if you have no evidence.  Our constitution provided that every person, not every citizen, every person is entitled to all the rights that are in it. So it takes us two years to get rid of the head of the Chinese Mafia who goes right through the courts proclaiming his innocence and saying these people are harassing me. There was no such problem in the old days. Foreigner and you flunked him out. You can't do that today.

POM     It has even been suggested that in the zeal to make the new constitution perfect that in terms of protections of human rights it almost went overboard in one direction.

JM     Well if you are ever a victim of course it would seem so. Those who were not victims of the previous gross violation of human rights, to them that becomes a clever little point. But of course if you were a victim and you lost hundreds and thousands of people as a result of human rights violations, and as we now hear of government poisoning opponents, spreading cholera which has never been known south of the Sahara and cholera is just introduced in a programme by the government. So you know we say to our friends in other countries, how do you maintain the balance between the maintenance of democracy and civil rights and being tough on crime, how do you do it, because some of the suggestions are like the suggestion made by the lady in Leningrad, I don't know if you ever heard of this letter by a lady in Leningrad some years ago, who bemoaned the fact that the country is in chaos, criminals had taken over  and in the days of Stalin they wouldn't have had this. It's merely an evil, we're in the Gulag and ten million people died in all the transformation and purges and someone says, you know in the old days I could leave my handbag in Red Square and find it there the next morning. Now we've got to have a historical perspective as well. If people have suffered for 300 years and then you want to reintroduce detention without trial, break down the system of the rule of law, of course people are going to say no. But at the same time people will demand that you take action against crime but we cannot say let's adopt a shoot to kill policy, shoot and ask questions afterwards. You see that brings the Wild West back. No Sir.

     So it's got to be a process in which on the one hand we have to develop a framework for fighting crime simultaneously with the maintenance of order and I think we are beginning to do it. You are now going to see in the press less and less of the sensational single murder which is made into a crisis and more and more of so-called breakthroughs by the police because we are now getting on top of the problem.

POM     Do you think you get a fair break from the media or that they sensationalise everything?

JM     I don't want to say so, I don't want to join that sort of rather unsophisticated debate about the media and so on, and you are going to get that and of course you can't say, once you start saying the media must be responsible it's a short step towards saying the media should be controlled. So I say what we have in the media is good enough, I'm not unduly worried about it because actually the media has no idea of the extent of the crime. If they knew how bad it was! The situation is very bad, it's actually a very bad situation. We are saying now, we say things like most of the crime has stabilised except, to our regret, for attacks on women and children where there is a sharp increase. At first we said maybe this is because the women are now reporting where they didn't report before, now they do go and report and that may account for the rise. But you see that still doesn't take care of the problem because our statistics are only on reported crimes, not on the actual number of crimes. We have to assume that there are more crimes that are committed which are not reported by people.

POM     Like the case of the MP in KwaZulu/Natal?

JM     No, no, not in KwaZulu/Natal, this is Mr Hennie Becker?

POM     Yes.

JM     Here in Gauteng. He didn't report or didn't bother to report a mugging and was criticised for it. The experts say maybe 30% of the people don't report crimes, 30% of people involved in a crime. But of course it's a guess. We only give statistics on reported crimes that have been recorded. Now those have been showing a - they are not increasing. There has been no sharp drop or anything like that but they are not increasing.

POM     Stabilisation.

JM     Except, as I say, for rape and child abuse and so on, we find that very bad.

POM     About the police themselves, one hears that they are underpaid, that morale is very low, that the absenteeism, we were told by one person who is supposedly in the know, ran at about 20% on any given day.

JM     These are all figures given by the police. By the way, the source of all information on crime is the police in this country. Very unusual, very unusual, even the figures you are quoting are from the police, they are actually from Mr Meyer Kahn. The point also is that we have decided we've got to be absolutely transparent with regard to the facts on what is happening.

POM     Why is morale so low? Why is absenteeism so high? Why is the pay level such that it leaves ...  ? Why is corruption among police, whether engaging in part of the taxi war syndicates or prisoners disappearing between when they're on remand to when they - ?

JM     The problem is that your questions are passé. You'd better get all the police literature and read what is happening because every single thing you are saying and everything you are asking me is contained in police documents which are public and it has been provided. This is the advantage that we have that there is no concealment of any of these problems and therefore everyone is free to analyse, we've got an Institute of Security Studies which has done a lot of work analysing all the problems that you are raising. And there's a vast literature in SA on these problems and I would say, don't ask the Deputy Minister for stuff which is documented.

POM     Would you know this document number?

JM     Well they are the universities, that's University of South Africa their Criminology Department. Look it's full of stuff and all you need to do, the Nedcor Project which is done by Nedbank and so on and they issue a monthly digest of crimes and so on. In SA there is a huge literature on all these problems.

POM     Who produces the best literature?

JM     I would say the Institute of Security Studies, ISS, which works from Midrand, but the police themselves or what we call the National Crime Prevention Strategy Secretariat, those are the chaps you should actually see. Dr. Fanaroff is the man who is dealing with the National Crime Prevention Strategy. I don't even read their literature any more it's so numerous. Christ, I've got other things to do.

POM     Read a good novel!

JM     The material you can get on all these problems, the whole issue of absenteeism and so on and the lack of education of many of the people, the fact that 45,000 police don't have a driver's license, they don't drive. Now how can you have policemen who can't drive vehicles?

POM     They will have to be able to run very fast.

JM     It's ridiculous. So in other words what I am saying is that all these factors that you mention are part of the ongoing analysis that we have made as to what we must do to eventually end up with a highly sophisticated, highly trained police force. We talk about morale, we advertised for 5000 recruits and we got 600,000 applicants. 600,000! We are sitting now analysing those 600,000, every one of whom has got matric minimum, people who want to enter the police force. So there is no shortage of manpower, but what we are concerned about is this, have we got the right quality, because the fellows that were left, that we inherited, they were not the best police. That is why the issue of money, manpower is that -

POM     Is corruption - ?

JM     Corruption, we have arrested just in the last year 2000 police on corruption charges. We arrested the entire unit that deals with car hijacking, the whole unit was involved with corruption. We were wondering who gives uniforms to criminals and found that our own Logistics Department were doing it. People were arrested who were involved in selling uniforms to criminals. Then of course the big thing is the international criminal syndicates which people don't realise, nobody, the people in the criminal syndicates didn't come to SA. Then suddenly the door is open so you've got the Russian Mafia, you've got the Colombians, you've got the Nigerians, you've got everybody now in and out of SA and that introduced an entirely new element into the fight against crime. We had a spate of car hijackings in the Sandton area. The Democratic Party said, they proposed that we surround, virtually, Alexandra Township which is a township inhabited by blacks, and they thought a 24-hour watch on every vehicle entering and leaving Alexandra Township would perhaps deal with the problem. Then we arrested 14 Bulgarians who were responsible for the crimes and they are very white. So you see! It's a very complex process.

POM     If you were analysing the causes of the crime would you say the syndicates are the number one problem, highly organised, highly orchestrated in their activities? Or does most of the crime in a sense have an economic basis insofar as people are unemployed, they live in places like Alex, they live in shacks?

JM     Well the scientists tell us that's wrong. They say there are many causes of crime and there is no single cause that you pick out. But you get coincidences like crime is falling sharply in the USA and unemployment has fallen there. You've got a very active economy, unemployment is at its lowest and crime is dropping. Now we don't know, is it because of the economy that crime is falling?

POM     The age factor?

JM     There are all kinds of things.

POM     Most crime is committed by people under 25 or ... a huge age cohort in the USA, there was an awful lot of crime and in fact the age cohort shrunk to its smallest since the second world war. Crime shrunk too.

JM     Well you are answering yourself. There are many causes. Numerous causes.

POM     But what do you think?

JM     I wouldn't like to say that crime is committed by poor people. These are just statements. I only say, and we understand from those who have studied these problems, that there are huge number of factors which produce crime. What I am saying is that if you have a sudden upsurge which coincides with the entry into the country of criminal syndicates which were not previously there because we had an authoritarian government that becomes a factor. It's an injection of people who have vast resources which rival those of government, who have got technology sometimes superior to that of the state, coming into a country and presenting an unfamiliar problem. We have identified a lot of these syndicates now and we are beginning to understand how they operate. For instance, the Nigerians, of whom we've got about 14,000 here, they are obviously now are a very potent factor in crime. Previously they were only couriers in the drug trade, now they are big. In the drug trade they rival the Colombians. That's a problem SA didn't have, the international criminal syndicates. You see the thing is that I believe that you must get material on this which is published and of which there is a vast quantity. As you can imagine in a country like this every five minutes someone is writing a book so it's full of material on crime, especially because everyone is affected by crime, so you've got a lot of material and of course we are very transparent here. In this country a person can demand to see the file of the prosecutor, they have a right to look at the file. There are very few countries where an accused can demand to see what's in the prosecutor's file. Here we've got that.

POM     You hear that there have been cases recently, a number of cases of people just taking the law into their own hands because they're -

JM     This is in rural areas especially. Farmers.

POM     Somebody is arrested and they're out on bail and -

JM     We've had to change the bail laws. We're not sure whether they're going to be constitutionally acceptable but we have to change the bail laws and we are now sitting with 25,000 chaps who haven't got bail sitting in prison. That's another problem. So instead of our jails having 99,000 they've got 146,000. 99,000 is the maximum we can hold and we've got 146,000 in prison. Our prisons are full, overflowing.

POM     People say, again it's going back to the constitution, that the constitution provides so many protections for the perpetrators of crimes.

JM     No, no, there's no such thing.

POM     I don't mean perpetrators, that there's a clause in there saying -

JM     It can't be. You see the word crime is not written on a criminal. We only have rights for persons, that's all.

POM     So many rights provided for the individual that a criminal is in a position to take advantage of that to an extent that a victim can't.

JM     But we've got less of those rights than you have in the USA. You have got more rights in the USA which protect an individual than we have.

POM     I'm told you have the perfect constitution.

JM     Well, I don't know what a perfect constitution is, maybe we've got a constitution that is perfect but human beings aren't.   But when it comes to defence, to the rights of an accused person, the US has got more rights for an accused person than we have.

POM     Do you find the argument that is often made, and this is my opinion but I'm looking for your opinion, that in a sense the criminal justice system works to, in a way, over-protect, if that's the right word, the perpetrator of crime, that the victims of crime don't see justice being done. They see people being arrested and being out on the street within 24 hours. They think the justice system as a whole is failing and therefore are more inclined to take matters into their own hands?

JM     I would say that we are black men. You ask a black man such a question when they have been tossed around unjustly for decades, then you come around and say to them, now look here don't you think the present constitution protects perpetrators because the perpetrators in our case were the government. Now the state was the perpetrator of crime. We are discovering people buried all over SA, killed and buried in secret graves. Now what do you tell the victims? You tell the victims that it is not the state that is the problem, not the power of the state which has gone wrong, the real problem in SA is the individual criminal. And they will say you've got the wrong proportions, you've got to get them right.  Those who have suffered as victims of state criminal conduct they will never agree.  They will say you must stress rights, defences against state power, defences against the police. I know we've got a report this week of how many people have been killed in police custody. There's a storm over that. So we are a long way from getting the balance. The challenge is this, how do you maintain a democratic society, a society in which justice is done and maintain a tough profile against crime, against a criminal crisis background? How do you maintain a correct balance? This is what we are striving for.

POM     Do you think there is any kind of a culture of anti-police? Maybe the example I should give you is -

JM     There has always been, in this country there has always been.

POM     If you have for years been telling the people to make the country ungovernable, the police are the enemy, the police are the enemy, the police are the enemy, you can't turn around the following day and say -

JM     That the police are like British Bobbies. No that's true and it's not only that in the culture but violence itself, armed struggle, kill people in order to solve a problem. And then you've got a population which is heavily armed on all sides. There are so many weapons around in SA and in the neighbouring countries, Mozambique, Angola and so on, people pull out a gun at the drop of a hat. A lot of violence.

POM     Do you think one of the legacies of apartheid as such is that, what would I call it, is almost a contempt for human life? People were so degraded and so dispossessed that when it comes to settling even a simple argument you pull out a gun and you shoot the other person?

JM     It's a culture of violence. We call it a culture of violence that has developed. And also a kind of amorality, an amoral attitude which would explain, for instance, something like these unacceptable attacks on women and children, a breakdown of family values and morality and so on which leads to acts that are foreign to either the white culture or the traditional black culture.  African culture doesn't know this sort of thing, and therefore we think that part of the task we face, and that's part of the task that's being dealt with in the National Crime Prevention Strategy which has got several pillars and one of them is this whole issue of morality, ethics and so on. It's part of a challenge that we face as a nation to re-establish moral standards and values. Some people think that it's wishy-washy but it's not. It's crucial. A chap is hijacking a car, you hand over your key and he shoots you. What for? It's not even as if he shoots because he thinks he'll be recognised or that he's eliminating a witness. It's not even that. So there is that which we think is a legacy which affects all sides. You see the violence culture affects everybody, both supporters of apartheid and the opponents of apartheid became part of this culture and when you try to reverse it, bringing in the new constitution, new institutions, legitimacy of institutions and so on, slowly trying to build up community organisations, involving the population even in the fight against crime - our community police forums and so on. These are all an attempt to restore the human rights culture.

POM     I know that when Ireland got free and they were the Republic in 1921 and the police for a number of years had problems and part of the problem stemmed from the fact that the worst thing you could ever be regarded as was an informer. Under the old regime of the British government if you were an informer that was like you were just a target for elimination. It's the worst thing you could do to be known as an informer, so that when their own police came in you still had a culture of that. You didn't tell, you didn't report to police because it still was like informing on somebody. Is there any of that?

JM     No we don't have something to that extent. I think because the movements in SA were of a mass character and not a small group of highly organised people like the IRA which in a sense is almost in the street sense a conspiracy, we didn't have that. You had the mass movements involving hundreds of thousands of people so the issue of informers against such a mass movement was not as bad as the kind of image where you have to shoot people's kneecaps off and so on. I don't think we ever reached that level of hatred of an informer, of a policeman.

POM     Let's go back to something very simple that you mentioned initially, saying that fingerprints were still taken manually and it took 27 days on the average to identify, to attach the fingerprints to an individual to a crime or whatever. Since the technology for dealing with that is available one would think that someone would say we can deal with this problem right now, all we need is to bring in the technology that is available, the most modern technology and we can cut having people in jail for 27 days wasting taxpayers' money.

JM     Well in a business, that's why we brought in Business against Crime, because the business people can do things like that, but the state it takes you a long time to put out stuff to tender. We've got an identification system tender out, which by the way the American companies, TRW and Lockheed and so on, have protested at the whole conduct of the State Tender Board which is going to delay the matter even further. They've even reported it to the Public Protector. But you see we can't take -

POM     They are complaining in what sense?

JM     That the State Tender Board has not acted properly in examining the tenders, the various tenders that have been submitted and there is a big row over the tenders for the identification system. But that's by the way. The point is that you cannot in government identify a problem today and the next day order the equipment for R500 million and issue a cheque. You have to put it out to tender so it becomes a whole process. You invite people internationally, they tender internationally, they come along, they tender, they go through the whole process which takes time. Now you know we've only been in power four years of which your actual work, where you got used to what was happening, it's only about 2½ years. Now people expect that in that 2½ years, years of what happened in the past will be wiped out and we will all have a nice shining democracy.

POM     How about the redeployment of police into the townships, into black areas? There was this famous argument on Hollard Street between Mr de Klerk and President Mandela over some General when Mr Mandela talked about how police were still concentrated in white areas and not in black areas. Has there been significant re-deployment?

JM     Yes, you see 86% of police resources were deployed into protecting the white community and only 14% of resources was used to protect the black population. That was the proportion. So that meant everything, police, police stations, vehicles, so you would get a big township like Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, a huge township, the third biggest maybe in the country, with no vehicles at the police station and then a few kilometres away in East London vehicles are packed outside the white police station. Now that is the redistribution of resources, it's another one of our big problems how to ensure that we've got a proper redistribution. But then, you see, remember that redistribution of resources mustn't mean you then leave the white population defenceless and say that you are busy defending the black population. So the process must ensure that you have got a distribution that is effective in protecting the entire population. Then you've got places like southern Natal where you have 1½ million people and 15 police but that's because you had the Chiefs who were able to maintain law and order over large parts of rural areas. The problem of redistribution is another one of the issues that we are facing. But, with the greatest respect, all this stuff really belongs to the researchers and so on who are here in this building.

POM     I want to hear it from you.

JM     Yes, but I mean I'm a politician, I'm not a criminologist. You're asking a guy who's a politician for material which is of a research character, of a criminology character. All right, you are going to get answers simply because those are the answers I have got from the researchers but it would be far better to actually meet the researchers themselves to question the basis of their research and their literature.

POM     Who is the head of research here?

JM     We've got a chap here, he's called De Kock, Dr de Kock, who is a master of the research stuff and a very interesting chap. He does all these studies. He can answer your questions better than I can.

POM     You provide the different insights.

JM     Well I can try and reflect the interests of the black people who have not been represented thus far, who nobody has worried about. That we can provide, that kind of aspect.

POM     Again, you said 86% of resources were allocated to the protection of white communities and 14% to black. To what extent has that been redressed? Just give or take.

JM     You must ask these guys. Really I can't.

POM     Fifty fifty?

JM     No.

POM     It would be too many resources?

JM     It still would be because remember that you are talking of protection not only of suburbia but of factories, of central business districts and most of the economy is still in the hands of the whites. Therefore, in practice, you would still be protecting vested interests that are mainly white. If you protect the mines you are protecting economic vested interests. So the process of transferring must be based on an increase in the cake, not on a reduction of the level of security in the white areas because if you do that you just open a vacuum which the criminals would fill as fast as anything. It's already happened. The criminals are more free to enter the white areas because there are no controls on the movement of blacks and so on because they had tight control on movement. I think it's a very complicated problem which could never be solved in two years.

POM     How long do you think, just speculation, it will take for the development of  - ?

JM     The Americans tell us four years.

POM     Four years from now.

JM     It will take us to get on top of the problem. But that we hear from the United States chaps, from their organisations.  So we were very thankful to hear that. We thought it would take longer. Their experts say that they think things will begin to clear up within about four years.

CB     I was hearing from various people that the initial idea of building up community policing forums had had some successes but not as much impact as people had hoped and that there may be a policy move now towards building up the idea of city policing. Durban is an example of this. Is that the way you see the policy going?

JM     Well I don't think it's a contrast between community policing or police forums and city police. If the Police Act in our country provided for the creation of municipal metropolitan police, and we have passed a law to provide for that, now Durban that's a relic of the old British days and it seems to be doing very well. So Johannesburg would like to copy something similar and Cape Town. So we have passed a law that permits it. Those metropolitan areas which think they have got the funding, we are not prepared to fund it, they must fund their own police, and I think they are going to do it. That would improve the position, the manpower position and also bring the police under more local control.

POM     So their funding source would have to be property taxes?

JM     Well the normal taxes that metropolitan areas employ for services, the services they provide, rates and all that sort of stuff.

CB     Would it include detective responsibilities as well or would that remain centrally investigative?

JM     I think they are meant to present their proposals as to how they want it done. I think that many crimes, especially those that are trans-provincial and so on still require a national centralised detective force but nothing prevents them from having both. There is also a demand for provincial forces rather like the United States State Troopers, that kind of thing.  That is also a demand from some of the provinces, which they haven't got at the moment, the right to set up a provincial police force. In SA we've always had a single national police force from 1913, but now you are getting people who want -

CB     ...

JM     I don't think so. We are told by many of our friends in other police institutions that it's a very big advantage that we have of having a national police force. What we have done is to organise the national police force provincially so that you've got Provincial Commissioners in the provinces. But I don't think the idea of police forces that are under the control of the provincial government, I think that might be risky.

POM     So if you had to identify what you see, having been on the job for two and a half to three years, four years, the four or five central problems that had to be addressed before you get on top of the situation, which four or five areas do you think are of the highest priority that have to be dealt with?

JM     Well I think first of all we must make sure that the training of the police, it's really of international standard. That is not only the regular police but the investigative arm, the detectives. They have got to get the level of education and training, it has got to be right. Not the numbers but the quality of policemen. That level has got to be raised all round. I think that's crucial. I think that knowledge, and that includes information systems, you see we don't have a national data base, you can't run a police service without a national data base which is accessible. You can't be searching for information, we want a national data base and some of the private security companies have got that. I think that technology information systems, not only internally but also with international connections in which we are  new, we only joined Interpol two or three years ago. In the United States, the FBI, they are helping us with the detective agencies, those are new things which were not there. So I think that education, technology those are crucial.

     I think also that the intelligent use of existing resources, not only in the police force but outside. We have got a vast private security industry which is going merrily along making money but is hardly being used in an intelligent co-ordinated way together with the police. That would give us an extra several hundred thousand men who at the moment are doing guard duty. They stand there, they see a crime committed and a chap reckons, well I am guarding this building here which belongs to my boss, that is none of my business what's happening across the road. We've got to get rid of that. How do you produce a kind of communication between private security and the public law enforcement agencies? That's one of the big problems that I think SA faces. They have got vast resources there which could be tapped in the fight against crime.

     I think that we must improve our international understanding because the crimes that have been committed through those for which international criminals are responsible, we have to crack that. We must get to grips with the big issue of money laundering. Our country has a very sophisticated banking and financial service system and we have got hardly any proper manner of dealing with money laundering and we think that billions are going through our banking system, so we've got to consider - must we modify banking systems and also in what way do we interfere in the banking system? In other countries if there is an unusual deposit of more than so many thousand they automatically report to the police. You see that doesn't happen with us, there is no obligation. Sometimes they do it, sometimes they don't. So the international aspect of crime needs to be mastered by ourselves and then of course you need to create awareness, public support for the forces of law and order. That kind of thing and we've got to develop that because without it you're sunk.

POM     Thank you ever so much. I'd like to see you again if possible in Cape Town. Remember we had been talking about the past.

JM     I'll be there from 21st July till September, then we come back again.

POM     I'd like to pick that theme up and go back to that.

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.