Monday, June 13, 2011

R36m police day shindig

Jun 13, 2011

The Democratic Alliance has called for a forensic audit into the hosting of the past two National Police Day functions saying that the high costs were a "concern". 

"I shall today [Monday] be writing to the Auditor General to request that a forensic audit be conducted into the hosting of both this year's National Police Day and the Police Day of 2010," the DA's spokeswoman on police Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement on Monday. 

She said the DA noted with "extreme concern" the high costs of hosting this year's function. 

In a written reply to a parliamentary question in April about the cost of the function, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that R36,3 million was spent on this year's function. 

Of this: R6m was spent on transport, 

R501,491 on accommodation, 

R44,574 on venue hire and 

R5m on expenses such as corporate gear, advertising and cleaning services.

She said that almost 

R12m was spent on entertainment and a further 

R12m on food and beverages. 

"... a questionable use of South African Police Service [SAPS] resources given that the ability of many police stations to carry out policing duties are inhibited by a chronic lack of basic resources. 

"We have urgent needs not being met, and indeed bills not being paid, by our SAPS -- and this event seems to be nothing more than an ego-boosting exercise for the National Police Commissioner." 

Kohler Barnard said that while the DA believed it was important to recognise the good work of police officers, it should be done in a more cost effective way. 

She said the DA believed that further investigation into the financial management of the event was warranted. 

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