Cablegate: Minister of Safety and Security Interested in More
RR RUEHDU RUEHJO
DE RUEHSA #4993/01 3451037
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111037Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7258
INFO RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 4826
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 3698
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 8393
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 5872
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 004993
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
GABORONE FOR ILEA
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/AAE:ERICHARDS; FKENNEDY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KJUS PHUM PREL ASEC SF
SUBJECT: MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY INTERESTED IN MORE
U.S. TRAINING FOR POLICE
REF: PRETORIA 4817
1. (U) Summary. Minister of Safety and Security Charles
Nqakula was interested in more U.S. training opportunities
for the South African Police Service (SAPS) and was surprised
to hear that SAPS had refused previous offers for training by
the U.S. Nqakula, who commented that U.S. assistance had
been vital in providing much-needed training of law
enforcement officials, promised Ambassador Bost that he would
look into this issue. The Ambassador, during his initial
welcome call with Nqakula on November 27, expressed the
importance of continued efforts by all parties to address the
high crime rate in South Africa, the negative impact the
perception of crime has on foreign investors and potential
investment, as well as the diplomatic community, and urged
South Africa to take advantage of U.S. training programs on
security related matters. Whether Nqakula, who showed
interest in improving the number of trained officers,
especially at the management level, can convince SAPS of the
potential benefits of this training remains to be seen. End
TRAINING NEEDED TO REDUCE HIGH CRIME RATE
2. (U) The Ambassador paid a courtesy call on Minister of
Safety and Security Charles Nqakula on November 27. The
Ambassador was accompanied by RSO and econoff (notetaker) and
Nqakula was accompanied by his Chief of Staff and Special
3. (U) The Ambassador initiated the meeting by explaining the
U.S.' interest in continuing its efforts to assist South
Africa to address its crime problems. He noted that, while
South Africa is a wonderful country, its incredible potential
is slipping away because the high crime rate eventually will
compromise foreign investment, as well as 2010 World Cup
tourism. The Ambassador stated that U.S. companies play a
large part in the business community with over 600 U.S.
companies in South Africa that have provided seven to eight
billion USD in economic activity over the last few years.
These investors are worried about their safety and well
being. The Ambassador pointed out that potential foreign
investors are hesitant to invest due to the perception of
high crime in the country. The Ambassador cited the benefits
investors provide including hiring of local staff, providing
salaries that allow employees to send children to school, and
preventing potential crime through employment.
4. (U) The Ambassador also stated that one of his primary
concerns and responsibilities is for individual safety, for
both Americans and South Africans. He cited the recent
robberies at the Bangladesh Chancery and Ambassador's
residence to highlight the crime rate. In discussing the
2010 World Cup, the Ambassador stated that this was a perfect
opportunity to showcase the beauty and potential of South
Africa, but asked what tourists would be willing to vacation
in a country where the threat of injury or theft was so high?
The Ambassador stressed that these issues needed to be
resolved, and reiterated that the U.S. was willing to be a
5. (U) Minister Nqakula acknowledged prior U.S. assistance
and stated that he was now looking to a better horizon given
assistance from other countries, including the U.S., and the
better trained personnel now playing a role in law
enforcement. Nqakula stated that the Ambassador's comments
reflected the consistency of the U.S. government's eagerness
to resolve problems and assist young democracies. He
commented that the U.S. was one of the first countries to
open itself to the post-apartheid government and he was
appreciative of the U.S.' attempt to share the idea of
freedom with the leadership of new democracies.
6. (U) Nqakula confirmed that the biggest problems facing the
South African democracy were the elements of safety and
security. He further stated that there were "tremendous
difficulties and challenges" with lack of resources,
especially a scarcity of trained officials, who could act as
managers. Nqakula explained that the main weakness was a
lack of training to ensure a change in the mindset from the
old force to a new one. Nqakula explained that the police
force is not able to just rely on an abundance of people or
PRETORIA 00004993 002 OF 002
"warm bodies", but it also needs skilled managers as station
commanders, who can control their people and supplies.
According to Nqakula, the key is training. He commented that
U.S. assistance had been vital in providing much-needed
training of law enforcement officials.
IS SOUTH AFRICA INTERESTED IN TRAINING?
7. (U) In response to Nqakula's statements, the Ambassador
and RSO inquired as to the reasons the South African Police
Service (SAPS) had repeatedly failed to accept invitations to
the U.S.' fully-funded International Law Enforcement Academy
held in Botswana. The Ambassador highlighted that this
training would be ideal for addressing Nqakula's need for
managers. Specifically, it would provide officers with
management skills before a large inflow of "rookies" joined
the police force in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.
Nqakula stated that he had been unaware of this program, as
well as SAPS' failure to attend, but promised that he would
look into this issue.
8. (U) The Ambassador also emphasized that the U.S.'
experience with large stadium events could be beneficial for
assisting with the 2010 World Cup. He stated that the U.S.
was already coordinating a trip for South African law
enforcement personnel to receive hands-on training in the
U.S. on event planning and security. The Ambassador stressed
that as many law enforcement personnel as possible should
take advantage of this training offer. Nqakula agreed,
thanked the Ambassador for the U.S.' assistance and expressed
hope that both he and the Ambassador could pursue continued
relations through future meetings.
9. (SBU) That the Minister was unaware of the training
possibilities for SAPS at ILEA Gaborone is not surprising.
Indications are that the decision not to participate in ILEA
training was taken within the higher echelons of SAPS, not
the Ministry. It remains to be seen whether Minister Nqakula
will be able to convince these SAPS officials of the
potential benefits to SAPS of such training at ILEA Gaborone.
Although the U.S. has provided special assistance to SAPS,
like the recent ATA training, the Minister is correct that
U.S. police mid-management training assistance would be
helpful, as can be seen from the training now being provided
to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (reftel).