South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​


Peace and Stability

22 December 1997

Correctional Services

Noting that:

  • the overall objective of the democratic order is to effect thoroughgoing transformation of the state machinery. This includes both human and physical resources within this department.

Believing that:

  • That there should be a paradigm shift within the department in terms of mind sets, attitudes, ethos and loyalty to the new order.

Therefore resolves:

  • To establish secure and safe penal institutions to minimise chances of escape;
  • To deploy adequately trained committed and loyal personnel;
  • To create appropriate inmate-warder ratios;
  • That to develop a human rights culture within penal institutions to give effect to these goals the following must be implemented:
    • additional prisons including super maximum prisons,
    • introduction of sophisticated technology which will monitor movement of inmates and warders
    • training and screening of warders,
    • efficient management hierarchy to administer prisons.

Alternative sentencing

  • Conference recognises that alternative sentencing in the form of correctional community services is an economically viable option which will result in self development and social integration it will also imbue in the offender moral and social responsibility and will diminish substantially overcrowding in prisons.
  • Having noted that the Law Commission is exploring alternative sentencing, we propose that this matter gets immediate attention.

Urban Renewal

  • Conference recognises the need to convert buildings belonging to the State and buildings that can be acquired cheaply by the State for purposes of conversion into penal institutions.

Voting Rights

  • This is a complex and difficult issue that needs urgent resolution, the movement must take steps to immediately deal with this matter.

RDP Linked Rehabilitation

  • Prisoners should be assisted to acquire skills that will benefit them and make them law abiding citizens within the context of the RDP.

Gangs in Prisons

  • There is an urgent need to establish a specialised unit dedicated to eradicate the menace of gangs and syndicates within prisons.

Prison Labour System

  • We propose that appropriate regulations be developed to deal with this complex issue.


  • Congratulates the work of the Ministry of Defence, and records its appreciation of the efforts and tasks performed by the Department of Defence and the SANDF in the service of the nation.


  1. The constraints placed upon the Department of Defence’s transformation process resulting from the nature of the negotiations.
  2. The progress made with particular reference to, amongst other things, representivity in the officer corps of the SANDF 22.5% of all officers are now black, of whom 11 are generals and 24 are brigadiers.
  3. The compilation and design of a new Civic Education Programme for the military.
  4. The nationwide recruitment campaign for the Part Time Force (PTF) called for by President Mandela.
  5. Current discussions at ministerial level to transform Defence Intelligence.

And expressing concern regarding:

  1. Resistance to change occasioned by perceived activities and attitudes of some elements of the old order.
  2. The frustrations and problems experienced by black members in general, and ex-Non Statutory Force members in particular, as a result of prejudice they continue to encounter.
  3. The large number of former MK and APLA members who have opted for demobilisation, resigned, or been discharged.
  4. The repeated budget cuts that may seriously hamper the SANDF’s capability to defend our sovereignty and territory which is a constitutional imperative a major portion of the budget is consumed by personnel requirements and running costs, impairing the SANDF’s ability to replace aged equipment.

Therefore resolves that:


  1. The new Defence Act and Military Discipline Code (MDC) should, if possible, be completed by the first half of 1998 as a matter of urgency.
  2. In the interim, the existing military justice system must be administered in as fair a manner as possible, and a mechanism instituted to ensure this.
  3. The Council of Review should be restructured.
  4. The Defence Act should be the subject of broad consultation.


  1. Steps involving the fast tracking of black officers, special training programmes and empowerment, including the operation of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programme and a specialised recruitment programme must be geared to achieve the objective of:
  2. Broad representivity of the SANDF to reflect the demographics of our country at all rank levels within two to four years.


  1. The necessity of rationalisation, as far as the retrenchment programme is concerned, is accepted.
  2. Former MK and APLA members are to be exempted from retrenchments, save for those with a poor disciplinary record involving repeated violations.
  3. Retrenched members should be given the opportunity to serve in the police and other government departments.
  4. In terms of the Constitution, a law must be enacted to deal specifically with rationalisation in the SANDF.


  1. The design of new training methods and programmes is recommended, including modern methods of teaching and evaluation in keeping with transformation, as well as the development of new military doctrine based on the Defence White Paper.
  2. A new system of selection and nomination for training courses is urgently required to ensure representivity on those courses.
  3. Instructors from former NSF and TBVC forces must be trained so that the corps of instructors becomes representative of the population.
  4. Junior ranks and NCOs must be representative, trained and empowered for their tasks.
  5. Future promotion and career paths are to be worked out.


  1. English must be the language of command and control and the medium of instruction in the SANDF although all languages are recognised.
  2. Special training programmes are required to develop all members’ ability to use English.


  1. The nationwide recruitment programme called for by President Mandela must be enthusiastically implemented.
  2. The PTF must become representative of the population.
  3. New PTF units based on townships and rural villages must be developed in their own right and not subordinated to existing PTF units.
  4. Ex-MK combatants must take the lead and join the PTF system.
  5. All PTF units must be subject to tight supervision and accountability.
  6. PTF units involved in abusive behaviour to the local population must be suspended and investigated by the Ministry of Defence.
  7. Matric should not be a requirement for joining the PTF.


  1. Government must take responsibility for erecting war memorials and heroes acres, nationally and provincially.
  2. The Service Corps requires government funding and assistance, and independence from the SANDF, if it is to overcome its present problems and become more effective.
  3. The plans for a Veterans Bill and the creation of a Veterans Directorate in the Ministry of Defence, must be energetically pursued to attend to veterans’ needs.
  4. The MK Veterans Association must be strongly supported by the ANC.


  1. Defence Intelligence needs to be restructured.
  2. A full governmental audit is required of Defence Intelligence involving its past connections and activities.


  1. Investigate possibility of all former Non-Statutory Force members of the SANDF being credited with ten years pensionable state service once they have completed a total of ten years’ service in the NSF and SANDF.


    1. Good balance should be maintained between personnel, equipment and operational costs.

The procurement programme to acquire modern replacements for obsolescent equipment is supported. The Department of Defence will assist as it implements its costsaving restructuring and downsizing programme.


  1. Transformation must be deepened and advanced, and vestiges of racism and sexism must be eradicated from the SANDF.
  2. Institutional names, such as those of certain bases, streets, and training establishments within the SANDF, are to be changed to reflect the country’s transformation.

Conference resolves in respect of matters relating to the administration of justice:


  • To endorse and support the broad approach contained in the discussion document including:
    • the paradigm shift in respect of the notion of security which is chiefly concerned with the security of the state and the military dimension of security,towards the approach which emphasises the security of the people and the non-military dimensions of security;
    • the inclusion of peace and stability as the fifth pillar of the RDP; and
    • the approach adopted in respect of the transformation of departments within this cluster, including the actions needed to unblock progress in transformation and service delivery in this sector;
  • To call for an urgent, scientific and serious discussion and revision of the justice budget, within the relevant structures of the movement, with the view to providing adequate and necessary services within the administration of justice;
  • To further pursue and investigate a proper and appropriate language policy within the administration of justice ;
  • To call on the Department of Justice to embark, with the provision of appropriate resources, on a public education and information programme relating to justice matters, with the view to empowering and capacity building amongst our people and their communities;
  • To endorse participation by the ANC and all government departments, with the provision of adequate resources, in the development of a national action plan relating to the implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights;
  • To provide for an ANC Justice Desk at national office to deal with justice matters and problems;
  • To pursue new and innovative mechanisms to communicate the activities of the Department of Justice, for example, an internet website and so on;

Court System and Judiciary

  • To rationalise the magistracy and judiciary into a single judiciary;
  • To rationalise the court system to provide, at least, for a High Court in each province, which is to be situated in the capital of such province;
  • To establish specialised family courts to adjudicate on and deal with all family related matters;
  • To pursue the establishment of community courts;
  • To endorse the initiatives of the Departments, and allocate appropriate resources, to:
    • introduce a New Court Management System to provide for the more professional and efficient administration of the Court System;
    • introduce a lay assessor system in the magistrate courts in each criminal matter;
    • introduce an affordable and appropriate witness protection scheme;
    • restructure and transform the Sheriff’s profession; develop and introduce an appropriate role for tribal courts;
    • further review the procedures of the courts to simplify adjudication in the Civil Justice System in the most cost effective manner; and
    • provide for appropriate security at court buildings;
  • To introduce legislation to give effect to section 180 of the Constitution by providing for a training programme for judicial officers, which includes sensitisation and capacity building components and a grievance proce dure and mechanisms for complaints against, judicial officers;
  • To introduce legislation to provide for pretrial services (i.e. witness support for victims and bail verification for perpetrators) in all our courts;
  • To examine and introduce legislation for the implementation of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms within the court procedures; and
  • To investigate the expansion of the Small Claims Court system in respect of both jurisdiction and the number of such courts;

Prosecuting authority

  • To endorse and support the present initiative to transform the prosecuting authority from twelve fragmented prosecuting authorities into one national structure, headed and controlled by the national DPP, with one prosecuting policy applicable throughout the country;

Legal Aid

  • To fundamentally restructure our legal aid system (which is presently a judicare system of lawyers in private practice which provides legal services at near market related fees) to an extensive system of primarily legal assistance clinics staffed by salaried lawyers which provide legal services under the auspices of the Department of Justice;
  • To require all the law graduates to perform one year of community legal service under the auspices of the Department of Justice, especially in the legal assistance clinics, before they may enter into legal practice/ legal profession;
  • To investigate and clarify the role of paralegals and advice offices, the better utilisation of such services and the possibility of assisting such services;

Legal Profession

  • To move away from the split legal profession of advocates and attorneys to one legal profession to which each lawyer in private practice must belong, whilst also allowing lawyers, in addition, to belong to voluntary associations of lawyers;
  • To remove all artificial barriers in respect of entry into the legal profession, especially by persons with the necessary qualifications or experience;
  • To adopt mechanisms to improve:
    • access to the legal profession, especially by persons from previously marginalised and disadvantaged communities; and
    • accessibility to legal services, for example, by reviewing the fee tariffs of lawyers;


  • To shift our emphasis in the CJS to a more victim orientated approach to ensure and to restore a more equitable balance between the rights of accused/convicted persons and those of victims, for example, the establishment of a victim compensation fund and so forth;
  • To classify violence against women and children first and foremost as a social problem and not as a legal problem. Therefore, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of projecting the resolution of this matter through the CJS, as some opposition parties and sectors of the media are wont to do. However, when the victim does interact with the CJS such contact must be humanised and professionalised;
  • To concretise, through the allocation of appropriate resources and practical mechanisms, government’s declaration of violence against women and children as a priority crime, similar to the steps already introduced by the DOJ, like the guidelines for dealing with sexual offenses, establishment of a gender information desk in each court, witness support at each court and so forth;
  • To implement and concretise international and national instruments agreed to by government which deal with violence against women and children;
  • To improve inter-ministerial cooperation in respect of matters relating to violence against women and children ;
  • To improve the environmental design in our society which impacts and promotes violence against women and children, for example, by providing street lights, providing creches and so forth; to consult on the gender policy document of the Department of Justice with the view to adopting a gender policy for the department, as part of a national gender policy;
  • To call on the ANC to embark on a political programme, including a public and political education campaign, in which our movement and its leaders are at the forefront and are acting decisively, including the taking of appropriate and speedy disciplinary action within the movement against abusers;
  • To actively support, promote, and participate in the SADC Conference on Violence against Women and Children;
  • To introduce a juvenile justice system with an emphasis on rehabilitation and diversion;
  • To review the maintenance system in a holistic and comprehensive manner, but, in the interim, to introduce amended legislation to deal with the most glaring inadequacies in the present system;

Specific Criminal Justice Issues

  • To support and endorse the approach adopted in the recent sentencing and bail legislation, passed by Parliament, but to continuously maintain and improve the implementation of such mechanisms;
  • To investigate and introduce the promotion of national sentencing guidelines;
  • To urgently introduce special mechanisms, legislative and otherwise, to deal with syndicate and organised related crime; and


  • To regard corruption, especially in government and the parastatals not only as very serious anti-social behaviour, but, in fact, an attack on the very essence of our revolution;
  • To take an uncompromising stand against any form of corruption, whoever may be involved;
  • To urgently introduce further mechanisms of accountability and transparency to avoid corrupt practices, but more importantly to bring the full extent of the law to bear upon such culprits;
  • To provide for the most severe sanction in the case of any dishonesty by a state official; and
  • To investigate the viability of a duty to report every instance of corruption, in the private and public sphere, to the South African Police, upon pain of legal sanction in the event of failure to do so.
Safety and Security


  • Peace and Stability is a prerequisite for successful transformation of the country.
  • The traditional model of security concerns itself with the stability and security of the state while the approach of the ANC emphasises the security and stability of the people.
  • The policy of the ANC emphasises an all encompassing approach to the question of security.
  • Peace and stability for the citizens of the Republic of South Africa has equal relevance to our neighbouring countries and vice versa.
  • The ANC’s approach to peace and stability must reflect the regional, continental and international dimension.


The ANC’s vision is to create structures of civilian oversight at a local level to ensure that the SAPS becomes accountable to civilian authority. In this connection the following mechanisms were established:

  • civilianisation of the ministry,
  • a civilian secretariat,
  • Parliamentary Oversight Committees,
  • Independent Complaints Directorate and other structures that support democracy.


  • The uneven development of community policing forums in various communities;
  • The succesful manner in which crime combating has occured in those areas where CPFs operate in full force;
  • Some negative experiences regarding the setting up of CPFs;
  • That there is still resistance from within the SAPS to civilian oversight; the need to broaden the activities of the community policing forums to cover all aspects of safety, security, prosecution, justice and the rehabilitation of offenders;
  • That the CPFs do not have sufficient legal authority to ensure accountability by the SAPS;
  • That not all CPFs operate according to legitimate community mandates;
  • That there is inadequate participation by ANC structures and members in policing matters;
  • The tendency by some political parties to exploit CPFs as springboards from which to launch their political campaigns and propaganda;
  • Conflicts which have arisen between some CPFs and some community based organisations.

And Believing that:

  • Community Policing Forums are a necessary instrument to achieve the goal of a society where the members of the public are active participants in deciding matters of safety and security, and where there is accountability of the law enforcement agencies.

Therefore resolves:

  • That the role of the CPFs be expanded to include the Criminal Justice System as a whole;
  • That the Community Policing Forums should be empowered by creating the necessary dispensation to enable them to influence the management and policy making processes on a continuous basis. This is particularly the case with regard to the implementation of transformation in the whole criminal justice system;
  • That the NEC shall, as soon as possible, formulate guidelines to enable ANC structures to give effect to the policy of the ANC on CPFs;
  • That a Human Resources Training Programme be developed to empower members of CPFs to participate fully in all decision making processes regarding that structure’s activities;
  • That every ANC branch must have a representative on the Community Policing Forum.



  • The complexity embodied in transforming the South African Police Services.

And further noting that:

  • There are still police functionaries who resist transformation;
  • The police management still has elements within the top echelons who resist change;
  • The distribution of police resources is still skewed in favour of mainly white communities;
  • The special units of the SAPS (the Child Protection Unit, Murder and Robbery Unit, Stock Theft Unit, etc.) are not accessible to all communities;
  • The SAPS is still not reflective of the demography of South Africa, more especially at a managerial level.

We therefore resolve that:

  • The ANC shall make it its priority in the 1998 parliamentary session to amend the South African Police Services Act of 1995, as well as the Constitution, to enable the acceleration of the process of tranformation.
  • The political oversight and authority of the Ministry shall be enhanced to ensure compliance with the aims of the government of the day;
  • The NEC shall monitor progress regarding implementation of our affirmative action programme within the South African Police Services.



  • That the private security industry is growing rapidly with insufficient control and regulation;
  • The constructive role that can be played by this industry if properly regulated.

We therefore resolve:

  • To support and accelarate the legislative programme that is already underway.



  • That the proliferation of firearms possessed legally or illegally by some members of our communities is rising.

And Believing that:

  • The ideal situation would be the achievement of a gun free society.

Therefore resolves:

  • That the ANC will campaign vigorously for further demilitarisation;
  • That mechansims be put in place to review the Arms and Ammunitions Act with special attention given to arms in transit and tightening of firearms imports;
  • The ANC should mount a campaign to reduce the proliferation of weapons.


Noting that:

  • All provinces held provincial summits;
  • There has not been enough discussion in the ANC on the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS).

And Believing:

  • That the success of the NCPS lies in coordination of various government departments as well as the mobilisation of communities against crime.

Therefore resolves that:

  • ANC provincial structures must facilitiate the implementation of the summit resolutions;
  • PGCs be held in every province to discuss the process of implementing the resolutions of summits;
  • A mass action campaign be developed to mobilise against crime;
  • the NEC convenes a special strategy conference as soon as possible to map out the ANC’s cohesive action plan.



  • The deep-rooted inherited problem of corruption to found particularly in certain sectors of the civil service;
  • The alarming incidence of white-collar crime which contributes to a culture of crime to be found at various levels of business;
  • The inherited and continuing decay of the moral fibre of society;

Believing that:

  • These evils undermine good and clean governance and have a deep corrupting effect on the whole of South African society;
  • Decisive measures and action must be taken to combat these evils;

Therefore resolves that:

  • Government should be urged to take drastic steps to combat corruption and white-collar crime;
  • The ANC should launch its own campaign against corruption and white collar crime;
  • The ANC should take the lead in keeping with its revolutionary social morality of honest, dedicated, selfless sacrifice and service to galvanise all sectors of society in a campaign to restore good social morality and integrity in all areas of life;
  • The ANC will support all government steps and actions to combat corruption.
Illegal immigration

Noting that:

  • Since the establishment of the democratic dispensation in our country, illegal immigration from the sub-continent, the rest of the continent, and other parts of the world have reached unprecedented proportions, and have placed considerable pressure on certain sectors of our society;
  • Competition for scarce resources since the opening up of democratic space has fostered in our people xenophobic hostility to illegal immigrants particularly those from the subcontinent and the rest of the continent, and that we have failed to respond to this in satis factory terms;
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs does not have the necessary infrastructure capable of tackling every facet of the problem.

Believing that:

  • The long-term solution to illegal immigration from SADC countries, in the ultimate analysis, lies in the establishment of viable political and economic institutions in the region capable of creating jobs and other opportunities and thus engendering movement in a variety of directions;
  • Even the best immigration policies will always be susceptible to illegal violation, particularly in our region with a long history and tradition of cross border migration, and over the last century, a deliberate policy of labour recruitment from the region to satisfy the demands of the mining industry;
  • In the meantime there is a need to draw a distinction between those who are in our country legally and those who are here illegally, and against whom appropriate action is deemed necessary.

Resolves that:

  • The rule of law must be upheld;
  • The security of the borders has to be tightened;
  • Greater cooperation between the security department and Home Affairs is urgently needed;
  • Corruption within the Home Affairs immigration department has to be stamped out.
Intelligence and governance

Noting that:

  • The main responsibility of the Ministry for Intelligence Services is to create a transformed, effective, integrated, coordinated and responsive intelligence system that produces quality intelligence characterised by relevance, timeliness, accuracy and user-friendliness.

And Believing:

  • That this has to be informed by the loyalty and commitment of the intelligence services to the government of the day, in keeping with the broad provision of the Constitution and the relevant statutes;
  • And, that the role of intelligence structures must remain as defined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, Act 108 of 1996, and the National Strategic Intelligence Act, Act 39 of 1994
  • The mandates, mission and roles as articulated in these statutes shall remain the same. Where change is desirable, it should be done in consultation with the relevant Ministries.

Conference resolves that:

  • In order to achieve the above, the ANC must take a lead in ensuring that the peace and stability cluster departments are not a subject of narrow party politics, and this applies especially to the intelligence services. In this regard, the development of a national consensus on intelligence has to be a priority for the ANC and the ANC-led government. This should also be accompanied by a change of attitude towards this cluster when it comes to the allocation of resources, especially the budgets;
  • The policies adopted and pursued by the intelligence services must be derived from the democratically elected government, which itself must be informed by this national consensus.

Conference further calls for:

  • Programmes that will foster motivated, loyal, dedicated and hard-working intelligence officers and professionals, and recommends:
  • That a human resources development plan be developed by the intelligence structures under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry for Intelligence Services;
  • That this plan should have a clear career path and human utilisation programme built into it; and
  • The Ministry for Intelligence Services should ensure that intelligence services are gender sensitive and representative of our people in terms of race, gender and disability, without prejudicing the mission of the intelligence services