S.Africa: Police waste ($6.7 million) R100 million on tech (including Drones!) they cannot use

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[The Drones they bought are fascinating. I would have liked to know what type they are. Jan]

Police Intelligence blew over R100 million on grabbers and drones, which they cannot use and are now gathering dust in a warehouse.

Sunday Independent reported that the police spent R111,997,703 to acquire 13 grabbers, 15 surveillance drones, and 12 precise mobile location vehicles.

Citing an Inspector-General of Intelligence report, it said the acquisition was declared fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The report further states that a crime intelligence colonel manipulated the bid specifications to favour a British supplier of grabbers.

The grabbers require certificates of exemption from justice minister Ronald Lamola as it is a criminal offence to have these devices without such a certificate.

Police minister Bheki Cele only requested the certificates nine months after the grabbers were bought. His request was denied.

However, the grabbers were used to monitor journalists and politicians illegally.

The 15 surveillance drones purchased were the wrong specifications, and the police only have two officers with the required licences to fly the drones. The drones are now sitting in a storage facility.

The Sunday Independent report followed a News24 article in June 2021 that said the grabbers and surveillance equipment arrived at the Technology Support Unit in Silverton in March 2020.

At the time, News24 reported the equipment had been tested and was waiting to be distributed to the provinces.

“The provincial technical teams have received theoretical training on its use. The exemption certificate is still outstanding, preventing the rollout of the new technology,” it said.

A memo revealed that Crime Intelligence needed new grabbers to fight crime as the division only had three units with outdated and limited technical capabilities.

“Six units are outdated and beyond repair. The active units were limited to 3G with the present technology being 4G and advancing to 5G,” News24 reported, citing the memo.

Source: https://mybroadband.co.za/news/security/438152-police-waste-r100-million-on-tech-they-cannot-use.html?utm_source=everlytic&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=businesstech

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