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Saps criminal justice center closed after ‘stalemate’ rent payment

Police have assured the public that they were working “around the clock” to guarantee services at the Criminal Records Center (CRC) in Tshwane, which is currently closed due to problems with rent payments.

In a statement released Friday, Colonel Athlenda Mathe confirmed that the CRC had been closed since Tuesday due to “a deadlock” regarding rent payments, which is currently being “handled” by the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).

“Saps confirms that the service is not in arrears,” Mathe said.

According to a report by News24the DPWI currently has a dispute with the landlord of the CRC.

Mathe said the building’s closure prompted management to work with “relevant authorities” to find an “amicable solution” between the parties involved, but went no further.

Saps members are also deployed to nearby local criminal record centers to provide services to the public.

ALSO READ: Overdue DNA Tests Reduced While Public Protector Investigates

Backlog of customs clearance certificates

The closure of the CRC has led to a backlog of Police Statement (PCC) issuance, which Saps also wanted to address.

“Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR & CSM) is currently experiencing a backlog in the issuance of Police Clearance Certificates (PCC), which has extended the waiting time for completion. The South African police are working tirelessly to clear the backlog,” a statement on the Saps website.

A PCC is an official document issued by the Criminal Records and Crime Scene Administration that states whether someone has been criminally convicted.

The documents are indispensable for people who apply for emigration, who are eligible to travel or work abroad.

Mathe said people can still drop off their PCC applications at the main entrance of Bothongo West Plaza, despite the closure of the CRC, where it will be collected and processed by staff.

As it stands, PCC applications have struggled for years to be finalized by the police.

According to News24Responses from Police Minister Bheki Cele to DA MP and Police Spokesperson Andrew Whitfield found that just over 50% of certificates had been completed on time in 2019/20, and just over 70% of applications had been completed by 2020/21.

Cele reportedly said that procedural changes in application processes were responsible for delays, as well as load shedding, Covid-19, system failures and upgrades.

ALSO READ: Overdue DNA test ‘authorizes murderers and rapists’, parliament hears

City of Tshwane cuts back on admin HQ services

Last month, during Operation Ya Tima of the Tshwane subway, the services of Saps administrative headquarters were: disconnectedafter it was found, the landlord of the Wachtuis building owed R 5.1 million.

The building, owned by Mendo Properties, is leased by DPWI on behalf of Saps.

Landlords are responsible for paying for municipal services under the department’s “devolution agreement.”

The debt was later settled by the landlords.

The “Pol TV” police building in Centurion, which is said to owe the city more than R2 million, had also shut down its services.

Saps said these municipal payments were paid, but services had yet to be restored.

READ NOW: ‘Business as usual’ at Saps HQ after Tshwane disconnects from services

Curated by Nica Richards.

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