During their diverse engagements in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, the officials from Germany had the opportunity to share experience on evidence based police work that is service oriented, citizen focussed and aligned with a human rights culture. They had meetings with the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS), political decision makers, researchers and representatives from civil society.
During the conference "Safer Western Cape", Prof. Wilhelm Schmidbauer, Chief of the Bavarian State Police, was part of a panel discussion which included national Police Minister Bheki Cele and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as well as the provincial MEC for Safety and Security Allan Winde. In his contributions, Professor Schmidbauer shared experience on developing a police service that works in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders in society.
Recruitment and training policies and practices were discussed in detail as well, and they were the focus of a training seminar organised jointly with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service in Pretoria. Presentations by senior SAPS representatives from the relevant directorates and Wolfgang Sommer, Police President of the Bavarian Training and Special Response Police, as well as Patrick Weeger, Head of the Department for International Cooperation in the Bavarian Police, offered a wealth of information and opportunities to discuss best practice and challenges.
The German officials found their conversations at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, one of our valued partner organisations in Johannesburg, which included a tour of the exhibition and the archive, very enlightening. A visit of memorial sites in Soweto gave them further insights into the history of South Africa and a past which the country is still reckoning with. Our partners from the renowned Justice and Violence Prevention Project at the ISS were an integral part of the program during the week-long visit. They contributed hugely by sharing knowledge and experience from their many years of working in this space.