16 May 2019

South Africa: SAPS/SITA Capture - the Continuing Mess Around Firearms and Exhibit Control Systems - a Systemic Threat to South Africa

analysis

Remember back in April 2018 when a private company, Forensic Data Analysts, owned by Keith Keating, switched off SAPS IT systems due to non-payment by SITA of an R11m outstanding invoice? Brace yourself, it might happen again.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) committee members, as well as Minister of Police Bheki Cele, pointed out in May 2018 the considerable threat to the national security of a private sole supplier having the power to disable the state's crime-fighting capacity.

Earlier, on 5 April 2018, at midnight, malicious software Keating had "injected" into the SAPS PCEM (Property Control and Exhibit Management) system rendered it inoperable. Keating also disabled the SAPS Firearm Permit System (FPS) as well as the Analytical Capabilities and Visualisation System.

Three days later, after a mad scramble, SAPS and SITA (the State Information and Technology Agency), acting on the advice of senior counsel, managed to switch the system back on.

It has been humming with the threat of being cut off ever since.

At present, behind the scenes, a massive legal battle is raging over whether SAPS in fact already owns the original source codes for the Firearm Permit System (FPS) as well as the Property Control and...

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