A report by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has revealed shocking increases in the number of people who die in custody and as a result of police action.
The Ipid report, which will be discussed by the portfolio committee on police on Tuesday, showed that offences committed by the police have shot up in the past year.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the report found, there were 51 deaths as a result of police action during the period April 2016 to September 2016.
And, during the same period, there were 26 deaths in police custody in the province.
In both instances, KZN recorded the second highest numbers after Gauteng.
There were a total of 159 deaths as a result of police action in the country during the previous reporting period.
However, this number has gone up to 207, a 30% increase.
The police watchdog also found that members of the SAPS had been involved in 51 rape incidents, 61 of torture, 66 corruption cases and 159 other criminal cases.
KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of assaults – 24 – and the third-highest number of rapes by police officers – seven – during the period.
The report said that “deaths in police custody contributed to 43% of the total deaths, while deaths as a result of police brutality contributed 57%”.
In Gauteng, there were 59 deaths as a result of police action – an increase from 45 during the previous reporting period.
In KZN the figure of 51 was also up, from 48 previously.
In the Free State, 42 people died. This was a huge increase from the 20 people who died a year ago.
In the Western Cape, the number of people who died as a result of police action was much lower, with a record of 20 people, compared with the 17 who perished last year.
Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, 12 deaths were recorded compared with 10 deaths a year ago.
In the Northern Cape, the numbers were also low, with four people having died this year. But this was an increase from two people who died during the same period last year.
As for rape cases, the offences were allegedly committed by both on-duty and off-duty officers.
Gauteng had the highest number of officers involved in rape incidents, with 15 cases registered. The Western Cape followed with 10 cases, EC had seven cases, while in the Free State and Mpumalanga three cases were noted.
Police in the Northern Cape and North West were implicated in two rape cases in each province.