Durban - The high degree of police violence in some KwaZulu-Natal cases reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) was worrying, the directorate said on Wednesday.
“Once the full extent of the alleged atrocities committed by the policemen come out, as South Africans we should do everything (to ensure) that such atrocities are never (again) committed in our name,” executive director Francois Beukman said in notes prepared for delivery in Durban.
He was visiting the families of victims of police criminality.
In particular, IPID's investigation into alleged brutality by members of the Cato Manor organised crime unit was a priority, as it was the biggest matter IPID, or its predecessor the Independent Complaints Commission, had undertaken.
“It is no secret that more arrests and charges will be added to the current 71 that the accused are facing,” Beukman said.
The 18 members of the unit, who have been accused of hit squad activities, face 71 charges which include 14 of murder, 14 of unlawful possession of ammunition, 14 of unlawful possession of firearms, and four of house-breaking.
They were arrested last month by a joint Hawks and IPID task team.
Beukman also commended investigators who arrested five of the six protection security services team members in the Cavendish SAPS who allegedly sexually assaulted a man with a broken broomstick.
A sixth suspect handed himself over to police on Friday.
“The criminal actions of the individuals implicated in the matters that I referred to erode the confidence of the public in the police,” Beukman said.
“We will do whatever it takes to ensure that the police do their work in a manner that respects the laws of the country, and honours the memories of the many heroes who gave up their lives for a democratic South Africa and the principles contained in our Constitution.” - Sapa