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Lack of funds puts Ipid's Marikana probes on hold

Politics
Cape Town – The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) told the portfolio committee on police on Wednesday, that it had too little funding to fully carry out its mandate, including investigating the Marikana massacre.

The committee had last year put forward that Ipid ring-fence an amount to carry out the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry which was set up to investigate the 2012 Marikana massacre.

However, on Wednesday, during a presentation by Ipid, it informed the committee that it "was unsuccessful in obtaining funding for the implementation of the Farlam Commission's recommendations" and "at this stage the investigation cannot be completed without Ipid being able to source additional funds".

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Crosses were placed on the hill near Marikana in memory of the miners who died during the violence. File picture: Reuters

Ipid had last year informed Parliament that it needed R5 million for its Marikana investigation.

The police watchdog body, reporting on its progress for the period April-December 2016, told the committee that an urgent request for intervention had been sent to National Treasury for assistance. Questioned about previous under-spending, Ipid said it had made considerable improvements, having spent 99 percent of its budget allocation in the 2015/16 financial year.

Another recommendation made by the committee included the cutting of Ipid's reliance on the police for equipment and tools of trade.

But Ipid responded, saying: "Ipid has never been adequately funded and Ipid will never achieve this as it continues to be unfunded."

The committee had also recommended measures to make SA Police Services' members aware of the consequences of the rape of victims in police custody, but Ipid again cited budgetary constraints, saying that all station lectures had been put on hold till March 31, 2017.

Moreover, the 2015/16 Auditor-General review report, which formed part of the Budget Review and Recommendations Report, stated: "Budget constraints will have adverse impact on the achievement of targets".

However, four case classifications were prioritised for investigation, which were death in police custody, death as a result of police action, rape by police officer and rape while in custody and systematic corruption.

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