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R300m! The cost of wrongful arrests over the past five years in KZN

WRONGFUL arrests have cost the KwaZulu-Natal police over R300 million in five years, IFPs spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison Blessed Gwala said. PICTURE: Toopanda.com

WRONGFUL arrests have cost the KwaZulu-Natal police over R300 million in five years, IFPs spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison Blessed Gwala said. PICTURE: Toopanda.com

Published Nov 10, 2020

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Durban - WRONGFUL arrests have cost the KwaZulu-Natal police over R300 million in five years, IFPs spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison Blessed Gwala said.

He said he received the information through a response to parliamentary questions on how much has been paid out by the police relating to unlawful arrests, between the period of 1 January 2014 to 31 October 2019.

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“There are 13 416 cases of wrongful arrest by the SAPS during the same period, and the KZN police have spent R340,561,048.63 settling claims related to these arrests. We are concerned about the huge amount of money paid out by the police and these illegal detentions are an abuse of power and a blatant violation of people’s rights,” Gwala said in a statement.

He said officers who are found to have executed unlawful arrests should be penalised and prosecuted.

The response revealed that there was no plan to take action against police officers found to have been involved in wrongful arrests.

“The MEC said this issue is discussed by the police at their management meetings, so as to create greater awareness among members. No mention was made about how many police officers have been dismissed due to their involvement in wrongful arrests,” Gwala said.

He said his party understood that with crime being prevalent in South Africa, the police often have to make quick decisions in an attempt to be proactive, and, yes, mistakes happen. “However, it is an entirely different story when the police do not conduct a thorough investigation, display blatant negligence or arrest an innocent person. The amount paid by the provincial police on civil claims is a shocking indictment on the state of policing in KZN,” he said.

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Related Topics:

Crime and courts

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