File Picture: Armand Hough
File Picture: Armand Hough

Ipid report finds KZN has the highest number of deaths as a result of police action

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Oct 5, 2021

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Durban – THE Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has reported there was an increase in the number of deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action in KwaZulu-Natal during the 2020/21 financial year.

Ipid released its annual report on Friday.

The released data was a breakdown of the cases that it received, its recommendations, and the outcome of the cases during the period under review.

According to the report, a national total of 6 122 cases were reported to the Ipid during the period.

Of these, 4 228 were assault cases, 380 were cases of complaints of discharge of a firearm, 353 were cases of deaths as a result of police action and 256 were cases of torture.

KZN had the largest number of reported incidents of deaths as a result of police action with 104 cases, followed by Gauteng with 89 and the Western Cape with 44.

Compared with the 2019/20 financial year report, there was a 9% increase in incidents.

Regarding deaths in police custody, KZN recorded 33 cases in the 2020/21 financial year, compared with 24 in the 2019/20 period.

Ipid said that in some instances, incidents of death as a result of police action had more than one victim.

“For example, incidents of business robbery and hijacked vehicles. There were incidents where three or more victims died and were noted in the following provinces: Gauteng and KZN. Gauteng had recorded 10 incidents of multiple deaths ranging between two and five victims in a scene and KZN recorded eight incidents of multiple deaths ranging between two and three victims,” read the report.

Furthermore, KZN saw a sharp increase in complaints regarding the discharge of an official firearm where 121 cases were reported in the current financial year, a 19% increase compared to the previous period where 102 cases were reported.

There was also a 2% increase in assault cases in KZN as there were 388 cases reported in the current financial year, while 379 cases were reported in the previous period.

KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas said she was not shocked by the report as this proved police brutality, especially in the province, was increasing.

She said there was an urgent need for something to be done about it.

De Haas said there had also been a number of cases where a person died at the hands of police or suffered a brutal assault and was tortured and nothing was being done.

“The abusive torture, whether at the police stations or in public, still is an issue that needs to be looked at closely. I have a number of cases where the victims had been physically abused at the police stations, and I’ve raised this with Parliament,” she said.

THE MERCURY

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