Concerns over lack of consequence management in the SAPS
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Cape Town - The DA has slammed the SAPS for lack of consequence management.
This comes as 50, out of more than 10 000 officers, accused of violent misconduct, have been suspended since 2012.
Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed this statistic, during his response to Parliamentary questions posed by DA MP Andrew Whitfield.
Whitfield described the figures as “alarming”.
He requested Cele to provide statistics on the number of officers accused of rape, murder and assault, and those part of pending investigations by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), between 2012/13 and 2020/21.
He also asked whether there were instances where officers were accused and suspended twice during that period.
Cele’s response indicated that a total of 10 086 officers were charged with murder, as a result of police brutality. Other crimes included rape and torture.
Cele’s report revealed that the Eastern Cape led with the highest number of police officials accused of crime, at 2 175.
The Western Cape has about 2 057 cases involving accused police, followed by the Free State at 1 287, and the North West at 1 142.
Cele's response also showed that Gauteng had 977 police officers who were charged, and 708 in Mpumalanga.
Up to 619 officers were charged in the North West, 457 in KwaZulu-Natal, and 388 in Limpopo.
In addition, 271 officers, employed by the Crime Intelligence and the Hawks divisions, among others, were also charged.
In the 2012/13 financial year, Cele indicated that up to 549 officers were charged with murder, rape and assault, and up to 1 392 officers were charged in the 2014/15 financial year.
The figures doubled to 2 010 in the 2015/16 financial year.
While these figures dropped to 1 375 the following year, Whitfield said they were indicative of how deeply entrenched the code of silence was within SAPS.
He expressed concern that, out of more than 10 000 officers charged with misconduct, only 50 in the entire country were suspended.
“The DA is concerned about the police service’s lack of consequence management for offenders within SAPS.
“As you can see, it seems the police basically get a slap on the wrist for any wrongdoing,” Whitfield said.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the SAPS should work on developing measures, which would ensure that the numbers were limited.
“We need to look at the problem in its entirety, such as what were the consequences that led to some of these actions,” added Mamabolo.