Police dept contingent liabilties top R21bn
Parliament - The department of police's contingent liabilities rose to over R21 billion in the past financial year, according to its annual report tabled in Parliament this week.
This marks an increase from R19 billion in the previous financial year.
The bulk of contingency liabilities is expected to arise from successful lawsuits against the police, forcing payouts of a total R20 billion.
However it also includes, for the second year running, potential liabilities of R611 million as a result of the lease contract irregularly entered into for a new police headquarters in Pretoria.
The department of public works has applied for a declaratory order on the legality of the lease.
The Democratic Alliance said it would press Police Minister Nathi Nhleko “that a cap be put on a contingent liability fund that continues to rise unabated”.
The DA's spokeswoman on police, Diane Kohler Barnard, said the amount reflected in the annual report made up almost a third of the police's entire budget.
She said liabilities expected to arise from claims by private parties had risen by a “massive R2.7 billion” and meant that the department was making provision for the possibility that a third of its national budget might have to be paid out to cover for legal claims against the SAPS.