Criminal convictions rock EMPD: investigations under way

Department's integrity is called into question. Picture: Simone Kley

Department's integrity is called into question. Picture: Simone Kley

Published Feb 24, 2024


The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) is under investigation after it was revealed that a large number of its constables, inspectors and security guards have disturbing criminal records, including convictions for rape, theft, fraud, murder, assault, housebreaking and robbery. Letlhogonolo Moseki, the MMC for community safety, made the startling disclosure that at least 167 EMPD employees have criminal convictions.

“The total number of 250 employees with tainted criminal histories is deeply troubling: 74 constables, 23 security guards, 20 inspectors, 17 cashiers, eight traffic wardens, four general workers, one prosecutor, and a director, who has been declared unsuitable to work with children and unfit to handle a firearm by the court,” Moseki said.

In response to questions posed by the DA's spokesperson for community safety in Ekurhuleni, Jaco Terblanche, at the legislature this month, Moseki stated that 3,449 fingerprints from EPMD employees were collected during the last audit in 2022 and handed over to the provincial police commissioner's office for processing.

Moseki stated that 3,199 fingerprints revealed no criminal findings, while the remaining 250 were linked to criminal acts. Of these 250, 167 employees have criminal records, and 83 were facing trial for various offences.

Despite serious requirements for appointment as members of a municipal police force, which specifically stipulate that applicants must not have prior criminal convictions, no employees have been fired because of their criminal past.

“The number of offences committed by EMPD officers is disturbing. The level of unlawful conduct within the department is highly alarming, with constables convicted of driving violations and theft, inspectors charged with assault and fraud, and security guards charged with assault, rape, theft, murder and robbery,” Moseki stated.

Terblanche said the city lacks accountability, citing explicit legal provisions in the South African Police Act of 1995 and the Criminal Procedures Act of 1997. He emphasised the significance of ensuring that police officers comply with all relevant Acts in order to ensure public safety and trust.

“In light of these alarming disclosures, immediate action is required to address the systematic failures within the EMPD and restore public trust in law enforcement. The safety and security of Ekurhuleni residents must come first, and those responsible for this terrible lapse must be held accountable,” he said.

Independent Media sent an inquiry to obtain understanding from a spokesperson and to EMPD spokesperson Kelebogile Thepa, but by the time of publication, no comment was received.

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Nobukhosi Tshabalala