FF+ shocked over the increase in police arrests for various crimes

Published Sep 28, 2023


Johannesburg - Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Pieter Groenewald said he is worried about the increase in the number of police arrests since 2019.

On Tuesday, Groenewald said he has learnt with shock from Minister of Police Bheki Cele that more than 5 489 police members have been arrested for various crimes, including murder and rape, since the 2019/2020 financial year.

Groenewald said the figures paint a grim picture of how bad crime is in South Africa.

“The fact that a total of 5 489 police members have been arrested for criminal offences since the 2019/20 financial year demonstrates just how deeply rooted criminality is in the police force. Of the 5 489 cases, 383 arrests were made for serious crimes including murder, rape and livestock theft,” he said.

According to Groenewald, getting the figures was a difficult undertaking, with Cele only disclosing them to the FF+ after several weeks of being unable to produce them as the relevant information system was reported to be faulty.

“Among the 383 serious crimes for which police members were arrested are 84 incidents of murder, 109 of robbery, 79 of rape, 29 of livestock theft, 78 of kidnapping, and four cash-in-transit heists. According to the minister, no policeman was arrested for alleged involvement in a farm murder,” he said.

This week, the minister sent shock waves across the country when he revealed that some police officers were arrested on their own, while others were arrested by the police watchdog, Ipid.

“What is not being said is that besides those arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), most of these criminal police are arrested on their own,” said Cele.

Groenewald said the minister was evasive about crime involving members of the police, saying it was an embarrassment.

“In his evasive reply in July, the minister said, among other things, that he is ‘fully aware of the serious implications’ of police members’ involvement in crime, and in particular the impact it has on the public’s faith in the police force,” Groenewald added.

Groenewald said the minister was working on putting a “a system in place” to gather, control, and verify all the information relating to police involvement in crime.

“It is unacceptable that pressure had to be put on the minister before a system was put in place to determine the extent of criminality among police members by means of a regularly updated database. These figures clearly show that there is a serious problem with criminality in the police force, and the public cannot be blamed for increasingly losing faith in a police service that is run by incompetent people,” he said.

The Star