THE Eastern Cape has the highest number of policemen with multiple convictions still active in the police force.
A shocking 133 of the province’s police officials have been convicted of more than one crime. The crimes include murder, rape and assault.
The Eastern Cape is closely followed by Gauteng, with 118 active police officers convicted of multiple crimes.
Altogether 568 officers were convicted of multiple offences nationally.
A report tabled by the portfolio committee on police in parliament two weeks ago showed that 1 448 police officers across the country had been convicted of a crime. A further 474 Eastern Cape police have cases pending against them. The national breakdown shows that crimes committed include:
- 54 murders;
- 166 attempted murders;
- 37 rapes;
- 33 attempted rapes;
- 917 assaults.
- The huge number of police officers with criminal records was revealed following a two-year audit by the SAPS and Civilian Secretariat for Police.
A veteran Port Elizabeth policeman said corrupt and convicted police officers were a “disgrace to the uniform”. “This really makes me mad. It makes us all look like criminals,” the upset policeman, who has been in the police service for 30 years, said.
Another policeman said: “The unfortunate part is that when a bad cop is found, the impression everyone has is that all cops are bad.”
The Eastern Cape figures were revealed after DA provincial legislature chief whip Bobby Stevenson asked Safety and Liaison MEC Helen Sauls-August for answers on the extent of the problem in the Eastern Cape.
Stevenson said, according to Sauls-August, none of the convicted members had criminal records when they joined. “This begs the question as to why they become criminals.”
In Sauls-August’s written reply she said the police head office was “in the process of auditing all criminal cases by SAPS personnel”.
The report led to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa giving police commissioner General Riah Phiyega three months to act on the outcome of the audit. “I have instructed her and the management team that feedback on action should be provided to me by the end of October,” Mthethwa said.