Nine percent of Eastern Cape SAPS officers have been accused of criminal offences, including serious allegations such as rape, murder, corruption and torture, over the past three financial years. These tarnish the image of hard-working and dedicated officers.
There is no place in SAPS for bad cops. These rotten apples need to be rooted out.
With such a high number of SAPS members being accused of a crime, it undermines the public confidence of SAPS and leads to a climate of mistrust where victims don’t report crimes.
In response to a parliamentary question, Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, revealed that 1 550 police officers, out of 17 450, have been accused of a crime over the last three financial years (2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21).
Of these, 502 were found guilty of a criminal offence, but 374 of those found guilty have still kept their jobs. This is an alarmingly high figure.
MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe said these individuals showed remorse, no negative impact on others and that the trust relationship was not broken.
The trust relationship might not have been broken with SAPS but it is breaking with the public at large. SAPS needs to take a hard stance against criminals in their ranks so they end up in orange jumpsuits and not retained in blue uniforms.
Worryingly, however, is that a number of cases were never followed through as the SAPS members had resigned.
SEE: Response IQP 12 Q310
These offences include complaints of discharging of official firearms (65), death as a result of police action (67), assault (754), death in police custody (23), rape by a police officer (25), corruption (74), torture (12) as well as other criminal matters.
These accusations highlight how allegations of police brutality have become prevalent.
It is clear that psychometric testing needs to be introduced to ensure that only those people with the right disposition are accepted as members of SAPS. There is no place in SAPS for people with violent tendencies. The wearing of body cameras will also expose and curtail crooked cops more easily.
The DA believes in an honest and professional police service that can protect its citizens. We need the criminals to fear the cops, not the public to fear the police.