Police Abuse: Five years – 30 000 complaints – only 1.3% criminal conviction rate

The South African government’s violent record of police abuse and the low rate of convictions is a national disgrace.

Last week the ANC launched a campaign against police brutality. This, while between 2018 and 2019 almost 6000 South Africans suffered police brutality under the ANC-controlled South African Police Service (SAPS).

                Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police

While the lockdown has seen an increase in complaints of police abuse fueled by Minister Cele’s reckless comments and a state drunk on power, police abuse is nothing new to South Africa.

During the lockdown, between 26 March and 17 April, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IDPID) reported a shocking 30% increase in complaints of police abuse from the same period in 2019.

The DA has done an analysis on the last 5 years of complaints of police abuse referred to IPID.

This analysis has exposed a deeply entrenched culture of state sanctioned violence due a lack of accountability and consequence for police abuse and brutality.

Below is a list of the totals for the most prevalent complaints received by IPID:
2018/2019
2017/2018
2016/2017
2015/2016
2014/2015

Deaths in police custody
214
201
302
216
244

Deaths as a result of police action
393
436
394
366
396

Complaint of discharge of official firearm
770
677
1640
865
940

Rape by a police officer
124
105
112
112
124

Rape in police custody
13
9
20
23
34

Torture

270
217
173
145
145

Assault
3835
3661
3827
3509
3711

Totals:

2018/2019:   5 829
2017/2018:   5 651
2016/2017:   7 014
2015/2016:   5 519
2014/2015:   5 879

Total:           29 892

Over the last five financial years IPID received a total of 29 892 complaints in terms of section 28 and 29 of the IPID Act.

Of these complaints:

    • 27.7% were referred to the NPA for criminal recommendations
    • 25.8% constituted disciplinary recommendations made to SAPS
    • Only 3.9% lead to disciplinary convictions
    • Only 1.3% lead to criminal convictions

“The DA has long held the view that there is an urgent need to demilitarize the South African Police Service (SAPS) and strengthen the independence and capacity of IPID.

This is why the DA wants the nomination process for an IPID Head to be independent from the Police Minister and why we have been fighting for the portfolio committee to draft a committee Bill to this effect,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

“The past week the Chairperson agreed to get legal advice and research on the matter, after which the committee will consider a committee Bill.

We will continue to put pressure on the Chair to speed up this process before a new Head is appointed by the Minister.
The suffocating violence of the state must come to an end.

President Ramaphosa must remove Minister Bheki Cele’s jackboot from the throats of the people,” added Whitfield.

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One Response to “Police Abuse: Five years – 30 000 complaints – only 1.3% criminal conviction rate”

  1. oscctc Says:

    Kouga is one to talk. What about your Jeffrey’s Bay police station at gave me Streptococcus A virus and injured my back. If I was you ill keep my mouth shut not even to talk about you give me a find for being drug and disorder in my bed. And I don’t even drink. So yes I am for the fall of police across the world.

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