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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Police apologise for leaking personal info of Krugersdorp gang rape victims

The victims’ names, ages, home addresses and ID numbers were shared via WhatsApp after being leaked by police officials.

The South African Police Services (Saps) has publicly apologised for distributing personal information of the Krugersdorp gang rape victims.

The Information Regulator ordered Saps to apologise after the service violated several provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).


The regulator said the police failed to take appropriate, reasonable, technical measures to prevent the unlawful accessing of personal information of the eight women gang raped by a group of men in West Village, Krugersdorp, in July last year.

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The victims’ names, ages, home addresses and identity numbers were shared via WhatsApp after being leaked by police officials.

Internal police probe

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the National Commissioner General Fannie Masemola ordered an internal departmental investigation into the matter following the leak.

Mathe said the information, which was shared on various internal WhatsApp platforms of the Saps, sought to only mobilise all the necessary role players and resources in a bid to apprehend those responsible for this heinous crime.

“The final report found that indeed the personal information of victims was released inappropriately but no ill-intent was uncovered. This however still does not justify the sharing of such information.

“The Saps regrets the disclosure of such personal information and apologises to the victims of the dreadful crimes for the information breach and the hardship caused as a result,” Mathe said.


Masemola also tendered a public apology to the victims of the Krugersdorp attack.

“On behalf of the SAPS, I apologise unreservedly to the victims in particular and their families. Crimes against women and children remain a priority for members of the Saps and in the past financial year, 386 life sentences were handed down to perpetrators of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) related crimes and during the same period 17 481 suspects were arrested for such crimes.”

The Saps said its management continues to issue directives and drive internal awareness campaigns within the service in an endeavour to avoid a repeat of an information breach.

“The management of the Saps assures all people in South Africa of its commitment to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013,” it said.

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