News / South Africa

Asanda Matlhare
Intern Journalist
2 minute read
30 Oct 2021
6:45 am

DA exposes ‘police brutality’

Asanda Matlhare

Out of the 282 members that were charged for rape, only 11 were suspended in a country that has a less than 3% rape conviction rate.

Picture: Supplied

The lockdown has brutally highlighted the rampant crimes of members of the South African Police Services (Saps).

Democratic Alliance (DA) member of parliament Andrew Whitfield noted the staggering number – 10 086 – of Saps members who have been charged for serious criminal offences between 2013 and 2021, of which only 50 were formally suspended.

According to the response from Saps in a spreadsheet format seen by Saturday Citizen, these offences included murder, rape and assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

Whitfield said the party’s question was based on its increased concern that Saps was becoming a violent state institution which went beyond its constitutional mandate to keep law and order.

“The reports about police have been so rampant, the DA even launched a ‘report police e-mail and WhatsApp line’, where we forwarded those complaints to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which is responsible for investigating police abuse, assault and rape at the hands of the police,” said Whitfield.

ALSO READ: ‘Excessive force’: SA’s police brutality under the spotlight

“The dramatic increase in police brutality during lockdown has sharpened our focus around some of the failures of Saps themselves to uphold the law, which includes corruption, abuse and violence,” he said.

University of Cape Town crime statistics and drug policy researcher Dr Anine Kriegler said there was an important difference between most ordinary crimes and crimes in which Saps members were involved.

Failure to take disciplinary action for these very serious offences not only allows those individuals to continue serving and do more harm, but it signals to their colleagues and their communities that this behaviour is tolerated,” she said.

She warned that this normalises and encourages more of the same.

Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron said the civil rights organisation was disturbed by the sexual assault charges.

Out of the 282 members that were charged for rape, only 11 were suspended in a country that has a less than 3% rape conviction rate.

asandm@citizen.co.za