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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


Axing corrupt Tshwane cops: ‘more action needed’

Two TMPD officers dismissed for gross misconduct; experts question timing, stress need for broader reforms.


Two Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) officers have been dismissed for gross violation of the ethical standards expected of TMPD members, says City of Tshwane MMC for community safety Grandi Theunissen.

While experts say axing corrupt officials is welcome, it might be a little too late.

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Criminologist Professor Jaco Barkhuizen said it was a step in the right direction but added: “It is good that corruption is being addressed, but is it too little too late?

“The problem with corruption within law enforcement is the effect on trust in the police, which is very low.”

Barkhuizen said this meant fewer people reported crimes and more criminals got away.

“It’s a positive sign that something is being done about corrupt law enforcement officials, but a lot more needs to be done,” he said.

Theunissen said the two were axed after a lengthy disciplinary process. The officers faced serious allegations following numerous complaints from the community, he added.

“The findings were unequivocal: both officers were found guilty of conduct unbecoming of law enforcement personnel and their actions were deemed a gross violation of the ethical standards expected of TMPD members.”

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Theunissen said the city has zero tolerance for any form of misconduct, corruption or abuse of power.

“Through their actions, these individuals have not only betrayed the trust of the community, but have also undermined the reputation and integrity of the TMPD. Their continued presence in the force posed a threat to the community and the values we uphold.

“This decisive action underscores TMPD chief commissioner Yolanda Faro’s dedication to restoring and then maintaining public trust in the department.”

Criminologist at the University of Limpopo Prof Witness Maluleke said negative incidents like this harmed the credibility and image of the TMPD.

“Corruption and lack of professionalism are commonly witnessed in this sector. Officers should always strive to gain adequate knowledge concerning their operations to avoid unethical conduct.”