The Tshwane Metro Police Department is aware some of its members face pending criminal cases – but while related internal processes were ongoing, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it was common to find officers facing criminal charges.
The police watchdog said three of 11 Tshwane metro police officers charged with assault had pending cases, raising questions why they remain employed.
The 11 officers allegedly assaulted and whipped three men with sjamboks on 2 October, when they went to collect their car at the Tshwane Impound Vehicle Centre.
While the men seen in a video that went viral said they were beaten for no reason, the officers said the men had tried to remove their vehicle by force.
Ten of the officers were released on R2 000 bail each by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday, and the 11th got R3 000 bail on Monday.
They will all appear again on 3 December. It was discovered some of the accused had previous convictions or pending cases. They include:
- Tshikani Dennis Valoyi, 38, (previous conviction of assault);
- Rose Nhlanhla, 43, (pending case of theft and assault); and
- Richard Maselela, 45, (pending corruption case).
“We have a lot. I can’t put a figure to it,” said Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa.
“Usually, we find out when a person is arrested and investigated and when we get their profile, we find out these things, which we present to the court.”
By law, an ex-convict should not be employed as law enforcement officer but sometimes the pending cases occur during their employment, or while off duty, Langa said.
TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said they were aware that some of their members had pending criminal cases.
“As announced in the past, as soon as we were made aware … we immediately instituted internal disciplinary cases against them and we can still confirm the investigation is continuing internally… We will announce as we normally do to the public.”