“Is the SAPS above the law?”, is the simple question posed by Action Society’s Ian Cameron as Minister of police, Bheki Cele confirmed recently that more than 10 000 police officers, who are supposed to protect the public and uphold the constitution and the law, have been charged with murder, rape and assault since 2012.
Cameron continued, “How can we expect to curb the gender-based violence onslaught with a criminally infested police service? Statistics show that 146 people, mainly women, become victims of sexual offences every single day in South Africa and approximately 116 rapes are reported daily.”
Action Society was shocked to learn that of the 10 086 officers who have been charged, only 50 faced suspension since 2012/13.
“It is impossible for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to uphold any form of law and order whilst compromised by internal criminal elements, the SAPS has not only been found lacking in terms of competence, but far more severely with the loss of integrity and the rising tide of criminality in the police,” said Cameron.
These shocking stats were revealed by Police Minister, Bheki Cele in response to a question in parliament. DA MP Andrew Whitfield asked the minister to provide details on the number of cases against SAPS members who were accused of violent misconduct and were placed on suspension, pending an investigation by the Independent Police investigative Directorate from the 2012/13 financial year until 2020/21.
In terms of firearms alone, thousands of cops have blood on their hands. The SAPS has lost more than 26 025 SAPS firearms in 12 years but still continues with attempts to start the process of disarming law-abiding citizens. The police must stop the blame game and face the facts.
Cameron explained that “between 2005 and 2017 (12 years) SAPS has lost, had stolen from them or is simply unable to account for 26 025 SAPS guns issued to police officers. This was reported as 18 196 guns between 2005 and 2011 and 7 829 between 2009 and 2014. Minister Bheki Cele’s figures to parliament in 2019 included almost 10 000 000 rounds of ammunition, of which more than 3.2 million rounds were missing in the Eastern Cape alone”.
“Apart from sacking, arresting and prosecuting criminal cops, the police must be decentralised and community safety structures like neighbourhood watches strengthened,” Cameron concludes.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 14 September 2021