The idea of phoning the police to report the police sounds as far-fetched as the outcome of government’s new toll free whistleblowing project will be.
This is the concern of Action Society after Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) yesterday launched a toll free number, 0800-111-969, through which citizens can report police officers that sleeps or are drunk on duty, who turn away victims of gender based (GBV) or domestic violence, who abuse state resources, harass citizens or comply to any other form of corruption.
“Since when can a governing body govern itself?” asks Daleen Gouws, spokesperson of Action Society. “Though we strongly support the initiative, this body should be privatised to fully combat corruption in the South African Police Service (SAPS).”
During his speech to the minister of police, Mr. Bheki Chele, said that IPID is mandated to conduct independent and impartial investigations of criminal offences allegedly committed by members of the SAPS and the Municipal Police. He said that this phone line, that promises to combat police misconduct, will empower communities like never before.
According to IPID’s annual report a total of 5 829 cases were reported in 2018/2019. A mere 35% of these criminal recommendations were made to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for judgment of which 55 has been prosecuted, 412 declined and 4 has been withdrawn. The other 1,573 is still under investigation.
“Given the backlog of investigations the Executive Director of IPID, Jennifer Ntlatseng, should have given it more thought when she said that they are expecting a lot of calls but ready for it,” says Gouws.
The pressure group can’t envision how whistleblowing will hold police officers accountable for their actions. “Government needs to clean-up their own police stations and suspend officers who go against the oaths they took in protecting and serving the community. Recruitment processes within the SAPS should be re-evaluated to ensure that people that honestly want to serve this country are wearing the badge.”
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 13 October 2020
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Spokesperson: Action Society,