Complaints over SAPS enquiries

2017-09-20 06:00

SEVERAL complaints about how police are “not making progress” on certain cases, including murder and assault, have been brought to the attention of Maritzburg Echo.

The complaints include that the police­, or investigating officers, do not regularly communicate or report on the progress of the investigations with the affected people.

Echo published articles on August 9, “Family of slain teacher concerned” and on September 7, “Father concerned by lack of progress in family murders”.

The first article was about the family­ of Laduma High deputy principal­, Priscilla Mchunu, who was gunned down in front of Grade 12 pupils­, who said they are concerned with what they call a “lack of commitment­ by police authorities in investigating the murder of their loved one”.

Echo asked the SAPS what leads to cases going cold and what recourse can affected individuals or complainants take when they feel cases are not being accordingly handled.

Plessislaer SAPS spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said complaints regarding police handling of cases can be directed to a station commander, however, should a complainant feel they do not trust the station commander they can go to a cluster commander, who is above the station commander in terms of rank.

He said one of the reasons that leads to a case go cold is that the community, because they fear victimisation, do not come forward with key information that may lead to arrests.

Ntombela said progress on investigations are monitored regularly and dockets are inspected weekly and monthly.

He said there is no stipulated frequency at which investigating officers should update progress of an ongoing investigation, but once an arrest has been made police inform the concerned parties.

Ntombela said complainants can go to the relevant police station for an update on the progress or they can call either the station or the investigating officer.

“People can request that an investigating officer is replaced with another if they believe the one assigned to the case is not doing their work properly,” Ntombela said.

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