Mthethwa disgusted at cases against cops
Pretoria - A total of 768 criminal cases were filed against police officers since January 2009, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.
This includes 516 cases of assault, 50 of murder, 94 of rape, seven attempted rapes and 71 of sexual assault, he said in a written parliamentary reply on the number of such cases that have been filed so far.
"These statistics are appalling and disgusting to say the least. We do not think the figures are new but what is new is our concerted effort in rooting out such criminality," said Mthethwa.
He said any of their members found guilty of any of these charges "deserves to rot in jail and the key thrown away".
"In fact, the punishment of such criminals in blue uniforms should be [harsher than for] normal criminals."
Mthethwa said it was "increasingly worrying" and "unacceptable" that some amongst the almost 200 000 police officers entrusted with protecting the vulnerable and weak, end up traumatising and abusing people.
"We are looking at each case, monitoring the progress and have been assured by management that internal disciplinary actions have been taken in most of these," he said.
"It is a sad picture to see police officers trading their blue uniforms for the orange ones.
"We shall continue to investigate, prosecute, convict and dismiss such corrupt cops as soon as they are identified or reported."
Remedial steps in dealing with such criminality include monitoring the behaviour of officers at police stations, co-operating with the other justice, crime prevention and security cluster ministries to ensure harsher punishments for such members.
Mthethwa said they were also strengthening policies internally, in terms of blacklisting them for any future government employment.