Cops explain R11bn civil claims

2011-10-06 22:41

Johannesburg - Police have provided more clarity on the civil claims amount of more than R11 billion revealed in the annual financial statements of the SA Police Service on Thursday.

National Commissioner of Police, General Bheki Cele, said the amount represented accumulated civil claims against the police that were still pending.

However, various factors influenced the settlement of a claim, or eventually the legal processes, during any litigation.

Cele said the amount of more than R11 billion related to claim amounts only and not payment or even estimated settlement amounts in future.

At the time when the figures (of all pending accumulated claims) were published in the financial statements, it was not known how some claims had been settled.

It was also not known whether or not the amount claimed would be amended, reduced or increased once summons were served.

Cele said claim amounts were normally inflated by complainants through their legal representative offices.

It meant the amounts filed against police did not necessarily represent amounts that claimants were legally entitled to.

Cele said he did not condone the unbecoming conduct of members, which generally tended to attract civil claims against the police.

The police head said many police members ended up causing the department to pay damages while performing their duties diligently.

However, there were those who tended to act outside the law.

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