‘Not all police bad’

2011-02-12 15:38

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) hopes to “engage positively” with police management on the findings in its survey regarding the alleged ­involvement of police officers in serious and violent crimes.

The report will be released ­tomorrow.

The deputy chief executive at the institute, Frans Cronjé, says it is encouraged by the fact that the government “has ditched the crime denialism of the (Thabo) Mbeki era and that General (Bheki) Cele is making the right noises about reinstilling discipline and order in his force.

In this, we support him very strongly as he will require all the support he can get in rooting out criminality from the police.”

National police spokesperson Colonel Vishnu Naidoo has reiterated that the police chief has continuously warned police officers of the consequences of being ­involved in criminal activities.

“General Cele has said that as sad as it is that police officers are being arrested for crimes, we will not stop arresting those who ­continue to indulge in these ­activities.”

Naidoo says police will “certainly dispute that police officers are getting more violent.

There are more than 193?000 personnel in the SAPS and it must be emphasised that only a handful of members have committed crimes or are alleged to have committed crimes, thus bringing the SAPS into ­disrepute.

“We are confident that the arrest of police officers, particularly for their alleged involvement in ­corruption, is sending out a strong message that police management is taking strong exception to ­criminality, particularly by ­members of the SAPS.”

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) and other interventions have been put in place to ensure unbiased and objective ­investigations, says Naidoo.

The SAIRR research report ­endorses the proposed changes to legislation governing the ICD to give those policing the police more teeth.

The new Independent Police ­Investigative Directorate (IPID) Bill will be signed into law by ­President Jacob Zuma in April, says ICD national spokesperson ­Moses Dlamini.

The bill will see the ICD becoming independent and its name changing to the Independent ­Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Dlamini says in future the ICD will report directly to Parliament through the Minister of ­Police.

“The IPID will have a budget separate from the police and have it’s own investigators who are not part of the SAPS.

Investigations are carried out independently of the police,” says Dlamini.

One of the significant changes to existing legislation is that the IPID Bill gives the ICD more ­powers to ensure its recommendations in cases are complied with.

Dlamini says: “The bill also has penalties for failure to comply with certain obligations. The bill empowers the executive director to initiate investigations.

“It also makes provision for the minister, MEC or the Secretary of Police to refer matters to the IPID for ­investigation.”

‘Bad cops’ in the news
January 31: A police officer appears in the Pretoria Regional Court in connection with the rape in Centurion two days before of a 19-year-old girl. She had been on her way home with her boyfriend when the accused and an accomplice allegedly abducted and raped her. (The Citizen)

February 1: A police officer appears in the Pretoria Regional Court in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl. He and an accomplice allegedly gave the pupil a lift when she was walking home from school, but they then raped her. (Beeld)

February 1: Warrant Officer Sipho Selby Langa (44) and Constable Sizwe Zacharia Mndebele (33) appears in the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft. Sheep droppings and the vehicle’s tracking system confirmed that it had been present at Vogelstruispoort farm, outside Standerton, from where 58 sheep worth about R75 000 were stolen on the night of January 23. (Sapa)

February 3: A police reservist is arrested in Jabulani, Soweto, for the alleged possession of a stolen vehicle. (Sapa)

February 4: Two newspaper photographers, Masi Losi from Pretoria News and Theo Jephta from Volksblad, are allegedly assaulted by police in two separate incidents.

Losi is allegedly assaulted by two police officers after he photographs them rescuing a suspected thief from an angry mob in Pretoria. Jephta is allegedly beaten and driven off by two police officers while he is photographing a group of pupils fighting in Bloemfontein. The officers were allegedly sitting in their vehicle watching the brawl. (Sapa)

February 9: Sergeant Tando Tshazibana (42) appears in Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on a charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and another of “unlawful disclosure of information concerning a prohibited place”, in connection with a break-in at the police ballistics laboratory. (Sapa)

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