Corrupt cops

2010-05-27 00:00

THOSE who should be making headlines for their efforts to fight crime, are once again in the media for all the wrong reasons.

In the latest scandal, a police officer has managed to filch an arsenal from the exhibit room at Inanda police station. Many of these are weapons that had already been confiscated because they were used to commit other violent crimes. The theft of these will nullify much of the evidence against the perpetrators now.

Calls have been made for citizens to hand in their weapons in an effort to reduce the number of guns circulating, which could be used as a means to commit crime. Many of us support this. We want a gun-free South Africa to become a reality. We want the killings to end.

The thought of 90 guns in the wrong hands is chilling. Who has them now? What do they want them for? How much was the suspect police officer paid for them? What supposedly stringent control measures were flouted that the theft of guns was allowed to occur? Who is ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of those guns? These questions must be answered in weeks to come by the task team appointed to the Inanda investigation.

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has previously said that around 1 000 police officers are serving time in the country’s jails for various crimes. We know there are countless others on trial for serious crime.

It is a stain on the country’s image that too many South African Police Service members are blatantly crooked, and that our erstwhile top cop is himself under the scrutiny of the courts.

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