Ministry worries over police, gang links

2013-05-23 22:17
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Reports of collusion between police and criminals in the Western Cape are a serious allegation, the police ministry said on Thursday.

"Should they be proven true, they could compromise and derail efforts of crime reduction, not only in the Western Cape but the whole country," spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said in a statement.

The department was responding to a report that gangsters on the Cape Flats were shielded by an army of foot soldiers, as they used their wealth to buy information from authorities.

Hanif Loonat, chairperson of the Western Cape Community Policing Forum, reportedly said gangsters' intelligence gathering was up to 10 times better than the police's.

"There are police officers who give them information, [who] tell them what the police's plan are...They have people at ministerial level, in Parliament, in local government.

"These guys pay for information," Loonat was quoted as saying.

Criminologist Eldred de Klerk reportedly agreed with Loonat, saying there were "corrupt agents" within the police.

"The police should be subjected to polygraph tests," De Klerk said.

The ministry called these allegations "worrying" and "image-tarnishing".

"I view these remarks in [a] serious [light] and challenge both Loonat and De Klerk to come forward with evidence to back up their claims," Mnisi said.

"Indeed if the claims are true, the law would have to take its course irrespective of whoever is involved."

Mnisi cautioned against generalisations when making allegations.

"Police are not immune to criticism as much as civilians are not.

"However we want to caution against grandstanding," he said.

"If there are any allegations of collusion between police and criminals, government has various oversight structures such as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the Civilian Secretariat for Police [and] the presidential hotline which they can utilise to report such matters."

Read more on:    police  |  cape town  |  gang violence

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