Sort out police corruption, Phiyega warned

2012-09-08 07:31

Johannesburg - The national police commissioner was given an ultimatum on Friday to attend to alleged corruption at the police forensic laboratory in Silverton, Pretoria.

"Failure to attend to these matters will leave us with no option but to mobilise all our resources for one of the biggest marches ever [under]taken by us," Gauteng Popcru secretary Matsemela Matsemela said.

He said national commissioner Riah Phiyega had seven days to act.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) was addressing the media on allegations that included sabotage to services, concealing or doctoring crime statistics, theft of drugs, irregular appointments, and sexual harassment.

Matsemela said Phiyega and Parliament's police portfolio committee were informed of the allegations on25  June, but had failed to act.

"Given the sensitivity of that institution and the nature of the allegations... after you received such allegations you ought to have acted," he said.

"Something is absolutely wrong there... They have the proof but they don't want to act."

Matsemela said the union had handed Phiyega a file of evidence on all their allegations and she had not responded. The union claimed its members who informed them of the allegations had been victimised through disciplinary hearings.

"These disciplinary hearings are formulated with the sole intention of creating [casting] doubt on the credibility of information provided by these members and also serve as a basis to hide corruption."

In April, the head of the laboratory made a presentation to the portfolio committee, in which he said there was a backlog of 182 cases. Matsemela however said the backlog was actually at 5 000, after all the cases were consolidated.

Matsemela said between 2008 and 2010, drugs with a street value of R500m were stolen from the laboratory.

Popcru wanted Phiyega to appoint a commission to investigate all the allegations, suspend the head of the division pending the outcome of the investigation, and provide whistle-blowers with protection.

"We expect nothing whatsoever from her, but to act on these serious corrupt activities," he said.

At a meeting in August Phiyega called on Popcru to declare "war on corruption and criminality" within the police.

Phiyega's office could not be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-09-08 07:43

    Who to trust if even police are corrupt

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-09-09 00:47

      SAPS Sounds like a Circus in heat. What a disgrace.

  • Greypatriot - 2012-09-08 07:50

    The real problem is not corruption - that is only part of it. The problem is a culture of evil! How do you fix it? By changing People and Practices! How do you do this? Even if an audit reveals the extent of the evil it will take years to replace the perpetrators and change the practices. Best option is to close it and start something new.

      themba.ntuli - 2012-09-08 08:15

      I also think so, because one question I keep on asking myself is how can a normal soul work other such enviroments as the SAPS do or do the stuff they are accused of doing,maybe they lack a sense of guilt that normal humans have in that a person can something wrong knowingly and feel nouthing about it wow that amazes me a lot because I can't do that. Maybe they simply lack soul's that's how they work under such enviroments and why they do all this wrong cruel things that a normal soul won't stand, my opinion I guess

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-09-08 08:00

    Chinese law, corruption = execution. Easy, problem solved, R675 billion saved! We are soft on criminals and then when they go to jail all they do is eat, sleep, watch tv and have sex with their friends. We need a system of hard labor for prisoners so that they earn their keep and payback to society for their crimes. Maybe we should make all the prisoners into miners.

      chadjason.wilson - 2012-09-08 08:37

      Douglas you are welcome to go to China and experience the enlightened legal system there. China that beacon of human rights and dignity. China the incorruptible.

      john.barbarian.9 - 2012-09-08 10:41

      Wilson,you just destroyed the Dougy's dream.... In whome ideas to belive now?...:)

      sachasea - 2012-09-08 15:20

      You're delusional if you think South Africa will ever adopt laws like those of the Chinese, especially concerning the death penalty.

  • marysia.vieira - 2012-09-08 08:10

    Riah Phiyega was only appointed a few months ago. Not an easy task to clean out corruption in the police force, when it is corrupted from top down and bottom up following the example of the rest of those in government. No easy task. Is there anybody out there to take up this challenge and get it right?

      Ari - 2012-09-08 08:42

      Yes , I imagine there are several highly qualified, experienced and dedicated policemen and women who would take up the challenge willingly and actually get something done about corruption. Unfortunately, they are not anc cadres. Insofar as "only two months" is concerned, just how long should this retard be given. She has been given specific information about a specific cesspool of corruption - and she does bugger-all! You may step down, please. I have no further questions for this witness . . .

      Andre - 2012-09-08 08:59

      Fact is that she should never have been appointed in that position in the first place. You cannot put a woman in charge of a bunch of hardened cop criminals in the first place. That is not a woman's place. I also know that there are a few very good cops, but 90% of the cops are giving the rest a bad name!

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-08 09:55

      Corruption has always been present. It didn't magically appear at the same time Ms Phiyega took over. Interesting that until now, Popcru et al have been completely silent about it and have not made similar demands of previous Commissioners.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-09-08 08:16

    Commissioner: this is an easy one- have the complaints investigated and bring out a report...if you sweat this small stuff you are going to lose the big battles...

  • jan.calitz1 - 2012-09-08 08:35

    I strongly doubt this sister has got the experience or knowledge to tackle even the corruption within her organisation! She is unfortunately totally out of her depth here!

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-09-08 09:16

    At a meeting in August Phiyega called on Popcru to declare \war on corruption and criminality\ within the police. I'm confused with this statement as she had evidence of corruption within the forensics dept in June but has not taken action since then oh well I guess these things take time like everything else in this country!!!! In the meantime let criminals continue their dirty work!!

      pws69 - 2012-09-08 09:28

      DO as I say, not as I do. It's one of the ANC credos.

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-09-08 09:25

    Popcru mustn't expect any suport from Prison servants

  • les.eberhardt - 2012-09-08 09:31

    Is it not time to admit that black people are not qualified and honest enough for most department heads? I don't think you can name one department in government that's free of corruption. But they just keep replacing the bad for the rotten. Luckily when the DA comes into power that will all change.I just hope it won't be too late!! I'm not a racist but IT'S GOT TO STOP NOW!! HELP DA!!

      william.leseka - 2012-09-08 10:36

      Racism is blinding u,so corruption has a colour!whites r good n blacks criminal,grow up

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-09-08 15:14

      Are the News24 editors off today? Dude, I think you need to update your definition of what a racist is!

      cyril.stevens.5 - 2012-09-08 19:45

      Les, Just about every racist responds with, "I'm not a racist, but...". Sorry, I don't think the DA (or any sane political party)would want people with your type of mindset to promote their cause. Get a thesaurus, bud.

  • dejaay.heineken - 2012-09-08 09:38

    Lab Forensic was corrupt I longtime ago and even those who said they are the victim at work now its becos of they want to make as if they are beter n dnt do corruption!u send drugs to them from da street and they sold that drugs back to druglods so its waste of time for us to arrest people selling drugs cos its waist of u time and energy!

  • phele.pelezinoh - 2012-09-08 10:06

    Pay them a living salaries thn they won't get tempted by money offered by corruptors

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-08 10:28

      Erm, ministers, MECS, heads of dept, a plethora of people who get paid WAY more than a living salary are caught stealing and committing corrupt acts every day. The cause is a poverty of morals and values - not bank accounts.

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-09-08 10:41

      Yes Phele SAPS members should be paid more. But nobody came to them and asked them to join the SAPS. They do not earn a bad wage, at the least. Its a few bad punks that take advantage of there status to try make a extra buck, and tarnish the rest of the SAPS's already bad name. Its all about greed. Its a sad story.

      ermie.posthumus - 2012-09-08 11:24

      If you go look at their houses and the cars they drive, which seem not to have indicators and the inability to count to 4 at a 4way stop. Most people's income are below living costs. I have more respect for someone stealing a bread to feed their children than for the government and saps.

      ntombi.jane.7 - 2012-09-09 07:32

      @Phele I am working for the SAPS and to surprise the officers that are mostly corrupt are the senior officers such as the useless Jackie Selebi, Mdluli etc, these people are getting a net monthly income that a level 5 civilian does not even dream about it per annum yet they are flippin greedy!!

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-09-08 10:38

    Riah get yor gun.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-09-08 13:23

    Corrupt office lease deals were exposed and cancelled, was anyone charged? Arrested? Locked up? convicted? NO! Suspended on full pay and benefits to be redeployed somewhere else. Its the privilege of the cadres.

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-09-08 13:40

    Well, if you put a retard in the job, what the hell else do you expect! Certainly not results that’s for sure! Moderators....why do you keep deleting my post. where is my right to freedom of speech?

      ntombi.jane.7 - 2012-09-09 07:25

      @ bob! U r correct my dear this organization is full of retards / airheads that are driving fancy cars and wasting the governments assets! I am also sick to be working for the SAPS!

  • sachasea - 2012-09-08 15:16

    "Matsemela said between 2008 and 2010, drugs with a street value of R500m were stolen from the laboratory." How can we expect to reduce people using drugs when even members of the police put confiscated drugs back into circulation? It's time to consider legalizing and regulating the drug trade like we do with alcohol and tobacco. Then we will be able to reduce all harm and corruption currently associated with these substances.

  • Johannes Mogashoa - 2012-09-08 15:49

    Corruption is rife @ 13 car identification centre...

  • teleki.maker - 2012-09-08 17:20

    I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.

  • John - 2012-09-08 20:35

    Our esteemed National Commissioner needs to hold her Provincial commissioners responsible for corruption in their areas and hammer them into shape for the clusters under their command! These clusters should hold their Station Commissioners responsible for what happens in their Police Stations! NO ONE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY SO the STATUS QUO is the RESULT. WE get fed POLITICAL verbiage with no corresponding ACTION. SICKENING!

      motse.motlokoa - 2012-10-24 17:57

      All I can say is welcome general phiyega to saps,I'm very worried about the furture of this country because who are responsible to protect it are diagosed by corruption,I'm talking about people who are holding senior ranks like bregadiers and colonels,what about the juniours who are earning peanuts,nepotism curruption are the major problems in the saps ,senior officers are getting in policeweman pants in order to get promoted.

  • woulntitbenice - 2012-09-08 20:36

    Is that a man in the picture?

  • John - 2012-09-08 20:44

    The National commissioner needs to demand of her provincial commissioners a daily report of what they have DONE about CORRUPTION under their command! The general perception of the people is that the police are a worthless bunch of thugs at the moment. I for one NEVER call the police for a problem I would rather call on my neighbours, they are a damned sight more effective and responsive!

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-09-09 06:16

    corruption is rife in this country the anarchy , nepotism and corruption party have succeeded in turning south africa into the corrupt capital of the world , well done

  • dccouper - 2012-09-09 23:24

    Police corruption hurts us all – especially the police -- in terms of lost cooperation, support and trust – which, in turn, diminishes their effectiveness. For more see, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” ( in US and EU). And visit my blog at

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