The revelation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate that it is investigating nearly 70 rape cases involving police officers has shocked MPs.
According to a document tabled by Ipid yesterday at a briefing of Parliament’s police portfolio committee, 66 rapes by police officers occurred between April and September this year, compared with 53 rapes during the same six-month period last year.
Of the 66 rapes, 25 were allegedly “by police officers on duty”.
The committee said it was shocked by the number of rape cases involving the police, and such officers did not belong in the South African Police Service.
Committee chairperson Francois Beukman had ordered SAPS management to “take an uncompromising or strict stance on the matter”.
It was important for Ipid to make proposals that would ensure harsh sentences for police officers found guilty.
In a separate statement, Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald, a member of the committee, said the number of complaints of rapes being perpetrated by police officers had increased by 25%.
“What is even more worrying is that the number of rapes perpetrated by police members on duty has increased by 56%.
“This means that these rapists think they are above the law just because they are members of the police, and they are abusing their power granted them due to their positions,” he said.