According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the number of complaints of rapes being perpetrated by
police members in a period of six months (April – September 2014 as opposed to the same period in 2013) has increased by 25% and the number of complains of rapes of people in detention has increased by 160%. The IPID released these statistics in a submission to the portfolio committee on Police in Parliament.
“What is even more worrying is that the number of rapes perpetrated by police members on duty has increased by 56%. In the case of people in police detention who were raped by police members on duty, the increase was 350%. 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. It is also understandable that the public has lost faith in the police and is suspicious of them,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), the chief spokesperson on Police for the Freedom Front Plus says.
In the same six months period 127 complaints were received about deaths in police custody and 186 complaints of deaths as a result of police actions, a total of 313 deaths.
“What is worrying is that of the 475 recommendations by IPID of action to be taken against police members, only 33 cases have been finalised. That means that the police have only finalised 6,9% of cases and it creates the impression that the police is reluctant to act against its own members. IPID is the institution through which the public can lay complaints against unauthorised actions of police members, but if only 6,9% of cases have been finalised, it means that the public’s complaints are being ignored and this makes the public vulnerable to police brutality.
“The minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, will have to intervene immediately and dismiss police members who are guilty of crimes. It is unfair toward dedicated police members to keep these bad apples and in so doing tarnish the reputations of the others,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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