Independent Police Investigative Directorate finds 218% increase in police abuse cases

Kyla Herrmannsen

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) – the police watchdog – released their annual report for the 2012/2013 period yesterday.

IPID describes its mission as being “an effective, independent and impartial investigating and oversight body that is committed to justice and acting in the public interest while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and excellence”.

The report, aptly headlined ‘Police Assault Shock’ on the New Age’s front page today, details numerous counts of police abuse, rape, torture, misconduct, corruption, deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action (such as the 34 miners killed in the Marikana Massacre last year)

A total number of 6728 cases were reported to the IPID during the 2012/13 financial year. The Western Cape received the majority of cases (1640), followed by Gauteng (1139) and the Free State (1010).

In her foreword Deputy Minister of Police, Mmakhotso Maggie Sotyu, welcomed the report, saying “as the Ministry of Police, we have noted some progress in certain areas and challenges in other areas. It is understood that a baby does not stand up and run – it first crawls and then walks before it can run”

Nathi Mthethwa, Police Minister, said of IPID, “As a government, we support the efforts of all oversight institutions to ensure that our people do not become victims of overzealous or even criminal elements within our policing agencies”.

He then went on to note, “The outcomes of cases in this report confirm that while there are bad elements within the SAPS, in some cases the complaints against the police are unjustified and therefore result in acquittals. These are normal workings of our criminal justice system”

The report found that assault cases at the hands of the police have risen by 218% over the past year.

See the table below for a breakdown of all the cases:

Want to learn more about police brutality and misconduct?

The full IPID report can be read here

An insightful piece on unlawful arrests and police misconduct, written by senior journalist, Ruth Hopkins, can be read here

Listen to Wits Justice Show radio podcasts on police brutality and ‘what can the police do to you during an arrest’


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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