Sowetan: Cops under probe

The Sowetan
Cops under probe

15 February 2008
Sne Masuku

830 police investigated for various criminal cases – ICD.

Statistics by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) that out of the 830 cases against police, only one officer was convicted, prove that police are doing their job.

This was the response by SAPS spokesman Jay Naicker to the statistics released by the ICD yesterday.

Naicker said the number of cases being investigated by the ICD do not mean that those officers are automatically guilty.

Naicker said all the cases arise on a day-to-day basis while police are on duty, and the reason why only one conviction was made is that the courts decline to prosecute if the officers acted within the law.

“For example, if a police officer shoots a suspect, in most instances the ICD would open a case of attempted murder.

“But that does not mean that police members are guilty. And if found not guilty, the case is closed.”

“We do not think that all police officers act against the law,” Naicker said.

“These cases should be treated exactly as civilian cases would be treated – there is no special treatment for police.”

At least 830 law enforcement officers were under investigation by the ICD for crimes including rape, attempted murder, assault, murder.

Not all these cases happen in the line of duty.

Of these, about 74 policemen have cases of attempted murder pending against them.

Naicker said he was positive that those cases would not lead to conviction.

About 351 police officers were under investigation for failing to carry out their duties.

According to the ICD statistics, 16 police officers have had domestic violence cases laid against them by their family members.

Other crimes against police officers include the death of suspects while in police custody. Provincial ICD spokesman Tabiso Ralo said about 174 officers were being scrutinised for death in police custody.