Police Accountability Tracker: search your police station now

Viewfinder’s Police Accountability Tracker is an interface to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's (IPID) database of more than 47,000 complaints registered against the police between April 2012 and March 2020. Users can use the filters to home in on any police station for an overview of cases registered there. Users can also locate any individual case for a "progress report", as at March 2020. The data demonstrates that police officers implicated in violent crimes routinely escape accountability.

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Have SAPS commanders ignored instructions to discipline brutal cops? Upington death in custody raises questions.

After sustained criticism in Parliament this year, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has issued a circular to call out its commanders for their “inaction” and “reluctance” when officers under their command are implicated in serious crimes. Issued on 8 October, the circular warns that police supervisors who fail to act “promptly” in such cases

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Wrist slap for police commander who ignored torture allegations

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has found Athlone station commander Colonel Mark Adonis guilty of misconduct for failing to act on torture and murder allegations against officers on his staff. He was given a “verbal warning”, according to former police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, who was responding to a parliamentary question. A conviction of

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Watch: Behind closed doors

Whenever a police officer is implicated in a crime, a disciplinary hearing is key to restoring accountability and integrity within the service. In May 2021, National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole admitted to Parliament that discipline management within the South African Police Service needed an overhaul. With police disciplinary hearings happening behind closed doors, could

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Watch: Murder in police custody?

In January 2020, the army and police barged into Wasiela Isaacs’ family home in Athlone on the Cape Flats and arrested her son, Adam. Days later, he died in hospital from blunt force trauma injuries. Two years on, as the Isaacs family awaits justice, a Viewfinder and Carte Blanche investigation has revealed that one of

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Watch: “Tubing” – the apartheid torture method still being used by SAPS today

In 2014, Glebelands block committee chairman Zinakile Fica died in police custody in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal. A forensic pathologist concluded that an old apartheid-era asphyxiation method called “tubing” was likely the cause of the heart attack he had suffered. To what extent do police still use this terrifying torture tactic today? A Viewfinder and Carte Blanche

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Massive database of killings by police made public

On average, police in South Africa kill someone every day. Viewfinder has now published the police watchdog’s database on these killings, along with other complaints of police brutality and corruption: more than 47,000 such cases registered between 2012 and 2020. A new Police Accountability Tracker dashboard, which houses this data, allows anyone in South Africa

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