How SAPS protects the killers within its ranks

Every year, police in South Africa kill hundreds of people and are accused of brutalising thousands more. A new investigation by Viewfinder has revealed that the killings and brutality are enabled by police management’s reluctance to discipline officers accused of wrongdoing in these cases. This is true even when watchdog investigations conclude that these officers should be disciplined. Given free rein to re-offend, problem officers may become emboldened. For their victims, the consequences can be dire.

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Viewfinder responds to Minister Cele: broken police discipline costs the poor dearly, but it can be fixed

Police minister Bheki Cele has brushed off the findings of Viewfinder’s exposé on police management’s failure to discipline officers implicated in cases of brutality and even murder. In doing so, the minister ignored key facts about our investigation and about the ill health of police oversight in South Africa. In this article, Viewfinder responds to minister Cele to set the record straight.

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Latest from this investigation

Explainer: The loopholes police use to protect their own from consequence

On 1 June 2014, a group of police officers in a rural Eastern Cape township were accused of beating a man so badly that they broke his ribs and ruptured his small intestine. Phindile Ramncwana, 52, died from his injuries shortly thereafter. In spite of eyewitness statements detailing the assault and evidence that some of

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Police are not held accountable for child killings, watchdog records reveal

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has investigated the killings and deaths in custody of dozens of children since 2012. Almost none of these cases have resulted in convictions. As the justice system moves swiftly on the Nathaniel Julies murder case in Eldorado Park, the police watchdog finds itself at a crossroads. This week IPID’s new head will visit some of the directorate’s provincial offices to give “strategic direction” to ensure that justice is served for police brutality victims and their families. But, can her leadership overcome years of cover-up and dysfunction?

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Artist hopes portrait will haunt police


Your voice has always mattered. Let’s talk. Have you suffered at the hands of #SAPS? Join the #VukaniMaAfrika conversation or whatsapp us your questions and stories on 066 533 5142. We’d love to hear from you.

The black experience of @SAPoliceService violence is the story of working class, marginalised victims going against a system where accountability is a long road/unheard of. More than 47,000 criminal complaints were registered with @IPID_ZA against #SAPS between 2012 & March 2020.

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