Tapes reveal secret workings of police disciplinary hearings for murder and brutality cases

The mother of a dead child has given Viewfinder access to the tapes of a disciplinary hearing of the police officer accused of killing her son. The officer was found not guilty, though the police watchdog had concluded he had a case of “murder” and “misconduct” to answer. The tapes reveal the inner workings of South African Police Service (SAPS) hearings, from which brutality accused officers routinely emerge unpunished, and from which even the police watchdog is excluded.

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Police deal with watchdog will protect violent cops

Police arrest a protester at the Siqalo informal settlement near Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp) Police commanders will be empowered to overrule watchdog findings against their colleagues when a new agreement between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) takes effect. The draft agreement was

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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

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Latest from this investigation

SAPS’s use of deadly force must be curbed, concludes new expert report

A South African Police Service (SAPS) no entry ribbon. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks) People killed while fleeing, while brandishing knives or when officers fire “warning” shots – these are some of the circumstances of killings by police examined in a new study on the use of lethal force by the South African Police Service (SAPS).  International

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Video: The Death of Damian Ahrendse

On a Friday evening in December 2013, at the start of the school holidays, 15-year-old Damian Ahrendse was shot and killed near his mother’s house in Wesbank, on the Cape Flats. Witnesses say that a police officer pulled the trigger. An autopsy report concluded that Damian had been shot in the back. Yet, the policeman

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Video: The Death of Ishmael Gama

On 1 April 2020, Ishmael Gama was reportedly tortured and killed by police officers in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg. More than a year after his death, and months after the police watchdog implicated eight officers in murder, police management has not acted. But, this is not an unusual scenario. A new Viewfinder analysis of police

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Where in SA do you live? Search any @SAPoliceService station for their track record on brutality and corruption complaints with @viewfinderjourn’s #PoliceAccountabilityTracker. Out tomorrow. @GroundUp_News @dailymaverick #AboveTheLaw

Tubing suffocation induces extreme physiological stress and panic. For victims, the line between life and death is fine. 100s of reports of @SAPoliceService using this method since 2012. Hear from forensic pathologist Dr Steve Naidoo this Sunday on @carteblanchetv #CarteBlanche

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