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

Parliament failed to vet Cele’s nomination for IPID head

In 2016, the Constitutional Court found that the police minister’s power over the nomination and removal of the IPID head made the police watchdog vulnerable to political manipulation. But, Parliament failed to fully reign in the minister’s powers when it amended the IPID Act last year. Last week, it rubber stamped police minister Bheki Cele’s pick for the IPID head.

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IPID a no-show in Petrus Miggels police assault probe

It has been a month since the police watchdog told Parliament that it would properly investigate allegations that police assaulted Petrus Miggels moments before he died on the first day of lockdown. An investigator has still not returned to the scene of the assault or interviewed key witnesses, according to Miggels’ family.

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NPA and IPID commit to tackling high-level police corruption

The NPA and IPID have recommitted to their collaboration on high-level corruption cases, in response to a report from Viewfinder that the police watchdog had pulled investigators from a joint task team. But, details of the forward going partnership remain vague.

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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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