Since the beginning of the state of containment, 132 civil claims with a combined value of R180 million have been filed in Gauteng against members of the South African Police Service.
Faith Mazibuko, Gauteng community safety MEC, answered questions from the DA on a matter at a virtual session of the Gauteng provincial legislature on June 23, saying only nine of the complaint had been finalized. As for the rest, 79 are currently being processed and 44 are still under investigation.
Mazibuko spokeswoman Pinkie Numa confirmed the figures but referred questions to police for further comment.
“The MEC provided a response from the Police Service and they will be able to comment on it. The department is not responsible for the behavior of the police.
“It is our responsibility to monitor the service they provide to the community,” she said.
Gauteng community safety spokesman Michael Shackleton on Tuesday said on Tuesday that it was alarming that police officers did not adhere to their code of conduct when doing their jobs.
“It is particularly alarming that they do not respect people’s rights when they do their work.
“The money that must now be paid out for these claims could have been used to ensure that our police stations are equipped with the resources needed for effective crime prevention.”
Kobus Hoffman of the Freedom Front Plus says he thinks the situation could be even worse because he thinks the figures are underestimated.
“There are still demands. There are heaps of complaints about members of the police using their own right. They are not trained and equipped to handle the situation during the state of containment, ”he says.
Lizette Lancaster, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, says the restriction only exacerbated the existing problems in the police service.
“We know there are problems with training, but there is also an underlying culture of impunity with the police. It all starts when the people come fresh out of the police college. Ultimately, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed from the top. “
She believes the demilitarization of the police is another issue that needs to be addressed.
“Much of what needs to be done is already in the national development plan. The first of these is the demilitarization of the service. We are thinking that the police are a kind of military operation. We’ve been trying to get away from this image of the police for two decades, but that’s still what we see in our streets, ”she says.
Questions were sent to brig. Gautap police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters, but he has not yet responded.