Ques­tions asked as sex at­tacks by po­lice­men surge

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

MPs HAVE­been shocked by the mas­sive in­crease in po­lice rapes over the past two years, from 53 cases to 66.

The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid) told the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on po­lice yes­ter­day that this was a 25 per­cent in­crease in rape charges against po­lice of­fi­cers.

Some took place in po­lice cells but oth­ers took place out­side.

Last year there were five cases of rape in po­lice cus­tody. This year that fig­ure rose to 13.

Ipid was pre­sent­ing its quar­terly re­port to the com­mit­tee in Par­lia­ment.

Chair­man Fran­cois Beuk­man and other mem­bers of the com­mit­tee said they were shocked by the spike in rapes in­volv­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

Ipid head of in­ves­ti­ga­tions Mathews Se­soko told MPs they were con­duct­ing se­ri­ous inves- tiga­tions on po­lice crim­i­nal­ity.

Rape in­ci­dents fluc­tu­ated be­tween the prov­inces.

Se­soko said that in North West, for in­stance, no rape case was re­ported last year, but this year there were 11.

Beuk­man said this was un­ac­cept­able and had to be ad­dressed. “Some of the statis­tics are shock­ing. In 20 years of democ­racy to have 66 rape cases against po­lice, those peo­ple don’t be­long in the SAPS.”

Pi­eter Groe­newald of the Free­dom Front Plus agreed with Beuk­man that the spike in po­lice rape cases was shock­ing.

ANC MP Phindile Mmola also con­demned the in­crease in rape in­ci­dents.

“It be­comes disturbing when po­lice of­fi­cers rape peo­ple in po­lice cus­tody. Where is the peo­ple’s safety? What are you do­ing to the po­lice of­fi­cers re­spon­si­ble for th­ese crimes?” asked Mmola.

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