Police brutality deaths soar, says watchdog
A REPORT by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has revealed shocking increases in the number of people who die in custody as a result of police abuse.
The Ipid report, which will be discussed by the portfolio committee on police tomorrow, showed that offences committed by the police have shot up over the past year.
The report found there were 159 deaths as a result of police action, but this number went up to 207 this year, which Ipid said was a 30% increase.
The police watchdog also found that members of the SAPS were involved in 51 rape incidents, 61 of torture, 66 corruption cases and 159 other criminal cases.
The report said “deaths in police custody contributed to 43%, while deaths as a result of police brutality contributed 57%” of the total number of deaths”.
It noted that Gauteng had the highest number of people who died due to police brutality, with 59 deaths in the province, an increase from 45 deaths recorded last year.
KwaZulu-Natal followed with 51 people killed at the hands of the police this year, compared to 48 last year.
Ipid report shows a shocking 30% increase in deaths in custody
In the Free State, 42 people died. This was a huge increase from the 20 people a year ago.
In the Western Cape, the number of people who died as a result of police action was much lower, with 20 recorded compared to 17 last year.
In Mpumalanga, 12 deaths were recorded compared to 10 a year ago.
North West recorded five deaths this year, a slight decrease from six people who were killed in 2016.
In the Northern Cape, the numbers were lower with four deaths recorded this year. This was an increase from two people who died during the same period last year.
As for rape cases, there were 51 cases reported involving police officers.
The offences were committed by both on-duty and off-duty police officers.
Gauteng had the highest number of officers who were involved in incidents of rape, with 15 cases reported against them.
The Western Cape followed with 10 cases, then KZN and the Eastern Cape with seven cases each.
The Free State and Mpumalanga reported three cases each.
Police in the Northern Cape and North West were implicated in two rape cases listed in each province.