Docket cri­sis angers Mthethwa

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SIBU­SISO NGALWA

PO­LICE of­fi­cers lost 671 crim­i­nal dock­ets last year – in po­lice sta­tions.

Now ex­perts are point­ing fin­gers at cor­rupt cops, say­ing this is the only ex­pla­na­tion for a 1 500 per­cent spike in lost dock­ets in North West alone.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa is in­censed and has or­dered a high-level probe into the scan­dal.

So far five of­fi­cers have been dis­ci­plined and fired for cor­rup­tion.

Mthethwa was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion in Par­lia­ment.

The North West alone ac­counts for more that 40 per­cent of all the lost dock­ets in 2007/08 – with 260 be­ing re­ported as miss­ing. Crit­i­cally, in the year be­fore, po­lice in the prov­ince only lost 17 dock­ets.

KwaZulu-Natal takes the sec­ond spot – los­ing a to­tal of 275 dock­ets in the past three years.

The fig­ures for Gaut­eng showed that 182 dock­ets were re­ported miss­ing in the past three years.

The West­ern Cape was the only prov­ince to im­prove. From los­ing 139 case dock­ets in the past two fi­nan­cial years, it man­aged not to lose a sin­gle one be­tween April and Septem­ber this year.

The best per­form­ing prov­ince is Mpumalanga. Po­lice there lost six dock­ets in 2007, one last year and none this year.

In the past seven months 152 dock­ets were lost in po­lice sta­tions across the coun­try. More than half of th­ese dis­ap­peared in the North West.

North West’s Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Fo­rum board chair­man Leonard Brown has de­scribed the rev­e­la­tions as “shock­ing” – blam­ing the pro­vin­cial com­mis­sioner Le­setja Beetha. “Our pro­vin­cial man­age­ment is very poor. The buck stops with the pro­vin­cial com­mis­sioner.”

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