New law to curb po­lice cor­rup­tion wel­comed

Daily News - - METRO - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PO­LIT­I­CAL par­ties be­lieve a new law, ap­proved by the Cabi­net, will bring sweep­ing changes in the SAPS and pre­vent malfea­sance by of­fi­cers.

The po­lice have been ac­cused of hav­ing pock­ets of fraud and cor­rup­tion for years.

A few years ago Par­lia­ment de­manded an­swers from the SAPS re­gard­ing 1 500 of­fi­cers who had crim­i­nal records. The of­fi­cers were fired by the SAPS but took their fight to court to ap­peal against the de­ci­sion.

It also emerged in a re­port by the au­di­tor- gen­eral in 2017 that sev­eral of­fi­cers were con­ducted busi­ness with the state amount­ing to mil­lions of rand.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele has high­lighted that the SAPS Amend­ment Bill will soon be re­leased for pub­lic com­ment, and that MPS will have an op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with the bill once it is of­fi­cially tabled in the na­tional leg­is­la­ture.

The DA said yes­ter­day that it would not com­ment on the bill un­til it had been tabled.

But the IFP and ACDP said they fully sup­ported the bill as it would clamp down on cor­rup­tion in the SAPS and pre­vent the use of lethal force dur­ing protests.

There have been a num­ber of fa­tal protests, in­clud­ing at Marikana where 44 min­ers and se­cu­rity guards were killed in 2012.

IFP MP Zandile Ma­jozi said they be­lieved the bill would help ad­dress cor­rup­tion in the po­lice. She said vet­ting, which would in­clude life­style au­dits, would be im­por­tant to iden­tify of­fi­cers liv­ing be­yond their means.

“If we have po­lice who are cor­rupt we must not end there, we must deal with drug deal­ers in the street,” said Ma­jozi, adding that those work­ing with the po­lice in a cor­rupt man­ner must be held to ac­count.

She added that they wanted the po­lice to

When po­lice are not trusted, peo­ple will take the law into their own hands Rev­erend Ken­neth Meshoe ACDP LEADER

stop us­ing lethal force dur­ing protests.

ACDP leader Rev­erend Ken­neth Meshoe said they agree that the bill would help clamp down on cor­rup­tion in the po­lice. He said there should be no po­lice of­fi­cers who lived be­yond their means, “be­cause when po­lice are not trusted, peo­ple will take the law into their own hands”.

Meshoe also said no lethal force must be used dur­ing protests, un­less it was jus­ti­fi­able.

“We say you don’t need to use lethal force or live am­mu­ni­tion. Un­less there is ev­i­dence that a per­son has com­mit­ted a crime, peo­ple should not be shot in the back,” said Meshoe.

Cele, mean­while, said it was im­por­tant to deal with the is­sue of life­style au­dits.

“The amend­ments seek to ad­dress mat­ters of vet­ting and in­tegrity test­ing of those em­ployed within the SAPS un­der the SAPS Act, through life­style au­dits and con­flict of in­ter­est. Those join­ing the ser­vice will also need to be sub­jected to pro­cesses to en­sure the in­tegrity of the or­gan­i­sa­tion is main­tained. Po­lice re­cruits will be ex­pected to also sub­mit a buc­cal ( cheek) sam­ple for DNA test­ing.”

He said the bill would also deal with the use of lethal force dur­ing protests. This arises from the Far­lam Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into Marikana.

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