The DA has learnt that in the wake of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) report, which revealed that 59 deaths had taken place in Gauteng as a result of police brutality, not a single SAPS officer has been suspended or charged.
In June this year IPID revealed that the number of deaths as a result of police brutality had risen year on year from 45 in 2016 to 59 in 2017.
Following this, I questioned the MEC of Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, as to the nature of each death and what action had been taken against the officers involved. While most incidents were pending a decision on what action is to be taken, no officers have been placed on suspension.
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Some of the deaths reported at the hands of these killer cops are harrowing.
In one instance of police brutality, a baby died from exposure to pepper-spray due to its negligent use by police officers. In another instance a mentally ill person was shot in a police station after having an altercation with his neighbour.
These horrific statistics bear testament to the fact that the SAPS in Gauteng are violating basic human rights while no action is seemingly being taken to curb this trend.
Earlier this year, a study conducted by StatsSA entitled “Victims of Crime”, indicated that the public had increasingly lost faith in the SAPS and that there had been a breakdown in trust.
The evidence collected by the DA from MEC Nkosi-Malobane further reinforces the public perception that the police cannot be trusted.
The MEC must take decisive action in this matter so as to reassure the public that police officers do not receive special privileges as they are not above the law.
If an officer has killed a person, they should be placed on suspension until an investigation into the matter is concluded.