Cases of SAPS criminality and misconduct call their credibility into question

Citizen testimonies are calling in to question the credibility of the South African Police Services (SAPS). Listeners have made allegations prompting an exploration into police criminality.

Thandi Losi's story

On Monday 9 March 2015 702's John Robbie received a call from Thandi Losi, reporting that she had been arrested the previous day for attempting to capture eyewitness footage of police brutality with her cellphone, and refusing to surrender the recording.

When I refused they told me its fine, then they were going to lock me up; they actually did and charged me with assaulting a police officer.

Losi alleged that she was detained in Sunnyside Police Station, Pretoria with others for several hours by the policemen. After appearing in the Pretoria Magistrate Court that morning, she was told the case was withdrawn.

Losi says she then spoke to a senior investigating officer at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Mandla Mahlangu, who informed her that the police officers who allegedly assaulted her have pending IPID cases against them.

IPID's latest annual report

When comparing IPID's 2014 annual report figures to those of 2013, it appears that cases reported against the police are on the decline. In 2013 there was a total of 4181 cases reported in the category of assault and torture. In 2014 that number dropped to 3994.

However, of the overall 5745 cases reported in 2014, 1470 were criminal recommendations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), whilst of 2013's total 6728 reported cases, only 1088 of them were criminal referrals to the NPA.

Most people’s interaction with government is through the police. If the interaction is a pleasant one, then society’s perception of government will also be positive.

Minister of Police Mr. Nkosinathi Nhleko in IPID's 2014 Annual Report.

Read more information from IPID's annual reports.

5 tips for those who witness police criminality

Professor Peter Jordi of the Wits Law Clinic says that he does not encourage citizens to confront or interfere with police conduct, even if it is unlawful. Jordi advises that if South Africans do try intervene, they should do so with caution because it is a dangerous pursuit.

Don't be a martyr, the risks are too high. When you interfere and confront police, you are playing with fire.

Jordi offers the following advice:

  • If you record any suspicious police behaviour, try do so from a distance without making them aware of it.
  • Be 100% of the circumstances you are witnessing, and ensure that you have not misread the situation or jumped to conclusions.
  • Assess whether the scene requires public or self defense.
  • Avoid violence.
  • South African citizens have the Constitutional right to execute a citizen's arrest in relation to Schedule 1 offences in the Criminal Procedure Act - but do not undertake this lightly.

5 prominent police brutality allegations that shouldn't be forgotten

  • Andries Tatane who was beaten to death by six policemen in Ficksburg.
  • The video of Clement Emenkesha's brutal assault in Cape Town that went viral.
  • William Sithole's mother who has pleaded with the police to explain why her son was killed in their custody, after initially claiming that he committed suicide.
  • Lana Stander in Randburg on record showing and explaining how police violently assaulted her after falsely accusing her of being drunk following an epileptic fit.
  • Rikky Minyuku has also written about her encounter with police whilst pregnant and using public transport.

Losi's on-air account was followed by experiences from other listeners claiming also to have been victims of unlawful police procedure.

Listen to the listeners experiences on the John Robbie Show below:

Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Crime Stats Reveal SA is less safe than it was 2 years ago: Nathi Nhleko

Crime Stats Reveal SA is less safe than it was 2 years ago: Nathi Nhleko

Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko on the Crime Stats which were released today.

Crime stats release: murder, attempted murder, robberies increase

Crime stats release: murder, attempted murder, robberies increase

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega have noted increases.

Popular articles
Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Author of Eat-Ting, Anna Trapido talks to #WeekendBreakfast host Phemelo Motene about the SASSI coded fish system.

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

Dr Sue Goldstein, Director at the Soul City Institute for Social Justice chats about parents drinking booze in front of children.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Geoffrey Matovu filed for divorce in the Family Division of the High Court accusing Ms Tryphena Nakiyingi of being disrespectful.

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

A fight broke at a hospital where Booysen was admitted and it is believed Booysen was the target of the scuffle.

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stuff magazine’s Toby Shapshak.

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Bruce Whitfield interviews Peter Hain (Wits Business School) and Steven Powell (Director in Forensics at ENS Africa).

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

Nkosinathi Nkomo came up with a system that could turn grey water into usable water amidst the Cape Town water crisis.