Massive increase in deaths from police brutality in South Africa

A report from the Independent Police Investigative (IPID) has caused alarm after revealing an increase in the number of people who die in custody and as a result of police action.

During the period of April to September 2016, there were 51 deaths in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of police action. In the same period, there were 26 deaths in police custody in the province. During the previous reporting period, there were 159 deaths across the whole country. That number has now gone up by 30% to 207.

It was also found that SAPS members had been involved in 51 rape incidents, 61 torture, 66 corruption and 159 other criminal cases. KZN had the highest number of assaults with 24, the province also had the third highest numbers of rapes by police, with 7.

The official report explains the incidents as: “deaths in police custody contributed to 43% of the total deaths, while deaths as a result of police brutality contributed 57%”.

IOL summarises the report as follows.

“In Gauteng, there were 59 deaths as a result of police action – an increase from 45 during the previous reporting period. In KZN the figure of 51 was also up, from 48 previously.

In the Free State, 42 people died. This was a huge increase from the 20 people who died a year ago.

In the Western Cape, the number of people who died as a result of police action was much lower, with a record of 20 people, compared with the 17 who perished last year.

Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, 12 deaths were recorded compared with 10 deaths a year ago.

In the Northern Cape, the numbers were also low, with four people having died this year. But this was an increase from two people who died during the same period last year.

As for rape cases, the offences were allegedly committed by both on-duty and off-duty officers.

Gauteng had the highest number of officers involved in rape incidents, with 15 cases registered. The Western Cape followed with 10 cases, EC had seven cases, while in the Free State and Mpumalanga three cases were noted.

Police in the Northern Cape and North West were implicated in two rape cases in each province.”

This report only further damages South African’s trust in SAPS, with officers raping and beating individuals, Mr Mbalula has an even tougher job on his hands.

Source: The South African

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