Cases against cops rise, report says

Thozi Manyisana

Thozi Manyisana

Absenteeism, drinking liquor on duty and negligence topped Eastern Cape police misconduct cases last year, according to a report released this week.

The damning provincial yearly report revealed that the police service dealt with 1377 cases in the 2005-06 financial year, up from 1209 cases the previous financial year.

It also revealed that 51 police officers were suspended for allegedly being involved in criminal cases, including attempted murder, allowing prisoners to escape, fraud and corruption, domestic violence and defeating the ends of justice.

At least 144 police were absent from work without authority, and 45 were charged with "unlawfully and intentionally" taking alcohol on duty, and nine for the use of narcotic drugs.

Officers charged with negligence totalled 61, 31 were charged with failing to carry out lawful orders and 12 for an "improper, disgraceful and unacceptable manner" while on duty.

Twelve police face charges of unlawfully releasing a prisoner or "wilfully and negligently" allowing them to escape.

Out of the 1 377 cases, there were only seven dismissals.

Written warnings were given to 403 police, final written warnings to 47, verbal warnings to 348 and 175 were fined.

The report lamented the increased attacks and murders of police on duty.

Attacks doubled to 125, with 16 policeman being murdered.

It is expected that the portfolio committee on safety and security will discuss the report and police bosses could be grilled because it does not contain the auditor-general's report.