If Scorpions go, who will police the police?

The Independent Complaints Directorate is responsible for investigating complaints against the SAPS and metro police.

The Independent Complaints Directorate is responsible for investigating complaints against the SAPS and metro police.

Given how important it is that the public have confidence in the police and that they see the abuse of power and dereliction of duty being severely punished, it is utterly unacceptable that the directorate (ICD) battles with serious capacity issues, detailed in its latest annual report.

If the Scorpions are disbanded, there will be no independent unit to probe the police. This makes the ICD more important than ever and that is why its report is so disturbing.

Despite 535 posts being approved, only 43 percent have been funded. This leaves it with only 229 staffers and only 100 of them in the complaints investigation programme. That is one staffer for every 1700 officers.

Acting executive director P Mongwe said: "The ICD is gradually losing its grip of compliance to administrative legislation."

The possible loss of the Scorpions and the ICD's capacity problems force us to ask: "Who will police the police?" Who will the public go to in the event of police corruption or abuse of power?

The ICD must be brought up to full administrative and investigative strength with immediate effect, now more than ever.

Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA spokesman for safety and security, Parliament

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