Ipid accused of protecting police
Leaked memos, reports, correspondence, a signed affidavit and a statement to the Zondo inquiry into state capture, contain whistle-blower allegations that police brutality cases were prematurely "completed" or "closed" at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
This was allegedly done to clear cases from the workload or to inflate Ipid's performance statistics.
Viewfinder's debut investigation exposes how underfunding, state capture and statistical manipulation at the directorate failed victims and helped violent criminals in the police service to escape accountability.
Viewfinder is a new accountability journalism unit, launched in partnership with the Daily Maverick and GroundUp.
South Africans lodged 42,365 criminal complaints against the police between April 2012 and March this year.
The exposé showed that of that number, only 531 Ipid cases resulted in successful criminal prosecutions during the same period.
The report highlighted one day, March 31 2016, when 308 cases were marked "completed" by Ipid.
It quoted an Ipid investigator, interviewed on condition of anonymity, who was also the case worker on some of the files completed that day.
"The main aim of Ipid is to move as many cases from 'active' to 'decision ready' ['completed'] as quickly as possible. By itself, the 'decision-ready' status is meaningless. It has no actual impact on the offender. Without an arrest, without a prosecution, without a conviction, there is no accountability."
Are you a victim of police brutality whose case was poorly handled? Are you an Ipid investigator? Viewfinder would like to hear from you. Get in touch with Viewfinder