49 cases of police brutality at start of lockdown being probed by Ipid

Police minister Bheki Cele says the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating 49 cases of police brutality under lockdown.
Police minister Bheki Cele says the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating 49 cases of police brutality under lockdown.
Image: File

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating 49 cases of police brutality during the first month of the Covid-19 lockdown.

This was revealed by police minister Bheki Cele in response to a parliamentary question from DA MP Andrew Whitfield.

Cele sent Whitfield a copy of a letter from Ipid executive director Jennifer Ntlatseng, revealing that six people are alleged to have been killed by police between March 27 and April 30 2020.

“The total members of the public alleged to have been killed by members of the SA Police Service is nine,” said Ntlatseng.

“However investigation by Ipid revealed that in two of the cases (Naledi and Ravensmead police stations) the deceased persons died of natural causes.”

In a Vosloorus case, “the suspect that was linked to the death was a member of the private security company”.

Ntlatseng said the guard alleged to have killed the man was due to go on trial in May and an Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department member involved in the incident would be charged for “possession of prohibited ammunitions and the negligent handling of a firearm”.

The Western Cape recorded the highest number of cases of alleged police brutality during the period, with a total of 13. Two involved deaths and 11 complainants alleged assault.

KwaZulu-Natal has 11 cases — one death case, one for the discharge of an official firearm, two allegations of torture and seven complaints of assault.

The Eastern Cape recorded one complaint for the discharge of official firearm. Gauteng recorded four deaths, with one death each in North West and the Northern Cape.

Ntlatseng said Ipid had prioritised some of the cases, “particularly death, rape, torture and assault, especially those involving vulnerable groups such as women, elderly, children and people living with disability”, she said.

“The current backlog of Ipid as at January 31 2021 stands at 8,068 cases.”

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