DA questions soft sanction for Gauteng cops aiding escapees

John Moodey MPL

Provincial Leader

The DA in Gauteng is concerned with the soft sanction for officers found guilty of aiding an escapee in the province.

A hundred police officers were charged with aiding an escapee in the previous two financial years, but only 34 of the 69 eventually found guilty were dismissed from the South African Police Service (SAPS). Others got off lightly in comparison, being suspended or receiving fines or written warnings instead.

The detailed information is available in a response by Gauteng police to my written question in the Legislature as per the list below:

Year: 2010/11 Charged: 40 Withdrawn: 0 Pending: 5 Not Guilty: 11 Guilty: 24 Sanction: 9 Dismissals, 6 Suspended dismissals for six months, 6 Fines, 3 Written Warnings

Year: 2011/12 Charged: 60 Withdrawn: 1 Pending: 3 Not Guilty: 11 Guilty: 45 Sanction: 25 Dismissals, 18 Suspended for six months, 2 Fines

The DA understands that mitigating circumstances exist when considering sanction upon a guilty verdict, however, we will put follow up questions to the MEC regarding the considerations for fines, warnings, suspensions and dismissals.

The DA also questions the fitness of officers to continue working with suspected or convicted criminals if they have been found guilty of aiding escapees.

Officers in the Service must be above reproach in upholding, promoting and enforcing the laws of the Republic. The provincial police must explain what they intend to do to ensure that the highest standards of professional conduct and fitness are at all times maintained within the SAPS.

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