John Moodey MPL
The DA has been denied details of legal claims against Gauteng police because it exceeds 15 000 pages and would take 10 legal officials two months to gather.
The DA’s attempt to understand the mounting legal claims against Gauteng police was shot down in a reply received from Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko. The full reply is available here. The question was posed after the DA revealed that the South African Police Service (SAPS) indicated that the courts have granted R98 252 380.77 in 2 079 claims in 2011 and 2012.
It is even more insulting that police refuse to take responsibility for mounting claims and instead blame it on citizens being more aware of their rights and attorneys specialising in claims against police and “actively pursuing alleged victims to file outrageous lawsuits”.
The DA will submit an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get what we believe should really be a simple spread sheet indicating the amount for each one of the 2 079 claims, the nature of the claim, and the police station in question.
The DA insists that Gauteng police take responsibility for their role in the increasing number of claims against police, often for assault or destruction of property.
It is imperative that police, as custodians of the law and public order, act within the confines of the law at all times.
Blaming informed citizens or specialist attorneys instead of critically assessing the role of heavy-handed police action or misconduct does little to rekindle public trust in the police service.