Why has it taken years to rid KZN of its criminal cops?

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal welcomes the long-awaited SAPS announcement that notices of dismissal are ready to be handed to 170 “criminal cops” in the province.

This news has been a long time coming.

In August 2010 – almost four years ago – the DA revealed that 152 KZN SAPS members had appeared in court since the beginning of that year on charges including murder, attempted murder, rape and drunken driving.  At the time, a further 72 officers had been charged with similar offences and were yet to appear in court. At that stage, only one police officer had been dismissed.

Then in August 2013, KwaZulu-Natal citizens received the shocking news that there were 173 “criminal cops” employed in the province.  According to an audit, KZN had the third highest number of criminal cops in the country.

The DA immediately requested an answer from KZN Safety MEC, Willies Mchunu as to whether he had any plans to sack these individuals.  There was no answer forthcoming.

Today, some 8 months later, we finally learn through the media that these rogue officers are to receive their letters of dismissal.

The question is – why has it taken to so long?

These individuals did not have to be proven guilty in a court of law.  They already have criminal records.

The obvious delay in ridding the SAPS ranks of this scourge indicates a very disturbing lack of urgency on the part of the MEC and his officials.

It is to SAPS members that KZN citizens must turn to when they are at their most vulnerable.  How can they do so when these officers are criminals?

The DA expects MEC Mchunu to turn his attention away from political campaigning for the ANC and focus on his duty to the citizens of KZN – to rid their police force of common criminals.