Eastern Cape police deny releasing petty criminals over food shortages

AUGUST 4, 2015

Eastern Cape police have reportedly denied reports by Times Live on Tuesday that the Kareedouw Police Station was releasing suspects or detainees due to lack of food.

The report said that police officers allegedly admitted to releasing petty criminals because of a lack of food. It was further alleged police officers used their own money to buy the required meals for suspects and to transfer detainees to other prisons.

“We transport all our prisoners to Humansdorp for them to deal with. We then don’t have to feed ours,” an unnamed officer told The Times.

Hankey police officers meanwhile reportedly said they bought meals for detainees.

"There is no food here for prisoners. The commander has gone to buy food with his money to feed them,” another officer told the paper.

But, Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Brigadier Marinda Mills, told SA Breaking News interim measures had been incorporated to make sure the rights of detainees were not infringed upon.

Mills, who was not at liberty to disclose the number of prisoners or suspects that have been transferred or the police stations involved, however, said certain police stations have not been adhering to the necessary processes and this caused the ‘hiccup’.

“In the past the provision of meals to detainees in custody was mostly done by local police station Tea Clubs. In April 2015, the policy changed and instruction was given from our national head office that the normal procurement procedures must be followed for the provision of meals,” she said.

“Tea clubs that wanted to continue providing meals were required to register as a service provider and to participate and compete like any other business or institution by means of the prescribed procurement process of the South African Police Service.”