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'Claims against police in the Eastern Cape amount to R2.3 billion'

Jul 11, 2019
'Claims against police in the Eastern Cape amount to R2.3 billion'

Bhisho - The fact that R2,3 billion in current claims against the police in the Eastern Cape are pending is a shocking indictment of the state of policing in the province, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Thursday.

"In response to a parliamentary question, MEC for Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, said that claims paid out by the Eastern Cape SAPS in the 2018/19 financial year was in excess of R45-million," described Bobby Stevenson (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Safety and Security.

"This is up by R6-million from the claims paid in 2017/18 financial year, and nearly R11-million more than what was paid out in 2016/17. See IQP 14 qq 154 for previous year's figures.

"This is an extremely disturbing trend which underlines the importance of the need for a human rights culture and professional SAPS in the Eastern Cape."

Stevenson said that the breakdown of claims "paints a picture of a police service that is clearly not upholding the law and respecting the rights of people".

He said that these include, amongst others:

  • R26,1 million paid out for Arrest and Detention,
  • R7,3 million paid out for Shooting,
  • R3,3 million paid out for General Damages,
  • R2,2 million paid out for Negligence,
  • R2,1 million paid out for Assault,
  • R1,3 million paid out for Search and Seizure, and
  • R1,1 million paid out for Collisions.

"The police commissioner needs to account to the Provincial Legislature on what steps are being taken to arrest this trend.

"The Portfolio Committee of Safety and Security should also interact with SAPS on a quarterly basis to exercise its oversight authority," Stevenson said.

"People do not feel safe in their homes and communities are living in fear of the criminal element.

"From the ganglands of the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth to the rural towns and villages, there is a cry for safer streets."

He said that the DA is determined to make the police service an effective crime fighting machine, adding that the DA's plan focuses on:

  • Fighting corruption within the police.
  • Retraining police officers to serve and protect with pride.
  • Hiring people with a passion for policing.
  • Instituting an effective drug-busting force within the South African Police Service, as well as bringing back the specialised anti-gang units.
  • Ensuring that law and order is maintained in our communities, and that there are effective arrests, prosecutions and convictions of criminals.

"Safety and Security plays a critical role in economic growth and development. No go areas for business, because of high crime rates destroys jobs."

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