South Africans have called for more professionalism in the operations of the national police force, after it emerged that the South African Police Service had forked out a huge amount of money for wrongful arrests and detention since 2009.
Replying to a question from Democratic Alliance MP Zakhele Mbhele, South African Police minister Nathi Nhleko told Parliament that the South African Police Service (SAPS) coughed up a whopping R203 million in the 2015/2016 financial year for wrongful arrests.
According to Nhleko, out of the R203 million, more than R170 million was paid in compliance with court orders while out-of-court settlements cost the national police force R33 million.
BuzzSouthAfrica learned that the year before, the department coughed up more than R175m for wrongful detention.
A break down of the payment shows that payments for wrongful arrests in compliance with court orders cost the SAPS the following:
|2009/2010||R32 271 175.70|
|2010/2011||R51 003 343.96|
|2011/2012||R78 192 440.38|
|2012/2013||R101 652 001.33|
|2013/2014||R138 189 961.09|
|2014/2015||R133 260 472.68|
|2015/2016||R170 652 542.30|
Payments for wrongful arrests stemming from out-of-court settlements:
|2009/2010||R8 383 395.44|
|2010/2011||R7 060 753.14|
|2011/2012||R6 419 285.40|
|2012/2013||R22 554 053.61|
|2013/2014||R28 563 752.27|
|2014/2015||R42 740 971.99|
|2015/2016||R33 015 807.55|
DA Slams South African Police Service For Wrongful Arrests
In addition, Nhleko, however, stated that “the amounts paid during the respective financial years were not necessarily received in the same financial year.” He also pointed out that “claims could have originated in one financial year and only been paid the following year.”
Responding to the written reply in a statement, DA’s Mbele asserted that Nhleko’s reply clearly shows the messy state of the national police force and how unprofessional some of its men are.
He also said:
“The proper training of SAPS officers, both basic and on-the-job training, is vitally important to the effective functioning of the entire criminal justice system within the human rights-oriented ethos of the Constitution and acts as an important component in rebuilding the public’s faith in the SAPS.”
Cases of wrongful arrests have continued to flaw the South African Police Service’s assiduity. In June, Police minister Nhleko was ordered to pay a Johannesburg mother, Thandeka Duma, for wrongful arrest and detention.
The Soweto woman sued Nhleko and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for R500,000 after she was arrested for fraud and locked up in prison for nine days in October 2010.