Police brutality: Nearly 60,000 cases opened against cops in 10 years

More than 3,600 cases of deaths as a result of alleged police action were reported between 2011 and 2020 in SA. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

There were 58,797 cases opened against South African police between 2010 and 2020.

More than 3,600 of these were deaths as a result of alleged police action between 2011 and 2020 and 2,155 were of those who died in police custody in the same period.

The annual reports of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) reveal that the rest of the cases include complaints relating to the discharge of an official firearm by police officers, alleged rape by the cops, alleged rape of a suspect in police custody, alleged torture or assault, and corruption.

Ipid, however, does not have the data of convictions involving these cases.

In the last couple of weeks police brutality has been in the spotlight in SA after the death of Mthokozisi Ntumba, a bystander and father of three who was killed allegedly by police who had fired rubber bullets at protesting Wits University students.

On March 11 2020, a 22-year-old Tembisa soccer coach, Musa Magasela, was shot and killed allegedly by police. It is alleged that he was mistaken for a hijacker. Ipid was investigating the matter while the hashtag justice for Musa Magasela trended on social media, as South Africans demanded justice.

On February 14 2020, a 46-year-old blind woman was allegedly slapped several times on her face by a police officer in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State.

Ipid said the officers were at the woman’s house to arrest two other people for other crimes. “The 46-year-old heard the screaming and crying of her 32-year-old sister. As she reached out to check what was happening, she heard slaps. She allegedly requested her 21-year-old daughter to record the assault on video, that’s when the police officer who was standing outside opened the burglar gate and slapped her on her face numerous times,” the police watchdog said.

On January 18 2020, two victims were sjamboked by police officers in Worcester in the Western Cape. The video of the incident went viral, causing an uproar on social media.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe did not respond to a TimesLIVE query for comment.

By Batandwa Malingo – TimesLIVE

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