Johannesburg – The police are cracking down on crooked cops and have fired more than 1 442 in the past three years – but other rogue officers remain on the beat.
The SAPS revealed this week that a further 1 448 officers – who have criminal records and have been dismissed because of this – are fighting to stay on in the service.
They were fired last year, but challenged their dismissals, turning to the courts.
It was after MPs raised the alarm about officers who had criminal records that then-minister of police Nathi Mthethwa ordered an audit of all members of the SAPS.
The audit found 1 448 officers had convictions for a range of offences, including murder, rape, theft, corruption and robbery.
Mthethwa announced the results of the audit in 2013 following a two-year investigation.
When the officers took their battle to the high court, the Bench ruled in their favour on the grounds of a technicality, striking a blow against the police top brass.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale said that the SAPS was appealing against the court ruling.
Makgale said the SAPS wanted the matter to return to court as soon as possible, but this was in the hands of the court.
“What we have done so far is appeal against the judgment,” he said.
Some of the criminal convictions of the police officers dated back several years.
The 1 448 wanted to remain in the police despite holding criminal records.
Members of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police have questioned their continued presence in the police force.
They have said they want the matter to be finalised as speedily as possible.
The committee said it was unacceptable that people who had been convicted of crimes continued to serve in the police force.
MPs argued that these officers did not set a good example to members of the community.
They said the Board of Fitness of the police should be able to dispense with these cases.
However, the court process would determine if the members could remain on the force.
This week the SAPS revealed that the 1 442 officers who had been dismissed in the past three years had been involved in crimes, such as robberies.
National police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said the SAPS would not tolerate in its ranks corrupt cops or those found to be involved in crime.
Police officers should conduct themselves in a proper manner.
Source article; http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/crooked-police-officers-dodge-bullet-1.1887334#.VaycFe0aLIV