Saturday, September 8, 2012

Corruption in police lab - cop union

Corruption in police lab - cop union
2012-09-07 20:14

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Corrupt practices at the police forensic science laboratory in Silverton, Pretoria affect criminal prosecution, Popcru said on Friday.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) Gauteng secretary Matsemela Matsemela said the allegations included sabotage to services, irregular appointments and sexual harassment.

He told reporters in Johannesburg that national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega and the portfolio committee on police were informed of the allegations on June 25, but failed to act.

"Given the sensitivity of that institution and the nature of the allegations... after you received such allegations you ought to have acted," he said.

"Something is absolutely wrong there... They have the proof but they don't want to act."

Matsemela said the union had handed Phiyega a file of evidence and she had not responded.

One week for Phiyega to respond

The union said members who informed them of the allegations had been victimised through disciplinary hearings.

"These disciplinary hearings are formulated with the sole intention of creating doubt on the credibility of information provided by these members and also serve as a basis to hide corruption."

Matsemela gave the commissioner seven working days to respond to the allegations.

"We expect nothing whatsoever from her but to act on these serious corrupt activities," he said.

Phiyega called on Popcru at a meeting in August to declare "war on corruption and criminality" within the police.

Matsemela said if no action was taken on the allegations the union would organise a march to the police offices to demand answers.


Read more on: popcru | police | riah phiyega | corruption | crime


Lonmin crime scene could have been compromised
Wednesday 5 September 2012 17:21


DA says Marikana crime scene bungle is a result of years of no training.(SABC)

MarikanaNorth WestSAPSNPAAMCUNUMThe crime scene at the sight of the Lonmin shootings may have been compromised due to lack of detective skills in the South African Police Service.

A senior police official, who does not want to be identified has told a conference hosted by Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee he cannot give more information as the matter is too sensitive.

Thirty-four striking miners died and 78 were wounded in a confrontation with police on August 16. Democratic Alliance (DA) police spokesperson, Dianne Kohler- Barnard, says the Marikana crime scene bungle is a result of years of no training.

Kohler- Barnard says police picked up evidence with their hands, dumping them in piles. "What I saw was the rape of a crime scene, the evidence is now littered with how many fingerprints, that will be impossible to sift through. We saw, what I believe is the inevitable outcome of poor training - our labs must do the impossible job of sifting through all of that," the DA leader said.

This is the year of the detective within the SAPS. Stakeholders gathered to discuss the state of detective work. But discussions were quickly diverted to the Marikana shootings.

The DA used the case as an example of poor detective work. But the ANC did not want to discuss Marikana, as several investigations are still underway. SAPS say it has processes in place to preserve crime scenes.

A lack of sufficient training for detectives was the major concern at today's dialogue

SAPS Major General Charles Johnson refused to deal with the Marikana situation. Johnson says in general they have rules and measures in place to deal with major crime scenes.

He says the first responders will cordon off the crime scene, and protect the crime scene, and the only time they will go onto the crime scene, is to attend to injured people. Johnson however acknowledged that these rules are not always followed especially when inexperienced officers are at the scene first.

A lack of sufficient training for detectives was the major concern at today's dialogue. As were the heavy caseloads they carry.

Independent research shows it could be as high as 100 dockets at any given time. The chairperson of Parliament's Police committee, Annelize van Wyk, has lamented unreliable information around detective's numbers.

Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, declared 2012 the year of the detective. Police say the country ideally needs 26 000 detectives. Figures range from 20 000 to 23 000 detectives but Van Wyk says it's a waste of time and money.

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