Saturday, May 18, 2013
MPs find sorry state of police affairs
No Fear No Favour No corruption........
Limpopo - When MPs visited Mahikeng police station, they found in the overcrowded cells a teenager illegally held for more than a year for “mental observation”.
At Orkney police station, they found a trunk of guns that weren’t on the registers.
At Sekhukhune police station, dockets were burnt in a domestic dispute.
The oversight visits to 10 police stations in North West and Limpopo were made early last year by the portfolio committee on police; the committee’s report was published in parliamentary papers this week.
The committee visited Itsoseng, Mahikeng, Stella, Potchefstroom and Orkney police stations in North West, and Ohrigstad, Sekhukhune, Burgersfort, Mankweng and Polokwane police stations in Limpopo.
While they noted that many police members were doing their best under awful circumstances, they listed problems of high case loads, weak management, poor control over guns, drugs and archives, abuse of sick leave, discipline problems, lack of proper management of detectives, and “appalling” treatment of detainees.
They found rats, bail registers not kept properly, absenteeism linked to abuse of alcohol, and many members without the authority to drive state vehicles.
At Mahikeng, 59 case dockets had disappeared. The 36 detectives there were working on 4 201 dockets; the year before, they closed 4 351 cases undetected.
Money was missing from the safe; the thief used the safe keys. In Mahikeng’s cells they found contraband such as shoelaces and medication.
One detainee was held for two years and nine months. One was held for seven days without being charged until the committee arrived. One was held for 17 months because a detective refused to give him his ID book so that he could apply for bail. “There was an 18-year-old who had been in the cell for one year and three weeks,” said the report.
At Itsoseng there were 26 criminal cases involving police.
The 11 detectives had 16 registered informants, six vehicles, two phone lines, one shared cellphone, no GPS and 1 051 open dockets. They were refused overtime pay.
At Stella police station, one of the five detectives had not been at work for two years.
At Potchefstroom, the firearms register was in disarray. “Firearms that were asked for were not found,” said the report. The station said there were 67 guns in the store; the committee found 115.
At Potchefstroom, 128 members could drive state vehicles while 102 members either did not have licences or the authority to drive state vehicles.
At Orkney police station, a policeman’s bulletproof vest was burnt by his wife. The committee found “a big trunk that was full of firearms” but wasn’t on the registers.
Sekhukhune police station lost 37 files when a task team member took them home and his wife burnt them in a domestic dispute.
The committee called Burgersfort police station “completely dysfunctional”.
Four members at the station were always off sick.
Mankweng police station operated out of park homes since 1985.
At Polokwane police station, 88 detectives worked 5 400 cases.
COMMENTS BY SONNY
The top management and the minister of police are to blame for this sorry state of affairs.
They should get off their sorry asses and lead by example.
Or do they want to fall into the same trap as the ANC politicians?