Corruption Watch, in its submission to the portfolio committee on police in parliament yesterday, drew attention to the extent of corruption in the police services, and the impunity that allows it to flourish, not only in the provision of policing services, but across society as a whole.

The organisation has received 1 165 reports of police corruption since 2012, which describe the public’s experience with the South African Police Service (SAPS) on the ground.  This corruption ranges from ‘petty’ to ‘grand’ corruption, but in both instances, the appropriate sanctioning of perpetrators is required if this conduct is to be deterred.

Corruption Watch advocates for the establishment of an independent mechanism for reporting corruption in the SAPS, that would include reports from civil society organisations.

The submission also recommends other issues for consideration by the police portfolio committee. These include: more transparent processes in the appointment of key police officials, as laid out in the National Development Plan, and the inclusion of performance indicators for improving integrity and ethical compliance within the SAPS.

In addition, a review of the budget allocations for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Civilian Secretariat for Police is required, as well as established timeframes for the National Policing Board.

Petty police corruption typically targets the most vulnerable groups, such as refugees and asylum seekers, street traders, lone motorists, and disadvantaged communities. Grand police corruption, on the other hand, manifests as police inaction in the face of strong prima facie evidence of corruption, most often in relation to major corruption in the awarding of public procurement contracts, or evidence in the capture of key state-owned institutions.

Download our submission.

Download our PowerPoint presentation to the committee.