'SAPS full of hardened criminals'
The South African Police Service is rife with hardened criminals, murderers, rapists and hijackers.
This is according to the SA Institute of Race Relations new report, The wolf guards the sheep, which was released yesterday.
In the report researchers warn that the situation of police criminality is so severe that women driving alone at night have reason to fear seeing blue lights in their rear-view mirrors.
The report, which sampled 100 cases, showed 32% of the cases reviewed related to murder, 26% to rape, 22% to armed robberies, and 20% to other crimes including torture, theft and burglaries.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale lambasted the report as lies. He said the SAPS was never consulted.
Speaking at yesterday's launch Frans Cronje, the institute's chief executive, said: "These are not 'isolated incidents', but a 'pattern of behaviour'."
The report drew on data from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, parliament's portfolio committee on police and the parliamentary monitoring group.
"We consulted ... before randomly selecting 100 cases from the thousands we came across. We tried to get police involvement, starting [from] last year, but they never responded."
Citing 2013 Parliament Monitoring Group data, Cronje said 1448 police had criminal records. "Of this 54 are convicted murderers, 37 are rapists, while 116 were convicted for attempted murder, 33 for attempted rape, 917 for assault and 291 for other offences."
Cronje said "results show in the 2013-2014 year [that] 1300 members were dismissed. But, the number of cases are increasing so significantly that it's a drop in the ocean."
Cronje said their most powerful evidence was from the Parliamentary Monitoring Group.
The evidence showed that one out of every 100 police members have a criminal record. "That's over 1 400 serving police officers."
Makgale said it was no secret that there are criminals in the police who "we arrest, but this document is not supported by facts. It's absolute lies".