Bheki Cele reveals 'pathetic' corruption conviction statistics
Only 135 convictions were secured out of 1,959 cases of suspected corruption reported to police in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act in the past four years.
Police minister Bheki Cele revealed in a parliamentary response that 370 of those cases were still under investigation. Cele was responding to a written parliamentary question from DA MP James Lorimer, who wanted to know about the number of cases relating to incidents of suspected corruption reported to the police.
A further 2,262 cases were reported to the directorate for priority crime investigation [Hawks] during the same period and of those cases, 2,040 were "trial ready" and only 523 had resulted in convictions.
There were also 581 cases of suspected corruption and bribery reported to the detective services during the same period starting April 2015. Of those corruption and bribery cases, only 99 had resulted in convictions. Twenty-three were still being investigated.
Reacting to Cele's revelation, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, who is also the party's spokesperson on crime, said the figures were appalling. He blamed the low number of investigations and poor conviction rate on the incapacity of the police to do its most basic job of investigating crimes.
"It underscores the need for an honest and professional police service, as we have been calling for," he added.
Steenhuisen said the numbers spoke "to the ANC’s penchant for corruption" which he said had now seeped into the police.
He said the figures for the cases that were being investigated, and for convictions, made an absolute mockery of SA’s criminal justice system.
He accused the ANC government of being complacent and focusing on enriching themselves. Looking at these statistics, it was little wonder that companies like Bosasa had been able to get away with their misdeeds over more than a decade, said Steenhuisen.
He claimed that a DA-run police service would completely overhaul the service, to make it more honest and provincial. "The DA will curb corruption, hire people with a passion for policing and retrain police officers to ensure that they serve and protect South Africa," he said.