The fact that R2,3 billion in current claims against the police in the Eastern Cape are pending is a shocking indictment of the state of policing in the province.
In response to a parliamentary question, MEC for Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, said that claims paid out by the Eastern Cape SAPS in the 2018/19 financial year was in excess of R45-million.
This is up by R6-million from the claims paid in 2017/18 financial year, and nearly R11-million more than what was paid out in 2016/17.
This is an extremely disturbing trend which underlines the importance of the need for a human rights culture and professional SAPS in the Eastern Cape.
The breakdown of claims paints a picture of a police service that is clearly not upholding the law and respecting the rights of people.
These include, amongst others:
- R26,1 million paid out for Arrest and Detention
- R7,3 million paid out for Shooting
- R3,3 million paid out for General Damages
- R2,2 million paid out for Negligence
- R2,1 million paid out for Assault
- R1,3 million paid out for Search and Seizure
- R1,1 million paid out for Collisions
The police commissioner needs to account to the Provincial Legislature on what steps are being taken to arrest this trend.
The Portfolio Committee of Safety and Security should also interact with SAPS on a quarterly basis to exercise its oversight authority.
People do not feel safe in their homes and communities are living in fear of the criminal element.
From the ganglands of the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth