Billions budgeted for civil claims against the SAPS
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police
17 October 2012
The South African Police Service’s Annual Report shows the financial implications of the lack of discipline and professionalism in the police service.
The figure for contingent liabilities (a liability that the entity may have to pay, depending on the outcome of a future event – such as a court case) has quadrupled in the last six years from R5.3 billion in 2006 to R20.5 billion for 2011/2012. It now constitutes 32.8% of the SAPS annual budget. The bulk of this figure is made up of civil claims against the police amounting to R14.8 billion.
Civil claims currently instituted against the SAPS include:
- R 1.09 billion in claims relating to shooting incidents;
- R182 million for vehicle accidents;
- R8.2 million for damage to State property;
- R484 million in legal expenses;
- R2.7 million for damage to property;
- R841 million for claims relating to assaults; and
- R11.9 billion for other claims relating to “police action”.
These increasing figures, once again, illustrate the effect the militarisation of the SAPS has had on the service. Police officers should not be assaulting or shooting innocent people.
The sheer volume of civil claims, coupled with the fact that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigated 6 026 complaints against the SAPS in 2011/2012 ranging from death at the hands of SAPS members to rape, armed robbery and misconduct cases, makes one question what is happening with our police.
I have asked the Minister of Police a Parliamentary question in relation to the demilitarisation of the SAPS and I will be writing to him today to ask that he set out a plan for the immediate demilitarisation of the SAPS as was recommended in the National Development Plan.
The SAPS needs to return to its former pre-Cele glory, to a time before he and his cronies instilled a lack of professionalism and culture of police brutality into what should be a police service and not an Apartheid-era force.