Over 200 police stations in South Africa without holding cells

Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police
16 Sep 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite from Okkie Terblanche MP

A total of 202 police stations throughout the country do not have holding cells for criminals. This was revealed in Minister Bheki Cele’s response to a parliamentary question by the DA.

Most notably, the station in the ‘rape capital of South Africa’, Inanda in KZN, is one of these. A further 4 police stations on the top 30 list for most murders and contact crimes were also found to be without holding cells.

In a time where a war rages against women and children, 104 people are murdered and 70 people are raped every single day in this country, SAPS is not able to hold suspects in at least 200 of its stations.

This does not include stations with holding cells that are unsuitable or not functional. One only needs to visit stations around the country to see that the unofficial number of stations without working holding cells is far higher.

Whilst it can be noted that criminals can be transported to other stations, this is simply not possible, as revealed in an answer to a question earlier this year, with hundreds of police vehicles not being operational. With severe staff shortages and a large number of vehicles out of order, these stations simply do not have the means to transfer criminals, who are then potentially left walking the streets until a court appearance.

Ensuring that the SAPS is fully functional with sufficient personnel, vehicles and holding cells is rudimentary. The latest crime statistics confirmed contrarily the steady decline in police officers, detectives, reservists, and fleet since Bheki Cele assumed his position as minister.

If Cele cannot even look after his own police force, how can members of the public expect him to look after their safety.