SAPS members accused of domestic violence given a slap on the wrist

Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police
14 Apr 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Okkie Terblanche MP.

During a recent Portfolio Committee on Police meeting, the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSPS) reported that between April and September 2023, 165 members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were identified as perpetrators of domestic violence.  At the time, the DA also revealed that some 84 firearms (79 of which were SAPS-issued) were seized following the allegations.

It can now be revealed that only 93 cases of domestic violence offences involving SAPS members were resolved during that period.

Of these 93 cases, only three led to the member’s dismissal. That amounts to a dismissal rate of only 1,8% of the total cases.  Additionally, 26 cases (15,7%) are still pending.

However, the most shocking revelation is that those who were found to have committed some form of domestic violence were merely given verbal warnings (two members) and written warnings (eight members). Six members were handed final written warnings, which means that this was not the first instance they have committed some form of violation. Finally, only eight members were suspended, and in any event for no longer than two months.

The remainder of these cases had the following outcomes:

  • 21 members were found not guilty;
  • 10 cases were dismissed for a lack of prima facie evidence;
  • 4 charges were withdrawn;
  • 2 members received counselling; and
  • 3 members left SAPS’ employ.

These figures show yet another side to the total lack of accountability within the SAPS and its management’s shocking disregard for the seriousness of these charges.  The very officers who are tasked with upholding the law are breaking it in the most violent of ways.

This sham of consequence management is a mere reflection of the state of lawlessness in our country. If SAPS members are deemed above the law and escape any form of punishment with nothing more than a tongue lashing and a note in their employee file, it reinforces that national government is simply not serious about combating crime.

When the DA comes into national government after 29 May 2024, we will ensure that matters such as these are dealt with swiftly, decisively, and in accordance with the rule of law.  A professional, decentralised, well-trained, and properly resourced police service is the only way forward to ensure that those most vulnerable, such as women and children, are protected.