Over 5 million SAPS dockets closed in 5 years due to lack of evidence

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
02 May 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

In yet another explosive admission of failure by Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, the DA can reveal that over 5.4 million case dockets were closed due to insufficient evidence or leads since the 2018/2019 financial year. This shocking figure highlights the utter failure of the SAPS under the leadership of Bheki Cele.

This figure was provided in a written parliamentary reply to the Democratic Alliance in which the Minister revealed that in each year, the following number of dockets were closed:

– 2018/19: 1 215 394

– 2019/20: 1 166 681

– 2020/21: 1 026 005

– 2021/22: 969 211

– 2022/23: 1 051 340

Averaging over 1 million cases per year, it means that almost 3,000 cases are closed daily by the SAPS without victims of crime ever receiving justice. Included in these 3,000 cases closed daily, are gruesome murders, rapes of family members, brutal assaults and kidnappings.

This is the painful reality which South Africans have shared with me over the years – a non-responsive, under resourced and uncaring police service which has neither the leadership nor the required skills to do the job.

The Detective Services Programme of the SAPS is overloaded, overworked and understaffed, placing strain on the quality of investigative work required to secure successful prosecutions.

Minister Cele has failed to bring the SAPS into the 21st century, adequately equip officers with critical equipment, and capacitate specialised programmes such as detectives who are a key lynchpin in the criminal justice system.

This 5 year record of more than 5 million dockets closed is an indictment on the Minister and President Ramaphosa who have made South Africa a more dangerous country to live.

The DA can rescue the SAPS by professionalising the police, decreasing the number of dockets per detective by ensuring there are sufficient SAPS members who are properly equipped and given the tools needed to close these cases. Most importantly we will dismantle the clumsy, chaotic centralised SAPS and devolve powers to capable local and privilege coal governments. Bringing policing closer to the people will enhance accountability and improve service delivery.

On 29 May, South Africans will head to the polls to vote for a party that has a plan to halve violent crime and that will rescue South Africa from criminals.