Corrupt police get the boot

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pretoria - More than 100 police officials have been kicked off the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their involvement in fraud and corruption.

A "clean-up operation" aimed at rooting out corrupt police officers and staff resulted in 119 SAPS members being dismissed in the 2009/2010 financial year, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said.

Those dismissed include police officers and administrative staff based at the head office and provincial office. Most of these officials, 72 in total, were from Gauteng, he revealed.

Police carried out 362 investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption leveled against their own officials, resulting in 29 suspended dismissals and 26 suspended dismissals with fines.

While 53 members were found not guilty during the disciplinary procedures, 99 cases were also withdrawn.

Investigations were carried out into allegations of financial mismanagement, bribery, missing dockets and police officers' involvement in crimes such as robberies and vehicle hijackings.

Mthethwa said clean-up operations would continue as the ministry intensified efforts to rid the SAPS of "rotten apples".

"We would rather lose hundred corrupt cops and be left with 10 morally-upright, committed and disciplined police officers. That is why as part of our new recruitment approach, emphasis will be put on quality rather than quantity," he added.

Police officials' involvement in corrupt and fraudulent activities was hampering the SAPS' efforts to fight crime, the minister said.

"Each day we discover any form of corruption, we shall expose these culprits. We shall fight the scourge of crime in whatever form it manifests itself, starting from within the Force," Mthethwa added.