High escapee rate irks Mthethwa

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has instructed the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) to conduct a full investigation into the high number of escapees and police officers charged for their roles in the escapes.

The ICD is anticipated to complete its investigation into the police custody escapes early next year and report back to Mthethwa on both their findings and recommendations.

Mthethwa's decision follows a recent report that revealed that this year 251 police officers nationally have been investigated and charged following the escapes of 1 144 prisoners.

Of the total 251 - 112 were from Western Cape, followed by Mpumalanga at 32, North West 28, KwaZulu-Natal 27, Eastern Cape 20, Limpopo 13, Gauteng 12, Northern Cape 5 and the Free State had two.

"We cannot allow a situation where criminals are hunted, with police risking their lives in the process - only to learn that the criminals have escaped.

"Whether such escapes are as a result of negligence or alleged bribery, we would not like to pre-empt the situation.

"It is against this background that we need to get to the bottom of this unscrupulous practice to ensure we bring it to an end," Mthethwa said.
- BuaNews