1448 policemen bear criminal records, Ministry says

NATIONAL: (By Richard Olson)– An audit has revealed that 1 448 police employees have criminal records, the police ministry said.

“The audit established that 1 448 members have criminal offences,” Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement. “Reaching this milestone was critical for us as this was a very complex and painstaking exercise which entailed the assessment of individual members records,” Mthethwa said.

The process began two years ago and included auditing of all SAPS employees, those employed under the SAPS Act and Public Service Act.

It entailed thorough processing of statistical data, cross checking against the Crime Information System, personnel human resource files and finger printing.

Mthethwa said the audit process was protracted and took longer than anticipated because part of the approach on the matter was to ensure that the ministry exhausted all avenues, be they legal, operational as well as the labour relations aspects.

“The next step is for the National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega, to act on the outcome of the audit. I have now instructed her and the management team that feedback on action should be provided to me by the end of October this year,” the Minister said.

Mthethwa indicated that the audit process revealed serious challenges with regard to management of discipline within the department.  It was against this backdrop that he instructed the officials to develop a long term strategy on matters of discipline and related matters, which they were busy with.

“I wish to sincerely thank the team which worked very hard and meticulously to ensure that this audit was completed.  The process going forward will require even more dedication.”

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