South Africa: Arrests Not Enough to End Police Corruption Says Expert Witness

CATEGORY: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery
DATE: 14 May 2014
AUTHOR: All Africa.com

This morning the Khayelitsha Inquiry into policing heard testimony from Dr Liza Grobler about corruption in SAPS.

Grobler is an independent criminologist who has published extensively about corruption within the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"There is no leadership within SAPS on corruption. There is too much noise and deviance from head office... one just needs to look at the Crime Intelligence Unit as an example [to understand that SAPS do not provide leadership to end corruption]," Grobler testified.

Grobler criticised the police for the absence of a formal anti-corruption policy. She explained that there is no formal anti-corruption strategy within SAPS, it has been on the table in some or other form since 1999, but it has never been formally implemented.

SAPS legal representative, Advocate Thabani Masuku, stated that corrupts officials are arrested and prosecuted.

Grobler responded, "Making arrests is not enough. You could arrest 157,000 serving officers if you wanted, but that wouldn't make any change [to the institutional culture]."

Grobler then went on to say that a starting point is for officers and managers to raise the level of professionalism at the stations in Khayelitsha. She explained that the problem is about attitude and institutional culture, neither of which are addressed through arrests.

According to an HSRC survey, police are perceived as the most corrupt government department.

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