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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Marianne Merten.]

The SAPS admitted failure in reaching its own performance targets due to “dereliction of duty” when its generals appeared before Parliament’s police committee. Sans acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba on Monday, the SAPS also came without the annual crime statistics – a key indicator of how the SAPS upholds its constitutional responsibilities to ensure safety and security – that traditionally are part of its annual report. And so what stands are the statistics of others: Statistics South Africa’s Victims of Crime survey highlights persistent lack of confidence in the police, while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) shows increased deaths in police custody and due to police action, and torture.

The crime statistics for the 2016/17 financial year from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 must still go to Cabinet in two weeks’ time, said police committee chairperson Francois Beukman, and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula would thereafter interact with MPs on 17 October.

Crime statistics are politically prickly, particularly when communities complain about persistent shoddy or non-existing SAPS service, most recently following Friday’s killing of 11 people in Marikana informal settlement in Philippi on the Cape Flats.

“I struggle to accept that is what police can offer to the community there,” said ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane, while several other MPs recounted receiving calls for assistance in cases when a burglary victim had to drive to the local police station to plead for officers to come out or when they were simply ignored when wanting to report a crime.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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