South Africa: Just How Deep Does IPID Rot Go? KwaZulu-Natal Case Suggests 'Very Deep'


On 13 March 2014, Glebelands Hostel block leader Zinakile Fica was detained with three other men and taken to the Isipingo SAPS offices in south Durban, where, shortly after midnight, Fica was allegedly tortured and killed. The KZN branch of Ipid took on the case. But although Robert McBride and a handful of brave national investigators have fought a superhuman battle against the tide of SAPS corruption, the Ipid's provincial branches have long been collateral damage within a criminal justice system that has - to use McBride's words - 'become the biggest threat to national security'.

The torture and murder of Zinakile Fica in March 2014 should have been a straightforward investigation ending with prosecution and the removal of bad cops from an increasingly dirty system. But according to its annual reports, over the past few years, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has achieved a conviction rate of less than 1% for contact crimes.

With an allocation of only around 0.4% of the SAPS total budget, a fraction of its manpower and with Ipid's national management otherwise engaged in its critical war with the police's malevolent upper echelon, provincial branches are failing dismally to hold ordinary police members to...

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