South Africa: Coronavirus Cases Exacerbating IPID Case Load

The increasing workload of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate has been exacerbated, "in part", by the increase in cases against police officers under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. This was revealed in an announcement that IPID had recalled two of six investigators assigned to work in the security sector area of the Investigating Directorate, which focuses on corruption and fraud. The Investigating Directorate was formed by the president in 2019 to investigate matters involving corruption, fraud, theft and dishonesty that could undermined the state.

A joint media release by IPID and the Investigating Directorate (ID) stated on Thursday that both had overlapping mandates to investigate serious, high-profile and complex corruption matters perpetrated by high-level members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

In September 2019, there was an agreement that [the] ID would take over certain fraud and corruption investigations involving senior SAPS officials, together with some of the personnel assigned to those investigations from IPID.

"Those investigators were assigned to work in multi-disciplinary teams with personnel from [the SA Revenue Service], the [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation] and external forensic accounting firms.

"Today's meeting was convened to address; on the one hand, IPID's constrained capacity to deal with its increasing workload, exacerbated, in part, by the increase in cases against police officers under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and on the other hand, the ID's need to maintain a skilled and stable team fully dedicated to making an impact on serious, high-level and complex corruption cases in the security sector focus area," the joint statement read.

"The parties agreed to recommit their respective entities to working together to find constructive and innovative solutions to the challenge of delivering on their respective mandates in the context of almost debilitating resource constraints.

"The parties agreed to strengthen joint mechanisms to identify the most pressing priority cases that need to be addressed to root out corruption at the highest levels in the police and to ensure that human and other resources are deployed effectively to address these priorities.

"Both entities remain committed to tackling the scourge of corruption in the security sector and restore the integrity of and respect for law enforcement in South Africa. They remain committed to strengthen collaboration so that it is meaningful, mutually beneficial and most of all impactful in the fight against corruption, even in these most challenging times."

Source: News24

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