South Africa: Rolling Out of SAPS's E-Docket System to Replace Archaic 'Brown Donkeys' Drags On


Over the past decade, the SAPS has been working to introduce an online system for storing criminal dockets. The electronic system would prevent dockets from being stolen, manipulated and sold. However, despite the benefits, it's still unlikely to be rolled out soon.

Just before dawn on 11 May 2017, Thomas Bhekumuzi broke into the SAPS detectives' office in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, in a last-ditch attempt to beat some jail time.

Later that day, Bhekumuzi was due to appear in the Belfast Regional Court to be sentenced for robbery.

Detectives believe that he broke into the heritage house that sits behind the Dullstroom Police Station so that he could destroy his police docket.

Once inside the office, he stole two laptops before setting the house on fire.

By the time the fire truck arrived from the neighbouring town of Belfast the office had been gutted.

Bhekumuzi's docket wasn't destroyed that day - it happened to be safe with the SAPS in Middleburg.

What was lost, however, were the murder and attempted murder dockets of Susan Howarth and Robert Lynn. They were victims of an attack at their farm, Marchlands, three months earlier.

At the sign that marks the turn-off to Marchlands farm...

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