South African Police, Watchdog Make Deal to Protect Violent Cops

Police commanders will be empowered to overrule watchdog findings against their colleagues when a new agreement between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) takes effect, writes Daneel Knoetze for GroundUp.

IPID officials have in the past complained that the police ride roughshod over many of their findings and disciplinary recommendations against officers implicated in such crimes as torture, murder, rape and corruption. In the most extreme instances, police management refuses even to initiate disciplinary steps. This is in spite of the law saying that the police must do so.

This agreement comes as the police service is rocked by allegations of collusion in the ongoing murder investigation of Anti-Gang Unit detective Charl Kinnear's death - whose murder has been linked to alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack - and internal battles among officers, including that of dismissed Western Cape detective head Jeremy Vearey whose firing followed a series of controversial social media posts aimed at SAPS.

In court papers indirectly linked to his firing, Vearey said he believes there is a strategy at play to rid the police service of himself and his colleagues Major-General Peter Jacobs and Major-General André Lincoln. "We exposed corruption in the police and we diligently committed ourselves to the eradication of gang activities and police corruption," Vearey said.

The SAPS/IPID agreement also follows a hearing in the Blue Downs Regional Court where Modack was said to have several SAPS members on his payroll and would not hesitate to activate them to destroy evidence should he be released on bail, according to the State. Modack, one of five suspects arrested in connection with the assassination of Kinnear, was well connected within the SAPS as evidenced by the fact that he has also been charged in several cases alongside SAPS members in an alleged gun licence racket.


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