Key takeaways: IPID’s cover-up of police brutality

There were over 42,000 criminal complaints against the police from April 2012 to March 2019, and only 531 successful prosecutions

Photo of Mitchells Plain Police Station

IPID’s data shows that Mitchells Plain Police Station had at least a dozen rape complaints against it from March 2012 to April 2018. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

By Daneel Knoetze

7 October 2019

For years, whistle-blowers inside South Africa’s cop watchdog have alleged that investigations into police criminality were rushed through in a bid to inflate performance statistics. Behind these statistics are “victims of assaults, murder and torture who are deprived of justice” wrote one whistle-blower to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2016.

Viewfinder’s first exposé, published in partnership with the Daily Maverick and GroundUp, unpacks whistle-blower reports and combines these with public records, data analysis, insights from IPID insiders and the experiences of victims to show how and why police officers get away with violent crimes in South Africa.

Key takeaways

Viewfinder published the whistle-blower reports. They are available for anyone to view or download:

IPID’s position

McBride’s Zondo Commission allegations were confined to the 18 months of his suspension. Viewfinder interviewed IPID head of investigations Matthews Sesoko, in his official capacity. Sesoko acknowledged that “statistical information was inflated” during the 2015/16 financial year. For context, both Sesoko and McBride were on suspension during that period.

In late 2016, IPID assigned its integrity strengthening unit to investigate. This investigation is still incomplete. It does not look at allegations pre-dating McBride’s suspension.

IPID has since backtracked on Sesoko’s position, saying that “no evidence of stats manipulation during the 2015/2016 financial year has been presented to Management. Management is therefore not in agreement with this allegation until evidence is provided.”

IPID added that the allegations from 2014 and 2016 were “untested and unproven”.