IPID concerned about police heavy-handedness amid lockdown

Police officers
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The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has raised concerns about reports of excessive force by police.

The police watchdog is investigating a total of 50 deaths that have occurred since the national lockdown began on March 27.

Ten of these cases are directly related to the police’s COVID-19 operations.

IPID briefed Parliament’s joint committees of Police and Security and Justice on police actions during this period. The directorate says many of the complaints received are related to assault.

During question time, Police Minister Bheki Cele admitted to Members of Parliament that some police members do cross the line.

He, however, said he could not comment on these matters until investigations were concluded.

In the video below, Cele appeals to law officials to be compassionate with civilians:

IPID says more than 800 cases of alleged misconduct have so far been reported. More than 370 are linked to police’s COVID-19 operations.

IPID’s acting Chief director for investigations, Thuso Keafelakae, says the directorate is concerned about the allegations levelled against the police.

“We are concerned about complaints from public re-use of excessive force by SAPS/MPs. Most complaints centred around assault, discharge of firearms and generally complaints about excessive use of force and physical abuse.”

Police Portfolio Chairperson, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, says it is important that all allegations are investigated.

“Every allegation must be thoroughly investigated.”

An infographic on how to report security officials: