JJ Tabane Columnist


It is a sad reality that our police force is rotten to the core. Over the past 25 years, we have fought a losing battle to restore it. Instead, every day makes us lose faith in those who are meant to protect life and limb. It is sad for those in blue who try to do a good job that they should also be painted with this brush, but it's inevitable given the volume of citizens' accounts of how badly they are treated by the police.

The rot runs deep if you consider that just this past week another former police commissioner was arrested for alleged criminal activities after ducking the law for some time. Another former commissioner, the late Jackie Selebi, was imprisoned in disgrace after consorting with the criminal underworld. Another one, Bheki Cele (who has re-emerged as minister of police) was fired after allegations of corrupt activities linked to the leasing of a police building. Cele has maintained his innocence throughout. It is hard to find police leadership that has succeeded in bringing crime statistics down or raising the profile of the SAPS. How do we explain that just three years ago a police minister confessed in parliament that about 1,500 police officers on the SAPS payroll had criminal records ranging from fraud to rape and other ghastly crimes? It's a total mess. I am sure there are mitigating factors that the ANC will tell us about as we march to the elections but the experience of South A...

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