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Police corruption: Back to business as usual when army rolls out of Cape Flats?

It's reported that incidence of violent crime on the Cape Flats has dropped since the deployment of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) in ten gang-riddled precincts to support the work of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

RELATED: [VIDEOS AND PHOTOS] SANDF troops finally roll into the Cape Flats

But according to gang leaders, it's business as usual when it comes to their illegal activities. Gangsters have been quoted as saying that police corruption plays a key role in their success.

So what happens when the army pulls out after three months, or later if the deployment is extended?

RELATED: W Cape SANDF deployment - Crime deterrent or a case of 'hell might break loose'?

Standing in for Kieno Kammies, John Maytham speaks to Cherith Sanger, a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape's (UWC's) Law Faculty.

Painting the overall picture of the level of police corruption, she cites figures from a June report by Corruption Watch which found that 33% of complaints received relating to police corruption were about bribery.

Sanger says aside from other failures within the criminal justice system, bribery relating to 'disappearing' dockets is a key issue affecting the success of police investigations.

This obviously has a direct impact on the number of cases we see entering the criminal justice system.

Cherith Sanger, Lecturer - UWC Law Faculty

It is that evidence placed on dockets which is given to the prosecuting authority to decide whether or not to prosecute a matter.

Cherith Sanger, Lecturer - UWC Law Faculty

While the army presence has led to a temporary drop in the murder rate, it is not going to improve the reality of poor policing.

Sanger says the situation is unlikely to have improved by the time the army moves out because it is socio-economic issues that drive the poor to criminality on the Flats and it is these issues that need to be addressed.

People are desperate and the state is failing the poor.

Cherith Sanger, Lecturer - UWC Law Faculty

We need to address the root causes, the drivers of these issues, to really see a significant difference.

Cherith Sanger, Lecturer - UWC Law Faculty

For more from Sanger, listen here:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Police corruption: Back to business as usual when army rolls out of Cape Flats?


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