- National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says the South African Police Services has been unable to carry out the scope of their duties due to budget cuts
- While Sitole admits that the police need better training to handle protests peacefully, he said there are certain laws that restrict police from doing so
- Sitole stated that over years the Police Department has seen budget cuts of more than R15 billion that have resulted in a shortage of equipment
National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole addressed members of Parliament on Thursday to answer questions about the unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as well as address the state of the South African Police Services.
Sitole told members of Parliament that the SAPS faced a number of issues in the wake of the unrest. According to Mail & Guardian, he stated that the police are being handicapped by current laws as well as human rights prescripts, which have made it difficult for them to do their work.
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He added that in future, SAPS would be training police officers to better handle protests peacefully without making use of maximum force on civilians, however, there needs to be a reform of the laws that make it difficult for the police to carry out their duties.
He also stated that the lack of trust in the police by the public has also affected the police.
“The current laws and human rights prescript — including public perceptions — are heavy on the police and are actually handicapping them from acting,” Sitole said.
Sitole also stated that budget cuts have contributed to the woes of the police force, stating that the police has to deal with budget cuts of more than R15 billion in the past years.
According to EWN, Sitole added that as it stands, SAPS only has five working helicopters nationally and some armoured vehicles are ineffective and this has been a problem for several years.
“We can’t fly more than five helicopters, nationally. I think in 2010, we could fly up to 14 in the air, and nine of that number is currently grounded," said Sitole.
Supreme Court of Appeal confirms top SAPS official Khehla Sitole’s ‘breach of duty’ ruling
Briefly News previously reported that the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has denied South African Police Services National Commissioner Khehla Sitole's appeal against a High Court ruling.
The Gauteng High Court found that Sitole and two other police officials had violated their duties and acted outside of the scope of their work as police officials. This judgement by the High Court could cost Sitole his job, according to a report by News24.
The judgement by the Supreme Court of Appeal was handed down on 30 June, however, it was not made public at the time of the ruling. This resulted in South African Police Services being led by an officl who was found compromised during the riots that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, according to the Daily Maverick.
Sitole and his deputies, Francinah Vuma and Lebeoana Tsumani, impeded the investigation of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) by refusing to hand over vital documents that had information in connection to the R45 million “Nasrec grabber” saga.
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