- A social media post claims that over 4 000 police officials are actually convicted criminals
- Corruption within the South African Police Service often makes headlines in Mzansi
- Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind the situation to determine if this claim is true
A photo doing the rounds on social media alleged that over 4 000 SAPS members are convicted criminals.
Africa Check reports that a 'quick identity check' in mid-2019 had revealed 4 174 police officers indeed possessed criminal records.
However, authorities say they are in the midst of taking the fingerprints of 192 000 members in order to get a more accurate figure.
Police Minister Bheki Cele told Parliament last year that over 4 000 members, including 32 senior managers, possessed records, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Cele included a breakdown in his written response to a question posed during a question-and-answer session.
The minister revealed that the majority of the offences were traffic violations, but more serious crimes including fraud, kidnapping, assault and theft were noted.
National police spokesperson Vish Naidoo is adamant this is not a confirmed figure:
“When the question was raised in Parliament, we did a quick ID check on all the members and according to the IDs, it came up that about 4,000 members had criminal records.But that is not a confirmed figure.”
Naidoo explained the system used made room for errors, prompting a closer look at the situation.
"So it could be more or it could be less. The process has started where we are checking every single member on their fingerprints, but this will take some time,” Naidoo said. “I mean, we are talking about more than 192 000 members.”
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