passed out cop abduction

SAPS badge / via Facebook

SAPS slip up: 658 police dockets disappear in five years

While victims of crime entrust SAPS to uphold the law, 658 missing police dockets means some will never receive justice.

passed out cop abduction

SAPS badge / via Facebook

Victims of crime, yearning for justice, may be waiting in vain, as recent reports reveal the disappearance of 658 police dockets in the space of five years. Missing South African Police (SAPS) dockets account for huge delays and invalidations within the criminal justice system.

The report on missing dockets stems from a request made to Minister of Police Bheki Cele earlier this year. Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, asked for the exact number of criminal dockets which had disappeared from police custody since 2013.

Read: 66 ‘criminal’ cops fired in Gauteng SAPS purge

The results prove that police incompetence is a national dilemma; whether due to corruption, bribery or pure negligence, the loss of dockets is a further crime against victims who have entrusted law enforcement for resolution.

As reported by IOL, Groenewald offered his comments on the sad state of police affairs, saying:

“What is seen here is widespread corruption and serves as evidence that the criminal justice system fails the people of South Africa and creates an environment in which crime is flourishing.”

Which province has the most missing dockets?

In the past five years:

  • Western Cape: 229 missing dockets
  • Gauteng: 128 missing dockets
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 118 missing dockets
  • Free State: 97 missing dockets
  • Northern Cape: 54 missing dockets
  • Eastern Cape: 20 missing dockets
  • Mpumalanga: 8 missing dockets
  • North West: 4 missing dockets

In Limpopo, not one single docket has been reported missing since 2013.

Groenewald went on to add that the lack of accountability regarding lost dockets is increasingly worrying, saying:

“It is ironic that the huge loss of 658 dossiers happened under the nose of the country’s detectives, and that only eight people were charged with it. This is unacceptable.”

The DA’s spokesperson on police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, also added her concerns to the matter, insinuating those SAPS officers who actively neglected dockets were themselves engaging in criminal behaviour, saying:

“Victims are sitting at home, believing the police are searching day and night for their rapist, or their attacker, or the people who had stolen their vehicles.

These dockets could be in relation to murders and yet the victims can believe as much as they want, but the dockets have disappeared.”

IFP spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison in KZN, Blessed Gwala, blamed the disappearance of police dockets on corrupt forces within SAPS, saying:

“This forms part of the corruption of which the IFP has always raised in the legislature, because it is done deliberately by the police, who are paid to take away those dockets so that the case would die a natural death.”