What is the IPID?

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IDIP) is the leading authority which deals with cases of police brutality, assault and deaths while in SAPS custody.

The IPID Act was signed into law on May 12, 2011.

The IPID is an independent organisation that reports to the Minister of Police and functions independently of the SA Police Service (SAPS).

The Act empowers the IPID to investigate serious criminal offences by the SAPS and Municipal Police Service (MPS) members, including all deaths in police custody or as a result of police action, criminal offences and acts of serious misconduct allegedly committed by SAPS and MPS members.

The Directorate is obliged to investigate matters such as complaints relating to the discharge of an official firearm by a police officer, rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty, the rape of any person in police custody and any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of his, or her, duties.

The IPID is also mandated to investigate police related corruption.

The IPID was established on April 1, 2012, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of SA, which provided for the establishment of an independent police complaints body.

The IPID replaced the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) and is empowered to focus on serious criminal investigations as opposed to mostly service related matters investigated by its predecessor.

The IPID’s mission is to be “an effective, independent and impartial investigating and over-sight body that is committed to justice and acting in the public interest while meeting the highest standards of integrity and excellence.”

Facts and figures:

For the entire 2013/2014 reporting period, the IPID had no permanent head and nine provincial head posts were vacant.

As a result, there were inconsistencies in performance, with some provinces meeting their performance target and others failing to do so.

The IPID received 5 745 complaints during the 2013/2014 reporting period.

Of these, 3 916 were assault cases, 429 were complaints relating to the discharge of official firearms, 390 were incidents of deaths resulting from police action, 374 related to other criminal matters and 234 were incidents of deaths in police custody.

The National SAPS adopted an anti-torture policy in 2009 and in 2011, the IPID was given an express mandate to investigate all allegations of torture by the police.

More than 17 000 cases of deaths, rape, assaults and torture were reported to the IPID between 2004 and 2014 countrywide, an average of 1 770 a year, or close to five incidents a day.

r Information from the Wits Justice Project.

  AUTHOR
Charmaine Slater
Senior journalist

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