IPID – How to report a case against officers

With several cases of alleged police brutality by officers from the Edenvale SAPS currently in the spotlight, this is how residents can go about reporting cases against police officers.

Residents are advised to report cases to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), which is mandated to conduct independent and impartial investigations of specified criminal activity committed by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) as well as by members of Municipal Police Services (MPS).

The IPID will only investigate matters specified in the IPID Act.

Any person, either as a victim, witness or representative, may lodge a complaint with the IPID.

Non-governmental and community-based organisations may also lodge complaints against officers from the SAPS and members of the MPS.

A complaint may be lodged in person, by telephone, per letter or e-mail to any IPID office.

The complainant must fill in a Complaint Reporting Form which can be obtained from any IPID office.

Alternatively, download the Complaint Reporting Form here.

Here is a list of the type of matters which must be investigated by the IPID

  •  Any deaths in police custody.
  •  Deaths as a result of police actions.
  •  Any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer.
  •  Rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty.
  •  Rape of any person while that person is in police custody.
  •  Any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of his or her duties.
  •  The IPID may investigate corruption matters within the police initiated by the executive director on his or her own, or after the receipt of a complaint from a member of the public, or referred to the directorate by the minister, an MEC or the secretary of police, as the case may be.
  •  Any other matter referred to it as a result of a decision by the executive director, or if so requested by the minister, an MEC or the Secretary of Police as the case may be.

Residents are asked to take note that the IPID will no longer be dealing with matters of non-compliance with the Domestic Violence Act by SAPS members. Complaints of non-compliance with this act will be handled by the secretariat of the police.

The IPID will also no longer deal with service delivery complaints against SAPS and MPS members, which include failure to investigate, failure to assist, failure to give feedback, rudeness and police misconduct. These matters are now dealt with by the police inspectorate in the offices of the SAPS provincial commissioner.

The IDIP also cannot handle complaints of incidents which occurred before the establishment of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) in April 1997 and those which took place more than a year before they were reported to the IPID, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Complaints against Correctional Services staff, court officials, and members of the South African National Defence Force can also not be investigated by the IPID.

Also to be noted is that matters which have been dealt with, or which are currently being dealt with by the courts, cannot be handled by the IPID.

The IPID will also not deal with matters which are not criminal in nature, such as divorce, recovery of money or unlawful arrest.

The station commander or any member of the SAPS or MPS must notify the IPID immediately after becoming aware of any matters that must be investigated by the directorate and within 24 hours after the incident must submit a written report to the directorate.

The SAPS has an obligation to act or respond to recommendations made.

This obligation to act on or respond to the IPID’s disciplinary recommendations is up to the SAPS national commissioner who must, within 30 days, initiate the necessary disciplinary proceedings in terms of the recommendations made by the directorate.

The national commissioner must also inform the minister in writing, and provide a copy thereof to the executive director and the secretary of police.

Each quarter the national commissioner must submit a written report to the minister on the progress regarding disciplinary matters.

Officers from the SAPS or MPS must provide their full cooperation to the directorate, including the arrangement of an identification parade within 48 hours of the request made by the directorate.

Police officers and MPS members must also be available for the taking of affidavits or an affirmed declaration, or to give evidence or produce any document in that member’s possession or under his or her control which has a bearing on the matter being investigated.

How to contact the IPID

Address: City Forum Building situated at 114 Madiba Street, Pretoria

Website: www.ipid.gov.za

Postal address: Private Bag x941 Pretoria, 0001

Telephone: 012 399-0000

Fax: 012 326-0408

  AUTHOR
Charmaine Slater
Senior journalist (Edenvale)

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