The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, has revealed that 1 448 police and SAPS staff have criminal records.
The National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, has to deal with this matter swiftly and without fear or favour.
SAPS members with criminal records should be dismissed with immediate effect.
It is hugely embarrassing to South Africa that such an audit had to be undertaken as standard procedures and criminality were ignored over the years.
A month ago the National Commissioner admitted that the SAPS is “populated with murderers, rapists, fraudsters and other offenders” and that there are SAPS members behind bars who are still drawing monthly salaries. She referred to the findings of the audit as revealing “an unpleasant picture”.
The DA has long highlighted the fact that criminals were not being dismissed from the SAPS once convicted. The fact that criminals have been allowed to continue to work for the SAPS is a disgrace for which the Minister of Police himself must apologise.
All members of the SAPS, including those within its leadership, should be professional police officers who protect South Africans from criminals, they should not and cannot be criminals themselves.
We trust that the National Police Commissioner will take swift action in dealing with any criminality within the service now and in the future.