News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Knysna police ordered to meet arrest quotas

Katherine Wilkinson

Knysna police say they have been ordered to meet quotas for arrests, with one member having gone so far as to make out a sworn affidavit to that effect.

Although police have asked not to be named as they are fearful of repercussions, this reporter has seen a full copy of the affidavit and was then given a copy in which details identifying the policeman who wrote it have been removed.

In the affidavit, he stated he was called into the police station and told all Knysna police officers have to meet arrest quotas:

He said he was told that “all four shifts at the station have to arrest ± 200 ‘B’ crimes, 15 drug related crimes and 12 drunken driving so he is asking me to participate in this as I am behind and may be charged with Regulation 64 if I fail to meet my targets per month (sic).”

He stated that he told his officer he was busy with complaints and that he had conducted “some stop and searches” with “no luck”.

“He then told me that other people have done it and that I just have to do better.”

A further two Knysna policemen who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrest quota system in Knysna.

One said, “Quotas for arrests has been going on for years now. I don’t believe in it because you are not doing it for the sake of society. Statistics are a good thing, but they are there to guide you on how to police properly. The police have made statistics the alpha and omega of crime fighting.”

His colleague said: “The quota system is in place, for a long time, for a hell of a long time.”

The practice of arrest quotas is specifically condemned in the SAPS Criminal Procedure Act.

South African Police Union (SAPU) Secretary of the Western Cape, Billy Daniels said on Thursday the matter of arrest quotas had been taken up with the Knysna police station about four years ago, but not recently. He said he understood the practice had ceased.

“It has never been raised with me recently. I spoke to the shop steward at Knysna and the area shop steward, they are completely unaware there has been any problem like that.”

SAPS Southern Cape spokesperson, Captain Malcolm Pojie said he would need to get legal advice before answering any questions on the topic.

Police Internal Complaints Directorate (ICD) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the ICD was not aware of the practice.

“It would be helpful for the police officer to make himself available for an interview with the ICD with a view to get more details and to determine what course of action should be taken in this matter.”

Western Cape MEC for Safety and Security Lennit Max’s spokesperson, Jo Lennox said, “The Minister’s response re the officer’s claim is that it’s a serious allegation as it goes against the objective of policing which is the prevention of crime.

“In order for him to take the matter up with the Provincial Police Commissioner he will need to see the affidavit and the officer’s name must be disclosed.

“He can then take the matter up with General (Mzwandile) Petros.”

The Knysna police station is under investigation by the ICD in connection with the alleged rape of a Plettenberg Bay guest house owner by police on February 6. She said she was raped in a police vehicle while being held down by a second policeman. She said she managed to escape while the policemen were swopping places. To date no arrests have been made.

She said she had been told by “senior officers of the police in Knysna” that police knew the identity of the “culprits” based on identikits she had helped to compile.

“But not one of them is willing to come forward as a witness or to say a single thing of the events of that night.

“Apparently, they have been instructed not to talk about the incident at all.”

One of the policemen involved in the investigation feared for his safety, she claimed.

“A police member involved with the investigation has advised me that he trusts nobody in the Knysna Police Services and that he fears for his life and that of his family.”

Furthemore, while in Knysna during March to investigate the alleged rape, the ICD arrested three Knysna policemen for murder.

Dlamini said at the time, “The ICD has arrested three police officers who are based at Knysna police station for murder. . .The deceased died in hospital from injuries sustained during arrest by police officers from Knysna police station. – West Cape News

Tags: icd, knysna

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5 Responses to “Knysna police ordered to meet arrest quotas”

  1. Ruski says:

    It is Disgusting that this member has spoken up about internal protocol inside the Police and that the media has published it, bring on the ‘secrecy bill’ we need stonger sentences for people who breech not only the Police act but standing orders in the Police and the access to information act!

    Appauled by this reporting too, sources concerned should not comment at all! These young constables need to be drilled more to understand how important our country is and its not just another job but something we need to protect and look after!

  2. Siener says:

    @ruski:
    what a load of rubbish.

    Your post is complete rubbish when you start talking tripe about internal protocols.

    AS for your comment about the “secrecy bill” what corrupt practices are you involved in that you do not want the public to find out?

    It is no rumor that SAPS has a quota system as it is widely practiced.

    It is illegal and should be investigated at the highest level and stopped.

    Those that perpetuate and protect this system should be hunted down charged and kicked off the police force.

    — This comment has been edited – ED.

  3. Niki says:

    I live in Strand, I work for a NGO and deal with some very harsh and hectic cases all over Cape Town. Situations such as this case come and get solved daily. I give my everything to help victims of abuse, from counselling to obtaining a protection order to being right beside them in court and holding their hand afterwards.

    I had the privilege of meeting the gentleman who lived and worked with the victim at the guest house, he was her partner. (Past tense). Their lives are shattered due to the chain of events driven by other people’s despicable choices.

    “Quotas for arrests” forgive my ignorance here, but who arrests a Rape Victim?
    I would appreciate it if you could let me know what the outcome was or where it stands. If you are in contact with the gent at the guest house, please send my regards. He was very interested in the work I do. If only I was there for them then. From reading bits on the net, it seems many of the local community found marketing opportunities not to be missed. I find this very sad.

    To do with courts and police stations, around the same time Paarl was one of the areas being looked into. I have a client who wouldn’t mind speaking out. I think you may be interested in her story.

    Please feel free to contact me. (Staff of the newspaper)
    Kind regards,
    Niki

  4. Speaking out is to be applauded but, again, it’s done anonymously.

    The Knysna police are appalling and the biggest reason why is because they aren’t arresting their bad members. Surely the definition of a good cop would be to arrest a bad one.

    Because nothing’s been done, cop crime continues to increase so that at times instead of feeling like a resident i feel like an inmate in a police state.

  5. […] the talk of the town before but let me remind you of a Katherine Wilkinson’s 2010 article, Knysna Police Ordered to Meet Arrest Quotas (they may keep changing the Colonel but they stop playing musical […]

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