S.Africa: police linked to 640 deaths in 2015

south african police
Image Credit – www.timeslive.co.za

source: Times Live
published: 8 July 2016

Civilian deaths at the hands of police are in the spotlight in South Africa‚ and not just the United States where widespread protests took place this week.

In one year there were 396 deaths as a result of South African police action and 244 deaths in custody‚ the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said in its annual report for 2014/15.

The police watchdog is obligated to investigate deaths in police custody or as a result of police action‚ as well as complaints of torture‚ assault and discharging of firearms.

A total of 5 879 cases were reported to IPID‚ of which 3 711 were assault cases and 940 were complaints about the use of official firearms.

The shooting of robbery suspect Khulekani Mpanza by police made national headlines in October last year. He had dropped his gun and was lying down when he was shot. The incident was captured on CCTV footage.

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