Audit reports reveal ‘dirty little secrets’

The South African Police Service and the department of correctional services face legal claims worth billions of rands, according to their respective annual reports.

The police have been slapped with almost R11-billion in civil claims, with almost R9-billion resulting from “police actions”. More than R900-million is being claimed for shooting incidents and a further R700-million constitutes claims for assault. The claims, listed as contingent liabilities, have risen sharply from just more than R7-billion in 2009-2010.

The department of correctional services faces civil claims of more than R970-million for bodily injury and assault. A further R170-million is being claimed for unlawful detention, R13-million for deaths in detention and R13-million for pain and suffering.

Diane Kohler-Barnard, the Democratic Alliance’s spokesperson on police matters, called the mounting legal claims the police’s “dirty little secret” and said they indicated that the legal services department had long been in disarray. The claims amount to about 19% of the department’s total budget of R58-million.

Neither the police nor the correctional services department responded to questions.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Lynley Donnelly
Lynley Donnelly
Lynley is a senior business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. But she has covered everything from social justice to general news to parliament - with the occasional segue into fashion and arts. She keeps coming to work because she loves stories, especially the kind that help people make sense of their world.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

No good will come of overturning Roe v Wade

The US supreme court’s ruling on landmark abortion case will be felt most keenly by women

Citizens expect ‘bloodshed’ ahead of Zim’s 2023 elections

Human rights body says research indicates the polls are viewed as a nightmare instead of an opportunity

New Joburg high school boasts a R3m eSports Arena

The tech-forward school requires every child to purchase an Asus laptop, use Microsoft software for lessons and check-in daily on a mental wellbeing app

UPDATED: Eskom confirms stage dix load-shedding from 4pm to 10pm...

The power utility says it experienced unplanned losses of 14 204 megawatts as wage-related protest action intensified

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…