General: Police facing R16bn claims and counting

The police are facing massive civil claims amounting to R16bn, with new claims filed this year while others are already pending in court. The SAPS said in the past financial year, there were more than 10 000 lawsuits filed against them for police brutality, unlawful arrests, and detention. Also, says a report in The Mercury, the police have paid more than R367m in civil claims compared with R239m paid in the previous financial year. The police said measures were taken to reduce civil claims against them, but the civil lawsuits have been rising over the years. ‘During 2020/21, a total of 10 689 new civil claims were registered, valued at R16 782 612 292 A total of 52 203 claims valued at R59 812 179 327 were still pending as of 31 March 2021. These claims emanate from previous financial years, as well as the current financial year,’ said the SAPS in the annual report tabled in Parliament. The police said they had developed measures to cut down on the claims. Part of the measures would be to get the police to change their behavior and avoid unlawful actions.

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