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SAPS racked up staggering R14b in civil claims in last financial year

The majority of the cases involved unlawful arrests and mistreatment of suspects.

FILE: SAPS new recruits march on parade at the Passing Out ceremony in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The portfolio committee on police has revealed the SAPS racked up a staggering R14 billion in civil claims in the last financial year.

The majority of the cases involved unlawful arrests and mistreatment of suspects.

The South African Human Rights Commission is holding a two-day dialogue on policing and human rights in Johannesburg.

Chair of the portfolio committee on police Francois Beukman says at least 16,000 new civil claims were lodged against the country's men and women in blue in the past financial year.

“A lot of these incidents also relate to the human rights violations, so in terms of the broader picture, there is indeed an increase.”

Regarding the estimated value of claims related to the Marikana massacre, Beukman said: “The estimated value of the litigated claims of the 662 plaintiffs come to an amount of R1,171 billion."

The committee says the recent budget cuts by Treasury will see the SAPS reduce its staff by 3,000 members over the next three years.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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