SAPS must win back public's trust, says MP

Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee has commended the SAPS for being honest about its problems.

Parliament’s committee on police has commended the Saps for being honest about its hitches.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee on Monday said the fact that the Police Department decided to make public the findings of an audit, which has revealed more than 1,000 officers have criminal records, shows the South African Police Service (SAPS) is being honest about its problems.

The internal audit shows 1,448 police staff have criminal records varying from rape to attempted murder.

The committee said officers found guilty in a court of law should be fired.

It has called on SAPS management to act speedily and decisively against those individuals.

Committee Chairperson Annelize van Wyk urged the police to assure the public such an audit was never again needed.

"Currently it's a prerequisite that you may not have a criminal record in order to be a member of the SAPS."

She said the audit should serve as an indication to the public that the police and Minister Nathi Mthethwa were trying to do the right thing.

"We're trying to identify those police officers who are guilty. The public's trust will depend on what further steps the management takes in regard to these police officers."

In recent weeks at three SAPS members have been arrested in the Western Cape and other areas on rape charges.