Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele on Monday urged South Africans to make use of the 24-hour toll-free number of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to report police misconduct.
“This is a hotline number that empowers the communities like never before to be able at any given time to reach the ear of Ipid. Through this number, citizens will have direct access to the directorate that ensures accountability in the police service,” Cele said.
He made the statement at the media launch of the Ipid’s toll-free number 0800 111 696.
Ipid head Jennifer Ntlatseng said the toll-free hotline service was user-friendly.
“All the public does is to call the number and a complaint receptionist will take down the complaint,” Ntlatseng said.
Ntlatseng said the receptionist would register the call and give the complainant a reference number. Once a complaint was registered, it would be allocated to an investigator.
She said complaints to be reported included police misconduct, deaths in police custody, pointing of firearm, rape, torture and assault, corruption and police involvement in drugs.
“It is important that we start arresting officers who are on the payroll of drug lords,” Ntlatseng said.
“We want people to tell which officers are involved in domestic violence,” she added.
Ntlatseng said Ipid would make sure that it provided quality service.
“We will make sure that there is service delivery.”
She said they encouraged whistle-blowing by the public.
“It is important that people start talking to us as a directorate. It is better for justice and recourse to our own people,” Ntlatseng said.
The Ipid head said the directorate anticipated numerous police misconduct matters to be reported after the announcement.
“We are ready. We are saying to the public, any case that relates to police misconduct, we are willing to deal with it,” Ntlatseng said.
Cele said he believed the launch of the toll-free hotline would bring the directorate one step closer to better positioning itself as an effective and impartial oversight body of the police.
“It is a bold move to better serve the people of this country,” he said.
“With the launch of the hotline, communities will have better access to justice and recourse,” Cele added.
He said he was pleased to see that Ipid continued to refine and improve its work under its new management.
Recalling Ntlaseng’s appointment three months ago, Cele said: “I expressed confidence in Ms Ntlatseng to steer the ship in the right direction and bring the much-needed stability to this organisation.”