Vital Concourt judgment on warrantless searches

Case arises out of “degrading and invasive” raids on “poor and vulnerable” communities in downtown Johannesburg By Tania Broughton The Constitutional Court has struck down a section of the police act which allows for warrantless searches in cordoned off areas. The case arises after police conducted “cruel, degrading and invasive” raids on people living in 15 high-rise blocks in downtown Johannesburg. ...

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Police negligence case before Constitutional Court

Rape survivor argues police did not investigate properly By Tania Broughton On Tuesday the Constitutional Court will hear the case of Ms K, who was repeatedly raped in Port Elizabeth in 2010. She argues that the police failed to act fast enough or to investigate her case properly. She won damages in the Port Elizabeth High Court but the Supreme Court...

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New police bill fails to address chilling effect on freedom of assembly

Laws criminalising conduct connected with gatherings do not align with the Constitution By Catherine Kruyer The South African Police Service Amendment Bill, prepared by the Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service and recently published for public comment, is a comprehensive revision of the legislation governing policing in South Africa to align it with the Constitution. The legislation being amended includes the Regulation of Gatherings Act...

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Police are not being held accountable for child killings, watchdog records reveal

39 children died at the hands of police or in custody between April 2012 and March 2018 By Daneel Knoetze 39 children died at the hands of police or in custody between April 2012 and March 2018. Almost none of these cases have resulted in convictions. Can IPID, the police watchdog, overcome years of cover-up and dysfunction? Few criminal cases against the...

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Concourt rules apartheid intimidation legislation unconstitutional

1982 law criminalised free speech By Zoë Postman In a unanimous judgment, read by Justice Leona Theron on Tuesday, the Constitutional Court declared Section 1(1)(b) of the Intimidation Act of 1982 unconstitutional and invalid because it unjustifiably limited the right to freedom of expression. The section of the Act states that persons will be guilty of an offence if they act in a...

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IPID scrambles to contain fall-out ahead of Parliament appearance

Watchdog to present annual report on Thursday following findings of statistical manipulation  By Daneel Knoetze The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) presents its annual report to Parliament on Thursday. The meeting will be overshadowed by revelations that IPID has a long track record of closing and completing cases prematurely to clear cases from the workload and inflate performance statistics. This week, following an exposé by...

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Concourt orders Minister of Police to pay R300,000 for wrongful arrest

Judges reaffirm right of accused to be brought to court within 48 hours By Ciaran Ryan The Constitutional Court, in August, ordered the Minister of Police to pay R300,000 plus interest for the wrongful arrest in 2012 of Bryan de Klerk after a charge of assault was lodged against him by an employee, Rael Lasarow. This judgment provides police and magistrates with greater clarity over...

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Sex workers speak of rape, corruption and harassment by police

Human Rights Watch calls for decriminalisation  By Zoë Postman “Two years ago a policeman arrested me. He was alone and took me somewhere in the town in his car and then told me to give him free services and so I did,” a sex worker from Tzaneen, Limpopo, is quoted as saying in a new report. She was one of 46 female sex...

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SAPS appeals police resources judgment

Social Justice Coalition says appeal will hurt vulnerable communities By Lucas Nowicki The South African Police Service (SAPS) has applied for leave to appeal the Equality Court judgement that declared police resource allocation in the Western Cape discriminatory on the basis of race and poverty. The case was brought by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Equal Education, the Women’s Legal Centre Trust and the...

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Court rules that allocation of police in Western Cape is discriminatory

Victory for Social Justice Coalition may result in poorer areas getting more officers By Thembela Ntongana and GroundUp Staff Judge MJ Dolamo of the Cape High Court (sitting as the Equality Court) has declared that the allocation of police resources in the Western Cape unfairly discriminates on the basis of race and poverty. The ruling came on Friday morning, and is a victory for...

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