Lodging a Complaint
The mandate of the IPID is to conduct independent and impartial investigations of specified criminality committed by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Municipal Police Services (MPS).
What the New legislation (IPID Act) entails?
This mandate has been expanded and focused by the new Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) legislation which was signed into law by President Zuma on 12 May 2011. IPID Act is operational from 01 April 2012. This means that the IPID will investigate only the matters specified in the IPID Act.
TYPES OF MATTERS THAT MUST BE INVESTIGATED
- The IPID must investigate the following (specified) matters:
- any deaths in police custody;
- deaths as a result of police actions;
- any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer;
- rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty;
- rape of any person while that person is in police custody;
- any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of his or her duties;
- may investigate corruption matters within the police initiated by the Executive Director on his or her own, or after the receipt of a complaint from a member of the public, or referred to the Directorate by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary of Police, as the case may be; and
- any other matter referred to it as a result of a decision by the Executive Director, or if so requested by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary of Police as the case may be.
THE POLICE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO REPORT
The Station Commissioner, or any member of the SAPS or MPS must:
- immediately after becoming aware, notify the Directorate of any matters that must be investigated by the Directorate; and
- within 24 hours thereafter, submit a written report to the Directorate in the prescribed form and manner of any such matter.
THE POLICE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ACT OR RESPOND TO RECOMMENDATIONS
An obligation to act on or respond to the IPID’s disciplinary recommendations is put on the National Commissioner in that he must:
- within 30 days of receipt thereof, initiate disciplinary proceedings in terms of the recommendations made by the Directorate and inform the Minister in writing, and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary of Police;
- quarterly submit a written report to the Minister on the progress regarding disciplinary matters made in terms of paragraph (a) and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary of Police; and
- immediately on finalisation of any disciplinary matter referred to it by the Directorate, to inform the Minister in writing of the outcome thereof and provide a copy thereof to the Executive Director and the Secretary of Police.
THE POLICE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO COOPERATE WITH THE IPID
- The members of the SAPS or MPS must provide their full cooperation to the Directorate, including but not limited to -
- the arrangement of an identification parade within 48 hours of the request made by the Directorate;
- the availability of members for the taking of an affidavit or an affirmed declaration or to give evidence or produce any document in that member’s possession or under his or her control which has a bearing on the matter being investigated; and
- any other information or documentation required for investigation purposes.
WHAT SORT OF MATTERS WILL THE IPID NO LONGER DEAL WITH?
- Cases of non-compliance with the Domestic Violence Act by SAPS members
The IPID will no longer be dealing with matters of non-compliance with the DVA by SAPS members. Complaints of non-compliance with this act will be handled by the Secretariat of Police.
- Service delivery complaints against SAPS and MPS members
IPID will not investigate service delivery complaints against SAPS or MPS members in instances such as failure to investigate, failure to assist, failure to give feedback, rudeness and police misconduct. These matters are now dealt with by the police inspectorate in the offices of SAPS Provincial Commissioners.
WHAT THE IPID CANNOT DEAL WITH
The IPID cannot deal with the following:
- Complaints of incidents which occurred before the establishment of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) in April 1997 and those which took place more than a year before they were reported to the IPID, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Complaints against Correctional Services staff, court officials, and members of the South African National Defence Force.
- Matters that have been dealt with or are currently being dealt with by the courts
- Matters that are not criminal in nature, e.g divorce, recovery of money or unlawful arrest etc
WHO MAY LODGE A COMPLAINT?
- Any person, either as a victim, witness or representative.
- Non-governmental and community-based organizations.
HOW CAN I LODGE A COMPLAINT?
A complaint may be lodged in person, by telephone, per letter or e-mail to any IPID office. The complainant must fill in a Complaint Reporting Form (Form 2), which can be obtained from any IPID office. Download "Complaint Reporting Form (Form 2)" here.