The 2016/17 Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Annual Report has revealed that irregular expenditure at the department has piled up to as much as R21.5 million last year.
This regression of its financial management, owing to a politically-driven period of organisational destabilisation under former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, is now impacting on its ability to carry out its mandate of conducting independent and impartial investigations of crime committed by SAPS and Municipal Police Service (MPS) members.
This highly irregular expenditure represents a mind-boggling 739.5% increase from the previous year.
The R21.5 million is made up of R12.7 million from 2015 and R6.3 million from last year, all of which is yet to be approved.
Six months ago, IPID were forced to ask for a further R5 million from Parliament to make it possible for it to finish their investigations into the Marikana massacre.
Then two months ago it was reported that IPID was not able to finish one of the Farlam Commission into the massacre of the 44 Marikana miners recommendations because of this lack of finances.
IPID are meant to be the watchdog over those entrusted with our safety and security and were compromised in their ability to do so thanks to a Minister at the time who actively worked against its effectiveness and an unfit-for-purpose leadership that seemed intent on hollowing out its capacity.
The people of South Africa need to urgently be reassured that their safety is not being risked by IPID’s inability to keep its financial affairs in order and the department must implement an urgent recovery plan.