Spotlight on South Africa’s police brutality problem

Despite the police minister’s claims to the contrary, police use of excessive force is a major challenge.

Allegations of police brutality have risen since the early stages of lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recorded 376 cases and 10 deaths linked to lockdown enforcement. But in early June, Police Minister Bheki Cele denied that there is police brutality in South Africa. He made the claim while referring to the killing of George Floyd by police in the United States.

This seminar will present preliminary results of an investigation into some of the more than 40 000 cases lodged with IPID since 2012/13, and what this shows about police use of force in South Africa.

Chair: Lauren Tracey-Temba, Research Consultant, ISS


Daneel Knoetze, Editor, Viewfinder accountability journalism project

Wayne Ncube, Head, Strategic Litigation Programme and Acting Deputy Director, Lawyers for Human Rights

Development partners
This event is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Open Society Foundation – South Africa. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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