No doubt, crime is rife in South Africa. Whenever a story is reported in the news, a SAPS spokesperson puts out a call for the public to help identify‚ locate and catch the suspects.
However, they do not provide details on the country’s most violent criminals.
Rather, the South African Police Service has listed 100 wanted persons, many of them without a first or last name. You can see the list here.
But then Times LIVE came along:
A search of the police website reveals that there are just under 100 people who are wanted for various crimes across South Africa. These crimes range from fraud to bribery‚ possession of stolen property and murder. It is‚ however‚ also not known how up to date the list is‚ or whether any of those on the list have been arrested‚ with nearly half of those mentioned‚ listed with unknown identities. The list also has poor identikit sketches and low quality photographs.
Last year, Times LIVE also searched through Interpol’s most wanted list and established that “SA police are searching for one South African internationally”, and that there are “six South African citizens wanted by other countries”.
But it is uncertain how updated the information on Interpol’s website is.
Then, attempts to establish from the different provincial police headquarters who the most wanted criminals were in each province also failed:
Limpopo‚ North West and KwaZulu-Natal police said they would refer queries about the province’s most wanted criminals to their media departments‚ but by publication no information had been provided.
Gauteng provincial police were only able to provide one photograph‚ and information about the crimes the suspect allegedly committed.
The Western Cape‚ Eastern Cape‚ Northern Cape‚ Mpumalanga and Free State police officials failed to respond to queries.
However, Dr Johan Burger‚ of the Institute for Security Studies’ Crime and Justice Programme‚ said the police definitely knew who their most wanted criminals were:
“They know who they are looking for. I think we should rather ask why the police don’t want to give out that information.
“The police can definitely not afford to create the perception that they don’t have access to that information.”
A Unisa criminologist‚ Professor Rudolph Zinn‚ said he could not think of a reason why the police would not want to share such information:
“Worldwide the basis of successful policing is based on the relationship between the police and the community. The police will be able to get information about wanted suspects if the community knows who they are looking for.”
I wonder if community justice has anything to do with it?
Anyway, we promised you a list of the 100 most wanted criminals in the country, so here is the SAPS page with all of those details.
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