Other institutions where complaints against the police can be lodged


Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)

Who is the IPID?

The IPID was established in 2012 to replace the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). The IPID is an organisation that works independently of the South African Police Services and Metro Police Department to promote proper police conduct and to conduct effective, independent and impartial investigations into allegations of police criminality.

What is the difference between the Ombudsman and the IPID?

The Ombudsman seeks to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the police services and to improve relations between the police and the communities by investigating complaints of police inefficiency and/or a breakdown of relations between the police and any community. The IPID investigates allegations of police criminality.

What kind of complaints can the IPID receive?

The IPID can receive complaints about the most serious cases of police misconduct and criminality. This includes:

  • any deaths in police custody;

  • deaths because of police actions;

  • any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any officer;

  • rape of any person while that person is in police custody; and

  • any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of his or her duties.

Who can make a complaint to the IPID?

Any person, either as a victim, witness or representative, can make a complaint directly to the IPID. Non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations can also lodge complaints with the IPID.

E-mail: WesternCape@ipid.gov.za

Tel: 021 941 4800

Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP)

Who is the Civilian Secretariat of Police?

Every province has a Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP).

The secretariats are responsible for providing oversight over the SAPS and support to the Minister of Police.

What type of complaints can the Civilian Secretariat of Police receive?

The Western Cape Civilian Secretariat of Police is located in the Western Cape Department of Community Safety can receive complaints about: police service delivery, which includes complaints about police failing to provide feedback on a case; police non-compliance with the requirements of the Domestic Violence Act; or inappropriate conduct.

Website: www.policesecretariat.gov.za

Tel: 012 393 2500/2/3

Fax: 012 393 2536/8

Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DOCS)

The Western Cape Department of Community Safety has a Policing Complaints Unit. The unit deals with service delivery complaints lodged by members of the public against policing agency members, such as the SAPS and the CTMPD officers.

E-mail: Policing.Complaints@westerncape.gov.za

Tel: 021 483 4332

Address: 35 Wale Street, 2nd Floor, Cape Town

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

Who is the SAHRC?

The SAHRC was established in 1995 to support South African democracy by promoting respect for, observance of, and protection of human rights of every person and community in South Africa. The SAHRC has the power to monitor and assess the observance of human rights, including in relation to the SAPS and the MPD, and can investigate, report, and take appropriate action where human rights have been violated.

What kind of complaints can the SAHRC receive?

Complaints about police violations of human rights can be made the SAHRC. Complaints can be made on issues such as discrimination by the police on any grounds (including race, gender, social status and nationality), or conduct of the police that is against the law or discriminatory and has an impact on the human rights that are protected by the South African Constitution. Key protected rights include:

  • Equality: Everyone has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law, and the SAPS and the MPD are not permitted to discriminate against a person on any grounds or for any reason, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnicity or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language or birth.

  • Human dignity: To be treated in a dignified manner, including by the SAPS and the MPD.

  • Life: Not to be unlawfully deprived of life. Unlawful police conduct (such as an unlawful police shooting or the unlawful death of a person in custody) that results in a death, may be a violation of the right to life. However, the IPID has the power to investigate deaths because of police contact, and complaints about violations of the right to life should be made to the IPID in the first instance.

  • Freedom and security of the person: The right not to be arrested or detained for a reason that is unlawful or discriminatory, and the right to be free from police violence, detention without trial, torture, or punishment by the police that is cruel, inhuman or degrading.

  • Privacy: The police must have a lawful reason for searching a home or property, seizing property, or infringing on the privacy of a person’s communications.

  • Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: Everyone has the right to peaceful and unarmed assembly, demonstration, picketing and petitioning, and there are restrictions on the use of force by the SAPS and the MPD against peaceful and unarmed demonstrators.

Website: www.sahrc.org.za

Email: ssalie@sahrc.org.za (Shafeeqah Salie, Intake Officer)

Tel: 021 426 2277

Fax: 021 426 2875

Address: 7th Floor ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town

Public Service Commission (PSC)

Who is the PSC?

The PSC was established in 1996 to investigate and monitor all public services, including the SAPS and the MPD, for corruption. The PSC has an obligation to promote measures that would ensure effective and efficient performance within the public service, and to promote values and principles of public administration as set out in the Constitution, throughout the public service.

What type of complaints can the PSC receive?

Complaints about police corruption can be made to the PSC.

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct whereby the police ask for, or receive, a gift or favour (usually known as a ‘bribe’) for any number of reasons associated with their special position of power and influence. This can include activities such as acting in relation to an investigation or arrest (or agreeing not to act in relation to a criminal offence), releasing a person from custody, adding or planting evidence on an accused person, or protecting illegal business or activities.

Website: www.psc.gov.za

Anti-corruption hotline: 0800 701 701

Public Protector

The Public Protector is an independent Chapter 9 institution.

The mandate of the Public Protector is to support and strengthen constitutional democracy in South Africa. The Public Protector has the power to receive complaints, to investigate, report and remedy improper conduct in state affairs.

E-mail: suneg@pprotect.org

Tel: 021 423 8644

Fax: 021 423 8708

Address: 4th Floor, 51 Wale Street, Cape Town