“The Western Cape Police Ombudsman will be investigating allegations that the South African Police Service in the Western Cape province, specifically the members of the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU), are abusing their powers when exercising their functions and performing their duties,” said ombudsman spokesperson Deidré Foster.
The investigation came after Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz received several complaints from the public, Foster said.
“The nature of complaints relates to searches of wrong addresses, harassment of innocent members of communities, unacceptable behaviour, especially towards juveniles in public spaces and abuse of power by members of the AGU,” said Foster.
The public has been urged to provide comment and share their experiences with the ombudsman’s office.
Written comments must be submitted by 30 October and can be delivered, marked for the attention of Mr JJ Brand, to the 6th Floor of the NBS Waldorf Building at 80 Burg Street, Cape Town, 8001. They can also be posted to Private Bag X9043, Cape Town 8000, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 021 483 0660.
Ombudsman Johan Brand said: “It is important that our office acknowledges the work of the members performing duties at the AGU, as well as the meaningful impact which it is supposed to have in our province on the gang phenomenon, however we need to additionally ensure that rogue individuals in [the police] are addressed, particularly those who do not act within the ambits of the law.”