A Corruption Watch report released on Tuesday shows that the watchdog received more complaints about police than any other government services entity during the first half of 2020.

The report, titled Analysis of Corruption Trends, takes into account nearly 2 000 whistle-blower accounts from January to June this year.

More than half of the complaints were submitted after the national state of disaster was declared in March.

According to the report, 13% of the allegations related to the SAPS. That figure is up from 9.2% or the same period last year.

Municipalities, schools and traffic and licensing centres all share the second place spot, each making up 5% of the complaints respectively.

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The health department holds third position with 4%  of complaints submitted against the government unit.

Together, these entities make up about a third of all complaints received by Corruption Watch during the half-year reporting period.

The most trending forms of corruption noted are with regards to maladministration, misappropriation of resources and procurement irregularities.

The report states: “Whistle-blowers express their despondency and consternation with the police service in an assortment of allegations, which principally highlight the brutality, inconsiderateness and inhumanness toward the public, and lack of regard for law and order that officials and officers display.”

Of the matters reported against the police, bribery accounts for 31%

“These demands for bribes are to allow alleged criminals, generally drug dealers, to operate with impunity or to ‘make dockets disappear’.”

The report continues: “Small businesses, mostly informal traders, have their goods confiscated only to have them returned should the owners be willing to pay whatever amount of money is asked for.”

This was especially prevalent during the stricter lockdown levels.

Senior police officials, including Minister Bheki Cele, have maintained that the force always seeks to root out corrupt elements within its ranks and that harsh action is taken against those found to be on the wrong side of the law.

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