By Mhlaba Memela

DESPITE an increase in the number of suspects dying at the hands of the cops, the Independent Complaints Directorate has denounced the linking of “shoot to kill” to a report that police are allowed by the law to use deadly force.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the quasi government body did not support the “shoot to kill” notion, though alluding that such actions were justified in law.

He said the ICD had not released any new statistics or report since last year when it tabled its 2008-09 report in Parliament.

He said the figures circulating in the media were presented to a workshop by the centre for the study of violence and reconciliation .

“These figures had been public knowledge since 2009,” Dlamini said.

“A proper reading of the said report does not establish any link between the increase in deaths due to police action or statements made by any politician.”

Dlamini said such a link was not supported by facts.

“An analysis of the ICD’s annual report for 2008-09 will indicate that some shootings by the police take place during confrontations with armed suspects who would not hesitate to shoot at the police,” Dlamini said.

He said the police watchdog took its mandate to investigate police criminality seriously and had had numerous successes in ensuring that those who do not belong in the police service were sentenced to prison terms.

Dlamini said when ICD investigate police actions a number of things are considered.

“Cases are deferred because sometimes there are no witnesses. But our process has to go via to the ballistic labs before the case is completed.”

Dlamini said the next release of the annual report for 2009-10 is expected in September .

In Sowetan.