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Nearly 1,500 South African police found to have criminal records

A two-year audit of South African Police Service's 157,500 members showed that 1,448 of them had been convicted of crimes.

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A member of the South African Police Services (SAPS) takes cover behind a wall from rocks being thrown by protesters during a farm worker strike on January 14, 2012 in Villiersdorp, a small farming town about 100 km borth of Cape Town, South Africa. A new report has found that nearly 1,500 South African police officers have criminal records. (RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

A two-year audit of the South African Police Service's 157,500 members showed that 1,448 of them had been convicted of crimes.

The audit, released Sunday, precedes a review of the offenses to be published in October.

Upon the release of the report, the opposition Democratic Alliance Party said that all police officers with criminal records should be dismissed immediately.

"All members of the [police service], including those within its leadership, should be professional police officers who protect South Africans from criminals, they should not and cannot be criminals themselves," the party's deputy police minister Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

More from GlobalPost: South Africa: Police filmed taking bribes, performing sexual act

South African security forces have faced numerous allegations of corruption and brutality in recent years.

In 2010, a police chief was found to be taking bribes from a drug dealer.

Meanwhile nine policemen are currently awaiting trial on murder charges after a video surfaced showing them tying a migrant to a van and dragging him through the streets.

And in May, a policeman was caught on tape pimping a policewoman to a man in a mall parking lot.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that the national police commissioner needed to decide what action should be taken after the current audit.

"This is a legal process where everyone will be given an opportunity to state his or her side of the story. That said, our resolve to root out any unwanted elements within the police will never be deterred by anything, no matter how long and what it takes," Mthethwa said in a statement.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/130729/south-african-police-nearly-1500-found-have-crimina