This is a snippet of a note which I sent to police today, which raises an important issue. For safety's sake, an accused may never, ever see an affidavit. This changes of course once a case is closed. I have been in communication with police over the affidavit (elsewhere on this blog) which serves as a basis for charges against officers -- which must be presented to officers. I expressed my unease like this, to a senior officer:
Thank you. It is my intention if possible to lay criminal charges against officers tomorrow, Friday, in keeping with the affidavit which I sent you. Now in the past, the police have informed me that under no circumstances should an accused see an affidavit, because it is not safe. With regard to the present situation, I have been instructed twice -- by Captain Du Plessis of Central and by Captain Loock of Police Management -- to lay charges at a local charge office. But in this case, my life has been set at risk, and so on.By going to the local charge office, I am probably placing my affidavit in the hands of those who committed the offences. This e-mail serves simply to register both with the police and with my family that this contradicts the usual safety procedures, and could set me at risk. In fact, this is something in general which needs to change. For "common crimes" by offiicers, the police offer no option but the local charge office. Internationally, there has been a move away from this, so that all offences by police are dealt with outside of the police.