Cape Town: South African President Jacob Zuma has vowed to fight rising corruption among police officers.
"The fact that a number of police officers have been arrested after having been found committing crime is a problem," the president said Monday in an interview with Talk Radio 702, reported Xinhua.
"It is a problem that we are dealing with. I think it is an issue where all of us should participate," Zuma said, adding that police corruption was a challenge facing the country.
He said he had already held talks with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa with regards to finding a permanent solution in dealing with the issue of corruption amongst the police.
"I've discussed the matter with the police minister ... It is a matter that we've got to work on all the time and honest police officers ... must come (forward) to say how ... they are able to detect their fellow police officers who are criminals," said Zuma.
Zuma said the discussion of how to deal with corrupt officers should be extended within government so that a solution can be found.
The President noted the difficulty of identifying "rotten" police officers, which he found to be a big concern as officers were trusted to protect communities.
"It is an unfortunate situation because these are trusted people; they are there to protect the society," he said.
The President said the government was taking corruption seriously and was acting against the matter.
Police corruption has been a major issue for South Africa for years. The government has been taking measures against officials found guilty of corruption, with the guilty in some instances being handed jail terms, as well as making them reimburse the funds acquired in a fraudulent manner.
In South Africa's Gauteng province alone, more than 600 police officers were arrested on corruption charges since April 2011, official figures showed.
Last month, 20 police members in the now disbanded Durban Organized Crime Unit were arrested on corruption charges.
First Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 12:03