Cape Town - Of the 58 496 police applications received for the next semester of basic training, 1 500 have been selected and sent to the grooming camp.
The recruits will be subject to a far more stringent selection process where their names will be published in newspapers for “everyone to see and have a say”. Additionally, successful candidates will also be “presented to the community in the form of a parade, before reporting to the SAPS Training Academies”.
National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega stated that there had been officers serving who have had criminal records..
“This is all to ensure that, never, never and never again, shall any person enter the SAPS while having a criminal record.”
According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), crime in the police force is rife.
Most recently, three incidents of rape appeared in statements on their website, including a sergeant arrested for “rape and corruption” in Polokwane in February, a constable who allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman along with a civilian in Vosloorus, and last week an officer was arrested after allegedly having raped two 14-year-olds.
A report set to be released by Ipid next month will detail convictions with regards to rape cases involving police officers.
In Ipid’s first annual report on crimes committed by police, which looked at the 2012/13 financial year, the Western Cape had the highest number of rapes by police officers.
The report detailed a “disturbing trend with regard to cases of rape by police officers”, with 146 cases of rape in South Africa, including 37 in the Western Cape. And by March last year none had resulted in convictions.
Of 13 disciplinary convictions, seven in the Western Cape, most police charged with rape were dismissed from service, one received a written warning and one was suspended for six months.
Three were acquitted in disciplinary hearings and one was acquitted in a criminal case.
Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said there were a number of reasons that convictions might not appear on Ipid’s last report. For example, he said, 68 rape charges were on court rolls at the end of March last year.