The SAPS has a dedicated employee health and wellness (EHW) programme that was mandated to offer support to every member and their immediate families.
“The EHW services are offered by registered professionals, which include psychologists, social workers, chaplains and occupational health nurses.
“These services are highly confidential and voluntary,” Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
Cele was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Mathapelo Siwisa, who asked about the number of officers that have been reported to have allegedly assaulted or killed their intimate partners in the past three years.
Siwisa also asked whether the accused officers were immediately suspended from active duty and whether there were measures in place to curb the trend within the service.
In his response, Cele said 144 officers were alleged to have assaulted their intimate partners in the past three years – twenty seven in 2020–21, 71 in the following year and 46 in 2022–23.
He also said four officers allegedly killed their partners during the same period with at least two implicated in 2020–21, one in 20221–22 and one in 2022–23.
“Although four members were suspended, all members were subjected to disciplinary proceedings,” Cele said.
He said the EHW facilities were available to SAPS members 24 hours a day and seven days a week throughout the year.
“Programmes that are offered proactively are mental health programmes (bipolar and depression), commanders’ programme suicide interventions, substance abuse, relationship building and others.
“Interventions rendered post exposure to stress and other ills are counselling and psychotherapy for both the members and their immediate families, trauma debriefing after exposure to a traumatic incident, organisational diagnosis, which brings to light factors that may be affecting employees negatively within a specific working environment, and team building.”
Cele said new SAPS recruits were visited regularly at the training academies where they were given the necessary support and proactive interventions were facilitated to build their psychological and mental resilience.
They are offered services such as anger management, emotion regulation, stress management, trauma debriefing, counselling and psychotherapy and mental health programmes.