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67 police officers died by suicide in two years, says Bheki Cele

Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Armand Hough /African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Mar 25, 2022


Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele says the department is putting intervention measures in place to deal with the scourge of officers who die by suicide.

Cele said this after he disclosed in Parliament that 30 police officers had died by suicide between April 2020 and March 2021. Another 37 officers killed themselves between April 2021 and January 2022.

Cele said in its analysis, the police ministry had found that there were various factors driving the suicides, including relationship challenges, depression, financial difficulties and poor coping skills.

However, their wellness programme was in place to help officers facing challenges and he said the services were highly confidential.

Cele said the number of officers who have killed themselves in the last two years was high.

“A total number of 30 individual cases of SAPS members, who committed (died by) suicide, was registered from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021,” he said.

The number increased in the next financial year.

“A total number of 37 individual cases of SAPS members, who commited (died by) suicide, was registered from 1 April 2021 to 31 January 2022,” said Cele.

He said the employee health and wellness programme involved a number of professionals to help officers with their family members.

“Employee health and wellness services are offered by registered professionals which include psychologists, social workers, chaplains and occupational health nurses. These services are highly confidential and voluntary,” said Cele.

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Political Bureau