21/12/2018. SAPS passing out parades for SAPS trainees who have successfully complited the Basic Police Development Learning Programme at Tshwane Police Academy in Pretoria West. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - The South African Police Service (SAPS) this week held three passing-out parades for 3701 newly trained police officers at its Tshwane Training Academy in Gauteng, the Bisho Academy in the Eastern Cape, and the Oudtshoorn Academy in the Western Cape.

Of all the cadets, 2370 are male while 1331 are women. A total of 2445 newly trained police officers graduated from the Pretoria-based academy, while 825 graduated from the Bisho Academy, and 431 graduated from the Oudtshoorn Academy.

The SAPS said the 3701 new officers were "a force multiplier", as they were being deployed across the country in time for the busy festive season.

“You will join the other SAPS members to ensure that South Africa enjoys a safe and peaceful festive season. Always remember to be vigilant and abide by the basic safety rules and regulations, as your safety is of the utmost importance," SAPS national commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla Sitole said.

"Thank you in advance for the selfless service you are going to render to the communities and for sacrificing family time to make South Africa safe," he said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele encouraged the new recruits to be upstanding officers in their communities and continue to fight against gender-based violence.

“You must know your ministerial six point plan on how you should respond to women and children in distress. While I’m confident that the young ladies will play their role in eradicating this scourge, I want to make a special call to the young male officers who are passing-out today. Please assist our young ladies and form a brand new battalion of vicious watchdogs whose responsibility is to rid the community of [violent elements] and protect our women and children against these monsters," said Cele.

"Police stations must be places of haven for the abused, and not be places where our people in fact fear being further victimised by those who should protect them,” he said.

The next intake of SAPS recruits are to commence their training around February/March. The SAPS said competent candidates had undergone "a strict selection process" which consisted of psychometric, physical, integrity, and medical assessments. Successful candidates would be notified telephonically in due course.

African News Agency (ANA)