Some of the new Joburg traffic officers cannot drive, handle their weapons and some even have a phobia for getting on the road to control traffic, according to a JMPD spokesperson.     Matthews Baloyi African News Agency (ANA Archives)
Some of the new Joburg traffic officers cannot drive, handle their weapons and some even have a phobia for getting on the road to control traffic, according to a JMPD spokesperson. Matthews Baloyi African News Agency (ANA Archives)

Newly-graduated metro cops can't drive, handle guns and have phobia for traffic

By Gift Tlou Time of article published Mar 2, 2020

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There are some among a batch of over 1 000 newly-graduated Joburg traffic officers who cannot drive or handle their weapons, while others have a phobia for getting out on the road to control traffic.

The group, who were passed out at a ceremony late last year following 18 months of training, have since been sent back to the Metropolitan Police Academy to rectify their shortcomings.

Their deficiencies were diagnosed after a short stint on Johannesburg’s busy streets.

“I can confirm that they are back at training at the moment to rectify some of the qualities they lack,” said Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Wayne Minnaar, who added that academy officials would determine the length of the training programme this time.

“The academy will assess everyone individually. We have discovered that some trainees were trained to direct traffic, but when they are on the road the person might have a phobia. But, once the assessment is done, we will deal with it accordingly,” he said.

The officers were recruited in 2018 and underwent an 18-month training programme at the academy. The Road Traffic Management Control (RTMC) determines the programme’s standards and assesses the trainees, with the help of the SAPS.

Former public safety MMC Michael Sun, who was present at last year’s passing-out parade as an official, questioned the decision to recall the graduates for training.

“This will put the competency of the training academy under the spotlight. I do not know of any shortcomings that were discovered at a later stage. I was not informed about those issues so I wouldn’t know where they came from, or what caused them. This is news to me. If we are saying all the trainees must return to the academy, then it doesn’t make sense to me,” said Sun.

Public Safety MMC Mally Mokoena, who is believed to have met RTMC officials before the graduates were sent back for training, told The Star: “The mayor has already given an update on that matter. I’m not going to answer anything about this.”

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said his organisation had met academy officials.

He conceded that the academy did not comply with certain standards.

“Truth of the matter is that we found a lot of gaps in the evidence portfolio that we received from the academy, and unfortunately we couldn’t approve of such.”

Zwane said when trainees finished a certain module, an evidence portfolio had to be completed, enabling the RTMC to moderate.

“These portfolios give us a sense of what the (trainee) has learnt from that specific training or chapter.”

Zwane said there was a section where trainees were required to answer questions, to show that they had understood, but such assessments were not completed.

On firearms training, Zwane said: “We were not provided with the register of firearm training, which is one of the failures.”

The Star

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