South Africa: President Ramaphosa urges new police constables to uphold rule of law

PRETORIA— President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the 10,0000 newly appointed police constables to embrace the test of fighting crime, upholding the law and making South Africa safe and peaceful.

The President made the call on Tuesday during the passing out parade of 2,938 newly trained police officers at the Tshwane SAPS [South African Police Service] Academy.

The group is part of the larger contingent of 10,000 recruits, who recently completed the nine-month Basic Police Development Learning Programme (BPDLP).

“This is a job that demands commitment beyond the call of duty. It is a role that will test your resolve in fighting crime, upholding the law and making South Africa a safe and peaceful country. Safety and security affects so many other areas of life,” the President said.

He said safety and security are necessary for economic growth and social development, for better education and health outcomes, and for social cohesion.

“When crime is high, small businesses cannot thrive because they have to spend more resources on security, and it is difficult to persuade companies to invest here.

“Crime affects the safety, well-being and cohesion of our communities. It affects the delivery of services and the functioning of public institutions.”

He said if the country does not tackle crime, it will not be able to build a better society.

During his State of the Nation Address in February this year, the President committed to recruit and train an additional 12,000 new police personnel.

He hailed Tuesday’s passing out of the cohort as a “milestone”.

The new constables completed the required nine months of intensive training at various police training academies across the country and at SANDF [South African National Defence Force] facilities in the Northern Cape.

This is in addition to the 495 constables who completed the shorter six months programme in September this year.

“We applaud the SAPS for its recruitment strategy, which saw qualified forensic scientists, criminologists and policing science experts joining the service,” said President Ramaphosa.

He said the parade affirmed the trainees were ready to join the SAPS to help eradicate crime, to serve and protect the people of South Africa and make them safe and secure.

“Wear this blue uniform with pride and dignity, abiding by the SAPS Code of Conduct and committed to the service of the people. As you commence with your workplace duties after today, it is important that you remain vigilant, agile and alert at all times.

“Take a firm stance against corruption or unethical conduct, and against any actions that could erode the faith of the nation in our police service,” he said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the pass out was a culmination of a rigorous recruitment drive that began in April.

“This has been a ground-breaking milestone, given that the maximum 10,000 trainees were recruited and trained. Historically, one intake has never in the past exceeded 5,000, as this is what SAPS academies can accommodate.”

Among the graduates, he said, were 195 constables who were based at the Umthata Academy, who came in as graduates in different academic fields such as Forensic Studies, Criminology, Law, and Policing, while the rest came in as Police Reservists.