DA: Police inefficiency is rife

The Democratic Alliance says 25 percent of the country’s police failed their firearms proficiency test.

In 2012 a leaked audit report revealed that at that stage more than 27,000 police officers were not competent to carry firearms.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has raised concern over South Africa's police force claiming that more than 39,000 police officers are not competent in the minimum standards for firearm competency.

The party released a statement on Sunday saying 25 percent of the country's police failed their firearms proficiency test but are being allowed to use guns.

In 2012 a leaked audit report revealed that at that stage more than 27,000 police officers were not competent to carry firearms.

They have called on police minister Nathi Nhleko to step up operations to solve the problem.

The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard says, "This only puts them in danger but it also may result in the harm to members of the public when they perform their duties.

"The DA believes that for the police service to be efficient and effective, the government must ensure that they are well resourced and appropriately trained."

On Saturday it was revealed by police minister Nathi Nhleko following a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA), that out of a total of 516 South African Police Service ( Saps) officers who were found guilty of helping prisoners to escape, only 40 have been dismissed.

The incidents happened between 2010 and 2013.

In addition, of the more than 900 officers who were charged with aiding an escapee in the same period, 98 of the cases were withdrawn.

Barnard says it's an absolutely extraordinary figure.

"It's a complete lack of accountability on the part of our police service for crimes committed by police men and women. It's another example of what's going on in the Saps and it's outrageous."