Cele under pressure over school security, police numbers

Equal Education has welcomed the police’s decision to withdraw its initial application to appeal a court ruling over police resource allocation in the Western Cape.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Lobby group Equal Education says it will press upon the South African Police Service (SAPS) to focus its resources around schools that need it the most.

The group has welcomed the police’s decision to withdraw its initial application to appeal an Equality Court ruling over police resource allocation in the Western Cape.

The court ruled the allocation of police resources in the province unfairly discriminated against black and poor people.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has agreed with the judgment, adding it’s not only a Western Cape issue but a national one.

Equal Education was one of the applicants in the court case and its general secretary Noncedo Madubedube says the SAPS’ decision not to appeal has bolstered the group’s aims towards improving school safety.

“In light of the demands of young people feeling unsafe at schools and communities, we’re able to directly influence SAPS and say that they’re meant to have a number of people working in a certain district due to the nature of the district.”

At the same time, the Public Service Association (PSA) has called on Cele to make good on his promise to increase the number of police officers and improve the training of new recruits ahead of National Police Day on Sunday.

The PSA says the shortage of officers in the country is unacceptable and is not meeting the United Nations norm of policing of one police officer to 220 citizens.

The association says there is a shortage of nearly 60,000 officers and has questioned how the police can do their jobs effectively under such circumstances.

Deputy general of the PSA Tahir Maepa says: “Our police are outnumbered and outgunned. They don’t get sufficient support from seniors in the police. This is as some senior officials are involved in everything else but policing, like corruption and maladministration.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)