No new SAPS members trained in last two years - Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that COVID-19 had affected the training of SAPS officers in the last two years.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele releases the first quarter crime statistics for 2020/2021 at a media briefing on 14 August 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele said that COVID-19 had affected the training of SAPS officers in the last two years.

Cele was addressing delegates at Popcru's central executive gathering in Boksburg on Thursday.

He said that more officers should specialise in various fields within the SAPS and that younger officers needed to be trained.

"We can't have an organisation that doesn't have new blood. In 2020, we were supposed to train about 7,000 new members. We trained zero. This year, we are training zero," the minister revealed.

Cele has also encouraged more officers to get vaccinated.

DEALING WITH GBV

The police minister also revealed that officers were dealing with gender-based violence (GBV) within their own ranks while trying to stop the scourge in communities around the country.

He said that he was concerned by the growing number of gender-based violence incidents involving police officers.

"If there is one thing that is gripping in the police service, it's the gender-based violence of the members of the South African Police Service."

Cele has called on officers to stop turning away victims of GBV when they report domestic violence.

"She comes for the first time to report, she comes for the second time and you chase her away to go and negotiate. She doesn't come for the third time. You know why she doesn't come for the third time? She's dead."

He said that it was important for police officers to fight gender-based violence internally and externally.

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