MPs grill SAPS top brass over budget priorities, living conditions of recruits

It was also newly-appointed National Police Commissioner Sehlahle Masemola’s first appearance before MPs since he was tapped for the job.

National Police Commissioner General Sehlale Fannie Masemola. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s police committee has grilled SAPS bosses about budget priorities as well poor living conditions of new recruits.

It was also newly-appointed National Police Commissioner Sehlahle Masemola’s first appearance before MPs since he was tapped for the job.

Masemola was joined by Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya at Wednesday's briefing.

Committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson bemoaned the fact that the budget for programmes like visible policing had been cut.

She said that the police service faced other challenges like the massive DNA backlog and weaknesses in crime intelligence and the Hawks.

"This committee has to look at the reduction in visible policing when in fact the country needs to have more visible policing," Joemat-Pettersson said.

Committee member Ockert Tereblanche also highlighted the issue of new recruits, who he said were struggling.

"One in the Northern Cape, apparently they get Weet-Bix without milk and sugar for breakfast and there's no medical facilities. It is just an appalling condition," Tereblanche said.

Police Commissioner Masemola said that the issue of living conditions had been "keeping them awake" and was receiving attention.