Police: service will no longer be reduced by 9 000 officers, MPs told

2012-06-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The SA Police Service (SAPS) has made an about-turn and will no longer reduce the number of its officers by 9 000, Parliament heard yesterday.

Jennifer Irish-Qhobosheane, secretary in the police ministry, said the announcement followed a meeting between the national Treasury, the SAPS and police minister Nathi Mthethwa.

She said the SAPS would keep its required staff count of 197 000 members, and that an agreement had been reached with the Treasury to ensure funds were available for forensic staff.

Democratic Alliance MP ­Dianne Kohler Barnard said the top management of the police last month told the police portfolio committee in no uncertain terms that the last intake for new recruits would be in January 2013.

Kohler Barnard said the portfolio committee was told posts would be frozen until the normal flow of pensions and resignations had reduced the service by 9 000 members.

“Now you are saying this is not true?”

Annelize van Wyk, ANC MP and acting chair of the committee, said the Treasury had never told the committee to reduce the number of police officers.

It had instructed the department to save money and the police had decided to look elsewhere to save money.

Irish-Qhobosheane said no lies had been told and that the about- turn had happened after the the portfolio committee had its initial discussion on the matter.

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