Cop transferred after shaving incident

2011-02-03 09:34
Johannesburg - The trainer responsible for enforcing the shaving of recruits' heads at the Ulundi Police College has been transferred to an Ulundi police station, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Thursday.

"He has been transferred to an Ulundi police station... he does not work at the college anymore," spokesperson Colonel Vish Naidoo said.

Within three days of the shaving, which happened in January, one of the recruits, Chantal Young, 27, was so severely sunburned, she needed medical attention.

Naidoo said the police force was not allowed to force recruits to shave their heads.

"Policemen must have their hair short, but policewomen are advised to keep their hair short to avoid discomfort. It is their prerogative to keep their hair short."

Young's father Antoon said on Tuesday his daughter sought medical help, but was told that since she was not yet a member of the police's medical aid, she couldn't see a doctor.

FF Plus wants probe

He said he was told all the women who refused to have their heads shaved were punished with physical training.

The other female recruits collected money for Young to see a doctor, Antoon Young said.

Naidoo said Young was not denied medical attention, saying a resident nurse at the college attended to her and then consulted a local doctor in Ulundi.

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said the shaving of female recruits' heads should not be allowed. Recruits had not been provided with hats, which resulted in Young's suffering, he said.

"It is also humiliating and an infringement on their human rights. It appears as if the new military approach in the police is being used as a smokescreen which could lead to malpractices."

He would ask Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to launch an investigation and take action against commanders who encouraged shaving the heads of women recruits.

Naidoo said "departmental investigations" were continuing into the matter.

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