Police sacrifice quality for quantity - Cele

2010-09-14 15:14
Cape Town - The South African Police Force had sacrificed quality for quantity as its ranks swelled by more than 60 000 officers in the past nine years, National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele told MPs on Tuesday.

Cele said the rush of new recruits, plus the common perception that the police were the last resort for those who failed at everything else, had lowered standards.

"The South African police are recruited from the South African society and community. If we say what is the situation of education in the Republic of South Africa ... You don't get the cream of what you complain about. You get the worst of that.

"We've been a zama zama (try your luck) organisation," he told Parliament's portfolio committee on police during a briefing by top brass on training problems.

"We have not been big on quality, we have been big on quantity. People have been thrown in by chasing quantity rather than quality."

The police's ranks were in the process of growing from 131 560 in 2003 to 195 000, Cele said, adding that he was well aware of poor training and discipline. However, it was hard to reverse because no part of the force could be shut down for an overhaul.

"We are fixing the aeroplane that is in flight. We can't park the SA police."

He said that was his broad response to "philosophic" questions from MPs but vowed that he had tried to resolve individual issues like a lack of fitness and a widespread inability to take statements.

Cele and the head of police training, Major General Stian Nyalungu, came under fire from MPs who had visited training centres and found police nonchalantly slumped over counters in filthy rooms.

Serious deficiencies

ANC MP Anneliese van Wyk told the police delegation she was shocked to find the grounds of the Philippi training centre outside Cape Town littered with empty crisp packets. Instructors shrugged and blamed the wind.

"We were told: 'It's mother nature.' I promise you ... and that was the comment of instructors."

Van Wyk said the police should review their training curriculum and address serious deficiencies, including the fact that while the number of detectives increased dramatically, many of them had never been on a basic detective training course.

Fellow ANC committee member Greg Schneeman said the effect of training police for only six months in recent years, which Cele has doubled, could still be seen everywhere, including at Parliament.

"I have often found police officers fast asleep here at the gates at Parliament. My understanding in the previous defence force if you were caught sleeping it was a court marshallable offence."

Nyalungu said he had not found the same conditions at police training centres as MPs did on visits, perhaps because he had made "the mistake" of announcing his inspections.

Committee chairperson Sindi Chikunga rejected this, saying if MPs were capable of seeing through window dressing, he should be too.

"We pick it up. They are not going to change in the day we are here."

She resolved to recall police management soon to hear how it would turn around the training problems.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Spontaneity and bright ideas are emphasized today but there is a tendency to be too impulsive and you may want to keep a handle on...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.