Applicants unhappy with SAPS recruitment

2017-12-20 06:00

POTENTIAL candidates for posts within the SAPS, specifically under the Pietermaritzburg cluster, have written a letter complaining about the allegedly unfair recruitment process and employment of candidates into the police force.

The letter is addressed to the Minister of Police who is asked to provide answers on how the SAPS database of potential candidates works.

“Is it [database] not supposed to start with those on the list who passed the previous assessments before recruiting new candidates?” the letter asks.

In the letter the aggrieved claim to have applied to the SAPS several times over the years, and after being tested and assessed, they were “dropped at almost the last step without being informed where we went wrong”.

The complainants say what is confusing is that they are overlooked and first-time applicants get the nod.

“We are even called ‘regulars’ [by assessors in the force] because for every assessment we are always there, and pass the required assessments,” the letter reads.

The group believes nepotism and bribery for jobs could be the reason they are not called to serve in the SAPS.

They say when they ask why they were not employed the response is always “no one failed, it is the provincial office that makes selections”.

The disgruntled candidates ask that their previous applications from three years back be reviewed and compared to those who were recruited on their first application.

“We want to be convinced they are the best among us. We believe something is not right, there is no transparency in this, and lastly, we need the recruiting process to be conducted at national level as we feel that officials are biased at cluster offices,” the letter reads.

An unhappy applicant, Thulani Memela from Ashdown, said he’s been through this until he reached the age limit for recruitment, which is 30.

Memela turned 30 last year, but had applied before and had undergone psychometric and physical fitness testing and was told to prepare to go to the SAPS training college.

“But I was called in for a second physical fitness test and when I questioned why because I had passed the first one, I was told it was because of my age,” Memela said.

He said he was then told, allegedly off the record, by an official in the SAPS HR, that someone else had been promised his position.

Memela said eventually he was not called up for a job which prompted him to email the then cluster commander with his complaint. However, a response was not forthcoming.

Another candidate, who asked to remain anonymous as they have reapplied, said they have been applying since 2009 and with each assessment they successfully complete, they are not employed.

“In one instance I heard those who were called up had paid bribes.”

The candidate, who claims to be one of the authors of the letter, says they have applied at Pietermaritzburg SAPS in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street and the Prestbury, Plessislaer, and Mountain Rise SAPS.

Another disgruntled candidate from Edendale, who also asked for anonymity, and said to be one of the letter’s authors, said he believes the issue has to do with nepotism.

KZN SAPS spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala said recruitment in the force is in accordance with Employment Regulations and SAPS Recruitment Strategy.

“The requirements are that the person must between 18 and under 30 years of age, have a driver’s licence, matric, no tattoos, no criminal record and no pending case against him or her.”

She said applicants are subjected to psychometric testing, physical fitness testing, their fingerprints are taken, and interviews and medical assessments are done.

Gwala said this process is conducted by personnel management, HR and the provincial recruitment office.

“There is also a provincial recruitment board panel where the CPF sits on this board when considerations for applicants that were interviewed by clusters to head office are made,” she said.

She said applicants are selected based on their performances in interviews, and their qualifications and other employment legislation are considered.

“With regards to the number of posts allocated to a specific station, there will also be back-ups in case one falls away during the final process, which is the medical assessment,” Gwala said.

She said the SAPS at provincial level is unaware of any nepotism when it comes to recruiting new personnel and advised applicants and the public to report such to a police station’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate or any other law enforcement agency.

“These posts are advertised in various forms and we keep a database, but we call upon everyone to reapply afresh in order to capture their applications.

“We do not automatically use the database as stated [to give preference to those in the database], instead we allow everyone who applied to be considered if their applications conform to the requirements.

“It must be emphasised that the database­ is not the source to accept applications, but various forms of an advert,” Gwala said.

She says SAPS recruitment is currently under way and no one has been employed because medical assessments are still being conducted to determine applicants to be considered for training.

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