Bheki Cele says pandemic has hindered police recruitment
Police minister Bheki Cele has declined to say how many police officers are deployed to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, citing "security reasons".
Cele did reveal that the police service was struggling to recruit and fill vacancies because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Members of the SAPS and reservists were and still are deployed for future operations, for policing services and for enforcement of the Covid-19 preventative measures.
"It is preferred the figures are not provided for security reasons," he said in a written parliamentary response to a question from IFP MP Zandile Majozi.
Majozi wanted details about police officers and reservists deployed during the different stages of lockdown.
Cele said the filling of vacancies in the service was continuing, but it was not possible to enlist new members to report to training academies because of Covid-19 restrictions and protocols, which include social distancing and a limit on large gatherings and physical training.
“The process of finalising the SAPS 2020 trainee intake was at an advanced stage but was unfortunately suspended until further notice by the minister of police because of the national disaster and then the lockdown," said Cele.
He said the SAPS recruitment plan was being reviewed in order to respond to the lockdown restrictions.
Cele also revealed that 4,971 new recruits had successfully completed their training as of December 13 2019.
Cele has nominated Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as his preferred candidate for appointment as executive director for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
This was revealed in a letter, dated June 30 2020, which Cele wrote to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise. The police portfolio committee has to consider Cele's preferred candidate and whether it agrees with his choice.