SAPS Gearing Up to Deal With Violent Protests, 10 000 Cops to Be Trained, SA Says It's Not Enough

SAPS Gearing Up to Deal With Violent Protests, 10 000 Cops to Be Trained, SA Says It's Not Enough

  • In reflection of how members of the South Africa Police Service dealt with the July unrest, the department says it will train 10 000 cops
  • The police have been heavily criticised for their lack of action during the violent protests that led to the mass destruction of businesses
  • Minister of Police Bheki Cele says the training will be concluded in March 2022 and officers will be trained in crowd management

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Police Service is embarking on a programme to train 10 000 police officers. These police officers will be the first responders to deal with the social unrest that was in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021.

The new training initiative comes after the police were slammed for not adequately responding to the violence and destruction of property that was seen in the two provinces.

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Bheki Cele says families of kidnapped victims prefer private investigators to police, Gauteng cases rise

SAPS, july unrest, training police officer, 10 000 cops, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal
10 000 police officers will be given additional training to deal with large scale protests like the one seen in July 2021.Image: Matthew Tabaccos
Source: Getty Images

The looting and destruction began shortly after former President Jacob Zuma had surrendered himself over to police to serve his 15-month sentence for being in contempt of court, according to TimesLIVE.

The police were not prepared to deal with the unrest

Testifying at the SA Human Rights Commission hearing after the unrest, the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala told the commission that the police did not have enough resources to deal with the unrest.

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Zikalala said they did not have stun grenades or water cannons. He went on to say that the police were not equipped to deal with the mass destruction.

“They were overworked, not trained to deal with this kind of unrest and didn’t have resources,” Zikalala said.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele told the commission that his department would be training police officers to prepare them for situations like the July unrest, according to BusinessLIVE.

“Between July 2021 and March 2022, the target is to train members of the SA Police Service at police stations as first responders and equip them,” said Cele.

Cele added that the police would also be equipped in handling large crowds. He added that police officers will be given the necessary equipment as well.

South Africans weigh in on SAPS training police officers

On social media, South Africans shared a few thoughts on SAPS plans. Some people say they are training officers to be reactive while others say the police department should be hiring more young because of the high unemployment rate.

Here are more comments:

@eye_vee7 said:

"Just last week they said they are ready. Jiki jiki they still want to train people."

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@MJ22M said:

"Hire new people we've got a high rate of youth unemployment in SA beside the SAPS is already over burdened thus failing us."

@zeddarcee said:

"In other words, a reactive response. Rather they should be looking for pro-active methods to prevent the destruction, mayhem and instability."

@UniversalGodde7 said:

"Honestly, 10k is a small number for the entire nation."

@Chantalm3000 said:

"It's been 6 months since the unrest. This should be in progress not a pipeline dream."
Who's idea is this if it's from one of the top cops must dismissed he/she is not fit to be on that position.

@Reginal24984547 said:

"This was supposed to be done long ago even the response to the July unrest was rotten.‍♂️South Africa"

Bheki Cele says families of kidnapped victims prefer private investigators to police, Gauteng cases rise

Briefly News previously reported that Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, said that in recent kidnapping cases, the families of the victims decided to hire private investigators to find the guilty parties rather than rely on the South African Police Service (SAPS).

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Cele added that in Gauteng, kidnapping cases have increased and the province arrested six police officers in connection with a number of these cases. Four of those arrested were SAPS members and two were officers from the Metro Police.

According to TimesLIVE, on 14 January, two suspects from the SAPS will appear in court along with seven other accused on charges of kidnapping in Johannesburg.

Source: Briefly News

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