Police mull publishing names of recruits

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pretoria – The idea of publishing the names of police recruits is still under consideration, and not a fait accompli, Police Ministry spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said on Monday.

The idea was conceptualised during the Police Minister’s strategic meeting with the top 1 500 station commanders and senior police management in January this year.

The idea was that the names of police recruits would in future be published, so that they are scrutinised by the public before being accepted into the force.

“We need to emphasise that this is still a consideration, as such not a definite. But if you look at the concept and how it may help us, we would be able to ensure that we cleanse the South African Police Service (SAPS) of unwanted people who shame our image.

“We want to produce and develop police officers that are dedicated to ensuring effective measures and systems are implemented.

“At the local station [level], we need to ensure our systems and processes are in place and make sure that our resources are properly used,” Mnisi told SAnews.

He said when communities reported to their local police stations to complain or interact with police officers, they should feel that their issues are being taken seriously.

According to Mnisi, the publishing of the names would take place at the short-listing phase. They would at semi-final phase seek public comment on the potential police officers. 

Mnisi said the approach taken to this would be similar to Parliament’s process before legislation is passed, where the public gets an opportunity to make inputs.

“The format would be to publish these names utilising various media platforms such as newspapers. It would also help us to ensure that those that we recruit serve as good role models in the communities and that we do not simply take criminals and give them our uniforms and resources,” he said.

Mnisi said it was important for the police to select candidates of a good calibre. Equally key was for the ministry to be able to develop the human capital in its ranks so as to further train and retain the right type of skills. 

Mnisi said they were engaging with the training division to ensure that they improve their quality of training.

However, he said this was not just the responsibility of the training division in the South African Police Service, but that every South African citizen had a responsibility in this regard. 

“It must also speak to the type of police we want to be and this must include a police that is here to serve our people and is able to inspire the confidence of the ordinary person on the street and that has its underlining philosophy a community orientated service,” he said. - SAnews.gov.za