Fred Nel, DA MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Local Government
The Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Metro Police together employ 148 metro police officers with criminal records – Ekurhuleni has 80 and Tshwane has 68 convicted officers.
This was disclosed by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
This is very worrying as citizens must be able to have faith in their metro police officers who play an important role in crime fighting within municipalities.
Quick and decisive action is therefore required by the two metros to dismiss these officers as Section 36 of the South African Police Service Act prohibits a member who has been jailed from holding any position within a police force. Furthermore Section 11(g) of the regulations for Municipal Police Services prohibits a person with a criminal conviction from being appointed to a metro police service. Therefore action should already have been taken against offending officers.
It appears that there was insufficient vetting in the recruitment of these officers. Also disconcerting is the fact that the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department is uncertain as to how many of its officers do have criminal records.
Both Metros have indicated that they are currently working with the Special Investigating Unit in order to sort out the problem of metro police officers with criminal records. However, this is taking too long.
It is commendable that the two Metros have instituted vetting systems before approving new recruits, but they need to get rid of the existing rotten apples who slipped through earlier.. Let’s just hope that the police clearances obtained in respect to new recruits are reliable.
The replies to the questions are available from the DA Gauteng Caucus Media Office.