The Independent Policing Union of South Africa said the recruitment of new police officers is open to corruption.
THE INDEPENDENT Policing Union of South Africa (Ipusa) said the recruitment of new police officers is open to corruption.
Ipusa’s sentiments come after allegations – about prospective police recruits paying money to be admitted to the police training college in Pretoria – came to light at the weekend.
In a statement, the policing union said that it wasn’t shocked by allegations of corruption, considering the SAPS’s somewhat flawed recruitment process, which only opened loopholes for irregularities.
The union said the ministry’s en masse recruitment makes it more difficult for SAPS to recruit only the most suitable candidates, as rigorous standards were compromised due to pressure to fill the gaps and, worse, corruption creeps in – where potential recruits, who aspire to become capable policemen and women, lose out.
Ipusa president Bethuel Nephtal Nkuna said SAPS Human Resources and Training Components disclosed to Parliament, in 2019, that there was a need to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to recruitment – to minimise the risk of corruption in hiring processes.
“As police performance is on a rapid decline in this country, we are more worried about recruits who enter the service through corruption. We need a sustained recruitment plan, in smaller batches, accompanied by strict vetting and assessment.
“We believe that this will improve policing – rather than capacitating the already corrupt SAPS with more corrupt recruits,” the union said
In response to criticism over its recruitment process, the police ministry said it follows a stringent process to ensure that only the best candidates are selected to serve as its SAPS officers.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said: “Recruiting and selecting the right candidates to serve as police officers is of paramount importance to the continued success of the work and mandate of the SAPS.
“Our recruitment process sets out to ensure that only deserving applicants are chosen, based on merit, and that this process is free from bias, nepotism and discrimination.
“To ensure transparency, the recruitment process is monitored by a board consisting of senior management of the SAPS, as well as external stakeholders – inclusive of community members.”
Mathe said that the SAPS management would like to assure the public that measures have been put in place to curb or prevent any form of corruption and/or any prejudice during the recruitment process.
“This is to ensure that we deal decisively with both the corruptor and corrupted and also ensure that the best candidates are ultimately selected to serve as policemen and women,” she said.