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Tattoo bars cop hopeful from joining SAPS

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A twenty-five-year-old University Estate man says he was robbed of his dream of working for the police service after he was disqualified from writing an entry level test because of his tattoo.

Joshua Obaray said he was disqualified from obtaining a job at the police service because of his tattoo.

A TWENTY-five-year-old University Estate man says he was robbed of his dream of working for the police service after he was disqualified from writing an entry level test because of his tattoo.

Joshua Obaray who applied for the police trainee programme earlier this year said he was hopeful for his future.

“I applied to the programme and I received an invite to write the psychometric test.

When I got there on the day, they allowed us in but then they asked if there are any applicants with tattoos. There were about 10 to 13 of us.

“We were sent to a room. Then a colonel came in, I can’t remember his name. The first thing he asked us was what did Minister of Police Bheki Cele say? That was the first thing he said when he walked into the room,” he said.

“Then straight after that he started to explain that in summer uniform we (are) not allowed to have visible tattoos, and we not allowed to have tattoos that are irreconcilable with the objectives of the SAPS.

“However, in the application it did ask if I have a tattoo and where it is located. This is information that was provided in the application form. So because I have a visible tattoo I was disqualified from writing the psychometric test.”

Obaray said he was disappointed and upset about the outcome.

“My tattoo is not irreconcilable with the objectives of the SAPS. This whole thing has made me feel that the SAPS doesn’t really care about unemployment if they are able to misinterpret their own laws.

“I wanted to join the police service because SAPS Woodstock is very understaffed and I am part of the CPF and neighbourhood watch.

The SAPS are always calling us to patrol or check out calls. I felt I could also play my part in fighting crime in my country,” he said.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said the applicant was encouraged to make an enquiry to the SAPS Recruitment Centre, adding that persons with tattoos which are visible when wearing the SAPS summer uniform would not be recruited.

Cape Times

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