Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
2 minute read
23 Jun 2022
5:35 am

Cops protest bad food, poor conditions at police college

Marizka Coetzer

Popcru says conditions new recruits face are shocking, while an expert says the police college is a reflection of police management.

Police officers guard the entrance to the SAPS Headquarters in Pretoria where members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) picket, 22 June 2022. A memorandum of demands was handed over to the National Police Commissioner over the conditions trainees are subjected to and more than 500 trainees not having received stipends in the last 2 months. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) have marched to the South African Police Service (Saps) headquarters in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands over the allegedly shocking conditions trainees are subjected to.

A human chain of police officers stood guard in front of police headquarters while Popcru members picketed in the street on Wednesday.

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Other issues included the discrepancies that led to over 545 trainees not receiving their stipends over the past two months.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said they were worried about the conditions members were trained under.

POPCRU picket outside SAPS HQ
Members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) picket outside of the South African Police Service Headquarters in Pretoria, 22 June 2022. A memorandum of demands was handed over to the National Police Commissioner over the conditions trainees are subjected to and more than 500 trainees not having received stipends in the last 2 months. Picture: Jacques Nelles

“Before training took place, we had various meetings to ensure they had sufficient resources to do training. Now, we learn the food is bad and not even on time,” Mamabolo said.

He said there were some trainees who were not yet registered. “We want the national police commissioner to investigate these allegations,” he added.

Policing expert Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said there were clear signs that the police college was deteriorating.

“In the past, there weren’t complaints and allegations of bad food and conditions at the colleges.

“You can see in the maintenance of the terrain and surroundings it is not what it should be. That is a reflection of the management in charge and we should be concerned,” he said.

Burger said the police college laid the foundation for discipline.

“Looking at the deterioration of the colleges and the complaints about conditions, it seems the foundations are not so steady, so we cannot expect officers who completed their training there to be up to standard.”

AfriForum’s Raymond Hohls said there was an urgent need to train more police officers to ensure sufficient staff.