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40,000 SA police do not have firearm competency certificates

40,000 SA police do not have firearm competency certificates

As many as 40,000  operational members of the SAPS have failed or do not have firearm competency certificates.

This is according to DA Shadow Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, who was reacting to news that 61 police officers have died in South Africa thus far in 2015.

According the SAPS’ latest annual report (to March 2014), the police service had a total workforce of 194,852 people.

This is made up of 36,304 employees in administration; 103,746 police officers engaged in visible policing; 39,748 detectives; 8,723 crime intelligence officers; and 6,331 protection and security officers.

“It is a tough job, and today our officers are paying with their lives,” Kohler Barnard said.

“What our citizens don’t understand is that the overwhelming majority of our police are fine, upstanding, honest, fair men and women.”

The DA shadow minister said that it was difficult for many to feel empathy because a third of civilians are scared of the police.

“They run away from them, not to them if there is trouble. If they are stopped at a road block they expect to be robbed; if they are pulled aside they expect to be manhandled, arrested on non-existent charges, thrown in a van, taken on a terrifying joy ride, thrown in a filthy cell and released without charge the next day. They expect to be raped.”

Read: South Africa’s police force vs the world

The DA noted that nearly half of South Africans feel there is no point in reporting crime. “Because they do not trust our Police.  It is truly a Broken Blue Line,” Kohler Barnard said.

“It’s been broken by cadre deployment.”

The DA also alluded to outdated ‘heavily massaged’, crime statistics, that carry no moral authority.

“Being a police officer in South Africa is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  In Canada three police officers are killed each year. A police officer here is five times more likely to be killed on-duty than is their counterpart in the United States.

“In SA the count stayed above 200 per annum until fairly recently.  Thankfully the annual total has dropped but is now on the increase again with, as of yesterday another two murdered, so 61 of our officers have been killed thus far this year with nearly four months to go,” Kohler Barnard said.

We ask ourselves, Why?

The DA said that the murder rate dropped after 2003 from 48 per day down over the years to an all-time low of 42 in 2012 when 15,609 people were murdered. Today, however, it has risen again up to 47 a day.

The DA said that every effort must be made to bring down the death rates of South Africa’s policemen and women.

“Yes, they are targets, in and out of uniform; yes, they sometimes carry a firearm never fired from the time they graduated from the Training Academy; yes, training has failed them as refresher courses may only be done with two or three members per station each year.”

Kohler Barnard said that the sad reality is that up to 40,000 operational members have failed or do not have firearm competency certificates. “When it hit 20,000 it was in a leaked report from horrified SAPS members; then it hit 30 000 and we were given nothing but excuses; and now it’s 40,000.”

The shadow minister said that most police services globally require operational members to requalify in firearm competency twice a year. “Here it is becoming the norm for armed officers not to have a competency certificate – which means there are police breaking the law.”

“Every possible resource must be utilised to stop these killings.  Because Police Lives Matter.”

More on police in South Africa

How government plans to stop police killings in SA

South Africa is unraveling – and no one seems to care

Alarming number of South Africans bribe the police

The worst crime hot spots in South Africa

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Shawn Townsend

    Competency certificates are just another money making scheme, does not teach you farkall, especially being a open book test at most testing centers

    • Skoppienaai Sewinduit

      Competency SHOULD be multiple tests, one on firearm safety and firearm laws in SA, not open-book. And practical. They should be able to show they are able to break the firearm down, clean it and put it back together. A shooting range exam following that to show they are able to handle the firearm safely and shoot with a degree of accuracy.

  • Louis Botes

    snip1 – “It is a tough job, and today our officers are paying with their lives,” Kohler Barnard said.
    snip2 – up to 40,000 operational members have failed or do not have firearm competency certificates.
    Guess why it is a tough job. This do not even address the corruption and numerous other problems disrupting many police stations.

  • andre du toit
  • Luna Moon

    absolutely shocking

  • robert

    Sometime the put their life at risk
    Last I took gun and report and give gun to them put he still out side what more can that person do to the public

  • Jo

    And when they shoot someone in the back, or when that person is not being an im mediate life threat to the cop, then it is just nothing. They get away with real murder. But if a normal citizen shoots someone in his pitch dark house 2 o’ clock in the morning, then there is all hell to play.

  • Gwenda-Ann Bothma

    Bit of a change in subject same as electricity cut offs. Owe R1 and they cut you off. Owe thousands and it is written off ????

  • Nextlevel

    I suspect the majority of the 47 killings per day are whites

      • Nextlevel

        I know, I saw that one before. For the first 35 years of my life I don’t know anyone who died due to murder. In the next 4 years I now know 2 people

        • No doubt things are not great on the whole but black people see a lot more crime than white people still.

          I can’t say I can think of anyone I know who has been murdered but I do know several who have died on the roads, and that is much more easily preventable yet it goes on and on. The number who die on the roads is not that different to the number of homicides, but more evenly spread over the population. All we ever seem to get is campaigns around holiday seasons, yet holiday death tolls are mostly no worse than the daily average. And this is not an ANC disease, the NP government also did this.

          • Nextlevel

            A murder rate of 47 is ridiculously far away from the 1.5 the uk endures

          • I agree it is ridiculous but it is actually black South Africans who are suffering the most from government incompetence. Unfortunately the reaction of most who are unhappy is to stop voting.

          • Nextlevel

            True, I stopped voting after the first free election 😀
            There’s something a bit unbelievable regarding the 1.8% figure quoted for percentage of murdered people who were white tho.

  • Gwenda-Ann Bothma

    Are these persons who fail the tests still have firearms? Or is that a stupid question!

  • Fanie

    If SAPS or Metro stops me somewhere I am scared. You know that you are going to be treated unfair …. whether you are white, black or whatever. In general that is the case and not the exception.

  • notsosure

    They forgot to mention that in many cases firearms and ammo have been taken away from them to stop faction fighting in the police hostels.

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