4 000 additional members to join SAPS during this fiscal year: Security Cluster

The Public Order Police for SAPS will receive an additional 4 000 members during this financial year. That’s the undertaking from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster ministers who briefed the media in Pretoria, on Friday, on progress with regards to the implementation of the recommendations by the Expert Panel set up to review South Africa’s response to the 2021 July unrest.

The SAPS’s response to the unrest was found lacking and members were unable to prevent the looting and protect properties.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise says the capacitation of public order policing is being prioritised.

“Public Order Police members and frontline officers as first responders, are continuously undergoing refresher training courses in crowd control management. Extra funds have also been allocated in this operational environment for the modernisation of the unit, including procurement of armoured vehicles and aircrafts and further funding has been set aside for the procurement of protective gear for Public Order Police members.”

Justice Cluster ministers say they are sharing threat assessments with premiers to determine the necessary response plans.  Modise says work is under way to fill vacancies in the State Security Agency to bring about stability in the entity. She says that permanent posts are also being filled.

‘Over 8 000 incidents reported to police’

Earlier Police Minister Bheki Cele said over 8 000 incidents related to the unrest were reported to the police with some 5 000 people arrested. About 3 300 cases have so far been finalised through non-prosecution, some of which have been withdrawn.

Since then, more than 2 900 cases have been adjudicated as undetected and unsubstantiated, and they have all been closed.

Cele says there are 19 instigators of the violence.

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