25 February 2017, MIDDELBURG: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Saturday warned police officers in Mpumalanga to refrain from using state vehicles to do “grocery shopping”.
“Those who are in the habit of using police vehicles for doing their grocery shopping and for social purpose must desist at once,” Nhleko said at an event in Middelburg where provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Mondli Zuma welcomed 412 newly-appointed police constables to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The constables recently completed their police training. Nhleko and Zuma also handed over 200 new vehicles to the SAPS to be used for various official purposes.
Nhleko said it was difficult to arrest criminals in a rural and poor province such as Mpumalanga. “This is simply because SAPS members do not have enough cars to attend to crime scenes or reach them timeously.
I urge SAPS members to use these cars with a great deal of care and realise that abusing state vehicles is wrong and is a betrayal of our people.”
Nhleko said the police ministry had learned numerous lessons from the Marikana tragedy and was using those lessons to improve its capabilities in public order policing.
He urged the new appointees to familiarise themselves with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, saying this would help them appreciate their role as members of the SAPS.
He also warned the officers against laziness and complacency, saying it was essential for police officers to work with communities in the fight against crime.
“Today, policing does not happen through the breaking up of a suspect’s jaw or limb, intimidation, detention without trial, and gross human rights abuse.
You are starting your job in a society where crimes against women and children, drug and alcohol abuse are tearing our social fabric apart.
Do not come to work to pass day and the night until it is month end. Regularly test your own sense of discipline and self-leadership,” he said. The new vehicles handed over included bakkies, VW Golf cars, and Toyota Quantum and Iveco minibuses.
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