AgangSA welcomes news that the SAPS is to verify the qualifications of all policemen and women following the shock resignation of KZN police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, over an invalid Matric certificate.
That the SAPS only woke up to this deception after 25 years shows that the verification systems of those who are charged with ensuring our safety leave much to be desired.
Small wonder the levels of public trust and confidence in the capabilities of the South African Police Service (SAPS) are so low. Coming so soon after the aborted appointment of Lt-Gen Bethuel Mondli Zuma as Gauteng police commissioner, following revelations that he faced criminal charges, including that of defeating the ends of justice, points to a systemic problem.
These scandals expose serious flaws in the vetting of police appointees to senior positions. The result is that we end up having dubious characters in police leadership.
AgangSA urges the police leadership to move with speed on the probe to verify the qualifications of members of the SAPS, especially those in leadership positions. Those found to have misrepresented their qualifications should be held to account out without delay, following due process.
The SAPS is too important an institution of public service to be saddled with untrustworthy, unqualified personnel who misrepresent their qualifications, while thousands of graduates remain unemployed.
We deserve to have a professional, respected police service that is itself crime-free in order to protect citizens. The prevalence of violent crime, and persistent fears over public safety in South Africa, have long-term implications for social cohesion, democracy, economic development as well the ability to create sustainable jobs and tackle poverty.
Thabo Leshilo, Director of Communications, AgangSA