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Key note remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Makhotso Maggie Sotyu (MP) at the passing out Parade, Tshwane SAPS Academy.
07 March 2014

Master of Ceremonies,
National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega,
Deputy National Commissioners,
Divisional Commissioners,
All police officer students,
SARPCCO Games Award winners present,
Family members present here,
All SAPS Stakeholders present here,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Congratulations to all the students who successfully completed their Basic Police Development Learning Programme, across the four Provinces of Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Extra congratulatory note goes to all the top achievers in their respective classes. Well done to all of you.
As Police Leadership, we welcome you with pride and with the hope that you will serve this country with respect and dignity.
Yes, today you will be pledging your life as a police officer to the Code of Conduct, by reading out loud the code. But, this Code of Conduct is not just a code. It is a commitment that must be lived as long as you are a police officer.
For policing is not just a job; it is a calling: a calling to safeguard all the inhabitants of this land, irrespective of race, creed, gender or religion.
Therefore, you must understand that, by taking the oath today, you are dedicating your life to serve South Africa, first and foremost. You will be obliged to put your own interests below the nation’s interest.
And, yes you will be taking risks. So, I hope that you understand that, being afforded an opportunity to safeguard South Africa and its inhabitants, is not a task that must be taken lightly; it is more than an honour.
Being tasked with ensuring that society remains safe and secured against criminals and hazardous events is a mandate you need to carry with the utmost dedication.
General Phiyega, we all know that, to maintain and sustain this dedication is to ensure that these young men and women in blue are thoroughly oriented to existing benefits for their own well-being.
For instance, these young student constables will inevitably be exposed to traumatic and stressful events both during their academic and field training. We thus hope then that, the two-year training includes programmes that will equip them emotionally and psychologically. The Employee Health and Wellness Programme (EHWP) will be critical in these young lives, General.
The second critical aspect I want to raise here is corruption, which is a killer of any promising career. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are reminded that, by being a police officer means you are entrusted with ensuring that the rule of law is maintained at all times.
We are hopeful that you will be hardworking and dedicated police officers, who will enhance and not tarnish the SAPS’ image and Government’s name.
In fact, starting with you, the Police Leadership will put measures of monitoring and auditing your progress every five years.
This will not only audit your progress within the SAPS; it will also help us evaluate if our curriculum is compatible to the daily work and challenges faced by a police officer.
Perhaps, the most critical aspect in your career will be your general discipline, how you behave both on and off duty. I can tell you right now that, the Ministry of Police is inundated with complaints from members of the public against some of our police officers.
Community members are complaining about certain police officers not doing their jobs, some exhibiting unacceptable behaviour towards citizens, and some responding very slow, and showing a total lack of responsibility.
We want to unequivocally say that, both Government and the Ministry of Police do not tolerate any unprofessional and ill-discipline behaviour from a police officer.
It is with this reason that Government had introduced civilian oversight structures to ensure that police officers and their conduct are accountable not to unto themselves, but to the civilian authority.
General, we are hoping then that the Basic Police Development Learning Programme does include topics on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID); the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act; and Chapter 9 Institutions.
These structures are mandated to monitor police action and to ensure that the SAPS put in place, effective systems for the reporting and resolution of complaints from the public.
This brings me to the last critical matter I would like to raise, General, which has a direct bearing on the behaviour, response and action of a police officer.
As the Ministry of Police, we are hoping that this more than 4500 constable students graduating today across the country, have been introduced to Public Order Policing (POP).
In less than two months’ time, we will be holding our National and Provincial Elections, and we hope then that these young men and women in blue did undergo this training so that they are able to understand and manage large gatherings of crowds and protests.
In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reiterate my warm welcome to all of you student constables. Please, honor your duty; remain incorruptible; dedicate your lives to this democratic nation; and the communities will, in turn, trust and will have confidence in you.
I also wish to say congratulations to all the award winners of the SARPCCO Games.
I thank you all.

For enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Acting Spokesperson: Deputy Minister of Police
Ministry of Police 
Tel: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4677023
Fax: +27 12 3934614 / 21 4614174
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

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