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Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Makhotso Maggie Sotyu: at the SAPS Women in Leadership and Graduation Ceremony of the 52 Senior Female Officers
21 August 2014

National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega,
Vice-Chancellor of UNISA:Operations
Professor Barney Erasmus,
Professor Okharedia,
Proffessor Ngwenya,
All SAPS Top Management,
Alls SAPS Stakeholders present,
Police Officers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Yesterday, I attended the 1st SAPS National Symposium on the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS, STIs, and TB in the workplace targeting the Senior Management.
General Phiyega, I must say, that event could have benefitted more if the intended audience (Senior Management of the SAPS) had committed itself to attend.

For, as decision-makers, they would have been obligated to take note of all those expert and scientific inputs and deliberations from different invited role-players; and would have been obligated to mainstream those recommendations to review policies for the strengthening of the SAPS Employee Health and Wellness.
General Phiyega, we must not allow ourselves to be oblivious to the fact that the employee health and wellness of the entire career of an active police officer, from recruitment, retention to retirement, is of utmost if not of fundamental importance for the survival of this organization, the SAPS.
I am raising this issue, because the Police Management can no longer confine issues of police safety and welfare to only tactical skills; pursuit driving; firearms training; and use of force scenarios.
And, rightly so, the briefing I got from the Head of SAPS EHWP, is that the SAPS, through its EHWP, is now taking into account the daily stresses this profession has on those men and women in blue who serve and protect our communities.
Therefore, as we yet again today seem to focus our developmental strategies on the Senior Management, let us not forget that the survival and efficiency of the South African Police Service solely depends on our lower-ranked police officers operating from the police stations, which are front-lines of service delivery to our communities.

What I am emphasizing here is that, every strategy that we come up with to develop our police officers and policing, (whether educational; societal; spiritual), must be intrinsically linked to the holistic health and wellness of our active police officers.
Progamme Director,

Today as we continue with our Women’s month celebration it is an honour for me to celebrate the graduation of 52 SAPS Female managers.

They have all passed the practical project management programme. The programme is aimed at equipping and empowering our senior managers to manage as better leaders.
You will note that I deliberately did not say “Better Women Leaders” it is better to say “leaders” so that they are able to compete for leadership positions.
Am I correct in celebrating the fact that in 2012 a woman was appointed as National Commissioner of the South African Police Service.
Am I correct in emphasizing the importance of ensuring that we must continue to empower women in police , equipping them with skills that their predecessors were deprived of ? I know so!
This means, whatever curriculum is developed or already offered in this University, it will have to also focus on issues of diversity training, problem solving, conflict-resolution, and organizational skills to better community policing.
As Police Leadership, we certainly do not need any convincing about the value of higher education to law enforcement. The National Development Plan: Vision 2030 demands that we transform the SAPS into a professional institution to inspire confidence and trust in all of the inhabitants of South Africa.
However, police officers must never begin to look at this aspect of acquiring skills and expertise from any university for that matter, as a lifetime goal.
The police officer’s desire to come to this university must be informed by a life-goal to better community policing. Reaching this lifetime goal for better policing will surely span the entire career of a police officer.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I acknowledge that we are in the midst of academics and experts in both education and policing. I am neither a police officer nor an expert in education.

But, both the Minister of Police, and myself have dealt with the ramifications of security issues in our capacities as former members of Parliament, and now as members of the Executive in Government.

This SAPS University must therefore be a place where high-caliber recruits/students will begin to regard the SAPS as the employer of choice.
Indeed, the curriculum offered at this University must ensure to enhance support initiatives for female police officers, and in the process, providing an organized voice to the interests of policewomen.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we bestow our highest accolades to both UNISA as the SAPS partner in development and to our 52 graduates as envisaged better police officers in community policing.
We thank you UNISA for providing a platform where our police officers will continue understanding their own advantages, opportunities and shortcomings.

To all our prospective students of this University, let this university make you to always be prepared, not to limit yourselves, and to always make efforts toward lifelong learning. Most importantly, let this University instill pride and patriotism of being a South African Police Service member.
Let me leave you with the words of a woman that one can only admire her courage, tenacity and willingness to share. Oprah Winfrey so rightly once said, “ I was raised once to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism and sexism”. This is so true.
We must therefore strive for excellence and thereby quieten those who think that, in the law enforcement field, women are inferior or do not have as much to offer male counterparts.

I thank you all.

Ms. Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Spokesperson
Office of the Deputy Minister of Police

Tel: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4677023
Fax: +27 12 3934614 / 21 4614174
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

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