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Key Note Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police, HON MS MAKHOTSO MAGGIE SOTYU (MP): Launch of the SAPS/SASSETA Special K53 Project.
24 April 2014

Programme Director,
National Commissioner of Police, General Phiyega,
Deputy National Commissioner Lt General Mbekela,
Acting CEO of Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA), Mr. Sekhonyane,
Chipa Investment Holdings, Mr. Mpengesi,
All SAPS Divisional Commissioners,
All core stakeholders of the SAPS,
All Police officers present,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
General Phiyega, today I want to unapologetically align my message with that of our President, Mr. Jacob Zuma, who reminded South Africans that, as a nation we all have a good story to tell in the past 20 years of democracy.
This is not a rhetoric statement, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a real statement informed by facts. A fact that says today, the South African Police Service has a good story to tell, as we launch this Special K53 Project.
Precisely because, 20 years ago when our young people wanted to join the South African Police Service, they could not, because they did not have a driver’s license, which was a strict requirement on application to join the Police Force.
As a Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Safety and Security then, in 2005, together with the ANC Members of that Parliamentary Committee, we realized that this strict requirement prejudiced and thus discriminated against our young people, in particular those from the rural areas, who wished and had a potential to be good police officers.
Indeed in 2007, the SAPS began to relax the mandatory requirement for a license from such applicants. And in 2009, the SAPS completely waived the possession of driver’s license as a requirement for recruits as student police officers.
This waiver then inevitably, had to force the SAPS to amend its Academy Curriculum, to ensure that our police officers do get the additional training on motor vehicle driving skills at the Academy. However, when I was appointed as a Deputy Minister of Police on 1st November 2010, I realized that some police officers at police stations had licenses but still could not drive properly.
It was then I approached Lt General Mbekela, when she was still a Divisional Commissioner of Human Resource Development, to consider including in the Academy Curriculum, the training on motor vehicle driving skills. I want to say to you MaMbekela that you are a leader, for you were neither shy nor arrogant to receive and accept an advise from another woman. Probably that is why today you a Deputy National Commissioner of Police.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, this Launch has nothing to do or is not reacting to the senseless and illogical mumberings that were done last year by a certain group of people who maliciously alleged that thousands and thousands of police officers are driving without a license, or they have no driving licenses at all. This is not true.
The only anomaly here is that we had some police officers whose driving licenses had expired, and thus were registered as having no licenses at all.
And, this was immediately rectified when SAPS issued a National Instruction, which stated; that all those SAPS employees with expired drivers’ licenses must submit certified copies of renewed drivers’ licenses for capturing on PERSAL.
Of course these statistics of expired driver’s licenses did have a negative impact on both personnel data integrity and the image of the SAPS as a whole. So, the problem was not of compliance per se, but had mostly to do with an outdated system with incorrect details.
So detractors must separate issues here. If we, as Government, had done away with a driver’s license as a requirement for recruits as an entry-level constable, so as to provide equity and equality to a number of good candidates whose backgrounds did not allow them to have a driver’s license, then, that does not mean we have broken or undermined the law.
What we have done here is to uphold our most supreme law of this country: The Constitution. The Bill of Rights is clear: Chapter 2 (4): “…National Legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination…” (p.7 of the Constitution). And that is why we are busy reviewing the White Paper on Safety and Security, so that we can amend the South African Police Service Act.
In the meantime that we are busy amending our legislations, we will parallel still continue improving, with no fear, the standards of recruitment as our recruits enter into the SAPS Academies.
And, we are pleased to see that our business people who benefitted from this Democracy of 20 years are willing to plough back to enhance more development in Government’s Programmes.
Thank you Mr. Mpengesi for partnering with the SAPS 2013/2014 Training Provisioning Plan, to ensure that our police officers are well equipped and skilled, and to alleviate the fears of non-service delivery.
Indeed, as the President said: “we can’t do it alone…we need your support as community, private sector, religious sector…to work with us. Let us build our country together”.
I thank you all.

Ms. Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Acting Spokesperson: 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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