One hundred and seventeen newly qualified metro police officers will be deployed to the streets of Johannesburg this week after successfully completing a gruelling and intensive 18-month training course at the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) Academy.
The new recruits were congratulated by Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba during a graduation ceremony held at the academy in Eloff Street, southern Johannesburg, on Wednesday May 17.
“My administration is proud of you and we will support you all the way in your difficult task of fighting crime, corruption and grime,” Mayor Mashaba said.
“You all know that this administration has, among others, declared crime as public enemy No 1. We have zero tolerance on corruption, crime and grime. We place that responsibility on your shoulders but we will assist you all the way,” he said.
The training included courses in the Criminal Procedure Act, Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, Firearms and Ammunition Act, National Road Traffic Management Act and Transport Regulations. Mashaba said the City would soon recruit a further 1 500 JMPD officers to fight crime in the city.
An overwhelming 65 000 people had applied for the posts when applications closed earlier this month. “This shows the high levels of unemployment in our City and the country as a whole. But we are pleased that we will be making a difference to some members of our communities,” he said. Mayor Mashaba, who was accompanied by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety Cllr Michael Sun, said the law enforcement cluster was faced with a trust deficit.
“Our communities no longer trust our men and women in blue. This is because of the rampant corruption they experience in the hands of our police officers. Our police officers take bribes and sell dockets,” he said.
“My administration will deal harshly with any member of JMPD who is found to be involved in criminal activity,” he said. Mayor Mashaba said he was placing a heavy responsibility on the new graduates to help return and restore the respect police officers once enjoyed.
The course’s top performers – who were presented with trophies – were Onica Monareng (Criminal Procedure Act), MTA Mabatla (Traffic Act and Firearms and Ammunition Act), KS Sikhosana (National Road Traffic Act) and EK Kekana and NE Butamo (AARTO Act).
Monareng was also named the overall best performing student for displaying excellent professional conduct and an understanding of the application of the rules and regulations of the Transport and Traffic Acts.
Monareng, of Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, said she had always wanted to be a law enforcement officer.
“When I was still growing up I always admired a police uniform. And I knew that one day I would wear it. Today my wish has come true,” said Monareng. She said hard work, dedication and determination were key to success.
— additional reporting by Kudakwashe Hove