Cele admits up to 32% shortage of detectives in SAPS

Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police
27 Jun 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Okkie Terblanch MP.

In yet another exposè of how the reign of Bheki Cele as Police Minister continues to destroy the functioning of the South African Police Service, the Minister has admitted that our country faces a crisis of detectives with some provinces experiencing up to 32% shortage of detectives.

It is shocking that as South Africa is in the grips of its most violent war on crime, with some of the worst crime statistics on record, the Minister has not seen it fit to double down on ensuring vital crime-fighting positions, such as detectives, are filled. SAPS has lost more than two detectives per day compared to the previous financial year. Whilst the Minister refused to take us into his confidence and provide us with a detailed shortage, the percentage of detectives per province is as follows:

  • Western Cape:  -24.34%
  • Eastern Cape:  -10.61%
  • Northern Cape:  -25.94%
  • Free State: -23.76%
  • KwaZulu-Natal:  -23.31%
  • North West:  -32.89%
  • Limpopo: -19.35%
  • Gauteng: -5.26%

The Minister refused to provide the full breakdown of numbers by using the ANC’s age-old excuse that this information was “classified” due to the security risks of providing a breakdown. The Minister’s assertion that providing the exact number of detectives out of operations in each province would be a risk to national security is frankly nonsensical and an indictment of his attitude as Minister of Police.

While Provinces such as the Western Cape have pleaded with the Minister to devolve certain policing powers, such as the control over ensuring proper levels of detectives in each station, the Minister refuses to even commission a study to see whether devolution would be possible in terms of the Constitution. Instead, he makes a laughable statement that he has no policing powers at all… which is the clearest indication yet, that he simply has no clue what he is doing as the Minister of Police.

Despite the requests from the Western Cape, the province is forced to sit with an almost 25% shortage of key SAPS personnel, whilst the Minister refuses to do anything about it. It is only because of the Province’s self-funded LEAP program, which is effectively fighting crime where SAPS is failing, to keep the residents of Cape Town and parts of the Western Cape safe.

Bheki Cele has shown himself to be incapable of conceding where he is wrong. If he won’t even investigate the possibilities of devolution, we call on President Ramaphosa to put the people’s lives of South Africa above the fatally flawed centralised policing policy of the ANC and investigate a feasibility study into devolving more policing powers to lower levels of capable governments.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za