MPs welcome SAPS Amendment Bill, saying that it’s ‘long overdue’

The bill makes it even harder to become a police member and recruits would need to be vetted and give DNA samples. It is yet to be published.

Dep Police Minister Maggie Sotyu inspects the Saps new recruits at the Passing Out ceremony in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Members of Parliament (MPs) have welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the South African Police Service Amendment Bill.

Ministers this week approved the bill to be published for public comment.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the amendments to the South African Police Service (SAPS) Act were long overdue, and there was a need to bring the law in line with the Constitution to ensure optimal policing within the current environment.

Cele said there were a number of imperatives that led to a full review of the Police Service Act – which included the need to address shortcomings in the legal framework which governs SAPS.

While the Bill itself has not yet been published, MPs’ police committee has welcomed it.

The bill makes it even harder to become a police member and recruits would need to be vetted and give DNA samples.

Committee member Pieter Groenewald said changes to police legislation were long overdue.

“What we do welcome, for instance, is the integrity tests and everything where even lifestyle audits will be done; as well as DNA samples of each and every recruit.”

The Democratic Alliance’s police spokesperson Andrew Whitfield said he was still studying the Amendment Bill.

It will only be tabled in Parliament once the public has had time to make submissions over the next 45 days.

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