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AfriForum cautiously optimistic about the planned use of reservists by SAPS

May 15, 2019 deur Carina Bester

It is with joy that AfriForum took note of the intention of the SAPS to utilise reservists to combat crime in rural and remote areas.

The civil rights organisation has for the past two years campaigned to force the SAPS to use reservists as additional manpower. An application by AfriForum against various role-players in the SAPS was heard in the North Gauteng High Court on 3 April 2019. An injunction was obtained against the SAPS to send the affected reservists for the necessary training to allow them to be added in the pool of useable members to help combat crime. 

The SAPS has to date either refused or dragged their feet to present training for reservists, as well as to send existing officials for retraining. This led to the fact that the reservists aren’t able to properly assist the SAPS, seeing as according to legislation they are not competent to use firearms, amongst others. 

Due to the police’s hesitation and refusal, the amount of police reservists decreased with 80% between 2010 and 2018 and approximately 60 000 members were lost for service to the community. 

“It seems as though the SAPS is possibly lending an ear to AfriForum’s pleas to make use of existing resources, among which the reservists, to support its crime combating attempts. It is however regrettable that drastic steps had to be taken by the court to bring home this realisation,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety. 

“AfriForum is being swamped with requests from affected reservists and community policing forums across the country to be of assistance to them with similar applications. Reservists deliver services without being compensated for it. The only thing that these people want is to be able to deliver a service to the community,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Legal and Risk Manager for Community Safety.