Mpumalanga job seekers accuse police of unfair discrimination

People in various areas of Mpumalanga have accused the SAPS of depriving them of an opportunity to join the service.

People in various areas of Mpumalanga have accused the SAPS of depriving them of an opportunity to join the service.
PHOTO: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty
  • The police recently advertised 5 000 vacancies nationally to recruit entry-level trainees.
  • They stated in the ads applications in Mpumalanga could be hand delivered to Mbombela.
  • Young people have accused the police of unfair discrimination as they also wanted to be allowed to submit their application forms at their local police stations.

A number of unemployed people in various areas of Mpumalanga have accused the police of depriving them of an opportunity to join by requiring them to hand deliver application forms for trainee positions in Mbombela, which they said was too far.

Last month, the police advertised 5 000 positions nationally to recruit entry level trainees, who would be trained in all nine provinces.

The advertisement for Mpumalanga recruitment stated application forms could be hand delivered at the provincial office in Mbombela.

The same advertisement stated applications for the Free State could be hand delivered at the nearest police stations, or posted to the police in Bloemfontein. The applications closed on 30 June.

Ntombi Mahlangu of Vezubuhle Village in KwaMhlanga told News24 she wanted to apply for the training, but was dissuaded by the requirement that she had to hand deliver her application form in Mbombela which is about 300km from Vezubuhle.

READ | Are cops really not allowed to have tattoos? Experts give us an inkling of the rules

Mahlangu, 25, said police management should have allowed Mpumalanga applicants to submit their application forms at their nearest police stations, just like the Free State applicants.

“This is unfair discrimination because I could easily have delivered my application form at KwaMhlanga police station,” she added.

“I could not afford to travel to Mbombela just to deliver an application form. I have always wanted to become a police officer. I really needed this [training] opportunity because I want to work, fight crime and make a good living for myself and my family.”

How safe is your neighbourhood? Find out by using News24’s CrimeCheck

Simangaliso Thubane of Siyabuswa said he also wanted to apply as he hoped to become a police officer and liberate himself from poverty, but could not do so because of the directive of the advert.

“I’ve never had a formal job since I matriculated in 2014,” said the 27-year-old unemployed man.

I survive on temporary odd jobs. I really wanted to apply because this training is for free and I was going to receive a monthly stipend. But I did not apply because Mbombela is too far from my home.

The secretary of Vulamehlo Kusile Organisation, Elias Mahlangu, said his NPO had received complaints about this matter from Ntombi and a number of other young people, who wanted to apply for the training.

He added many police job seekers in the entire Nkangala region did not apply for the training as they could not afford to travel to Mbombela. Areas that are in the Nkangala region include KwaMhlanga, Siyabuswa, Emalahleni and Middelburg.

READ | Police clerk arrested for allegedly offering R10K bribe to get her kids into trainee project

“We wanted the SAPS to extend the closing date for applications and allow people of the whole Nkangala region to hand deliver their application forms at their local police stations,” said Mahlangu.

But Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala insisted applicants in the province were allowed to submit application forms at their local police stations.

“I was there when many people submitted their application forms at KwaMhlanga and Kwaggafontein police stations,” said Mohlala.