'reservists ignored'

RESERVISTS attached to the Nelspruit police have accused the provincial police management of ignoring them by selecting new recruits for training as police officers.

The reservists - some of whom say they have been in their positions for more than 10 years - also said some senior police officers in the provincial office had selected their own relatives for recruitment.

"They are guilty of nepotism and unfair labour practice because they have employed their relatives who have not done any police work.

"The government told us that we would be the first to be considered for new appointments but that is not happening," said a reservists who declined to be named.

She called on the office of national Police Commissioner Bheki Cele to investigate "the corruption taking place in the provincial office of the police".

Senior Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi, spokesperson for acting provincial Police Commissioner Rex Machabi, confirmed that she was aware of allegations of nepotism at the provincial police headquarters.

"We are investigating at least four cases of alleged nepotism after receiving complaints," Nkosi said yesterday.

"We call on anyone with information to come forward because the acting police commissioner's door is always open."

Nkosi insisted that there was nothing wrong with the procedures that were being followed regarding new recruits who would be sent for training.

"On top of that, the reservists are given priority according to national directives, provided they meet the revised requirements where even the age restriction is 45, when the normal limit is 35.

"Some of the reservists are recruited into permanent employment as administration clerks," Nkosi said.

She also said that management had decided yesterday to conduct an investigation to determine whether the reservists had been ignored.