Ex-members of SAP want their jobs back

I FIND it incredible for Oskar Skommere, the South African Police Union general secretary, to insinuate that the SAPS management is playing with people's emotions in its efforts to re-enlist ex-members - Sowetan, January 20.

I FIND it incredible for Oskar Skommere, the South African Police Union general secretary, to insinuate that the SAPS management is playing with people's emotions in its efforts to re-enlist ex-members - Sowetan, January 20.

As a police officer and unionist who is au fait with police procedures, he should first have enquired about the process and the rationale behind the past weekend's advertisement to re-enlist former members before running to the media to send off his ill-informed and sceptical missive.

He is incorrect in dismissing our recruitment drive as a public relations exercise ahead of this year's Fifa World Cup.

The advert is intended to attract former members who volunteer - they are not forced - to apply for re-enlistment as one of the ways to build the police's capacity ahead and beyond the football spectacle.

We intend attracting the lost skills and expertise in which the SAPS invested massively over many years through the various advanced training courses that the former members had undergone.

Skommere's gratuitous and pessimistic assertion that former members will not apply in droves is not informed by reality. For the record, in 2007 there were 33 applications from former members who wished to re-enlist, a year later 412 and in 2009 the figure dramatically rose to 807.

The applications happened even without the advertisement. That's indicative of the willingness of former members to plough back into the service, impart their knowledge and to bolster the fight against crime.

Selby Bokaba, SAPS national spokesperson, Pretoria

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