Firearm training and maintenance should be priority for all SAPS members, not just Special Task Force

“Even though Action Society would like to congratulate the SAPS Special Task Force on placing third in the UAE SWAT Challenge in Dubai, it is a pity that some other members can only do maintenance competency shoots once every five years,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “We are also very concerned about the improper general handling of firearms by some SAPS members and police stations.”

The UAE SWAT Challenge aims to promote knowledge sharing and partnership building to make communities safer. It is a valuable opportunity for law enforcement agencies worldwide to exchange knowledge, skills, and best practices to improve their operations and enhance their capabilities.

“This achievement proves that if police members receive the correct tools, training and skills development, our police force should be in a position to fight crime and lawlessness,” said Mmekwa. “However, when more than 8 000 police-issued firearms are stolen from police custody, and only five people are successfully prosecuted on these charges, it is obvious that the police’s priorities and management fall short.”

Action Society again wants to strongly suggest a skill audit in the SAPS to determine the merit of appointments, sack members not appointed on merit, and polygraph all members to determine whether they have been involved with corrupt activities.

“The Special Task Force’s achievement should also serve as encouragement for women to arm themselves and be trained in the proper use of firearms,” said Mmekwa.

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