By Edwin Tshivhidzo
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has refuted claims that it is planning to cut down the number of white officers from service by offering them severance packages.
National Police spokesperson Director Sally de Beer said the claims were untrue. She said the SAPS will continue to recruit white officers at an entry level.
"Our recruitment drive is an indication that we have not planned to reduce the number of white officers,' she said.
Director de Beer said the SAPS has also embarked on a programme to retain police officers who have skills that are scarce.
She said the SAPS had been offering the police officers who have resigned contracts and allowances to encourage them to remain in the service.
"Like any other government department the SAPS is also required to submit an Employment Equity Report to the Department of Labour annually. These claims have no substance,' Director de Beer said.
The SAPS, she said, was in the process of actively recruiting and training thousands of police officials from all races and will be deployed in all parts of the country.
"Our budget for the recruitment and training programme has already been approved by the Department of Finance in terms of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework,' she said.
According to the SAPS, similar malicious rumours surfaced in March 2004. At that time the National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said it was extremely irresponsible for any person to sow fear among our members who already perform a dangerous task often under stressful conditions.
"All our members have secure employment status and there will be no retrenchments or witch hunt along racial lines in this organisation,' he added.