The South African government wants more of its white citizens to join the rank and file of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Police Minister Cele Bheki said at a pass-out parade of newly-trained police officers on thursday.

“Yes, the issue of white youth [not joining the police service] is a cause for concern, because I do think we can do better in terms of numbers. That will basically be on our radar, to ensure that we recruit more. I have made a point that they need to come forward and serve in a democratic South Africa,” Bheki said at the SAPS Tshwane Academy, west of Pretoria CBD.

The police trainees who stood on parade on thursday the third intake to graduate from the SAPS’ revised Basic Police Training Learning Programme which was introduced in 2016.

As many as 3,499 newly trained officers have been deployed across the country just in time for the festive season, which is characterised by a high crime rate in South Africa. At least 935 are females.

The new police minister , Cele Bheki on Friday congratulated the newly trained officers and encouraged them to implement their skills and knowledge at the various police stations nationwide.

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