South African Police Service

South African Police Service

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = South African Police Service
nativename =
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formedyear = 1995
formedmonthday =
preceding1 = South African Police
preceding2 = Homeland police agencies
dissolved =
superseding =
employees = 172,483 (June 2008)
volunteers =
budget =
nongovernment =
country = South Africa
countryabbr =
national = Yes

mapcaption =
sizearea = 1,219,090 km2
sizepopulation = 47,849,800 (June 2007)
legaljuris =
governingbody =
governingbodyscnd =
constitution1 = Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, Chapter 11, Section 205
constitution2 = South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995
police = Yes
local = Yes
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headquarters =

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sworntype = Officer
sworn = 137,175 (June 2008)
unsworntype = Civilian
unsworn = 35,308 (June 2008)
electeetype =
minister1name =
minister1pfo = Department of Safety and Security
chief1name =
chief1position =
parentagency =
child1agency =
unittype = Division
unitname = collapsible list |title=6 |Visible Policing |Cluster Coordination |Detecive Service |Crime Intelligence |Criminal Record and Forensic Science Services |Protection and Security Services
officetype = Provincial
officename = collapsible list |title=9 |Eastern Cape |Free State |Gauteng |Kwazulu-Natal |Mpumalanga |Northern Cape |Limpopo |North West |Western Cape
provideragency =
uniformedas =
stationtype =
stations = 1115
airbases =
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lockups =
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reference = cite web |url= |publisher=South African Police Service |title=SAPS Profile |accessdate=2008-08-07
:"For the apartheid-era police force see South African Police.

The South African Police Service is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa.

The SAP was renamed the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the Ministry of Law and Order was renamed the Ministry of Safety and Security, in keeping with these symbolic reforms. The new minister of safety and security, Sydney Mufamadi, obtained police training assistance from Zimbabwe, Britain and Canada and proclaimed that racial tolerance and human rights would be central to police training programs in the future. By the end of 1995, the SAPS had incorporated the ten police agencies from the former homelands and had reorganized at both the national level and at the level of South Africa's nine new provinces.


The SAPS headquarters in Pretoria is organized into six divisions. These are the Crime Combating and Investigation Division, the Visible Policing Division, the Internal Stability Division, the Community Relations Division, the Supporting Services Division, and the Human Resource Management Division.

The Crime Combating and Investigation Division holds overall responsibility for coordinating information about crime and investigative procedures. It administers the SAPS Criminal Record Centre, the SAPS Commercial Crime Unit, the SAPS Diamond and Gold Branch, the South African Narcotics Bureau, the Stock Theft Unit, the Inspectorate for Explosives, murder and robbery units located in each major city, and vehicle theft units throughout the country. In addition, the division manages the National Bureau of Missing Persons, which was established in late 1994.

The Visible Policing Division manages highly public police operations, such as guarding senior government officials and dignitaries. Most government residences are guarded by members of the division's Special Guard Unit. The division's all-volunteer Special Task Force handles hostage situations and other high-risk activities. The Internal Stability Division is responsible for preventing and quelling internal unrest, and for assisting other divisions in combating crime. The Community Relations Division consults with all police divisions concerning accountability and respect for human rights. The Supporting Services Division manages financial, legal, and administrative aspects of the SAPS. The Human Resource Management Division helps to hire, to train, and to maintain a competent work force for the SAPS.

APS Rank System

The SAPS Rank system consists of the following from the lowest to the highest-

Non-commissioned Officers
* Student Constable
* Constable
* Sergeant
* Inspector
Commissioned Officers
* Captain
* Superintendent
* Senior Superintendent
* Director
* Assistant Commissioner
* Deputy National Commissioner
* Commissioner


The SAPS currently consist of a large Reserve Division named the South-African Reserve Police Service.These members help part-time to combat crime in South-Africa.

Labour Unions

Three police unions were active in bargaining on behalf of police personnel and in protecting the interests of the work force, as of 1996. These are the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), which has about 15,000 members; the South African Police Union (SAPU), which has about 35,000 members; and the Public Service Association (PSA), which has about 4,000 members.

Air Wing

The South Africa Police Sevices operate a small number of fixed and rotary aircraft.
* 8 x Pilatus PC-6 Porter
* 1 x Cessna 402
* 1 x Beech 400
* 24 x Bölkow Bo 105
* 5 x MD 500D/E Defender
* 11 x Eurocopter Ecureuil

Integration and representation

Today, the force is completely integrated, but not yet fully representative of the South African population.The force's composition is:
*Black/African: 60%
*White: 23%
*Coloured: 12%
*Asian/Indian: 5%

National Commissioners of the SAPS

*Johan van der Merwe 1994-1995
*George Fivaz 1995-2000
*Jacob Selebi 2000-2008


* On 10 September 2007 a warrant of arrest was issued by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for National Police Commissioner (and Interpol Head) Jackie Selebi. On 23 September 2007 President Mbeki suspended NPA Head Vusi Pikoli, allegedly because of "an irretrievable breakdown” in the relationship between Pikoli and Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla. However, journalists at the Mail and Guardian claim to have solid information supporting the widespread suspicion that President Mbeki suspended Pikoli as part of a bid to shield Police Commissioner Selebi. [ The desperate bid to shield Selebi] ] According to the Mail and Guardian at 5 October 2007 the NPA is investigating Selebi for corruption, fraud, racketeering and defeating the ends of justice.

* A number of community organisations and social movement have accused the SAPS of acting against them with apartheid style illegality and brutality. [ [ See for instance this statement by Abahlali baseMjondolo] ] Independent studies have confirmed this. [ [ See, for instance, a report on illegal police repression in South Africa by the Freedom of Expression Institute] ]

Annual Report of the SAPS 2007-2008

The Annual Report of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the period 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008, was published on 29 August 2008. [ [ SAPS Annual Report 2007-2008] ] In terms of this report, the structure of the SAPS, looks quite different than in 1996.

The National Commissioner is assisted by five Deputy National Commissioners (DNC).
* Deputy National Commissioner for Crime Intelligence and Crime Detection
* Deputy National Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Legal & Financial Administration Services
* Deputy National Commissioner for Personnel Management & Organisational Development
* Deputy National Commissioner for Operational Services
* Deputy National Commissioner for Supply Chain Management, Protection, Security & Evaluation Services

* The DNC for Crime Intelligence and Crime Detection is assisted by three Divisional Commissioners, namely Detective Services, Criminal Record & Forensic Science Services and Crime Intelligence

* The DNC for Human Capital Development and Legal & Financial Administration Services is assisted by four Divisional Commissioners, namely Career Management, Training, Legal Services and Financial & Administration Services

* The DNC for Personnel Management & Organisational Development is assisted by two Divisional Commissioners, namely Personnel Services and Efficiency Services, Information & System Management, Communication & Liaison Services

* The DNC for Operational Services is assisted by two Divisional Commissioners, namely Visible Policing and Cluster Coordination.

* The DNC for Supply Chain Management, Protection, Security & Evaluation Services is assisted by three Divisional Commissioners, namely Protection & Security Services, Supply Chain Management and National Inspectorate.

Police Stations in South Africa

The 1115 police stations in South Africa are divided according to the provincial borders of South Africa and a Provincial Commissioner is appointed in each province. Therefore, there are 9 Provincial Commissioners and they report directly to the National Commissioner.
The following list is a breakdown of the number of stations per province:
* Eastern Cape - 191
* Free State - 110
* Gauteng - 127
* KwaZulu Natal - 184
* Limpopo - 89
* Mpumalanga - 90
* Northern Cape - 83
* Northwest - 94
* Western Cape - 146


External links

* [ South African Police Service Homepage]
* [ Online directory to contact information of all 1115 police stations in South Africa]

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