Paarl po­lice univer­sity will boost train­ing

But DA spokes­woman says planned col­lege would be il­le­gal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SOYISO MALITI soyiso.maliti@inl.co.za

THE PAARL po­lice col­lege is be­ing trans­formed into a univer­sity, which will now of­fer polic­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions in the form of a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in polic­ing – but the DA claims the move is not above board.

The plan has been de­scribed as il­le­gal by DA spokes­woman on po­lice Dianne Kohler Barnard.

An­nel­ize van Wyk, head of Par­lia­ment’s po­lice port­fo­lio com­mit­tee, has told mem­bers of her com­mit­tee she will call the national com­mis­sioner to ap­pear be­fore them to ex­plain and an­swer ques­tions.

The univer­sity will open of­fi­cially next Jan­uary and Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa wel­comed the de­vel­op­ment, say­ing the plan was to in­crease train­ing lev­els, in­clud­ing “hon­ours, masters and doc­tor­ates”, into the fu­ture.

Kohler Barnard said the univer­sity would be il­le­gal, and that the “polic­ing port­fo­lio and the sec­re­tary of po­lice know noth­ing about this – there was never an an­nounce­ment and there’s no bud­get for it”.

“They didn’t even con­sult the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, and this will come as a sur­prise to many,” she added.

Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for Mthethwa, told Week­end Ar­gus the ini­tia­tive formed part of ef­forts of build a new cadre of po­lice of­fi­cers for the next gen­er­a­tion.

He said this was in sync with what other po­lice agen­cies were do­ing glob­ally.

“One dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture of such a univer­sity will be the pro­fes­sional leg, which will en­sure preser­va­tion of the polic­ing cul­ture, while the other is fo­cus­ing on aca­demic de­vel­op­ment of our po­lice mem­bers.

“The min­istry wel­comes this pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment as it will en­hance and im­prove skills ca­pac­ity around polic­ing,” Mnisi said.

Bet­ter-trained and equipped po­lice of­fi­cers were be­com­ing even more cru­cial in the face of so­cial, eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments tak­ing place in South Africa, and world­wide, which in­creased the chal­lenges in the fight against crime.

Mnisi said the first co­hort of stu­dents, se­lected from within the po­lice, would be en­rolled from Jan­uary.

“Strin­gent cri­te­ria will be used to se­lect stu­dents for en­rol­ment, based on both the SAPS re­quire­ments as well as ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions’ re­quire­ments,” he ex­plained.

How­ever, not all po­lice col­leges would be re­placed by univer­sity in­sti­tu­tions, and any­one want­ing to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer would still have to at­tend a col­lege, said Mnisi.

He ex­plained that the univer­sity de­ci­sion was taken by the min­istry to en­sure of­fi­cers had both aca­demic and polic­ing skills.

Kohler Barnard said cre­at­ing a univer­sity was a multi­bil­lion- rand ex­er­cise which was sub­ject to ex­ten­sive leg­is­la­tion “un­der the min­is­ter of higher ed­u­ca­tion”.

“Of course, fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion is ex­cel­lent for any SAPS mem­ber, but we have nu­mer­ous uni­ver­si­ties in the coun­try al­ready.

“It may be more eco­nom­i­cal to re­quest that an ex­ist­ing univer­sity in­tro­duce the pro­posed cour­ses as part of their ed­u­ca­tion slate, rather than go­ing to the ex­pense of cre­at­ing a spe­cific univer­sity for the SAPS,” she said.

Kohler Barnard was also con­cerned that the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee and the sec­re­tary of po­lice had not been in­cluded in the de­ci­sion.

“To make this an­nounce­ment with­out dis­cus­sion with the two bod­ies that are in­ti­mately in­volved in leg­is­la­tion and bud­get­ing is just in­sult­ing,” she said.

Van Wyk, mean­while, con­firmed the idea of the univer­sity was not con­tained in the 2013/14 bud­get, nor its an­nual plan.

She asked where the bud­get would come from, what had been cut to fund the univer­sity, how far ac­cred­i­ta­tion had gone, who the lec­tur­ers would be, and how they were se­lected.

“The po­lice univer­sity can con­trib­ute to­wards man­age­ment, specif­i­cally at sta­tion level, to im­prove their man­age­ment of re­sources, both hu­man and cap­i­tal.

“Po­lice sta­tions are the coal­face of polic­ing and an im­prove­ment there would lead to im­proved ser­vice de­liv­ery from SAPS,” she said.

But she would seek clar­ity from the national com­mis­sioner.

Mean­while, Cape Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Con­sor­tium chief ex­ec­u­tive Nasima Bad­sha wel­comed the ad­di­tion of a univer­sity in the prov­ince, but said they had “in­suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion about in­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments for the pro­posed of­fer­ing of de­gree qual­i­fi­ca­tions by the Paarl South African Po­lice Ser­vice Acad­emy”, and so could not comment fur­ther.

Mnisi said they were in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Learn­ing on the sta­tus of the new qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

AT THE SEA­SIDE: This is Beau­fort Cot­tage in Kalk Bay, now known as Beau­fort Villa, once the sea­side home of the first prime min­is­ter of the Cape Colony, Sir John Molteno. Molteno farmed in the Beau­fort West area for years, and be­came the MP for the town, hence the name of the cot­tage. In the days be­fore the rail­way line reached Kalk Bay in 1883, the cot­tage was sep­a­rated from the sea by just the cart track to Si­mon’s Town. The rail­way line and the widen­ing of the main road meant that Beau­fort Cot­tage lost its front gar­den, but its po­si­tion across from the sea re­mains glo­ri­ous. The ‘then’ pic­ture was sub­mit­ted by reader Steven Molteno, a de­scen­dant of Sir John’s, and the ‘now’ pic­ture was taken by Week­end Ar­gus pho­tog­ra­pher Leon Lestrade.

Send in pic­tures of old Cape Town, with any date and back­ground in­for­ma­tion you have, to Box 56, Cape Town, 8000; to 122 St Ge­orge’s Mall, Cape Town, 8001; or to arg­pix@inl.co.za. Please mark them clearly for the Week­end Ar­gus Pic­ture Edi­tor - Then and Now. If you want your pic­ture back, please in­clude your ad­dress. See the Let­ters page for a fol­low-up on the Round Church of Sea Point.

PIC­TURE: TRACEY ADAMS

BIG CHANGE: The Paarl Po­lice Acad­emy is to be changed into a univer­sity.

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