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President Ramaphosa Charge police to be extra vigilant during festive period

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday asked 10,000 new police officers, who will be deployed nationwide since Dec. 15, to help ensure a safe holiday period in the country.

He made the remarks when speaking at a passing-out parade of 1,400 newly trained officers in Kimberley, the capital city of the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

The parade was one of a number of ceremonies taking place across various provinces this week where a total of 10,000 police officers marked the end of their basic training.

In his speech, Ramaphosa said the “new constables will be deployed to various police stations and also to specialized units” of the South African Police Service.

“Among their first tasks will be to strengthen the country-wide effort to ensure that South Africans are safe and secure during this festive season,” he said.

The president noted that South Africa was “under siege from criminals” and that crime was wreaking havoc in communities, destroying lives and tearing families apart. He also pointed out that crime was undermining the economy, affecting businesses and holding back a sustainable economic recovery.

“We have recruited and trained you as part of a new front in the fight against crime,” he told the new police officers.

On Sunday, South African Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that the 10,000 new officers, expected to graduate from various police academies this week, will be deployed across the country starting Dec. 15, as part of the country’s attempts to counter the sharp annual increase in crime rates experienced over the festive season.

“The holiday season is a time where criminals sharpen and refine their operations, taking advantage of the festive mood,” Cele said.

“These officers will be deployed to sanitize the streets and increase the footprint of the police in all nine provinces,” he added. “Their deployment will be prioritized, especially in high crowd zones and areas of entertainment and leisure, this holiday season.”

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