THOUSANDS of Eastern Cape police officers with criminal records, as well as those with cases against them, have been asked to explain why they should keep their jobs.
This week, in response to a call by the national police office, police commanders at police stations throughout the province issued notices asking officers to declare their criminal records.
The call has received mixed support from police unions, with one union asking "what happens once the criminal cases have been declared?"
Eastern Cape police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said last week police had completed an audit on employees with criminal records.
"We are busy with a process whereby, in terms of Section 34 and 36 of the Police Act, they have to appear before a board of fitness to make representation as to why they believe they are still fit to be employees," she said.
Times Media has seen a circular issued by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega calling for station commanders to be strict about asking their members to report their criminal cases.
The notice asked for members to come forward and report their criminal records. They have until the end of this month to make their declarations.
It said employees whose records reflected criminal convictions and sentences would be listed at national police headquarters and a follow-up instruction would be issued in this regard.