A 31-year-old constable has become the first woman in South Africa to complete the Special Task Force’s (STF) Selection Training Programme under SAPS.
Established in 1976, the STF focuses on handling and responding to high risk situations. Members are trained in how to manage terrorism situations, hostage-related incidents and rescue missions.
The STF falls under the Specialised Operations Component, led by Major General Nonhlanhla Zulu. Along with other units, they report to Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, the first female Deputy National Commissioner.
The officer, who cannot be named, has 11 years of service under her belt, and is now the only woman police officer to have successfully completed the STF training programme without any variations made to the course.
The STF selection criteria is very strict and those who are selected, have to undergo intensive and rigorous training.
There were 906 applications to join the unit, with 589 qualifying for provisional selection. Only 93 applicants reported for selection, and only 11 successfully completed the STF training programme.
The officer expressed how her achievement can also act as motivation for other women.
“If you really want something, you must do everything to obtain it. I wanted to be part of the best, either the best or nothing. If I can do it, other women can and will be able to do it,” she said.