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The Start of the South African Police

The South African Police was the successor to the police forces of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Orange River Colony, and the Transvaal Colony in law enforcement in South Africa. Proclamation 18 formed the South African Police on 1 April 1913 with the amalgamation of the police forces of the four old colonies after the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

The first Commissioner of Police was Colonel Theo G Truter with 5,882 men under his command. The SAP originally policed cities and urban areas, while the South African Mounted Riflemen, a branch of the Union Defence Force, enforced the state's writ in rural areas. During World War I, the SAP took over the Riflemen's jurisdiction, and most Riflemen personnel were transferred to the SAP by the end of the 1910s. By 1926, the South African Mounted Riflemen were disbanded and their duties taken over by the South African Police.

 

About this Document

This document is a Special General Order, which consists of a roll of the first members appointed in the South African Police in 1913. This document has been released by the South African National Archives and made available online.

 

SAP

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