A sense of being  in a dead-end job and of having little prospect of promotion while dealing with the stress brought on by piles of case dockets is driving South Africa’s shortage of detectives, and it is affecting the fight against crime.

The detective deficit that police minister Bheki Cele revealed in parliament recently can be seen across nearly all provinces, and the numbers are staggering. The worst-affected province is the North West, with a 32% shortage of detectives. This is followed by the Northern Cape, with 25.94%, the Western Cape (24.34%), the Free State (23.76%), KwaZulu-Natal (23.31%), the Eastern Cape (10.61%) and Gauteng (5.26%)...

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