A group of trainees at the Mpumalanga Traffic Training College in Mkhuhlu, Bushbuckridge, is crying foul after the suspension of their training programme.

The 125 trainees were recruited to participate in a traffic officers learnership program by the Department of Community, Safety, Security and Liaison. Now the trainees have been issued with letters informing them of maladministration in the recruitment process.

Lifeman Tibane, from Mkhuhlu in Bushbuckridge, is one of the trainees. Tibane completed his metric in 2009. He wanted to pursue his studies in an institution of higher learning, but his family had no money.

He had been applying for the traffic officer’s learnership programme for years. He now feels like his dream is being shattered.

The trainees have refused to accept the letters of suspension. Tibane says the programme was the only breakthrough to get employment for them.

“This is our only hope as the learnership came through. We failed to go to universities after passing matric because we don’t have good backgrounds in our families, when we saw the posts being advertised last year we said this is our hope, we applied for this learnership we were appointed, now they are telling us that our appointment is suspended.”

Another trainee, Basani Nkuna, alleges that they have not been getting food with all lessons not taking place.

“We do not understand what is going on with the letters, we didn’t take the letters and from Monday since we don’t want to take the letters and get out of here we not gonna have food, we have been evicted from the kitchen we no longer go the kitchen to eat, as we speak the Mpumalanga students are 125 including myself, but then we have other students who are sent from other provinces to train here those students are having food while we look at them.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison says the suspension of the programme is to allow for an investigation on allegations of wrongdoing in the recruitment process.

The spokesperson for the department Moeti Mmusi says the outcome of the investigation will determine the way forward.

“This is done to ensure that the investigation into allegations takes place as soon as the investigation is completed the training programme will be put back into place, it is in this context that the department wrote individual letters to the learners advising them there is an investigation and the training programme will be suspended.”

The trainees were ordered to leave the institution by last Saturday. An order they defied. The department has not revealed how long will the investigation take.