Detectives specialize in criminal investigations working on narcotics, illicit gold and diamond dealings, fraud, murder, robbery and car theft. Members of the police service with at least two years of service who have the talent for objective investigation may, after selection, enter the detectives' course.

Detectives’ duties are varied and sometimes dangerous. They visit crime scenes to reconstruct crimes as completely and as accurately as possible. They take statements from victims and witnesses and obtain descriptions of perpetrators, where possible. They gather and check evidence and clues and make arrests, as soon as possible. They open files, make detailed reports and testify at trials.

Although most detectives work for the SAPS, private detectives (who may or may not have any formal training) work for various organisations and agencies or may be self-employed.


  • South African Police Service

  • security organisations

  • self-employment, with own private investigation service

Where to Study

Related Occupations