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Safety & security: Going beyond the call of duty

When they’e not stopping crime and arresting criminals, many police officers are busy making a meaningful contribution to their communities. 

Every year, the South African Police Services (SAPS) recognises and rewards these bright stars. This year was no exception. 

Under the theme “Our brightest stars, going beyond the call of duty”, 10 women from SAPS were honoured at a glittering function at Sun City, in the North West. 

The Deputy Minister of Police, Ms M Sotyu; Acting National Commissioner of the SAPS, Lt Gen Nhlanha Mkwanazi and several divisional commissioners and provincial commissioners, as well as representatives from Microsoft SA, Assupol Life, Massmart, Business Against Crime and SARPCCO, attended the event.

Lt Gen Mkwanazi was quick to point out that the awards were not necessarily about drawing comparisons between the initiatives of the finalists, but rather about how they complement each other as they embrace and advance the SAPS agenda against crime.                

Underprivileged children 

However, there must be a winner and this year the brightest star of all was Dimpho Nkosi, who stood out as a result of her efforts to light up the lives of many destitute families and underprivileged children. 

Aptly, Dimpho announced that coinciding with her relocation to the Mpumalanga provincial Head Office in 2008, her son Banisiwe was born. This motivated her to never allow a moment to pass by without planning how she would raise him in a comfortable and loving environment. She recalls: “I challenged myself even more after realising I had the responsibility of being a mother, not only to him, but also to other children.”

Christmas

As she went about buying Christmas gifts for her son, she couldn’t help but be reminded of all the many destitute children who were orphaned and had no one to spoil them. “This drove me to gather information on orphanages around Nelspruit and allowed me to identify children from John Mdluli Primary School, who were living under very difficult circumstances. Once I met these children, I fell in love with them and I was even more determined to arrange something for them that Christmas,” she recalls.

“I collected pledges from colleagues and friends and invited sponsors to come on board. Eventually I secured an event which provided the orphaned children with the best treat of their lives. They were driven around in a Porche Cayenne and a Ferrari, and they took home food parcels and Christmas gifts. That day was one of the happiest days of my life, a day I will never forget.”

Passion for children

In 2009, Dimpho was introduced to the SAPS Women’s Network, which made it easier for her to further explore her passion for children. “I then established working relationships with stakeholders involved in uplifting communities - organisations such as the Moral Regeneration Movement, Child Line, Child Welfare, The Office of a Child’s Rights in the Premiers office, Social Development and Health. These partnerships allowed me to better understand the concerns relating to our children in communities, and have insight into the plans of other department to address such concerns”.

She went on to remind us why she was such a worthy winner. “I have worked in a number of disadvantaged areas such as Msholozi, Pienaar, Dantjie, Matsafeni, Likazi, Witbank, Tweefontein , Matsulu and Msogwaba where I have fed and clothed families. I have adopted the Msholozi Orphanage and the Good Hope Centre in Nelspruit. For months I collected food, water and clothing, all of which were handed over to The Gift of the Givers to ship through to the people in the troubled Somalia.”

A worthy winner indeed!

-Lt Col E Holtzhausen