Article compiled by Annalise Kempen
Photos by W/O Ndanduleni Nyambeni
Throughout the years of reading about and attending National Police Day events hosted each year on 27 January, I always thought to myself that this is the ideal day to reward and recognise those police members who are "true to the blue". After all, the purpose of National Police Day is for the SAPS to remember the sacrifices that our men and women in blue have made and continue to make as they provide safety for all who live in South Africa, and to thank them for doing so.
Lt-Gen Lineo Ntshiea, the Divisional Commissioner of Personnel Management, wrote the following in the National Excellence Awards booklet: "Annually, 27 January is the day on which we thank all the employees of the SAPS who have lived up to their pledge to serve and protect, and who have made the nation proud. It is, therefore, fitting that we hold the National Excellence Awards on this day to show our appreciation to the men and women who stood out as being truly dedicated to their calling and who have excelled in the performance of their duties, their commitment to uplift needy communities or who have performed acts of exceptional bravery. Indeed, they are our brightest stars; may they continue to shine and set an example to their colleagues, both junior and senior to them in rank."
On 27 January 2017, the Superbowl at Sun City played host to the fourth annual National Excellence Awards, where nominees and their colleagues gathered in anticipation, wanting to know who was to going to walk away with the national excellence award in each of the categories. The Minister and Deputy Minister of Police, the SAPS’s top management and Police Chiefs from neighbouring countries, attended the event to share in our police members' moments of recognition.
Administration Employee of the Year: level 1-7
Winner: AC Grant D Strydom, Pinetown SAPS, KwaZulu-Natal.
Finalists: Foreman W Lewies, Grabouw SAPS and PAC C M Collins, Gauteng.
Administration Employee of the Year: level 8-12
Winner: Lt-Col Hilton Henstock, Human Resources, Brakpan SAPS, Gauteng.
Finalists: Lt-Col M J Botha, Mankweng SAPS and Lt-Col K Govender, KwaZulu-Natal.
Administration Team of the Year
Winner: Disciplinary Trial Team, Northern Cape - Lt-Col M S Nkosi
Finalists: Recruitment and Staffing, Personnel Management, HO - Brig E J Tait; and Human Resource Utilisation, Free State - Col S J Tladi.
Visible Policing Employee of the Year: level 5-7
Winner: Const Diresh Naidoo. Const Naidoo is stationed at Vrede SAPS, Free State, as a community policing official. One of the social crime prevention projects that he has implemented involved the numbering of houses with reflective paint to make it easier for emergency services and the police to locate an address. He has also involved the K9 Unit in the prevention of the use of drugs, which was increasing in Vrede and which has resulted in the arrest of dealers. Const Naidoo initiated Sports and Art Against Crime projects to keep the youth busy in their leisure time; and has been encouraging the engraving and marking of property to reduce theft, since it is difficult to sell marked property. Const Naidoo further assisted in four housebreaking and theft cases, resulting in the arrest of 20 suspects for the possession of suspected stolen property and arrests for stock theft and robberies, as well as the recovery of property, including a firearm and ammunition.
The other two finalists were W/O A Douglas from Ceres SAPS (read a related article about some of W/O Douglas’s work in Servamus: January 2013) and W/O A S J Erasmus from the K9 Unit in the Vryburg Cluster.