FS police members rewarded for excellence

Free State Police, Roads and Transport MEC, Sam Mashinini, Constable Nikiwe Mokatsanyane, Brigadier Koos Bonthuys, Constable Diresh Naidoo Major and the Free State Provincial Commissioner, Lebeoana Tsumane, celebrating the province's feat at the recent National Excellence Awards. PHOTO: MARK STEENBOK

The South African Police Service (SAPS) hosted their annual National Excellence Awards in the North West Province on 27 January 2017, a day that is annually celebrated as National Police Day.
On this day the leadership of the SAPS honours members and employees for their hard work and dedication in serving and protecting all in South Africa.
The National Police Day celebrations were followed by the fourth annual National Excellence Awards on the evening at Sun City. The goal of these awards is to recognise and honour members who have performed outstanding duties or deeds to attain service excellence.
Nominees include, among others, those at management level, operational members, employees with disabilities, support personnel, sports achievers, community policing forums and reservists.
The Free State again did exceptionally well at this year’s awards.
Constable Diresh Naidoo from Vrede Police Station, who work as a community policing official, stepped out as the winner in the category: Visible Policing Employee (Level 5 – 7) of the Year.
In the category: Crime Intelligence Employee (Level 5-7) of the Year, Sergeant AF Strauss was named the winner. Strauss is an Intelligence Collection Official at the Crime Intelligence stationed at Thabong Station.
Colonel MP Ntsoereng, Commander of Crime Intelligence at the Park Road Cluster, was named winner in the category: Crime Intelligence Employee (Level 8-12) of the Year. Ntsoereng is responsible for the collection capacity in the Trompsburg Cluster.
Under the leadership of Colonel MP Ntsoereng, the Crime Intelligence of the Park Road Cluster also walked away as winners of the Crime Intelligence Team of the Year.
In the 2015/16 financial year, members of Crime Intelligence of the Park Road Cluster monitored and ensured compliance with the identification, talent spotting and recruitment of 39 informers. Three network operations were registered.
A total of 163 tactical operations were conducted in which 245 individuals were arrested for various crimes, 9 for illegal firearms, 24 vehicles and two motorcycles were recovered, and two drug laboratories were closed down.
Drug manufacturing equipment to the value of R20 000 was seized and two foreign nationals were arrested. Tik, methcathinone and drug manufacturing equipment to the value of R1,9 million were seized.
The winner in the category: Senior Manager (Operational) Level 13-15 of the Year is Major General Phumzo Eric Gela, Cluster Commander of the Park Road Cluster in Bloemfontein. Under his tutelage, the cluster and some of the stations scooped numerous awards at the Vispol Awards. The highlight was when the Park Road Cluster was named the Cluster of the Year in the 2015/16 financial year while the Park Road Station took the Station of the Year as well as the Brigadier Station of the Year.
Brigadier Koos Bonthuys was awarded the winning position in the category: Senior Manager (Admin) Level 13 -15 of the Year. Bonthuys is the Provincial Head of the HRD Division in the Free State. Bonthuys is responsible for training provisioning, skills development facilitation, field training and sport and fitness coordination.
Constable Nikiwe Mokatsanyane, from the Selosesha FCS unit received a Commendation Certificate from the Acting Commissioner for showing dedication on his investigative job. She was asked to ascend the stage after receiving the certificate and was promoted on the spot by Acting national police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane. She has been a Sergeant since 1 February 2017.
Although last year’s winner for Community Police Forum (CPF) of the Year did not walk away with the prize this year, the Bainsvlei CPF still managed to stand tall under the top three CPFs in the country. The Knysna Community Police Forum was appointed the best at the SAPD Excellence awards.The Free State Provincial Commissioner, Lebeoana Tsumane, says these awards show that the men and women in blue in the Free State are doing things right. “If the Free State can win seven of the 24 national awards, that means we are making a difference. We are very proud of these officers and we would like to thank the community because without their corporation we will not be able to achieve this success. My approach for the coming financial year is back to basics – hard policing and police visibility.” – Maricelle Botha