Police Employees make the Free State proud


Police in the Free State have scooped six awards at the Annual National Service Excellence Awards ceremony at the weekend in Johannesburg. The ceremony is in recognition of police members, reservists and Community Police Forums (CPF) who provided outstanding service to communities. Bainsvlei CPF was awarded the best in the country for its integral part of crime fighting initiatives. The CPF’s active involvement demonstrates the importance of police-community relationships in addressing crime tendencies and crime prevention. With almost 1 000 registered members the CPF avail themselves weekly and embark on voluntary initiatives to safe guard communities and provide other services at their own expenses. Tholo Kortman and Tshediso Mokoena received the National Commissioner Award. Mokoena, who was stationed at Caledonspoort Port of Entry and Kortman from the Hawks in Bloemfontein, played a role in the arrest of nine alleged police members and five Home Affairs officials. They were implicated in among others taking bribes for allowing illegal movements, contraband, stolen and hijacked vehicles to cross the border to Lesotho. The police members and officials have since been dismissed from their service.

Kortman and Tshediso also played a role in the arrest of eight Bethlehem Tactical Response Team (TRT) members for submitting fraudulent claims amounting to more than R13 7o0. All these members have since been dismissed from the service. Criminal cases for both cases are still pending.

Provincial police commissioner, Thabethe Mpembe, says it is a proud moment. “These awards are in line with our vision in the Free State.” The vision includes turning the province into a policing model for the country. According to Mpembe the Free State has also for the past two years topped the rest of the provinces in the country in term s of reducing the levels of crime.

Paula Mey
Paula Mey

Paula Mey from the Bainsvlei police station was awarded the Administration Employee of the Year (level one to seven), while Johannes Gelderblom was the Vispol Employee of the Year (level eight to 12). Mey, an administrator  is actively involved in sector policing. Her involvement and initiative, has community patrollers registered increased from about 11 to 268. This number is still growing. Mey also developed and implemented a street number project which was extended to other clusters.

Johan Gelderblom

Gelderblom, the provincial rural safety coordinator in the province, has ensured that all the relevant units such as Vispol (the unit for visible policing) and the K9 Dog Unit are dispatched to crime scenes swiftly.  He also launched a major stock theft prevention project involving the Dewetsdorp, Wepener, Van Stadensrus, Smithfield, Zastron and Rouxville police stations. Gelderblom also conducted a wildlife and endangered species workshop with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and police members from various port of entry in the province.

Lensigh Singh

Lensigh Singh received the Senior Administration Manager of the Year (level 13-15) and Thabang Lesia was awarded the Senior Operational Manager of the Year (level 13-15). Singh ensured the overall provincial performance of the organisational development and strategic management component in the Free State was 75,5% in the 2014/2015 financial year. This despite the component being understaffed. Singh compiled a 50-page Youth Summit report with annexures that had to be tabled within 14 days after the summit while he was on leave.

Thabang Lesia

Lesia has exceeded his output in the management of the Free State war room, daily serious crimes, timelines analysed, suspect linkages and profiling, as well as the analysis of Section 205 reports. He successfully opposed bail in the cases of repeat offences and serious and violent crimes, created files for wanted suspects and exceeded the target for tracking and tracing.

He has planned, carried out and monitored 17 537 successful operations, including Paseka ,Festive Season, Lungisa Squeeze Penya, Mophato Mariha, Sizanani , Basadi and Usalama achieving more than 29 2oo  arrests and more than 35 700 fines were issued. – Christal-Lize Muller