First wo­man joins spe­cial unit

Go! & Express - - NEWS - AMANDA NANO

East London can be proud of pro­duc­ing the first African fe­male South African Po­lice Ser­vices (SAPS) Search and Res­cue handler, Con­sta­ble Phe­lisa Dyan­tyi, who hails from Mount Frere.

The pas­sion­ate mother of one said she chose to be in the K9 Unit as a chal­lenge to her­self. She can climb, swim and even scale cliffs.

“It's a male-dom­i­nated space but I chose to do it any­way. I was do­ing what is sel­dom done by oth­ers be­cause it re­quires ded­i­ca­tion and brav­ery,” she said.

One has to be “men­tally and phys­i­cally fit for this job” as she some­times deals with sit­u­a­tions that in­volve death, div­ing and search­ing for de­com­posed bod­ies in very deep wa­ter.

“This job can trau­ma­tise you. Many drown­ings we deal with in­volve young chil­dren, but we have coun­selling ser­vices at our dis­posal,” she said.

East­ern Cape provin­cial com­mis­sioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Nt­shinga said this was a scarce skill in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try and they were proud to help pro­duce this hum­ble trend­set­ter.

“Our vi­sion is to en­sure that young con­sta­bles are de­vel­oped as fu­ture lead­ers,” she said.

Con­sta­ble Dyan­tyi said she be­lieves they need more hands and she will gladly as­sist upcoming fe­male po­lice of­fi­cers and boost the im­age of the SAPS. “If you can’t swim, there are cour­ses avail­able. Last year I was in Pre­to­ria and met my part­ner, Cindy.”

Cindy is a Bel­gian Shep­herd dog who is her K9 part­ner. “She's like my last born, naughty but obe­di­ent,” she said.

The chal­leng­ing thing is when the search starts at night and the per­son is pre­sumed to have drowned.

“You are not fa­mil­iar with the area at that time but we al­ways try our best, con­sid­er­ing our safety and that of our dogs.

“You also have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to give hope to the fam­i­lies af­fected and as­sure them that you tried all you could to find them even though they may have passed away,” she said.

Con­sta­ble Dyan­tyi is at­tached to the East London K9 Unit where they also work closely to­gether with other Search and Res­cue Unit mem­bers in the prov­ince, of­ten trav­el­ling all over the prov­ince.

In mo­ti­vat­ing young girls, she said no in­di­vid­ual should be­lieve in neg­a­tive words about their dreams and she en­cour­aged other young con­sta­bles who are start­ing their ca­reers not to be afraid of chal­lenges.

ON THE CASE: East­ern Cape provin­cial com­mis­sioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Nt­shinga, left, and Con­sta­ble Phe­lisa Dyan­tyi with her part­ner, Cindy at her side

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.