Cops hon­oured for fight­ing ve­hi­cle crime

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - RUDZANI MATSHILI

THE South African Po­lice Ser­vice mem­bers and units who have made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions in the fight against crime were hon­oured yes­ter­day at an awards cer­e­mony in the city.

In its 18th year, the Tracker SAPS Awards cer­e­mony hon­ours law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and units whose ef­forts, in the use of Tracker sys­tems, have made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the re­cov­ery of stolen and hi­jacked ve­hi­cles in the coun­try.

The cer­e­mony was held at Diep in Die Berg Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Pre­to­ria.

In at­ten­dance were Gaut­eng Com­mu­nity MEC Siza­kele NkosiMalobane, act­ing SAPS na­tional com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Le­setja Moth­iba, Tracker’s ex­ec­u­tive for op­er­a­tional ser­vices Ron Knott-Craig and many other dig­ni­taries.

De­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress, Moth­iba be­gan by ac­knowl­edg­ing and com­mend­ing the po­lice’s re­la­tion­ship with Tracker, which has been in ex­is­tence for 21 years.

“On be­half of the SAPS we would like to con­grat­u­late Tracker on their 21 years. The part­ner­ship has grown from strength to strength over the last 21 years and the sky is the limit when it comes to the part­ner­ship,” he said.

Moth­iba was rep­re­sent­ing the Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula who could not at­tend ow­ing to other com­mit­ments.

He re­flected on his years when he was ap­pointed crime pre­ven­tion head in 1996 and how Tracker de­vices had helped to re­cover stolen ve­hi­cles.

“I still re­mem­ber Tracker installing two of their de­vices in our ve­hi­cles and later they added another two de­vices.

“By the time I left, the Alexan­dra crime pre­ven­tion unit was re­cov­er­ing more ve­hi­cles than any other unit in Gaut­eng.”

The act­ing com­mis­sioner also used his time to high­light the im­por­tant role the SAPS was play­ing in the coun­try.

Knott-Craig high­lighted the im­por­tance of the re­ward and Tracker’s part­ner­ship with the SAPS.

“The deep­est and of­ten most un­ful­filled need is our need to be ap­pre­ci­ated, to re­ceive recog­ni­tion for the value that we add,” said Knott-Craig.

“We deeply ap­pre­ci­ate you and the work that you do to make South Africa a safer place for all its peo­ple.”

Fi­nal­ists were cho­sen from a group of more than 90 in­di­vid­ual nom­i­nees and 40 units na­tion­ally.

Ma­jor-Gen­eral CT Sit­hole, of the KwaMh­langa clus­ter, re­ceived the over­all Tracker/SAPS Na­tional Unit Award. Sergeant Shaun Dicks, of the Port El­iz­a­beth K-9 Unit, re­ceived the Tracker/SAPS Na­tional In­di­vid­ual Award.

Dicks tracked 18 stolen or hi­jacked ve­hi­cles, re­cov­ered an ad­di­tional 32 stolen ve­hi­cles and made 98 ar­rests this year alone.

From left, Tracker’s ex­ec­u­tive for op­er­a­tional ser­vices Ron Knott-Craig, Gaut­eng Com­mu­nity MEC Siza­kele NkosiMalobane, award re­cip­i­ent Sergeant Shaun Dicks and act­ing na­tional com­mis­sioner of the SAPS Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Le­setja Moth­iba dur­ing the Na­tional Tracker/SAPS Awards cer­e­mony at the Diep in Die Berg Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

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