Celebrating our cops
Medals awarded for long service and dedication
MORE than 130 medals were presented to officers and members of the SAPS Port Alfred Cluster by Eastern Cape deputy provincial commissioner for management intervention, Major-General Zamuthango Mki at a medal parade honouring long service and exceptional service last Thursday.
The prestigious event saw the Eastern Cape SAPS band lead a guard of honour who marched around the parking lot at the Port Alfred Civic Centre. When rain started pelting down, the band retreated to a marquee, but the guard of honour stood like soldiers and were drenched while the SAPS Code of Conduct was read, until they too were allowed to march to shelter.
In his address to the medal recipients, fellow police officers, family and invited guests, Mki said: “It is occasions such as this I feel especially proud to be part of SAPS. There’s no greater honour than to recognise people with passion, commitment and a positive attitude towards their profession.”
He commended bravery shown in the line of duty, quoting the well-known statement that “bravery is not the absence of fear”, as adapted by author Mark Manson, who continues: “Bravery is feeling the fear, the doubt, the insecurity, and deciding that something else is more important.”
Mki said: “It is therefore important to know that more often than not, being brave means doing it scared. I encourage you to be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart and strong enough to continue to commit yourself to the safety and security of all citizens.
“Always be alert, operationally ready to respond to any attack with the equipment at your disposal.
“He said motivation should be a key objective of any institution, as “a motivated workforce is a more creative and productive one.”
He also thanked the spouses of the police members for “supporting their men and women in blue”.
He said looking at social media could be very discouraging as there was a lot of negativity.
“People ask the question: who is winning between the police and the criminals? That question must be answered by you.”
He encouraged members to further their studies, first studying the rules of the SAPS and then the laws of the country.
“According to the National Development Plan, by 2030 women and children must be able to walk in the street at night. What are you doing to achieve that objective?” Mki asked the assembled police officers.
“We are praying we can see that day,” said Mki, who is soon retiring.
In his welcoming address, Port Alfred Cluster Commander Brigadier Morgan Govender said SAPS had to show new employees that they were welcome and needed in the service, as well as recognising the value of long-serving employees.
“Today we recognise loyal service, devotion to duty and services of a particularly meritorious and exemplary nature,” Govender said.
“Subsequently, we observe
not the victory of an individual, but a celebration of hard work and commitment, signifying very positive contributions to the SAPS and particularly to the communities our medal recipients serve.
“Working as a police officer is no easy task. There are days when it is tough, when there are many challenges, but you have overcome those challenges with remarkable endurance. I am greatly inspired by our medal recipients’ unreserved dedication and commitment to the ideals of this organisation. I am humbled by your selfless conduct. Thank you for your loyalty.”
Govender accompanied Mki as he walked along the rows of recipients, pinning medals and congratulating them. Medals were awarded for 30, 20 and 10 years of service as well as the 2010 Soccer World Cup medal which was given to officers for service during that international profile event which required additional policing.
THE MEN IN BLUE: Eastern Cape deputy provincial commissioner Major-General Zamuthango Mki, left, and Port Alfred Cluster Commander Brigadier Morgan Govender awarded medals for long service and exceptional service to members of the Port Alfred Cluster at a medal parade held at the Civic Centre last Thursday
PROUD IN BLUE: The recipients of medals in the SAPS Port Alfred Cluster line up for the medal parade at the Port Alfred Civic Centre last Thursday