Young of­fi­cers told to de­fend free­dom

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE

“YOUR duty and re­spon­si­bil­ity, in what­ever task you are as­signed, is to de­fend free­dom.”

This was the mes­sage from Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula to 1 500 young po­lice of­fi­cers yes­ter­day.

Mbalula was ad­dress­ing young men and women at the SAPS’ First Youth Con­fer­ence.

He told them that young peo­ple were the ones who should be re­spon­si­ble for change, be full of ideas and make mis­takes to be cor­rected.

He said as young po­lice of­fi­cers they had to un­der­stand what free­dom was and had to be grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity given to them.

Mbalula told them that dur­ing the apartheid days black peo­ple who trained at the col­lege were seen as sell-outs.

He also spoke on abuse and said women should not be turned away when re­port­ing it, and those guilty of it should be dealt with in a harsh man­ner.

“We must not chase women away, we are sick of men who abuse and we must un­set­tle crim­i­nals,” he said.

He told the young law en­force­ment of­fi­cers that the po­lice ser­vice was a big or­gan­i­sa­tion and they had the hon­our of serv­ing in it.

Act­ing na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant- Gen­eral Le­setja Moth­iba said the young of­fi­cers had to be as­sisted in find­ing their place in the or­gan­i­sa­tion, and they needed to be groomed to help peo­ple in the com­mu­nity. He em­pha­sised the love of one’s coun­try and peo­ple.

“If you do not love your coun­try, you do not love your peo­ple,” Moth­iba said.

Bri­gadier Nikiwe Hoaeane, one of the speak­ers, urged the young of­fi­cers to take their job se­ri­ously be­cause they had taken an oath.

“This uni­form is a calling, not a job,” said Hoaeane.

As po­lice of­fi­cers, they were the last hope for many peo­ple, who of­ten went to po­lice sta­tions af­ter other av­enues had failed, she said.

She mo­ti­vated them to study, pray, be phys­i­cally fit­ness and so­cialise, and told them to bring back the dig­ni­tyof the SAPS.

Young of­fi­cer Cap­tain Thembi Gwe, 35, said: “This is a great ini­tia­tive by the SAPS for young peo­ple, this is a plat­form for us to be em­pow­ered to come up with strate­gic views to en­sure we pro­tect our coun­try.

“When we joined, we said we are here to pro­tect and serve,” she said.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula

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