The Lowvelder

Meiring steps down from Divergent Ops

- Chelsea Pieterse

MBOMBELA - Well known by the Lowveld for his years of service in security and keeping the townspeopl­e safe, Jacques Meiring is bidding farewell to the company he started almost a decade ago.

Meiring first started his service to the Lowveld in 1988 when he became a prison warden for the prison service in Barberton. From there, he has worn many hats, including that of a firefighte­r and a traffic official while working for the City of Mbombela from 1990 to 2005.

These experience­s led Meiring to grow strong relationsh­ips with the communitie­s of the Lowveld, with many people coming to know him by his first name for the multiple arrests he made and the crime-fighting initiative­s in which he was regularly involved.

“My past experience­s helped me to have a solid understand­ing of the law and how to enforce it within the Lowveld,” he said.

Divergent Ops was founded by Meiring seven years ago and his wife, Claire, became part and parcel of the company’s success. He said when he first started Divergent Ops, there were a lot of naysayers who did not think the business would last longer than three months.

“God willing, we were able to establish and build an incredibly strong brand within the Lowveld.

“I was fortunate in how Divergent

Ops grew in that my reputation preceded me, and through the years I had already gained the trust of the people, which I am thankful for.

“I am also grateful that the community was willing to afford me the opportunit­y to offer them a service in the security industry. If it weren’t for their support, we wouldn’t have made it the success we have.” However, shortly after forming Divergent Ops, the couple suffered a devastatin­g blow when their daughter passed away.

“It was extremely tough, and a person tends to isolate themselves from everyone as one goes through the grieving process. But it also taught us the value of family and that life is short, so it is important to value one another while we are all still here on earth,” he said.

It was after his daughter’s death that Meiring decided to step down from serving the community and was away from fighting crime for two years before he came back with force and joined Bossies Community Justice (BCJ).

“After the twoyear break, I decided to join BCJ. I knew that I was not yet done with serving the public and felt I also needed to grow as a person and push boundaries to see what I was capable of.

“Through their support, I was able to make BCJ a beacon of hope for the community regarding combating crime.”

He said one of his fondest memories from his time as the head of Divergent Ops was when his employees began approachin­g him, telling him that because of the jobs they had been given, they were now able to buy houses and cars.

“This is not a common thing for the security industry at all. It was special to be able to be part of uplifting someone’s life.”

He added, however, that one of his toughest moments while at Divergent Ops was when armed response officer Hentie “Mamba” Scholtz (28) died in 2019.

When asked what Meiring would do after stepping down as the head of Divergent Ops, he said he was open for opportunit­ies and would see what offers came his way.

“The plan is to stay here in the Lowveld. However, if an amazing opportunit­y should present itself elsewhere, we might consider relocating.” Meiring’s advice for the people now heading up the security business is: “Connect with the community and

make the best of all situations.”

‘The plan is to stay here in the Lowveld’

 ?? ?? Claire and Jacques Meiring.
His message to the Lowveld is as follows:
“Trust in God and trust in the process. He is in control. Everything happens in
His time.”
Claire and Jacques Meiring. His message to the Lowveld is as follows: “Trust in God and trust in the process. He is in control. Everything happens in His time.”

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