2008 Ekhuruleni Merit Awards Celebrate SAPS Excellence

SAPS Awards

The Winners!

The 2008 Erkurhuleni Merit Awards took place at Carnival City on 26 November 2008, honouring the men and women of the Ekhuruleni division of the South African Police Service for their dedication to their jobs.

Hosted by celebrated performer Matthew Stewardson, the event, now in it’s 4th year, saw candidates from the Ekhuruleni region of the SAPS recognized in different categories: Best Community Police Forum, Best Social Crime Prevention / Communication Member, Best Civilian and/or Volunteer, Best Detective, Best Police Member, Best Crime Prevention/ Client Service Centre member, Best Team effort, Best Reservist andBest Police Station / Unit.

Police Stations and Community Fora in the region were invited to nominate candidates for awards in the different categories, which where then judged by a panel including representatives from Carnival City, the Afrisun East Rand Community Trust, local media and the SAPS.

The winners were:

Best Community Police Forum- Nigel

The Nigel Community Police Forum has worked well together with their local police station on several successful joint projects. They also assisted in the setting up of a trauma support centre which was opened during September 2008. The police were well supported by the CPF in getting in touch with the community living, working and traveling through the town. This was achieved by implementing effective campaigns addressing crime threats by way of brochures, newsletters, local and national media. The CPF also started a certificate of appreciation system where members of the community nominate police members for exceptional service. Overall the CPF assisted in improving the relationship between the community and the Police.

Best Social Crime Prevention/ Communication Member: Capt Susan Meyer

Captain Meyer has completed the following successful projects this year: Glow @ Crime; Womens Network; Clothing Run; Take a Girl Child to work; Project We Care; Casual Day; Womens Month and Womens Day celebrations and the Avon walkathon. These projects have been executed in the East Rand and North Rand and were done over and above her normal work at the Firearm Registration Centre at Germiston. She is positively passionate about making a difference in the community she serves and strives to overcome obstacles that have a social impact on the community she cares about. She is a person of action and will and inspires others to share her visions and goals.

Best Civilian and/or Volunteer: Barbara Kleber

Barbara is a trauma counselor at the Germiston Victim Empowerment Centre. This year alone she has attended to 101 Rape and Indecent assault victims; 259 Domestic Violence victims; 15 car robbery ; 22 armed robberies; 30 child abuse cases; 43 business and house robberies; 12 murder suicide and culpable homicides; 147 assaults and 74 referrals cases of adults and children to places of safety. She works at no cost and is on standby every day. She has collected clothing for victims and toys. She also speaks Xhosa and Zulu. Her day is guided by divine intervention, always speaking of her desire to giveback to traumatized victims of crime and seeing the transformation of sadness into gladness. She helps victims from anywhere and is extremely professional in what is clearly her passion.

Best Detective: Inspector A B Heyns

Focuses specifically on a trio of crimes: house, car and business robberies. He works day and night, putting much effort into all his investigations and is an outright asset both to the police station where he is based (Brackendowns) and also at the Germiston cluster team where he serves Alberton, Primrose, Elsburg and Germiston police stations. He was placed on a special task team which investigated criminals who targeted foreign nationals who became victims of crime after arriving at the O R Tambo airport. These crimes have, as a result, decreased to near zero. His investigations this year alone have already resulted in convictions of suspects for 15- 27 years imprisonment for crimes ranging from robbery and attempted murder to theft.

Best Police Member: Constable Puti Mafokwane

In what was a very closely contested category, this member managed to convince the judges that he was the best. Constable Mafokwane is based at Dawn Park police station at the Crime Information Analysis Centre. His dedication and passion to serve the community and fight crime is illustrated in several successes which he has achieved on his own and as a team player. This year alone, the several achievements listed are testimony to the member’s merits of being chosen as the best. These include four car robbery suspects and unlicensed firearms seized on the 4th June; the arrest of a taxi driver who was a serial rapist and charged with nine rape cases during March and October this year; two suspects arrested for theft of vehicles during March; four suspects arrested for house robbery and unlicensed firearm during September; two suspects arrested for dealing in drugs and seizure of drugs including Mandrax valued at about R 40 000; three suspects arrested and an unlicensed firearm recovered that was used in a business robbery. Over and above this, he assisted in linking several suspects to a variety of crimes committed in Gauteng.

Best Crime Prevention/ Client Service Centre member: Inspector Dimakatso Mokoena

Inspector Mokoena works at the Client Service Centre at Brackendowns. She performs her duties in a professional manner and has a passion to assist the community. She is often used to assist female victims of crime, especially Domestic Violence-related case. She uses her own initiative and will go that extra mile to ensure service delivery to the community. She is also a qualified Field Training Officer and trains the new recruits. Her example to them demonstrates the qualities that are sought by the Police Service.

Best Team effort- Captain David du Preez and Constable Kwena Setati from the North Rand Flying Squad.

These two members are an excellent example of an efficient team with a list of successes achieved whenever they work. Between January and September this year they attended 663 priority complaints; recovered 25 hijacked vehicles; recovered property with an estimated value of R 11 million; arrested 46 suspects for crimes and seized 19 unlicensed firearms.

The experienced Captain and his colleague, a young Constable, are an inspiration to all members and set an example with their high standard of work. They use their different cultures and backgrounds to compliment their strengths as a team in assisting the community and going that extra mile to combat crime to the best of their ability.

Best reservist- Constable Murray Simpson

This reservist works at Brackendowns police station. He is a dedicated police reservist who has worked over 350 hours this year if not more by now. He is a team player and his role in the task team set up to combat the trio crimes of car, house and business robbery in Brackendowns is integral. Their successes include arresting six suspects for house robbery; 13 suspects for business robbery and four suspects for car robberies.

Together with other reservists on the station, he has arrested suspects for being in possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of stolen goods and for robbery. He doesn’t flinch at being called out at odd hours to come and assist station members in their duties. His work is of a high standard and Constable Simpson sets an example to other reservists where he also involved in giving them training and lectures.

Best Police Station/ Unit

It was decided that each entrant had good qualities and should receive an award. Those that entered were Benoni Dog Unit, Katlehong, Dunnottar and Boksburg North. It is extremely difficult to actually judge a whole police station as each have different sizes, resources, manpower and so on. This category is vast and a specific set of criteria will have to be drawn up should this category again be presented next year.

Afrisun East Rand Community Trust Trustee Sandy Hattingh believes it is vital to recognize the good work done with the SAPS. “We’re proud to be able to honour the fine work done by the SAPS at the Ekhuruleni Merit Awards,” she says. “The SAPS does such tremendous work and members are rarely thanked for the immense sacrifices they make to keep the public safe. These Awards recognize their commitment and excellence,” says Hattingh.

The winners in each category received…

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