Mpuma honours officers ahead of National Police Day

Monday, January 26, 2009
By: 
Thabisile Khoza

Malalane - Six Mpumalanga police officers who died in the line of duty last year were honoured during an event on Saturday to mark National Police Day, which will be celebrated countrywide on Tuesday.

Their wives and families were presented with flowers and messages of support at a ceremony at the Mbambiso High School in Boschfontein near the Swaziland border.

"These members are still in our hearts. We still love and remember them for the services they rendered to the community when they were alive," said Tonga police station commissioner, Senior Superintendent, Harry Shabangu.

The slain policemen were Inspector Sipho Lubisi from the Schoemansdal Police Station, Captain Million Khumalo and Constable Temba Thwala from the Komatipoort station, and Inspectors Moses Mahlalela, Godfrey Mogiba and Mebra Nkuna from the Tonga Police Station.

In 1995, Parliament declared 27 January, National Police Day in remembrance of police members who sacrifice their lives during the course of their duty.

In Mpumalanga, the main celebration will take place at the Mhluzi stadium in Middelburg on Tuesday, starting at 8am.

Provincial safety and security MEC Siphosezwe Masango will deliver the keynote address.

The focus on this year's commemoration will be promoting of partnerships between the government and communities in the fight against crime.

On Saturday, 89 police officers from the Nkomazi area south of Malalane were awarded medals and certificates of appreciation for their good work.

They came from the Schoemansdal, Malalane, Kaapmuiden, Tonga, Mbuzini and Komatipoort police stations.

Of these, 69 received gold medals and 20 received certificates of appreciation.

Senior Superintendent Shabangu urged parents to discourage their children from committing crime or buying stolen property and to give them a moral grounding, explaining that the future of the country lay in their hands.

"Our children must know that crime impacts negatively on our economy because investors become reluctant to invest in a country where a person is murdered just for a cellphone," he said.

Nkomazi Mayor Johan Mavuso said he was grateful there were still honest police officers who were dedicated to their jobs without being involved in crime or corruption.