Links | Contact us | Find us | FAQ
top banner

Home >> Newsroom >> Speech
Address by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko at the SAPS Excellence Awards Ceremony.
13 March 2015

Deputy Minister of Police The National Commissioner and your management Sponsors of the awards The winners and runners up Ladies and gentleman It is a great pleasure to stand here before you this evening to celebrate the men and women in blue who go beyond the call of duty to serve the people as per the oath that we have taken as well as being governed by the code of conduct that implores us to do our best in service of mankind.

Codes are an attempt to convert values of an organization into practice. As such, they turn the intangible concept of values into codes of behavior. And it is impossible to know how to behave if we do not read and internalize on our code of conduct and the values framework.

This year also marks the 60-year celebration of another value-laden and seminal document, the Freedom Charter. In it are some of the values that are at the heart of this nation.

We would do well in reminding ourselves what our forebears said in regard to our function:
“The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people;”

It is worth repeating the last words: Helpers and protectors of the people.

What does that mean?

It means that everyday, we need to be cognizant of this exhortation that call on all of us to be of service. Ours is to serve by being helpers and protectors of the people.

It is a lifetime call. You do not stop being a helper and protector just because your stated hours of work have come to an end. As you walk or drive home, you cannot look at a scene where one or more are being harassed, beaten up or even being murdered and claim that it is shayile time for you.


This is what we are celebrating today: the best of us and amongst us. We are celebrating those who recognize and are constantly aware that ours is a 24-hour and seven days a week commitment.

I am afraid that anyone who is sitting here today and does not feel that this is their commitment, then they should realize that they are in the wrong company.

We need more commitment and not less.
We need more empathy and not less.
We need to honour and take pride in our uniform. Walking in and out of bottle stores and taverns in this uniform should not be heard of.

The National Development Plan also commits us to ensure that all people in our shores are and feel safe. Again this is the commitment that should guide everything that we do in service of our people.

Are we making our streets safe? Are we in touch with our communities to ensure that our people experience the quality of life that ensue once a person feels safe?

This also means that we are responsible for the economic success and failure of our country. People who feel unsafe cannot be productive to the best of their ability. A woman who cannot walk or down the street keeping herself sharp in both body and mind because she fears being taunted, raped or worse, being murdered cannot be productive.

Our learners who do feel safe in school environments cannot learn to the best of their abilities which in future will affects the quality and skill of our workforce.

The head of the family who cannot make an honest living because he fears for his life loses the dignity of his family because he cannot provide for them and this leads to further breakdown of our social structures.

A potential whistleblower who feels unsafe will never give us information about crime and corruption because they fear for their lives. This means not being able to do the best that we need to.

Excellence in policing is one of the best tools of stabilizing our country. It is one of the best ways of encouraging development in our country. This is what policing should be about. This is what the culture of policing should be.

At a more philosophical level, human beings are known to strive for success in the fields that they are involved in. This is the quest for excellence.

But as art critic and writer Sarah Lewis puts it, success is but a moment and we need to constantly convert this moment into mastery.

This we achieve through tenacity which means doing the same thing again and again and again until we achieve excellence.

She says:

“The pursuit of mastery, in other words, is an ever-onward almost. Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It's in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be. Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft and not for the sake of crafting your career.”

Today we are celebrating this excellence, nay, this mastery. But this is also a challenge to those who nearly won. They should be propelled forward in their ongoing quest to excel.

She says:

“The reason the near win has a propulsion is because it changes our view of the landscape and puts our goals, which we tend to put at a distance, into more proximate vicinity to where we stand. It gets us to focus on what, right now, we plan to do to address that mountain in our sights.”

I salute and honour all our winners. These are the heroes of our service. At an individual level, station, cluster, we make a difference. We will never do it all but we win not because we have done it all but because there is more to do.

Ours is a lifetime commitment and I honour you for showing this commitment and urge all other men and women in blue to take part in this journey of excellence.

I thank you

bursa escort - bursa escort - bursa escort - bursa escort -