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Minister’s Address at the POLMUSCA Dinner Port Elizabeth 18 September 2015.
18 September 2015

The National Commissioner and your management team
The host, Gen Binta
President of POLMUSCA General Vuma and your organizing team
All the participants and stakeholders in policing

It gives me great pleasure to be part of this occasion here in the windy city of Port Elizabeth. We meet in song, dance and general celebration of all that is good about life. We meet in the name of culture, that which makes us a people beyond just the function of policing or any other job we may be doing in our lives.

POLMUSCA gives us a chance to reflect on a number of things. In particular is gives us a chance to reflect on issues of culture and how it defines us as a people – as part of humankind.

A number of people have added their voices in trying to contextualize culture, what it means and what secrets it holds in the evolution of mankind.

One of these scholars is Pavez Guverichi who asserts thus:
Culture is the cultivation, development, and improvement! Culture is usually identified with our arsenal of spiritual standards – values, traditions and distinctive features of social intercourse”

“Culture is nature recreated by man who thus asserts himself as man, being pivotal to all human activity, both in the material and in the spiritual sphere. Culture is not only an instrument of preserving the aggregate spiritual experience of humankind, but also a system of handing down this experience and of developing it further”.

Professor Glossom of Southern Illinois University told the 17th World Congress on Philosophy held in Montreal, 1983 that:
“Culture was related to many aspects of life, naming language as one of the most decisive among them”.

The next two days will see most of the provincial teams compete in cultural music – a combination of two powerful concepts – and other activities. This will remind us of our place in the universe. It will connect us to one another and to the world around us. They will also give us a chance to feed our spiritual hunger and portray police as human beings as indeed they are.

Programme director

Allow me also a chance to indulge in what music does for the soul. Indeed, music is good for the soul. Any soul. Hardened criminal taps the foot to music thereby acknowledging its power.

The Bible says that whenever King Saul was disturbed by bad spirits, David the harp player would be summoned. After the music was played, Saul “was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him” (1 Samuel: 16:23).

This healing aspect is echoed by Don Campbell in the book: Music: Physician for Times to Come. He asserts that “the healing properties of music are well known to the people of the past and they made considerable use of it. Songs and musical instruments such as drum and rattle were used not only in order to increase the effect of herbs or drugs but also as independent means of healing. In Finland’s epic poem, the Kalevala, a sage succeeded not only in appeasing the mob but hypnotized people sending all of them to sleep.

He also makes an observation that some of the nations of the world have held the belief that music is even good for the animals. For example, Arabs believe music has a “beneficent effect on animals and the singing and playing of the shepherds make the flocks thrive”.

The Greeks believed the music had curative effects as well. Homer narrates that the melodious song of Autolycus staunched the flow of blood from the wound of Ulysses.

Pythagoras made good use of music as Porphyry wrote in 1847:
Pythagoras based musical education in the first place on certain melodies and rhythms, which exercised a healing, purifying influence on human actions and passions, restoring the pristine harmony of the soul’s faculties.
He applied the same means to the curing of diseases of both body and mind. In the evening, when his disciples were about to retire, he would set them free from all disturbances and agitations of the day, steadying their somewhat wavering minds and inducing peaceful sleep which brought with it propitious and even prophetic dreams.”

He records that legend has it that Pythagoras even managed to calm and restrain a drunken man who was attempting, as an act of revenge, to set fire to a house through music. Off course nothing of the sort would happen here but this further illustrates the power of this subset of culture.

Plato wrote in the Republic: Rhythm and harmony sink deep into the recesses of the soul and take the strongest hold there, bringing that grace of body and mind which is only to be found in one who is brought up in the right way.

And off course our people survived and continue to survive hardship, express happiness and joie de vivre through music. We sing when, happy, sad and anxious. And we use music to not just to fill but beautify life’s moments.

It is appropriate that POLMUSCA National Unity Festival takes place in September, a month in which we celebrate our rich heritage as South Africans. The festival is a further expression of this rich heritage and showcases talent within the service that is a marvel to watch and brings respite to other daily pressures that men and women in blue face in their everyday quest to make sure that South Africans “are and feel safe”.

It has been an absolute pleasure to watch the performances of the different bands in the South African Police Service and the breadth of talent is immeasurable. I am certain that this year, the different sections will again provide much needed entertainment and bring the soft face of policing to the public on whose behalf we draw our mandate.

Ours is a taxing profession – physically and emotionally and this event is an important and effective way to release stress. A festival of this nature should be seen against this background first and foremost. Also, as the saying goes, all work and no play is not good for anyone. You all work very hard and now and then, it is important to relax and let the language of music take over.

The festival is also an expression of the ideal of the National Development Plan that urges a closer working relationship between communities and police. It is important to show this de-militarised side of the police service. We should use the immense talent of the musicians and other cultural icons in our service to reach out to communities, especially the youth.

So for the next few days, let the sound of the music take over. Let us celebrate our unity in diversity and let us recharge our batteries to further serve all our people with distinction.

Let us display our culture in all its glory.

The ancient society was already aware that humankind lives not only in a physical world, but also in a symbolic one – a world of mythology, language and art woven into a strong net around human beings.

Therefore culture is a distinctive feature of human activity, thus characterizes human kind as a species.

Musa Zondi
Spokesperson: Minister of Police
PTA: 7th Floor, Wachthuis
CT: 9th Floor, 120 Plein St
Cell: +27 76 3314810
Phone: +27 12 393 4341
Phone: +27 21 476 7007

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