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Key Note Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police, MS Makhotso Maggie Sotyu (MP) at the SAPS National Excellence awards ceremony: Employees of the South African Police Service.
27 March 2014

Programme Director,
All MECs present here,
All Our Traditional Leadership present,
His Grace, Right Rev Bishop Dr Lekganyane,
National Commissioner of Police, General Phiyega,
All SARPCCO Police Chiefs present here,
All Deputy and Divisional Commissioners,
All Provincial Commissioners
All SAPS Top Management present,
All Police Officers present,
All Government Department representatives,
Sponsors of this event,
SAPS Stakeholders and Partners present,
All National Excellence Award Nominees
and Eventual Winners,
Artists and Performers present here,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
One wise man said, I quote:
“No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obliged to live up to the standard of its requirements”. Close Quote.

Yes, the workload and high standards that Police Officers are required to have, is different from any other profession. But, today, we are here, General Phiyega, to honour all of you for your dedication beyond the stipulated standards and scope of your normal duty as employees of the South African Police Service.
I was also particularly pleased to be informed that the Award Committee had included “Minister’s Award” as one of the award winning special categories, to celebrate those police officers that have truly gone beyond their line of duty to apprehend a suspect.
And, that is why we did not hesitate to nominate Constable Nchabeleng as the first recipient for Minister’s Award. This member’s heroic action to apprehend a serial rapist vividly proves three facts here:
(i) That the call by the Minister of Police to dedicate the F/Y 2012/13 as the “Year of the Detective” has indeed paid dividends; (ii) The decision to re-introduce the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS) across the country was not only visionary; but it was truly responding to the cries and needs of our most vulnerable: the child, the woman, the disabled and the elder; and (iii) The efforts by our Government to ensure gender equity at all levels of our society, has yielded to a renewed vision to support our police women in their work of combating crime.
So, police officers like Constable Nchabeleng constantly reminds us that the role of women in policing can neither be overlooked nor belittled; for, without women police officers, enforcing the law to protect people as well as national property, would be less efficient and non-effective.
We are aware that we may have a difficult task of keeping and sustaining good quality employees such as our winners tonight, within the South African Police Service.
Therefore, we as Leadership and Management of the Police have an obligation to encourage our police officers to continue focusing on excellence. And, the Minister and myself support this event, because it is one of the tools to provide our police officers with adequate means of motivation and wellness.
Such gestures indeed help keep our employees motivated, because the field of law enforcement is a very stressful career. Circumstances that police officers work under, sometimes force them to succumb to societal pressures and loose themselves in the process.
Also, police officers live among communities that are less appreciative and more critical, and being always oblivious to the constant danger that you face in your line of duty. Therefore, General, for your consideration, let me recommend, tongue-in-cheek, for another category in your Special Categories, that of Post-Humous Best Police Officer of the Year.
It is an under-statement to say, we continue to loose police officers in line of duty, working hard to create a reality of peace, security and stability in our country and continent. Maybe then, we need to consider extending this award to include those who have lost their lives safeguarding our country.
Indeed, boosting employee morale is not only about words of encouragement; it is fundamentally about providing and improving the work environment and the general health and wellness of both the police officer and his/her immediate family. Promoting police officers is a fundamental booster for sustaining their wellness.
In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me acknowledge all our winners today, you are indeed a source of pride not only for SAPS, not only for you family; but you are indeed a source of pride for the entire nation, as led by our President, Mr. Jacob Zuma. Congratulations and well done.
I thank you all.

For enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Nomsa Hani
Head of Office & Acting Spokesperson: Deputy Minister of Police
Ministry of Police
Tel: +27 12 3934469 / 21 4677023
Cell: +27 (0) 82 772 2053

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