Award to police for bravery in gun battle

2014-04-02 00:00

POLICE who responded to an armed robbery in Richmond in January have been honoured for their bravery in the line of duty during the National Excellence Awards.

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni congratulated the overall winners and the runners-up in different categories.

The National Commissioner’s Award went to Richmond SAPS members, the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit, the Public Order Policing Unit in Pietermaritzburg and the Tactical Response Team for their work during the robbery they attended at Richmond.

This was for their bravery as they faced violent criminals in an ambush that led to the death of Sergeant Thami Zondi and a security guard.

Ngobeni commended the members for their outstanding work that led to the arrest of the suspects.

“They displayed an outstanding dedication to their duty, despite being aware of the imminent danger that the situation posed.”

She told how the members engaged the suspects in a gun battle despite being in an ambush situation with dense bushes having created an option for them to either flee or hide from the robbers’ bullets.

They kept on shooting back to apprehend the suspects, Ngobeni said.

Other winners were Brigadier Captain Hastibber from KwaDukuza Cluster who won in the Senior Manager of the Year Operational category, Lieutenant-Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the commander of Pinetown Family Violence, Child and Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, who won in the Detective Employee of the Year category and Lieutenant-Colonel Nel from Plessislaer police station who won in the Disabled Person of the Year category.

Sergeant Thabane Mofokeng from Port Shepstone K9 Unit won a special National Commissioner’s Award.

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