Honouring fallen heroes

2016-06-28 06:00

A wall in memory of fallen officers is being constructed at the Civic Centre.

The R300 000 project will pay tribute to the City of Cape Town’s safety and security staff members who have died in the line of duty, says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security.

“Memorials are commonplace around the world, and the aim of the memorial wall is to honour and remember our fallen heroes,” he says.

“The memorial wall will honour those members who have laid down their lives in service of the City and its residents. We will go back as far as possible in our records and inscribe all of the names on the wall of those who died in service after the formation of the Unicity.”

Earlier this year, Mogamat Faried Galant was killed in a hit and run incident involving a minibus taxi on Jakes Gerwel Drive, and another officer, 53-year-old Constable Ben Koopman, was shot and killed outside his home in Eerste River.

Community policing forum chairperson Nicola Jowell says: “The men and women of all law enforcement offices put their lives on the line for each and every member of our country. How sad that too often they end up paying the ultimate price and losing their lives. It is more than fitting that as a community we create a space that enables their memory, dedication and ultimate sacrifice to be remembered and importantly honoured.”

The design for the wall has been approved and “the details are being finalised”, Smith says.

“Once that process is done, it will go out to tender. The wall will be erected inside the Civic Centre and the key difference with our plan is that the wall will be indoors, shielding it from potential vandalism,” he says.

“Its location will also make the annual commemoration service hassle free, without concerns or added expense to mitigate the elements.”

Construction of the memorial wall is expected to be completed by June next year, says Smith.

Jowell adds that a visual reminder will highlight the scale of the loss of law enforcement officer lives.

“The wish is that the visual image of the scale of the problem will make people either reform their ways or work with law enforcement agencies to root out this crime. But sadly the problem is so vast that the level of intervention required is so significant. But I do think that it will make people realise the scale of the problem,” she says.

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