Policewomen send out a stern warning to criminals

2015-08-26 11:26
Constable Phindi Madlala at the Pietermaritzburg police station.

Constable Phindi Madlala at the Pietermaritzburg police station. (Ian Carbutt)

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PIETERMARITZBURG policewomen had criminals running for cover during Operation Basadi, a special operation by female officers during Women’s Month.

From road blocks, stop and search operations, to distributing pamphlets about safety tips, the female officers had their hands full during Operation Basadi (a Sotho word meaning women).

Constable Phindi Madlala, who has served the police force for 10 years, said criminals were slowly changing their attitudes towards policewomen.

“The days where criminals would undermine policewomen just because of their gender are gone. Now if they see us, they run. It’s not like before where they would give us attitude,” said Madlala.

Although Madlala admitted that the raids during Operation Basadi were challenging, she couldn’t stop boasting about the results it achieved.

“We netted 43 criminals. Some of them had been on the run for a long time. The cases range from murder, hijacking, fraud, possession of dagga and others,” she said.

With Women’s Month drawing to a close, Madlala said she was happy about the results yielded by Operation Basadi.

“Obviously this was one of the proudest moments for many policewomen. We are doing our bit to restore the dignity of the police force,” said Madlala.

Madlala added that they recovered a 9 mm pistol which had 12 live rounds of ammunition.

The operation included 83 women from the Pietermaritzburg cluster, which includes the SAPS Mountain Rise, SAPS Alexandra and the Pietermaritzburg SAPS.

They were also involved in Operation Fiela which was launched by the inter-ministerial committee on migration after violence against foreigners broke out in April.

Operation Fiela raids also presented their challenges, nonetheless Madlala said they held their own.
“We were prepared and had the resources, so we managed to overcome the challenges that we faced,” she said.

Madlala, who said she dreamt of becoming a police officer from early childhood, admitted that much still needed to be done to change people’s general perceptions and attitudes towards policewomen.

“People need to understand that we are as capable as our male colleagues. They mustn’t pay too much attention to gender. We can do everything that a male officer can do. They must respect us,” said Madlala.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police

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