Slain police officers leave a legacy

2017-09-03 17:31
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria - Honouring the 40 slain police officers who died in 2016 is not only about loss, memory and sacrifice, but also legacy and ensuring that no other child is left orphaned by criminals, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told an emotional crowd on Sunday.

Giving an address at the South African Police Service national commemoration day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Ramaphosa said all the brave men and women who had lost their lives serving the nation should be saluted for their courage and service.

“Today we pay tribute to the bravery of members of the SAPS, particularly these 40 officers who paid the ultimate price for their determination to keep South Africa safe,” said Ramaphosa.

“On this day, as we remember those brave men and women, as we salute them, we think with great anguish of the great loss suffered by those who were near to them.”

“We can only imagine the agony of recollecting that morning, that day or that night when loved ones left home to serve and protect, never to return.

"We can only imagine the heart-wrenching pain of those left behind without a husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister and a favourite uncle or aunt.”

Ramaphosa said he felt for the children who wished for one more lullaby; that they could catch their fall one more time; that they would stand to watch over them one more night.

He expressed his gratitude for the ultimate price police officer’s families had paid to keep citizen’s families safe.

“We are thankful for the strange mercy that by you losing your loved ones, we can continue with the gift of life.

“May you find solace in knowing your loved ones died heroes in a worthy and noble cause.

“May their names, their deeds and their sacrifices never be forgotten.”

Remembered by the nation

Remembering her husband, Nthatise Mogapi said she would tell her two-year old twins about how much their father loved them and that he died while serving the nation.

Constable Mogapi Baliki, 35, stationed in the North-west Province was shot and killed while responding to an ATM bombing in July this year.

“It came as a shock, I was hurt and broken,” Nthatise said when thinking back to the day she heard the news of her husband’s death.

Nthatise said she was happy and proud that her husband is being remembered by the nation.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula gave a heartfelt tribute but also a stern message to criminals that police would meet them with equal power  

“We know that every day in your lives, you are in the pit of confrontation with danger and death itself, and many of our police officers have lost their lives in this encounter.

“We know the lives are those that fallen are not in vain, we must double our efforts to ensure that we protect ourselves and protect our citizens.”

“We are not promoting a violent nation, we are saying that dangerous criminals must be dealt with accordingly and must be met with equal power in relation to dangerous weapons [that] they carry.”

Mbalula said a trust to support families of fallen police officers would also be revived.

Read more on:    saps  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  policing

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