‘Crime is a priority’

2014-09-10 00:00

NEWLY-appointed Pietermaritzburg police station commander Brigadier Vukani Mgobhozi has vowed to reduce the level of crime in the city centre.

Mgobhozi replaced Brigadier Dawid Reynders, who provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni deployed to Estcourt to head the cluster last month.

The appointment of the experienced Mgobhozi, who has been in the service for 27 years, was announced on Monday.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, Mgobhozi said he is aware of the mountain he has to climb to defeat crime.

“My main concern is to eradicate crime. I will ensure that I strengthen the partnership between the community and the police,” he said.

Mgobhozi said he would adopt a “hands-on” approach in ensuring that the community is protected. He believes his experience will assist him to achieve his mandate in the city.

“I was happy when I received the news. It won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I am more than ready. I’m glad to be in the capital city of the province. I think I will be happy here. I’m here to stay. We will need to work together as a team,” he said.

The former Kokstad cluster commander said the public must expose any police wrongdoing, while asking his officers to be motivated.

“Members of the community must come forward so that action could be taken against police officials who do not behave.

“I believe when members are motivated and appreciated, they will not behave badly.”

Mgobhozi said robberies and murders would require attention to bring their levels down.

The 47-year-old said he had aspired to become a policeman from a young age.

He underwent police training at Pretoria’s Hammanskraal College in the 1980s and launched his policing career at Dududu police station before joining the Riot Unit in Durban.

Mgobhozi had previously headed police stations including Mtubatuba and Witbank in Mpumalanga.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

Mgobhozi promotions

• Rank of Sergeant in 1991

• Warrant Officer three years later

• Captain in 1997

• Lieutenant Colonel 2000

• Colonel in 2002

• Brigadier in 2005

Who is Brigadier Vukani Mgobhozi?

He is married with four children — all boys.

He is a die-hard Orlando Pirates supporter.

He prefers beef over chicken and likes Ice Lemon.

He goes to church regularly.

He likes BMWs, “but I’m not a thug”.

He likes Nokia cellphones because they are “user friendly”.

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