First Christmas at home in 40 years for retiring policeman David Holby

2008-12-23 00:00

“It will be his first Christmas at home in 40 years,” said Carol Holby at the retirement party of her husband, Captain David Holby, from the Plessislaer police station this week.

Holby has been with the South African Police Service (SAPS) for just over 40 years, and will officially turn the last page of this chapter of his life on December 31.

“It has become home to me,” Holby said of Plessislaer. “I will miss it. I will miss being greeted by everyone in the morning. I will miss everything.”

His wife said this is no exaggeration. She said that in his 40 years, he “never took one sick day and he was never absent from work … no matter how sick he was …”

It is no surprise then that Holby has accumulated various honours for his outstanding work in the SAPS over the year, including the Merit and Faithful Service awards. He was also recognised for his sporting efforts when he was awarded Cricketer of the Year in 1972.

“He finished top in class [during his training in the Eastern Cape] and brought the trophy to Durban. He is way too modest,” said his wife.

Police spokesman and close friend, Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram, described Holby’s police record as “immaculate”, and added that because of this “he’ll go off with the 40-year award for distinguished service”.

Despite his long list of awards, the father of two said his proudest accomplishment was when his team sent a serial killer responsible for the deaths of five women to jail.

“In 1983, he raped and murdered five women in the Woodlands area,” he recalled. He used to lure them up a hill there and kill them … His sixth victim got away and came to us. It was a really frightening time.”

Holby said a drunk driver once ran over him while he was on duty, and he remembered that one year he attended to 11 murders on Christmas Day.

Apart from his work with the SAPS, Holby and his wife have been actively involved in spreading the Gospel to the poor and dying for the past 30 years. He is determined to spend more time doing so now that he has retired.

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