Former non-rider loves mounted police work

2010-12-09 00:00

WHEN Nomzamo Basi joined the South African Police Force in 2004, she had never ridden a horse before and had no idea that there was a mounted unit within the force. So how did it come to pass that she was transferred to the Pietermaritzburg Mounted Unit in February this year?

“I fell in love with this job when I saw police officers performing their duty on horseback,” she explains. Situated within Townhill Hospital, the Pietermaritzburg Mounted Unit is a body of the police force that is responsible for border patrols, tracking down stolen livestock and engaging in visible policing, especially during special events.

She says her job requires a love of animals. “I have developed a passion for horses in a way I never thought possible and I have learnt a lot about them,” says Basi, adding that she loves her equine partner PJ and that they have a good working relationship.

“If PJ is sick I have learnt to be the first one to know about his sickness. Working my horse is like being with my baby because I have to care for him as though he is my baby,” says Basi.

Being  a  mother  has  also  made Basi’s job easier because she uses her motherly instinct to nurture PJ.

Being the only black woman working in the unit was not always easy for her as she believed that physical exercise­ in any job was for boys. However, since joining she has learnt to work out a lot as her work requires her to be physically fit.

Basi (30) grew up in Donnybrook, and says that sometimes her job is very challenging because she is always travelling and hardly finds time to be with her family.

However, she loves the adventure of working in the wilderness where the unit faces all kinds of danger.

“It is dangerous to work in the mountains because we are sometimes targeted by people who steal livestock. So we are always on the lookout for all sorts of danger as the mountains also have dangerous animals­,” says Basi.

Besides the dangers that the unit faces, the weather, especially during winter, is bad because they sometimes have to work in the snow.

But the thrill of surviving in the mountains with her horse the only mode of transport makes her look forward to her next assignment.

“Although we do a lot of travelling I love it because I get to tackle cross-border crimes, drug smuggling and firearm smuggling.

“When we are out there is always a sense of excitement because we never know what we will face on our journey.”

Her unit commander, Colonel Sean Jacklin, says that Basi has successfully­ completed her course, which includes stable management and the basic veterinary care of horses­.

“She has come a long way in a short space of time. She has established a good interaction with the horses.”


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