Policewomen ‘hold their own’

2015-08-27 06:00
PHOTO: Ian carbutt 

Constable Phindi Madlala.

PHOTO: Ian carbutt Constable Phindi Madlala.

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

From roadblocks, stop-and-search operations, to distributing pamphlets about safety, the officers had their hands full during Operation Basadi - a Sotho word meaning women.

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

“The days when 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 boasted 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 is 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.”

Madlala said they recovered a 9mm pistol which had 12 live rounds of ammunition, among other things.

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 foreign nationals broke out in April.

Operation Fiela raids also presented its challenges­, but Madlala said they held their own.

“We were prepared and had the resources, so we managed to overcome the challenges we faced,” she said.

Madlala, who said she dreamt of becoming a police officer from early childhood, admitted that much is 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

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