An officer and a gentleman

2016-05-04 06:00

CAPTAIN Bob D. Sewpersad served our community and the SAPS for 25 faithful and meritorious years both as an officer and a gentleman. He mentored and guided many non-white senior police officers, including myself. He never faltered nor failed in his duties and was the first Indian to be appointed commissioned officer in the apartheid era in KwaZulu- Natal Midlands.

His promotion to commissioned rank (lieutenant) was through academic qualifications and ability, not by favour nor the quota system.

Sewpersad was one of the very few, in those days, who was most versatile in a number of languages, such as Hindi, Zulu and Afrikaans - a rare achievement in those years.

He served when every white policeman was superior to every other non-white policemen (in those days there were no policewomen) irrespective of his rank or status, which was a regulation that caused much hurt and contention among non white policemen as they had no recourse to this unjust law - a very trying time indeed for policemen of colour who held rank in those days.
These resilient men were really challenged to the limit in those days - he was one of them. Sewpersad was a man of integrity and had high moral standards. He had a very promising career ahead of him, but ill health put paid to that and he was boarded medically unfit at the height of his policing career.

One thing that still stands out in my mind is that he would not abuse or allow the abuse of another persons property whether state or private. Sewpersad bestowed a legacy of hard work, honesty and integrity among those with whom he worked. Those you have mentored, we salute you, sir.

logan govender Pietermaritzburg


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