In memory of a true hero

2016-12-14 06:02

WARRANT Officer Cecil Louis Ebenezer Stone served SAPS Mountain Rise for a number of decades with selfless dedication, devotion and merit.

I met Stone when I was a rookie.

I learnt with much sadness and regret, recently of his death in the Cape.

It was not uncommon for him to work throughout the night and return to wok the following morning after just freshening up.

Stone concentrated his exceptional tracking ability for serious and heinous crimes against humanity such as murder, rape, house breaking, etc. He had the propensity to track criminals like a bloodhound.

He was accompanied by one police officer at a time and “informers”, whom he cultivated and nurtured.

Stone and his group were available at any time of the day or night to exercise his exceptional ability to solve crimes. Major Pipes Haffajee, his brother Captain Zulu and Captain AK Pillay were the few officers who had the privilege of working with Stone at this very dangerous task.

He alone walked up the treacherous Haythorne Hill on several occasions to observe the serial rapist and murderer of “Haythorne Hill”.

I recall when I had just completed my basic training a number of serious robberies were being committed against the heavy duty truck drivers, who pulled over to nap overnight near the Church Street overhead bridge.

The truck windows were smashed and the drivers were stabbed and before they could recover, they were robbed of their valuable loads.

Another rape that comes to mind, that occurred in Claridge where the suspect fled his home in Mattisons, Stone and Haffajjee carried out surveillance on the home, which was in a sugar-cane field, and torrential rain fell throughout the night until the suspect arrived the next morning, whereupon a successful arrest and conviction followed.

Stone and Captains Pakkiry, Holby, AK Pillay and the late detective Mottai were responsible for the arrest and successful conviction of numerous murders in PMB.

Stone and many of these men we commended by the judges of the then Supreme Courts of South Africa.

Tragedy struck the Stone family, when their only son, Sergeant Paul Stone, one night while attending a complaint, sent out his patrol dog to apprehend a suspect. The dog ran into trouble and Stone attempted to rescue his dog and was stabbed to death by the suspect.

We, as the former colleagues of an exceptionally great, model policeman, salute you. May your soul rest in peace. To his family, thank you for placing him on the sacrificial altar to serve the community of Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands.

Stone will be seen as a true hero and will be hailed as such for many years to come. RIP our hero.

logan govender Pietermaritzburg

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