New branch commander welcomed

2018-01-23 06:00
Philippi station commander, Colonel Dennis Abels (left), with Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Mahlombe.

Philippi station commander, Colonel Dennis Abels (left), with Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Mahlombe.

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Philippi Police Station’s detectives have a new branch commander.

Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Mahlombe arrived at the station in December last year after spending eight years in Uitenhage. He started his police career in Lady Frere as a constable before undergoing his basic training in Umtata (now Mtata) and was retained there until 1990 when he was nominated to become a detective. He returned to Mtata again in 1994 when he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and then again to warrant officer in 1998. “In 2009 I was promoted to captain when I transferred to Uitenhage to be a group commander at their crime office. I worked there until I was transferred here to Philippi at the end of last year,” says Mahlombe.

He says that he will bring his own style of leadership to Philippi.

“There is no crime office here and there are officers on standby. Those officers are attending serious cases and just taking dockets and just following up. My style is that if there is a reported case, any crime, everyone needs to be at the crime scene. The first respondents will be Vispol and they will get the first statement – the rest will get the secondary statement. A crime scene to me is the most important thing. If you are there at the right time, you can get all the witness statements and all the clues right,” he explains.

Mahlombe admits that despite dealing with a wide range of crime in his time in the Eastern Cape, the rate of murders he has witnessed in the Philippi precinct is “astounding”. “We had one or two and then it was the talk of the town, but here I must adapt myself, because daily there is a murder or a serious case. We are going to concentrate on getting the system updated, then I will see where we can go from there,” he says.

Mahlombe has been married for 29 years and has two children. He is an avid sports fanatic, spending his free time watching rugby and athletics. “Since I played rugby and did athletics, I like to watch those sports the most. I support the Blue Bulls, because of my time in Uitenhage where everyone just supported the Blue Bulls. I like sport too much! I cannot sleep until the rugby is finished. All those games of the day, from the early games in the Super 15 in New Zealand – I watch right through until the last game at 19:00,” he jokes.

However, since his arrival in Cape Town, he has not had a free Saturday to watch sport, as that is the day on which he tries to update Philippi’s systems.

“I just want to shine here! I am going to make it, if I can just level up all those cases on the system and everything is up to date, then I can see what do to according to the plans. I am liaising with my commander, who is telling me to take it step by step, so I think I will make it.”

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