Officer gone but not forgotten

2019-05-28 06:01

Slain Grassy Park officer, Anele Bidi from Philippi East was robbed of a chance of being a father to his unborn baby and a five-year-old daughter.

This was revealed during a memorial service held at Calvanist Protestant Church in Grassy Park on Tuesday 21 May.

More than 100 mourners attended the service.

Bidi (34) was killed in a hit and run in Weltevreden Road between Samora Machel and Colorado Park on Saturday 11 May at about 23:45. He was off duty at the time that the incident occurred.

He had a punctured tyre and was walking to the nearest petrol station when he was hit by a speeding taxi.

According to the police, the taxi then hit another victim (known to Bidi) a few metres down the road.

Speakers at the service described the incident as devastating and unacceptable.

They all praised Bidi for his contribution to serving the community with integrity and for his discipline.

Mourners included his family, four-month pregnant girlfriend Sibongile Lamfiti, colleagues and officers from the neighbouring stations, friends and residents.

Lamfiti said: “It is tough, the pain doesn’t get better. We were both looking forward to our baby and he was excited and had big dreams for his children.

“Little did we know they (the unborn child and Bidi) wouldn’t even meet.”

His five-year-old daughter is from Bidi’s previous relationship.

Family spokesperson, Thembelani Mpahla, a cousin of Bidi, said they were struggling to come to terms with his death.

He said Bidi was kind and a pillar of the family. He kept everyone together and always had a solution for everything.

An emotional colleague and a close friend Masomelele Gcali said he could not understand the logic behind the incident.“He (the suspect) killed two people a few metres away from each other in one night and still continued with his trip. Does he even understand the severity of losing a loved one?

“What a world we live in! Please pray for us in our jobs and our communities. Police officers are constantly losing their lives in the hands of another man,” said Gcali.

Gcali’s said the pain of the loss was unbearable.“I am now faced with two funerals of people close to me. It hurts even more when you think about his children,” a teary Gcali said.

Lonwabo George worked closely with Bidi and Gcali since they started at the station in 2014.

He said Bidi has left a huge void and would be missed for his commitment, dedication and loyalty.

George said Bidi put his work and other people’s needs before his own and loved serving the community of Grassy Park.

Philip Bam, Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson, said Bidi was popular in the community and among the law enforcement agencies. “We will remember him for his respect and humanity. His departure is a great loss to the community of Grassy Park and we would like to send our sincere condolences to the family. Your loss is our loss,” Bam said with empathy.

Colonel Dawood Laing, Grassy Park Police Station commander, condemned reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol on the roads.

Laing said he hoped justice would leave no stone unturned and hoped the suspect be denied bail.

The 38-year-old suspect appeared in the Philippi Magistrate’s Court on two charges of capable homicide last Tuesday and released on bail. The case was postponed for Tuesday 23 July.

Bidi was laid to rest in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

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