THE SAPS Ugu Cluster Detectives Annual Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, November 16, at the Mercury Children’s Home in Hibberdene. It is at this event that the Ugu Cluster management and detectives from the various police stations and specialised units, reflect on the overall performance of the detectives over the previous year. Their strengths and weaknesses are analysed and best practices adopted while solutions are sought to overcome challenges that had been encountered. Apart from being an empowering exercise where detectives learn from each other, especially from the more experienced among them, it is also a day of excitement as individual members, stations and units receive recognition for their successes and achievements. Lieutenant-Colonel Mariam Mavundla lead the group in prayer. Despite having to attend an important meeting at the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner’s Office, the Ugu Cluster Commander, Major-General Sethenya Nxamagele, made time to grace the function with her esteemed presence. In her keynote address, the general expressed her thanks and appreciation to all the detective commanders and their members for their excellent investigations of criminal cases for the year. The Ugu Cluster Detectives were among the top four best performing clusters in the KZN province. The dynamic leader encouraged the detectives to raise the bar and perform even better in the new year. Brigadier Bongani Sibiya, the Deputy Ugu Cluster Commander, represented the cluster in the general’s absence. He delivered a brief motivational address and urged the detective commanders to acknowledge all the good work and success of their members and to not only focus on their shortcomings, as they were the foot soldiers doing the groundwork and engaging with criminals out in the field. Colonel Iks Naicker, the Ugu Cluster Detective head and co-ordinator of the awards ceremony, was the programme director. Brigadier Sibiya presented the medals and trophies to the recipients as their names were announced by Colonel Naicker. Twenty-eight members from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS), the Ugu Cluster Operational Command Centre (OCC) and the various police stations were presented with medals for securing life imprisonments in the cases they investigated. A special trophy sponsored by Brigadier Sibiya and introduced for the first time this year, was awarded to the Harding SAPS Detective Service for securing three life sentences, the highest by a police station in 2018. In the category “Highest Arrests”, Sawoti took first place, Msinsini was placed second and Dududu, third. In the category “Highest Conviction”, Port Edward was placed first, followed by St Faiths and third was Paddock. Umzinto took first position for “Data Integrity” while Sawoti took second place and Msinsini, third. The awards ceremony concluded with Lieutenant-Colonel Thembi Mbongwe delivering a moving vote of thanks, followed by a delicious hot meal enjoyed by all guests. — Supplied.