Cape Town honours some of its uniformed superheroes

2018-07-31 17:35
The city on Tuesday honoured its silent "superhero" staff who protect and save lives on a daily basis. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

The city on Tuesday honoured its silent "superhero" staff who protect and save lives on a daily basis. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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While Capetonians go about their daily lives, the City's safety and security workers are quietly working behind the scenes to get people out of harm's way and to remove baddies from the street.

It's a largely thankless job, but on Tuesday more than 160 nominated staff members who had gone above and beyond the call of duty were celebrated in the City of Cape Town.

Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" was played on repeat as individuals and units, looking sharp in their uniforms, were called up to the stage.

The City's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said heroism was not a "great, fantastical deed" that was done once in life, but was in everyday efforts.

"You are what builds the City's reputation. It's not the politicians. Maybe we do more harm than good sometimes," he quipped.

One of those he recognised for her efforts was metro police constable Lindsey Lotterie, who graduated from training college a year ago.

Life-saving actions

Her petite build belied her impressive record of more than 75 arrests in her short career.

A lot of officers were commended for acting on their gut feeling and reacting quickly.

In January 2018, traffic officer Nkuthalo Zantsi was on his way to work when he spotted someone lying next to the road between Wolfgat and Mnandi beach.

The 30-year-old man, who was bleeding profusely from his head and face, had been hijacked and left for dead.

Zantsi called for an ambulance and tried to stem the bleeding.

According to the man, several law enforcement officials had driven past but not stopped.

The City said that had it not been for Zantsi's actions, the man may not have lived to tell the tale.

Drug bust

Vigilance paid off for law enforcement officer Siyabonga Landingwe who made a massive discovery after spotting two men on a ramshackle scooter in Hanover Park in April.

The men had nearly run over a 6-year-old child after noticing Landingwe on patrol.

After pulling the driver of the scooter over, the passenger made a run for it.

Landingwe searched the box at the back of the scooter and found a big bag of compressed dagga.

They then took him to eight large bags of compressed dagga at an address in Philippi.

The men were arrested for drug dealing.

End-of-year awards ceremony

City staff members were also recognised for saving lives.

In March, Belhar firefighters Wade Brandt and Gabriel Williams jumped into action after hearing that a water and sanitation worker had fallen down a sewerage hole and was in a confined space.

They found the distressed man, slipping in and out of consciousness as he was running out of oxygen.

They gave him oxygen until they were able to extricate him with specialised equipment. 

He made a full recovery.

Firefighters, Gabriel Williams (left) and Wayde Brandt (right) with Metro Police Constable, Lindsey Lotterie (City of Cape Town). (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

All the nominated candidates were in the running for various prizes at the end of year annual awards ceremony, including the coveted Officer of the Year prize.

"These commendations and the annual awards ceremony are our way of tipping our hat to staff who really give so much of themselves in the interest of public safety," said Smith.

"It’s often a thankless task, and while negative incidents have a tendency to go viral, the many good things that our staff do on a daily basis don't."

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