I lead from the front, says new commander

2019-12-10 15:25
Incoming Alexandra police station commander, Colonel Skhumbuzo Mbanjwa.

Incoming Alexandra police station commander, Colonel Skhumbuzo Mbanjwa.

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Zizojika izinto” (things will change).

That’s the word from Alexandra Road police station’s newly-appointed station commander Colonel Skhumbuzo Mbanjwa, who says robust plans are in motion to curb crime in the area.

Mbanjwa, from Umlazi in Durban, took office on November 1 following his tenure as visible policing commander at the Durban North police station.

Speaking to The Witness on Monday, Mbanjwa said his primary focus will be to decrease contact crimes like murders, rapes and robberies in the Alexandra Road police station precinct.

“Most victims who meet their perpetrators are left traumatised. Once you come in contact with a robber, rapist or murderer, you live in constant fear,” he said.

To change the bleak picture, Mbanjwa said they have identified hot spots and will be deploying more resources to curb the targeted crimes.

“I have already rearranged resources as per the SAPS strategic direction in the province.

“We now have rapid response capability and we are going to be more active on the identified days which is Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is the period where we get the high volume of crime.

“We are going to have 70% deployment outside during those days and 30% on the quieter days,” Mbanjwa said.

He added: “I’m very passionate about community safety. Whatever affects the community, affects me. If there is crime reported, I want to ensure that we combat it. The main purpose for me is to ensure that we prevent any and every crime but if we have failed to prevent … we must arrest.

“I lead from the front. I don’t say things that I can’t do. I run operations and I do patrols. I don’t sit in the office because that does not bring results. I’m here to direct resources to ensure that we meet all our objectives.”

He said one of the biggest challenges the station faced was not having leadership.

Mbanjwa said he was looking forward to working with the community and the police officers to combat crime. “I’m open to influence, especially positive influence ... There is no right formula to fight crime, so I’m open to opinions as long as they are within the confines of the law.”

On the spate of crimes where students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have been targeted, he said police were devising a plan, which will include working with student structures.

He joined the police force in 1990 at the age of 18.

In 1991, he started working at the Lamontville police station, and rose through the ranks at six other police stations including the Verulam and Pheonix police stations.

Mbanjwa holds a national diploma in policing, a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in human resources and a master’s degree in business leadership from the University of South Africa.

Over and above his job as the new station commander, the father of six is also the SAPS disciplinary functionary and employer representative in the province.

On why he became a police officer, he said: “It was a calling. I had an opportunity to go to university, which was given to me at home, but I declined. I didn’t want to choose a prescribed career.”

In welcoming Mbanjwa, Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said: “The cluster is pleased to have him on board. We look forward to his new ideas and strategies to assist in the fight against crime.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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