'It was the best we could do' - Good Samaritan cop who helped boy

2016-01-19 07:30
Corné Rabie junior in hospital. (Supplied by Corné Rabie)

Corné Rabie junior in hospital. (Supplied by Corné Rabie)

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Cape Town - One of the police officers who assisted the Rabie family when 2-year-old Corné was badly injured during a family holiday in Gansbaai says they were merely doing their job. 

"We helped them, just like we would help any other citizens when they are in trouble. We try to put ourselves in people's shoes. Here there was a specific family; they were hoping to get a way out [to go to hospital], they had a son crying in the car, and a mother that doesn't know what is happening to her child," senior inspector Zingani Tshefu told News24. 

"It was the best we could do."

The boy's father [also named Corné] told News24 earlier how an unsecured fountain fell on his son at a putt-putt course just outside Gansbaai during the family’s December holiday.

“He sustained a severe laceration to the left leg and the bone was broken and visible as well," Rabie senior told News24. 

The family, who are from Paarl, and were unfamiliar with the area, were not sure where to go for medical help. As they were entering Gansbaai they saw a marked law enforcement car, and asked the officer for help. He recommended going to Hermanus. 

While they were trying to get there, another vehicle with emergency lights and two uniformed officials pulled up in front of them and indicated that the family follow them. 

They led the family to the Hermanus Mediclinic, and also escorted the family into the hospital. 

At the hospital, the two senior inspectors, Tshefu and Edward Fisher, introduced themselves to the family.

Affection for my family

“The officers displayed real affection for my family and the situation we were in with the injuries sustained by my son. They just took ownership of the situation," the father said. 

Rabie senior said his son was operated on and was recovering from his injuries. A week later, he was taken aback when he received a call from Tshefu.

“He phoned just to enquire how my son was doing. He showed compassion.”

Tshefu told News24 that he, Fisher and Constable Johnwin Arris, the officer in the marked police vehicle who notified them of the family's problem, were just doing their job. 

He said they had written to the traffic authorities and given them the number plate of the family's car, in case they were caught on a speed camera breaking the limit on the way to the hospital. 

Tshefu said their mission statement was to be a "centre of excellence", and they would often help people with things such as finding their lost keys, helping to find children who got lost, and "chasing perpetrators and arresting them".

"Sometimes someone will come up to us and say, 'Hey officer, I had too much [to drink], can you help me organise a metered taxi', while we also help people with flat tyres, because every flat tyre is a possible robbery." 

He said because people sometimes did not understand that they were busy and could not immediately respond to certain things, and because they enforced the law, they were sometimes seen as the "bad guys". 

"We have to be everywhere. Unfortunately we haven't reached the level of satisfaction for everyone, [however] we try to assist people in every way we can." 

Tshefu said any other officials would have assisted the Rabie family if they had received the call. 

"Any member that was going to receive that report would make a point to help that family reach their destination."

Read more on:    police  |  saps  |  cape town  |  good news

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