‘uMgungundlovu is in safe and capable hands’

2016-06-20 11:44
Major General Phumelele Makoba in her new office at the uMgungundlovu South Cluster office. Makoba has been in the force for 25 years and plans to take a hands-on, proactive approach to reducing crime in the city.

Major General Phumelele Makoba in her new office at the uMgungundlovu South Cluster office. Makoba has been in the force for 25 years and plans to take a hands-on, proactive approach to reducing crime in the city. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Umgungundlovu South police have a new sheriff in town who plans to work closely with the community to crack the whip on crime.

Major-General Pumelele Makoba (44) has started as the policing precinct’s new cluster commander, and has some innovative ideas to make the city a safer place for all her residents.

Born in Estcourt, Makoba moved to Howick at the age of 17, starting her career as a passionate and determined policewoman at 19.

After working in Howick for two years, Makoba was transferred to Pietermaritzburg’s Plessislaer police station, where she was stationed for seven years.

Makoba spent another five years at the Midlands Area office before she moved to province, and was then appointed as cluster commander for eThekwini Outer North.

With 25 years’ experience in the force, Makoba has worked as a communications officer, in the community safety unit, as well as a station commander, working her way up to cluster commander of uMgungundlovu South.

“I knew from the first day I began training as a police officer that it was what I was meant to do,” said Makoba. “My job is extremely challenging, but I enjoy a challenge and love working with communities to make them feel safe and comfortable in their environments.”

Makoba said she immediately started researching crime trends and looking into different and innovative ways to crack down on crime when she heard she had been appointed the new cluster commander for uMgungundlovu South. “As police officers, we act as a buffer between the community and criminals,” she said. “To reduce levels of crime, we need the community to help and support us.”

She said she planned on strengthening relationships between the police, community policing forums, community leaders and youth groups to reduce crime.

“I am looking at innovative and fresh ways to reduce crime, and I have a few plans up my sleeve that I will start discussing with the cluster’s station commanders within the next week or so,” she said.

“We want input from residents and community leaders, so we can trace crime patterns and know where to improve.

“I want us to work together and support each other,” she said.

Makoba is also the KZN deputy chairperson of the Women’s Network and has been with the organisation since 2003.

She is as passionate about helping women and children as she is about the safety of her new cluster.

With her husband and 11-year-old son in Durban, Makoba said she is a family person and a fitness fanatic, waking up early every morning for a 10 km run.

“Running the Comrades is on my bucket list,” said Makoba with a smile.

uMgungundlovu South spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said Makoba was a “unique person” with a leadership style that would be “much appreciated” in the cluster.

“The community can rest assured that they are in safe and capable hands. Policing is in Makoba’s hands and she is no stranger to the area.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police  |  saps

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