The first thought that went through her mind when she heard she’d won R40 000 was that she could now help her neighbour whose house had burnt down. She also thought of the needy and poor she could feed and of her daughter, whose studies she could finally fund.
Constable Tseleng Ngaka (35) of Hennenman in the Free State didn’t spare a thought for herself - and this generosity of spirit proves why she deserves to be the overall winner in DRUM and sister magazines YOU and Huisgenoot’s Heroes Against Crime campaign.
This policewoman with a heart of gold was selected from 10 finalists and her victory was announced at a glamorous event in Cape Town to mark the end of the three magazine’s four-year Unite Against Crime campaign.
She’s been a member of her police station’s social crime prevention unit since 2005 and visits homes where domestic violence has been reported. She doesn’t receive extra pay for her efforts, and to top it all there have been no more reports of violence in the homes she visits.
She also started a community patrol project with 158 members who now walk the streets to prevent crime. And she often provides food parcels for two destitute families and collects clothes and make-up for the needy.
“I’m so excited about winning,” Tseleng says. “I could never have done it without the management at my police station and the support of my community. They’re the winners; I’m just their messenger.”
The second and third prizes - R20 000 and R10 000 - went to Willie Bosch of Port Elizabeth and Ampie Rossouw of Greymont in Joburg respectively.
Willie (58) founded the anti-crime organisation Farm Communications in 2001. His group is often on the scene before the police and he has written a guide on how to secure your home.
“This competition made me want to do more good in my community,” he says. “It shows you that people see what you do and they believe in your vision.”
Ampie (45) was just as delighted as the others when he heard he had come third. “This is simply fantastic,” he said emotionally.
The devoted family man was nominated after protecting his nephew, Vernon, from a hail of bullets during a botched robbery. In the attempt he was hit four times.