More than 600 police officers who graduated yesterday from the Bhisho Police Academy will return to the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape to be deployed to beaches and shopping malls during the festive season.
Of the 689 recruits, 374 are from the Eastern Cape, 165 from the Northern Cape and 143 are from the Free State.
Attending yesterday’s ceremony were Eastern Cape provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga, Free State provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Rimatsi Shivuri and acting Northern Cape commissioner Tholie Afonso.
Also in attendance were many parents expressing their jubilation amid tears of joy over their children graduating after an intense nine-month training.
Ntshinga said the Eastern Cape was the busiest of the three provinces at this time of the year due to the attraction of its beaches. “Our beaches get busy…so it is important that we deploy officers to maintain law and order.”
Ntshinga said once the festive season was over, the Eastern Cape recruits would be re-deployed to rural stations and at police stations located near gang-infested areas in Port Elizabeth.
During the ceremony a moment of silence was held for the Port Elizabeth policewoman killed on duty on Thursday.
Constable Caroline Mjandana, 38, was shot in the neck and killed during a heavy exchange of gunfire with an armed gang in Port Elizabeth’s North End.
Mjandana’s patrol partner Sergeant Anele Frans, 43, was shot in the ear and wounded. He is being treated in hospital where he is in a stable condition.
The two had responded to an alarm activated at the Port Elizabeth Ice Cream Parlour in Paterson Road, North End at 11pm when they met the armed gang at the scene.
Ntshinga said: “Today we are celebrating the passing out of new recruits and at the same time mourning the death of our member who was killed by criminals.”
He condemned the incident and vowed to hunt down the criminals. “We also appeal to the community to assist us in bringing the perpetrators to book.” — firstname.lastname@example.org