Top cop hands in his badge
Retired Col Kumbaca wore many hats in his 34-year illustrious career
Colonel Mpumelelo Kumbaca, the Mdantsane station commander who forged working relations with Nasty Boys, Naughty Boys, Niggers and Ten Hundreds – the ruthless street gangs that terrorised communities – and restored law and order in SA’s second biggest township – has retired.
Kumbaca called it a day after 34 years of unbroken service.
His last job was as the provincial commander of auxiliary services in the finance department at SAPS headquarters in Zwelitsha.
Through working closely with the SA National Council on Alcoholism (Sanca), gangsters and the community police forum, Kumbaca established the Masisondele Sakhe Youth Development Foundation in 2000.
The group, mainly comprised hardcore gangsters, who started working with Kumbaca by tipping him off to undercover crime activities.
“Apart from [being involved in] gang wars, the gangsters were robbing jewellery from innocent people and sold drugs to pupils.”
Kumbaca, 60, bade his colleagues farewell a day before his birthday during a glitzy red carpet ceremony at the prestigious Inkwenkwezi Nature Reserve outside East London last weekend.
He joined the then Ciskei Police Force as a young constable in 1985 after quitting his job as a clerk at the rent office in Dimbaza.
His first task was working on the Abakhuseli police magazine at the Bhisho provincial commissioner’s office in 1985.
In 1987, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, warrant officer in 1993 and lieutenant-colonel at the finance section in 1994. Following the amalgamation of the Ciskei homeland, Kumbaca was transferred to the King William’s Town police station to head the finance office.
In 1997, he launched the finance department at the Mdantsane NU1 station. He was then promoted to relief commander overseeing shifting of police officers. Kumbaca then headed up crime prevention at Inyibiba police station in 2000. At the time, the area was under siege from gangs while an “outrageously” high number of illegal shebeens were operating nearby.
“Even our police station was just three four-roomed houses with only the flag of the country and police vans giving a clue that it was a police station. The structure looked like that of surrounding houses and shebeens,” he recalled. Kumbaca said he was instrumental in getting the European Union to build the new Inyibiba station.
“It was me and the likes of Ray Maqutyana, Joe Matshoba and Mrs Nqwele who started to liaise with the European Union.”
After a stint as border policing commander, in 2015 Kumbaca was tasked by the national head office to set up archives and registry for all 196 police stations in the province to secure police records.
Kumbaca has a BA degree and an honours degree in criminology from the University of Fort Hare. He is also a co-founder of the Police Music and Cultural Association (Polmusca).
Kumbaca attributed much of his success to the support he enjoyed from his wife of 33 years, Lieutenant-Colonel Nompumezo Kumbaca...