A Night of Honour: The 9th SAPS National Excellence Awards

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saps national excellence awards

The SAPS National Excellence Awards is an annual ceremony recognizing the exceptional dedication and service of the South African Police Service’s workforce, reservists, and community policing structures. The 9th ceremony was held in February 2024 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, with high-ranking officials and esteemed guests in attendance. The awards serve as a tool for cultivating a culture of excellence and innovation within the SAPS, exemplifying their dedication to promoting service excellence and striving for a safer South Africa.

What are the SAPS National Excellence Awards?

The SAPS National Excellence Awards is an annual ceremony recognizing the exceptional dedication and service of the South African Police Service’s workforce, reservists, and community policing structures. The awards serve as a tool for cultivating a culture of excellence and innovation within the SAPS, with categories ranging from Administrative Employee to High Risk Member and Station of the Year. The ceremony exemplifies the SAPS’s dedication to promoting service excellence and striving for a safer South Africa.

Setting the Stage

The Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand was alive with anticipation on a chilly evening in February 2024. This was the night of the 9th National Excellence Awards held by the South African Police Service (SAPS), a significant event lauding the remarkable dedication of its workforce, reservists, and community policing structures. The awards ceremony was a platform to recognize and applaud the SAPS personnel’s exceptional service during the 2022/2023 fiscal year.

The evening was graced with the presence of several high-ranking officials and esteemed guests. Among them was General Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, who was joined by his counterparts from the presidency and the Deputy Minister of Police. General Fannie Masemola, the National Commissioner of SAPS, and the Public Protector of SA also lent their stature to the event. However, the true heroes of the night were the SAPS members who had surpassed their responsibilities.

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence

The National Excellence Awards serve as more than just a ceremony – they are a tool for cultivating a culture of excellence and innovation within the SAPS. The year’s theme, “Encouraging Innovation and Rewarding Excellence,” echoed across the award categories. The 47 awards mirrored the varied roles within the SAPS, including awards for the Administrative Employee, High Risk Member, Woman and Station of the Year, amongst others.

One exemplary figure of this excellence was Lieutenant Colonel JL Santi, Operational Commander of Parkroad Tactical Response Team. The High Risk Member of The Year managed 57 operational individuals, overseeing 141 arrests and the confiscation of fraudulent cash worth over R800,000 during the specified fiscal year. Santi’s remarkable contributions were further acknowledged with the distinguished Laureate Award, and he departed the event driving a brand-new vehicle.

Extraordinary Achievements

Sergeant KB Mabunda, a determined officer renowned for apprehending insurance claim fraudsters, was presented with the Police Minister’s Special Award and promoted to Captain. His notable investigation led to the conviction of Rosemary Ndlovu and the recent capture of a woman associated with a horrifying family murder case.

Another officer, whose name has not been revealed for safety reasons, was praised for his alertness in identifying a suspicious chain of events in Bloemfontein. His keen observation exposed a horrific series of crimes and resulted in the arrest of Dr. Nandipha Magadumana and Thabo Bester.

Sergeant M Rapakgadi, a detective from Gauteng Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations specializing in serial rape and child pornography cases, was also bestowed with the Police Minister’s Special Award. True to his first name, Molwantoa, which translates to ‘warrior’ in Sepedi, Rapakgadi secured 57 life sentences and an additional 3074 years in prison for 17 serial rapists.

Lieutenant Colonel J Coetzer was granted the National Commissioner’s Special Award for his courage during a risky operation against a cash-in-transit gang. Despite losing his leg to a gunshot wound, his bravery and determination remained steadfast.

Going Above and Beyond

The SAPS Port Nolloth station was honoured with the Station of the Year award. This Northern Cape station exceeded set goals and achieved impressive results in preventing crime, earning a flawless 100% rating. It exemplifies an ideal police service, setting standards both provincially and nationally.

Throughout the ceremony, the SAPS leadership continually emphasized their dedication to promoting service excellence, encouraging a culture of continuous improvement, and striving for a safer South Africa. The National Excellence Awards personifies this mission, honouring those who diligently serve and protect. The SAPS continues to commemorate its top achievers, reminding all members of the importance of their daily responsibilities and the difference they can make in their communities.

1. What are the SAPS National Excellence Awards?

The SAPS National Excellence Awards is an annual ceremony recognizing the exceptional dedication and service of the South African Police Service’s workforce, reservists, and community policing structures.

2. When was the 9th SAPS National Excellence Awards held?

The 9th ceremony was held in February 2024 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

3. Who attends the SAPS National Excellence Awards ceremony?

High-ranking officials and esteemed guests attend the SAPS National Excellence Awards ceremony, including General Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, his counterparts from the presidency, the Deputy Minister of Police, General Fannie Masemola, the National Commissioner of SAPS, and the Public Protector of SA.

4. What is the theme of the 9th SAPS National Excellence Awards?

The year’s theme was “Encouraging Innovation and Rewarding Excellence,” which echoed across the award categories.

5. Who were some of the award winners mentioned in the article and what were their achievements?

Some of the award winners mentioned in the article include Lieutenant Colonel JL Santi, Sergeant KB Mabunda, Sergeant M Rapakgadi, and Lieutenant Colonel J Coetzer. Lieutenant Colonel JL Santi was the High Risk Member of The Year, managing 57 operational individuals, overseeing 141 arrests, and confiscating fraudulent cash worth over R800,000. Sergeant KB Mabunda was presented with the Police Minister’s Special Award and promoted to Captain for apprehending insurance claim fraudsters. Sergeant M Rapakgadi, a detective from Gauteng Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations specializing in serial rape and child pornography cases, was also bestowed with the Police Minister’s Special Award. Lieutenant Colonel J Coetzer was granted the National Commissioner’s Special Award for his courage during a risky operation against a cash-in-transit gang.

6. Which station was honored with the Station of the Year award and why?

The SAPS Port Nolloth station was honored with the Station of the Year award. This Northern Cape station exceeded set goals and achieved impressive results in preventing crime, earning a flawless 100% rating, exemplifying an ideal police service, setting standards both provincially and nationally.

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