The South African Police Service (SAPS) Management is saddened by the loss of two of its own after both members tragically lost their lives after contracting the Covid-19 virus. At the time of their passing, both members were admitted in two separate hospitals.
In KwaZulu-Natal, a 55-year-old Warrant Officer succumbed to the virus on Sunday, 26 April 2020. The Warrant Officer served our country for 27 years having joined the organisation as a student Constable in 1993.
In the Eastern Cape Province, a captain succumbed to the virus on Monday, 11 May 2020. The captain had 29 years of service having joined the organisation in 1991 also as a student Constable.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla John Sitole has described the two members as brave and exemplary as well as members who have served and protected the South African people with utmost diligence.
“On behalf of the entire SAPS family, I would like to personally pay tribute to the two members who placed their lives on the line to ensure that the people of South Africa are protected against crime as well as against this virus”, said General Sitole in a statement.
“I have also conveyed my sincere condolences to the families of our fallen colleagues and thanked them for the decades the members have served in the SAPS as well as for allowing them to serve during these trying times”.
Read below for more of what he said in his statement:
“While our aim as an organisation is to ensure that we prevent, combat and investigate crime, the good health, safety and well-being of our members remains a responsibility that the management of the service does not take lightly.
It is indeed rather unfortunate to also announce that to date over 370 members have tested positive for COVID-19 with the majority of those cases in the Western Cape. In response to the surge in numbers in the Western Cape, a delegation from the National Steering Committee visited the province to provide the necessary support in ensuring that the protocols to contain and manage COVID-19 virus are being implemented accordingly.
With that said, it is encouraging that 55 members have recovered from the virus giving us hope that this disease can be beaten.
Through the Service’s Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) Component, the Service is continuously providing the necessary psychological support to infected and affected members and their families through a number of interventions such as counselling, daily devotions and visits to SAPS premises and roadblocks.
Regular compliance visits are also being conducted weekly at all SAPS premises which include police stations to ensure that all SAPS members have the necessary PPE and crucial items to protect them and the visitors’ at all frontline points against the virus.
We also encourage, educate and create awareness amongst all members to continue protecting themselves by adhering to all our safety protocols. This is done by continuously practicing social distancing, wearing personal protective equipment at all times as well as sanitizing regularly.
Members of the South African Police Service remains committed to the fight against this virus while also ensuring that the people of South Africa are and feel safe against any form of criminality”.