Minister Fritz gives keynote at SAPS honours event
Yesterday, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, made the keynote address at the SAPS Handing Over of the Sword of Command and Medals Ceremony, in Greenpoint.
The purpose of the ceremony was for the National Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Khehla Sithole, to hand over the Sword of Command to Western Cape Provincial Commissioner. Lt. Gen. Thembisile Patekile.
Gen. Pathekile has been the Provincial Commissioner since July 2021. Today's ceremony marked the symbolic handover of power to the Provincial Commissioner.
The ceremony also included the awarding of the Gold Medal for Bravery, the Silver Medal for Bravery, the 40 year Long Service Award, and the 30 Year Long Service Award to worthy officers.
During his Keynote Address, Minister Fritz said that Gen. Patekile's appointment has been a sign of stability for the province.
Minister Fritz said, "the Western Cape Government has worked very well with Gen. Patekile over the past few months, and we pledge to support him and the SAPS in any fight against crime and violence, especially in our poorer communities."
Minister Fritz continued, "through LEAP, neighbourhood watches and any other way possible, we will continue to support the SAPS in the work that you do. We will ensure that more of our Safety Ambassadors are availed to be placed at police stations to relieve SAPS officers from admin work, so that our officers can be in the streets fighting crime."
Minister Fritz also acknowledged the presence of the newly-appointed Provincial Police Ombudsman, General Oswald Reddy, and expressed his hope that the Office of the Ombudsman will be seen as a way of improving the work of SAPS and the service it presents to communities.
Minister Fritz concluded, "I want to thank each and every one of you for your service to our province and to our country. I want to congratulate those who received special honours today. And I want to say to the young SAPS officers: follow in the footsteps of the officers who we honour today. Look up to them. You too can become generals and receive bravery medals one day. Let us do it for the people we serve! Let us do it to ensure that our communities are safe!"