A new season has dawned for six Mitchell’s Plain police officers, who have been promoted in rank – five of them will be leaving the precinct and a former Rocklands police sector commander is now the new shift commander.
Colonel Harry Pietersen was promoted from Lieutenant Colonel and to the Bishop Lavis crime investigations department (CID); Captain Eugene Goliath, was promoted from warrant officer and to the Philippi Operational Support Station; Captain Sizwe Nyabaza was promoted from chief admin clerk and to Grassy Park supply chain management; Captain Zingaphi Magadla was promoted from principal personnel officer to the Gugulethu human resource department (HRD); and Captain Nokuthula Kalo was promoted from principal personnel officer to provincial commissioner performance management.
Lieutenant Colonel Leon Jooste, 54, who was raised in Rocklands and lived in Portland until two years ago, had been captain for 12-years during which he served as sector commander in Portland, Westridge and Rocklands for 15-years. He is the now shift commander at the police station, in Eastridge.
Rocklands neighbourhood watch hosted a celebration in honour of his promotion at Cedar High School of the Arts, in Rocklands, on Friday January 7.
Mitchell’s Plain Neighbourhood Watch Association and Rocklands Neighbourhood Watch chairman Cedric Daniels said: “We congratulate Leon Jooste, from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel, from being our Rocklands sector commander to new shift commander at Mitchell’s Plain police station.
“We wish him every success.”
Linda Jones, Rocklands Neighbourhood Watch member and madam of ceremonies for the brunch, said Lieutenant Colonel Jooste had persevered and applied for a promotion several times before.
“All of a sudden there is a beam of light. This is only the beginning. This is your season. May God’s grace and favour be upon your life and your family,” she said.
Ms Jones encouraged the other “men in blue” to see the promotion as motivation and that the community should see the police as humans just like them.
“They leave their loved ones very early not knowing if they will be returning home safely.
“You are ours. You belong to us,” she said to Lieutenant Colonel Jooste.
Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 79, that is Portland and Rocklands, said he appreciated the bond shared with the former sector commander.
He said the outgoing captain was always there to help and listen to the community.
Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman Captain Ian Williams said they were delighted with the promoted members.
“We wish them well. While their leaving the station presents some challenges we are able to adapt and rise to the occasion,” he said.
Captain Williams said the vacant posts will be advertised and that police officers would apply accordingly.
Lieutenant Colonel Jooste thanked God for granting him perseverance and passion to work with the community.
He said police work meant nothing without the support from the community.
“I pledge that there will be service delivery in Rocklands and in Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.
During his 34-years of service at Mitchell’s Plain police station, Lieutenant Colonel Jooste said he had come to understand the community’s complaints and cries; and that he was now in a better position to serve them.
He was notified of his promotion in rank on Tuesday January 4 and is due to take up his new position as shift commander on Tuesday February 1.