Female Mitchell’s Plain police officers launched a women’s network last Wednesday in an effort to support and encourage each other.
The event was held at Emmanuel Worship Centre in Woodlands. About 25 female staff members attended the event.
Mitchell’s Plain police station communications officer, Captain Nozuko Makwayiba, described the gathering as national programme which was established to grant them a platform to discuss their issues. “This is a nationwide programme, with some other stations in the province having established theirs already. We are the last station to launch it,” she said.
Captain Makwayiba said their main objective was to create a conducive working environment. “As colleagues we don’t know each other and sometimes we don’t even greet each other. So, we want to create a friendly working environment where we can be able to socialise and share our problems with each other.
“We want to remove the tension between us. We want to support, empower and encourage each other,” she said.
Captain Makwayiba said they had two staff meetings to discuss the network launch. “There is a big change since we met during our meetings. It’s not like before where we just passed each other without greeting,” she said.
Commenting on the community’s behaviour towards females officers, Captain Makwayiba said they do get recognition even though there are certain individuals who don’t give them enough respect. “People do respect us as they do our (male) colleagues but there are those who feel they can’t listen to a woman. But I must emphasise that the majority of the people in our communities respect us as policewomen,” said Captain Makwayiba.
Helen Valentine, the secretary of station commander Colonel Cass Goolam, said their aim was to see the network going from strength to strength.
“We want the Mitchell’s Plain community to feel our presence as women by uplifting and helping the community where we can. And we want the NGOs to know that they can count on us,” said Ms Valentine.
Captain Bulelwa Ntantiso believed the network will nurture them and assist them to grow and be able to resolve their problems. “This will help us to stay united. I also want to express gratitude to Colonel Goolam for granting us the opportunity to establish this network. Without him we wouldn’t be here today,” said Captain Ntantiso.