PRETORIA The South African Police Service (SAPS) celebrated National Police Day at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth under the theme SAPS members Keep flying the flag of SAPS high . On this day in 1995, the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995) was promulgated. Ten years later in 2005, Cabinet approved the 27th of January as National Police day and the SAPS celebrated its first National Police day that year.

Yesterday was the 15th annual celebration of National Police Day and the Management of the Service honoured the men and women in blue for the sacrifices they continue to make in ensuring that the people in South Africa are and feel safe. This day is also used to reflect on the strides that have been made in the fight against crime and to remember the fallen heroes and heroines that have served with integrity and loyalty.

The day’s festivities started at 05:30, at King’s Beach with five, 10 and 15 kilometre fun walk and fun run as well as mass aerobics. About 3000 members then converged at the Gelvendale Stadium where they participated in a drill competition and various sporting activities.

The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale and the National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla Sitole joined by the Eastern Cape and Limpopo MECs for Transport and Community Safety as well as the Police Chiefs from the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation celebrated this day with the men and women in blue.

The National Commissioner welcomed everyone and exclaimed at the joyousness demonstrated at the event by members, both Police Act and Public Service Act, which he attributed to passion for policing. Today is your day and I am happy to see all of you in this joyful mood. I will strive to do everything in my power to ensure that you maintain this happy mood as that will definitely lead to enhanced service delivery and all people in South Africa will be safe, said General Sitole. He expressed his gratitude to members for their unceasing loyalty and efforts to make this country safe and secure. Let us continue to strive for high performance standards, said General Sitole.

The Minister called on members to continue excelling in their duties and to ensure that they are always safe. SAPS is an organisation of excellence, make sure that you always protect yourselves while keeping the country and its inhabitants safe as per our Constitutional mandate and thank you for the sacrifices that you continue to make, said General Cele. Walk tall and hold your heads high, make sure you uphold the law and protect your communities, especially women, children and the vulnerable, squeeze the space of criminals to zero, appealed the Minister who went on to encourage the members to work in partnership with the community and to earn their communities trust and respect by always adhering to the SAPS’s code of conduct.

Source: South African Police Service