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SAPS PAYS TRIBUTE TO WOMEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: GET A GLIMPSE INTO A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN AIRBORNE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: SERGEANT ZOLISWA KABINI
2021/08/17      |  Written By:  Colonel A Mathe   |   Province:  Gauteng

Pretoria, 13 August 2021; In celebration of women's month, the South African Police Service( SAPS) celebrates its women who continuously break barriers in a male dominated environment.

Today, we introduce the nation to Sergeant Zoliswa Kabini.

The thirty-four-year-old member has 12 years' service having joined the organisation in 2009 when she was only twenty-two-years-old.


Originally from Umzimkhulu in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Sergeant Kabini is an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO) attached to the Johannesburg Airwing Unit.

The member who is in possession of a BA degree in Policing is one of 10 female Air force Law Enforcement Officers (ALEO) in the organisation.

As an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO),  the operational member provides air support utilising an aircraft to conduct and assist operations. These operations range from routine patrols to Search and Rescue (SAR)operations, to support operations for high risk units which include the Special Task Force (STF), National Intervention Unit (NIU), Tactical Response Teams (TRT), Public Order Police (POP) and the Counter Assault Team (CAT). They also provide Operational Support during public unrests and crowd control operations,  Vehicle, Stock as well as Game Theft Operations.  

They mainly focus on tracking and tracing suspects in high risk incidents such as Cash-In-Transit(CIT) heists, Armed Robberies, Hijacking's and a host of other serious and violent crimes.

Apart from providing air support to specialised teams on the ground, these members are trained in assisting pilots with observations and also reading of aerial maps. The ALEO is an extra set off eyes and ears for the pilot. During “confined space landings”, hoisting and long-line slinging operations, it is the duty and responsibility of the ALEO to “patter” the pilot to ensure a safe and successful operation.

To qualify as an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO),  a member needs to have at least three years' experience in an operational environment. Following a rigorous selection process,  successful applicants undergo training which is specific to Airborne Law Enforcement Officers.

According to Sergeant Kabini to survive in this environment, one ought to posssess a number of personality and characteristic traits. Of importance is for one's situational awareness to be up to standard, be brave and calm, be a decisive individual so as to be able to exercise authority especially when communicating with operational members on the ground. She says you have to know what to say, know what to do, how to do it and when.

" I love everything about my work. I don't get intimidated by my male counterparts because everything they do I can equally execute.  I would like to take this opportunity to encourage more women especially young females to join the service and play their part in making SA a safer place".

To Sergeant Kabini and other female Airborne Law Enforcement Officers (ALEO) we salute you for stamping your authority in this male dominated environment. We also say thank you for putting your country first. 

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Sergeant Zoliswa Kabini
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Sergeant Zoliswa Kabini