Links FAQ's
saps banner
Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula's remarks on the 25th Police Music and Cultural Association (POLMUSCA) National Unity Festival
2017/09/21

 Tshwane, Gauteng

 

Lieutenant General LJ Mothiba

Deputy National Police Commissioners

Provincial Commissioners

Lieutenant General NS Mkhwanazi, the convenor

Major General Vuma, The President of Polmusca

All dignitaries

All our brave patriots in blue

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

On the 24th this month, His Excellency The President Mr Jacob

Zuma shall officiate in National Heritage Day celebrations at

Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga under the theme “Celebrating Our

Liberation Heritage”. Our liberation is our highly prized heritage.

That which we prize highly demands protection and service. The

South African Police Services is itself a heritage under this liberation

heritage we are celebrating this year.

 

South African Police Service is called upon to protect and serve our

liberation, our people in all their diversity.

 

The work of the police is one that involves the heart. This work is

reserved for those among us whose hearts are made and moulded

for service to others.

 

Policing has evolved to mean the face of government, from people

who are lost, to those who have their vehicles broken in the streets

to victims of theft and violence. We are there when there is a fire, a

storm or other disasters be they natural or man made. We are

emergency midwives, first aid providers and comfort givers.

 

Police are a special breed whose families live on edge wondering

whether they may come back home from work unharmed or not.

Police see things the human eye should not see.

 

We are the ones who are called upon to instil dignity on those

whose dignity may have been robbed.

 

At the end of it all, police are still human. We feel, we hurt, we

stress, we worry, and we get anxious and feel alone too. Our

superhuman lives do not remove our human vulnerabilities.

This is where associations like POLMUSCA are extremely important

beyond measure. POLMUSCA brings the balancing element into our

hard daily lives.

 

President Vuma, you chose as a theme, “National Unity Festival”.

This theme is in concert and tune with the National theme,

“Celebrating Our Liberation Heritage”.

Through music and arts, we are able to reconnect with that which

life intended. Humanity benefits in social harmony from the

harmonic sounds of music and artistic creations that captivate the

eye and mind.

 

Music and Arts of Africa is beautiful, vast and transcendent.

We are a colourful people of today’s mama Esther Mahlangu of the

Ndebele and yesteryears Queen Nandi ka-Bhebhe Mhlongo, a

songbird on note.

 

We are alive today because of legendary composer Vuyisile Mini

who composed a struggle song “NdodeMnyama”. The song was

about what our heritage is and why we had to be conscious and

know our humanity. That composition by Mini paved his way into

the gallows.

 

We are people of Mbongeni Ngema, Ray Phiri, Mirriam Makeba,

Gibson Kente, Abigail Kubeka and many more.

As the African continent's most diverse country our nation is also

enriched by the heritage and culture of the Dutch Afrikaner, the

English, the Portuguese, the Germans and many more.

We remember the Afrikaner legend Mimi Coertze who brought the

depth of Dutch music traditions and infused her African experiences

into it.

 

We are indeed a people whose blood streams are found in the

Kaapse Klopse and their rainbow ferries.

 

Music and Arts helped liberate this nation from policies of

separateness to togetherness.

This, the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo, we are reminded that this

Heritage we own was indeed a good instrument used for a good

deed of unity in diversity.

 

Oliver Tambo was a choir master himself, a music composer and

dear lover of music.

 

Programme Director, let us all dedicate this 25th Festival to this giant

of our people, the forefather of our new nation.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, our rich continent comprises approximately

20 percept of the world's landmass with a young population of

roughly 750 million out of a total of 1.2 billion Africans.

 

African heritage is as diverse as its cultures and peoples and has

coloured our landscape to flow with our desert in the north and the

flowered escarpment in many indigenous forms.

 

The colours we see here are testament of our inner beauty.

 

There is the rhythm of the Zulu, the bouncing of the Xhosa and the

circling of the Sotho all creating a beautiful mosaic we call Mzansi.

At the South African Police Service National Commemoration, we

again locate music as a centrepiece of our being.

 

When The Last Post is sounded followed by the sorrowful reveille

sound, the emotions on any person with a heart follows and flows

with the disappearing notes as they go high and low, high and low

again.

 

For the year 2016/2017 there are forty of our own who are not with

us today due to death in the line of duty. In year 2016/2017

National Commemoration, poet Siphiwe Mahlangu said; “We keep

an audible silence to resemble their everlasting memories for they

are vividly imprinted on our minds.”

 

As we celebrate our heritage and the good that it has bestowed, let

us please rise for a moment of silence to remember all our fallen

heroes and heroines. Thank you.

 

I congratulate SAPS on the continued professionalism of our SAPS

Band which is always on tune to deliver our National Anthem, The

Last Post and other renditions. Your work as a Band is part of the

culture of professional policing. You are the custodians of our

heritage.

 

We cannot be a professional police service without your critical

hands on deck. Yours is not just a nice to have. It is genuinely

important.

 

I am a former Sports Minister, I am on record promoting sports as an

important aspect of getting people to pause and come together as

friends in peace.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, as Minister of Police today I also know that

sports and arts are an integral part of human life, the African ethnic

life itself has its own long history of songs in childbirth, child

rearing, hunting or war and indeed as mentioned earlier songs about

political activism.

 

Composer Sifiso Ntuli said this about music as a protest tool;

“A song is something that we communicate to those people who

otherwise would not understand where we are coming from. You

could give them a long political speech – they would still not

understand. But I tell you: when you finish that song, people will be

like ‘Damn, I know where you nigga’s are comin’ from. Death unto

Apartheid!”

 

The toyi-toyi itself is an artistic expression of protest and perhaps

defiance and militaristic rhythm of a militant advancing bravely

towards his or her enemy.

 

The singing and dance of the un-armed toy-toying youths became a

weapon; it is now a part of our heritage, a part of our very rich

history from the hills of Zambia to Zimbabwe to the Cape.

 

The soothing prayer of Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika became an unofficial

national anthem of South Africa way before 1994.

 

It was sang when the Freedom Charter was adopted, it was sang as

the Rivonia Trial ensued and both black and white south Africans

today sing it together in harmony as they start their Springboks

games we lately lose! I am not going to mention Bafana Bafana here

– a story for another day.

 

Abdullah Ibrahim often says apartheid created an environment of

lies which the arts was a credible avenue to use as a buffer; indeed

our fellow white South Africans, many in our police service that time

were told that Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika was a Communist Song –

Communism was often seen as a band of non-believers that time.

Today, we all know the truth; Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica is a solemn

prayer musical creation that directly means, God Bless or Protect

Afrika.

 

Look at what music and arts has done? South Africa is alive with

possibilities because of all these little important things. We are

together through music and culture.

 

By having this occasion today, we mark the important moments in

life through music, and artistic expression which helps to underscore

the divine and eternal value of human lives.

We serve and protect human life and the private property that makes

human life function.

 

As members of this dynamic organization The South African Police, I

encourage and endorse activities that get members to remember the

other side of human life. We must connect as a family through

sports, music, arts and all other means to build a united organization

with tolerance. This National Unity Festival is thus fitting.

This event strengthens the fabric of the SAPS community and

rewrites the history of this organization in beautiful and melodic

language.

 

We are a people of drums and rhythm, we are loud and happy, our

drums and horns are also a language let us unite and build a united

organization we can be proud of.

 

Through arts and our heritage, let us bestow to our children a SAPS

they can only take to higher levels.

 

 

We are on the path of intensifying our professionalization.

We are also called upon to demilitarize our organization. I want you

to know that events like this do exactly that. We need more of this,

we must expand this programme to other fields of play and games to

reach all our rank and file.

We also have a maskandi artist who is a member of SAPS.

Bonginkosi BGK Mbuyisa. Help him and those like him to entertain

and create joy in our ranks.

 

So, Somizi Mhlongo and MNET can have their Idols Competition, I

know we the best here, The Battle of the SAPS Bands.

 

The Western Cape Police Band won the gold trophy for their first

place in the Battle of the Bands during in Durban last year.

Lt. General Jula need not relax, I am told the other provinces are

sharpening their tools and are coming for the title.

 

I am warned to stay on my seat should Sergeant Jean Organise start

singing “Man’s World” with his beautiful tenor voice and Constable

Maddy Abrahams with her powerful voice that shames the best in

the world.

 

People who know me know a few things, I am the best dancer, the

best singer and no one can come close. I am DJ Mbawezy too. So

the stakes are very very high.

 

Even though our work is about helping those in danger and in great

need, we are not super human, I want us to relax, reconnect with

our humanity and rekindle the human spirit so that as we go out to

fight criminals we do so with relaxed spirits and minds.

Let us unity our people, let us trounce in happiness with the people

of the Khoi and the San. Let the red dust rise as we dance and

celebrate our liberation and remember those who sacrificed for us to

be free.

 

Programme director, Let the band play