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National Police Commissioner officially bestows the Sword of Command to Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Limpopo

POLOKWANE - The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Khehla Sitole, today officially handed over the Sword-of-Command to the first female Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Monicca Hadebe, during a medal parade ceremony held at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the City of Polokwane.

The Change of Command Ceremony, is an honour bestowed upon the newly appointed Provincial Commissioner to continue with the responsibilities of serving and protecting the citizens of this province and leading from the front in the fight against crime. Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe assumed office on the 1st of May 2021, taking over the reins from the retired Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, who vacated the post as he was due for pension.

As an honourable tribute in recognition of prolonged loyal service rendered, the Minister of Police has awarded medals to members of the South African Police Service across the province, who have served the organisation with pride and loyalty.

Today's ceremony, honoured 24 men and women in blue who have selflessly put their lives in the line of duty, serving and protecting the society for a period ranging from 10, 20 and 30, uninterrupted years. These are members who have displayed an irreproachable character and exemplary conduct.

The Patron of the Women's Network, the Deputy National Commissioner of the South African Police Service responsible for Support Services, Lieutenant General Francina Vuma, delivered the welcoming message to the audience.

The MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Mrs Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya on behalf of the Premier of Limpopo, the Hon. Chupu Stanley Mathabatha, congratulated the newly appointed Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Hadebe and also passed her sincere gratitude to the National Commissioner, General Sitole for the stride taken to address gender parity in the Police Service. She indicated that the exercise is proving to be yielding results because the change is not only happening at lower ranks but in all the levels.

When delivering message of support, the MEC acknowledged all the other eight predecessors who held the fort in the past 27 years, citing Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, who was a much disciplined, hardworking, non-corruptible public servant, who served with pride and determination.

"General Hadebe you asserted authority and commanded respect from the word go and you have proven once again that women are equal to the task and they should be afforded equal opportunities to serve like their male counterparts. As the government of Limpopo, we will continue to support all your programmes to ensure that we have safer communities. The MEC also mentioned that the recent statistics are signalling challenges especially in the Thohoyandou policing area under the Vhembe District, that the Provincial Commissioner and her team have a responsibility to stabilise and reduce crime in that area. She concluded by commending the men and women in blue behind the breakthrough in Malamulele Police Station attack.

The National Commissioner delivered the keynote address and commenced by sending a word of acknowledgment to former Provincial Commissioners present at the event, Lieutenant Generals, Sengani and Ledwaba and Commissioner Malete.

"We are gathered here today at this auspicious and proud ceremony, as we have just officially handed over command of the Police Service in Limpopo Province to the new Sheriff in town-Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembi Monicca Hadebe. This ceremony is a gesture that endorses our decision as the management of the SAPS, that Lieutenant General Hadebe is the perfect candidate to have replaced now retired Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba. With Lieutenant General Hadebe being the first ever female Provincial Commissioner of this province, the event today is indicative that police women are standing their ground and continue to break boundaries. At this point, let me also extend a very special word of acknowledgement and appreciation to all our medal recipients today.

In conclusion, the General appreciated the breakthrough and success of Limpopo police with the arrest of suspects allegedly behind the attack of Malamulele police station in November last year and subsequent recovery of high calibre firearms and ammunition.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Hadebe who was obviously over the moon and honoured, said, it was a historic moment in her life and one of those rare and distinctive opportunities that one can experience in the Police career, before declaring with deep and sincerity that she accepts the honour of the Sword of Command as bestowed on her by the National Commissioner of Police, General Sitole.

The other dignitaries present at the event, were the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Provincial Commissioners, National Head of DPCI, Provincial Heads, District Commissioners, Station and Unit Commanders, the Judge President, Makgoba, Chairperson of house of Traditional leaders, Kgoshi Kgabo III, Hosi Muhumane and Mhinga, the National prosecuting Authority Regional Head, Advocate W Sonti, the Area Commissioner of Correctional Services Mrs Lydia Mamabolo,

Representatives from SAPU and POPCRU Labour Unions, the District and Local Municipal Officials, the Provincial Chairperson of Youth Against Crime Mr K Machete, Provincial Community Policing Forum (CPF) Board Chairperson, Mr MF Kgasago, Provincial CSF Chairperson Mr Kgorutle and other Stakeholders and Partners in Policing and members of the Media graced the event with their attendance.


Sergeant Maphure Manamela
076 481 5767



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