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Welcome address delivered by Police Minister General Cele on the occasion of the SAPS National Commemoration Day 2022 on 4 September 2022
2022/09/04

WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY POLICE MINISTER GENERAL BHEKI CELE ON THE OCCASION OF THE SAPS NATIONAL COMMEMORATION DAY 2022 HOSTED AT THE UNION BUILDINGS, PRETORIA ON 4 SEPTEMBER 2022

President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa;
Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola;
Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale;
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson;
MEC’s from the different provinces;
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola;
The National Head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Dr/Adv Godfrey Lebeya;
Deputy National Commissioners;
Divisional and Provincial Commissioners;
All Generals, senior management, and members of the SAPS, including our Project 10 000 police trainees;
Representatives of Labour Unions;
Representatives of Community Policing National and Provincial Boards;
Members of the Clergy;
Families of our fallen police officers;
All stakeholders and guests;

Good morning to you all.

Thank you, Programme Director,

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to deliver the welcoming address at this poignant event in the SAPS calendar.

On behalf of the Police Ministry and the Department of Police, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you gathered here, as we mark the 2022 National Commemoration Day of the SAPS.

While this is an annual event, this year marks a renewed approach in the way we observe this day.

Esteemed guests

The COVID-19 virus has for the past two years, deprived us in the SAPS of the opportunity to gather in our collective grieve to mourn the passing of our colleagues.

The lockdown regulations in place to curtail the spread of the virus, meant we had to drastically downscale the way in which we commemorated those officers who died with their boots on.

It is the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, that we are able to host this Commemoration Day ceremony, with full-scale attendance.

We are therefore humbled by the presence of all the invited guests, dignitaries and officers of the SAPS; including some of the police trainees who make up the SAPS’s Project 10 thousand.

Welcome to all those who have come to show support to the families and colleagues of the 33 fallen heroes and heroines, we are remembering today.

We appreciate that some of youtravelled to the Capital city, to give the broader SAPS family, much needed and appreciated moral support on this sombre day.

We do not take it for granted, that you chose to set aside time to be with us in our moment of need.

At this point, let me take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome and our gratitude to President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who will officiate our function today.

Welcome, Mr President!

Your presence on this day gives weight to this occasion and is symbolic to how serious the government you lead, condemns the killing of police.

At the same time, your presence today demonstrates the nations appreciation of the role police play in our communities.

A special welcome to my counterparts in the JCPS Cluster, the Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Justice and Correctional Services, Minister Ronald Lamola

Your presence today is appreciated and speaks volumes to the close working relationship between our departments towards an effective Criminal Justice System.  

A warm welcome to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

We are truly blessed and comforted by your presence.

MEC’s of Community Safety from the different provinces; the leadership of the CPF National and Provincial Boards; as well as our stakeholders, your presence is highly noted and valued today.

Let me acknowledge and give a comforting welcome to the families of our fallen police women and men.

Your presence as families gathered here today, is not taken for granted.

We welcome you all and trust that our efforts in ensuring that this ceremony is fitting for the occasion, will bring you some comfort, as we pay tribute and observe the bravery of your loved ones.

Your loved ones may be gone from sight, but never from our hearts.

Distinguished Guests

We are gathered here to commemorate 33 of our men and women in blue, who died while on duty during the previous financial year running from April 2021 to March 2022.

Today, we collectively remember their courage;

We come together to celebrate their dedication and their zeal as first line responders;

The day has come to commend our fallen colleagues for staying true and committed to the mandate of the SAPS.

We honour these members who paid the ultimate price in pursuit for a safer South Africa.

To all the guests, I trust that you will find today’s arrangements and proceedings, conducive to your personal comfort healing and satisfaction.

Once again, a warm welcome to you all.

I Thank you.