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News: SAPS rewards its high flyers at the 9th National Excellence Awards

Media Statement
South African Police Service

MIDRAND - The South African Police Service (SAPS) hosted its 9th edition National Excellence Awards on Friday, 16 February 2024 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand to reward employees, reservists and Community Police Forum (CPF) structures who displayed excellence, dedication and extraordinary commitment in the execution of their daily duties and beyond during the 2022/2023 financial year.

The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele was joined by the Minister in the Presidency, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale, the Public Protector of SA, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka , the National Commissioner of SAPS, General Fannie Masemola and various other distinguished guests at this prestigious occasion.

The National Excellence Awards encourages innovation and reinforces a culture of excellence within the organisation to ensure all employees continue to deliver professional services to communities.

The theme for National Excellence Awards is “ENCOURAGING INNOVATION AND REWARDING EXCELLENCE”.

This year, the National Excellence Awards boasted 47 award categories that included, among others; Admin Employee of the Year, High Risk Member of the Year, Detective and Forensic Member of the Year, Woman of the Year, CPF of the Year, Person with Disability of the Year, and Station of the Year.

The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele and the National Commissioner of SAPS, General Fannie Masemola each presented additional awards in the special awards category.

These were some of the members that walked away as winners in their categories:

High Risk Member of the Year (Level 8 – 12) was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel JL Santi who is the Operational Commander of Parkroad Tactical Response Team (TRT) in the Free State; he oversees 57 operational members. Santi’s exceptional leadership resulted in 141 arrests and the seizure of counterfeit money valued over R800 000 during the 2022/2023 financial year. Lt Col Santi was also voted as this year’s LAUREATE AWARD WINNER and walked away with a brand new vehicle.

Sergeant KB Mabunda was awarded the Police Minister’s Special Award and promoted to the rank of Captain. Mabunda is known for taking down insurance claim fraudsters. His quality investigations led to the conviction of Rosemary Ndlovu and more recently the arrest of a woman who is linked to the murder of her cousin and biological son in North West.

A Constable (no name mentioned for security reasons) in the Free State was also awarded the Police Minister’s Special Award and promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer. This is the member that raised the alarm and alerted the SAPS’Organised Crime Investigations of a woman (Dr Nandipha Magadumana) that had been repeatedly collecting dead bodies in Bloemfontein which ultimately led to the arrest of Dr Magadumana and Thabo Bester.

Also, Sergeant M Rapakgadi was awarded with the Police Minister’s Special Award. Rapakgadi is a detective attached to Gauteng Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) who investigates serial rapists and offenders involved in child pornography. To date, Rapakgadi has secured 57 life terms and an additional 3074 years in prison for 17 serial rapists. He is certainly living up to his first name as Molwantoa, loosely translated from Sepedi, means ‘warrior’.

Lieutenant Colonel J Coetzer was awarded the National Commissioner’s Special Award. Coetzer was part of a takedown operation that dismantled a cash-in-transit (CIT) gang in Makhado last year; 19 suspects were shot and killed during this operation. Coetzer was injured during the shootout when he was shot in the leg which was later amputated following medical intervention.

Station of the year was awarded to SAPS Port Nolloth which is recognised as the top performing station in the Northern Cape, surpassing set targets and achieving outstanding results in various key areas. The station received a remarkable 100% rating in the crime prevention environment, making it the best performing station in crime prevention in the province and across the country.

The management of the South African Police Service continues to promote and encourage all members of the SAPS to continuously aim for service excellence in the execution of their daily duties towards a safer country for all.


Brigadier Athlenda Mathe
082 040 8808

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