Northern KZN duo acknowledged for their efforts during social unrest

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As South Africans put the civil unrest of July 2021 behind them. Two Northern KwaZulu-Natal police officials find themselves being rewarded for their efforts during the turbulent time.

On Monday, 4 October 2021, KwaZulu-Natal Police duo, Major General Phumelele Makoba and Brigadier Francis Bantham, were both recognised by the Turkish Ambassador, together with the CEO of Defy. This is for their outstanding work of protecting the Ladysmith Defy Production Factory during the social unrest.

Major General Makoba and Brigadier Bantham both received prestigious awards on behalf of Defy. Furthermore, they received a personal message of appreciation from the Turkish Ambassador, currently in Durban.

During the unrest in July 2021, the Defy factory, based in Ladysmith, was looted.

READ MORE HERE: #ProtectSouthAfrica: Defy looters made to return goods in Ladysmith and more

Brigadier Bantham immediately dispatched a team to disperse the looters and personally went out on the field to recover a looted fridge. This after hours of dispersing the crowd. Brigadier Bantham also mobilised the community of the uThukela District to stand together to protect the Defy Production Factory.

The Turkish Ambassador praised Major General Makoba and Brigadier Bantham for protecting the Defy Production sites during the unrest. Additionally, thanking them for ensuring the factories were kept safe. 

Brigadier Bantham, who also holds the KwaZulu-Natal Women’s Network Champion title, was ecstatic after receiving her award, together with her commander, Major General Makoba.

She enthuses, “Being in the South African Police Service for 31 years as a female officer, has always been challenging, it always requires us to go ‘beyond the call of duty’ to prove our dedication to the South African Police Service and the honour we take to always hold the image of the SAPS high. As the Champion of the KwaZulu-Natal Women’s Network, I always motivate our female officers to progress in their daily tasks and always ensure the world knows that you are a strong and powerful woman.”

SAPS Brigadier Bantham
Brigadier Bantham

She added that receiving this award from the Turkish Ambassador was a mark in history for herself and Major General Makoba. It is living proof that women in the SAPS can also work in extreme conditions and excel so that the entire Country will recognise their success.

KZN Deputy Provincial Commissioner: Policing Major General Makoba expressed her gratitude to the Turkish Ambassador and CEO of Defy.

“Working in the South African Police Service is extremely challenging, especially as a female Senior Manager, as there are a lot of responsibilities which sit on your shoulders at any part of the day. You have to balance these responsibilities, along with your daily tasks to ensure the Division of Policing for KZN is running smoothly.” 

Being recognised as a recipient of this prestigious award, she notes, is incredibly heart-warming. Especially since being in the SAPS, it is not every day that you are honoured by the Turkish Ambassador and receive such praise for your work. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Turkish Ambassador for honouring myself and Brigadier Bantham today, and we will always ensure that we work extremely hard to keep the Province of KwaZulu-Natal safe.”

As the two officers find themselves being rewarded for their efforts, what are your thoughts? 

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