The Arbor Park Sports Ground, Newcastle was filled with a sense of camaraderie on Friday, June 23, 2023, as officers from Newcastle SAPS came together to commemorate a dual celebration.
The event marked the final days leading up to the official retirement of Warrant Officer Andre Fourie on Friday, June 30, 2023, while also honouring police officials on Africa Public Service Day.
Warrant Officer Fourie, reflecting on his remarkable career, expressed his unwavering dedication to the South African Police Service (SAPS) since his enlistment on January 4, 1982.
“Since my early days in primary school, I knew I had a passion for the police and a desire to serve the community as an officer,” he recalled.
After completing his high school years, Fourie actively pursued his dream by enrolling in the SAPS college. The SAPS then stationed him at Belville SAPS Station in Cape Town. Later, authorities transferred him to Durban, and in 1994, he ultimately joined Newcastle SAPS.
“I am immensely grateful to the SAPS for giving me a meaningful purpose. During my time at Newcastle SAPS, I formed deep friendships and received tremendous support throughout the years,” expressed Warrant Officer Fourie, who served in both the Crime Prevention and Loss Management Units.
Through his involvement with these units, Fourie gained valuable life lessons about the community and the police force as a whole.
“I discovered that the Newcastle community is loving and caring, always ready to assist those in need. However, I also recognised that trust in the police has waned over the years. Rest assured, the police are working tirelessly to serve the community. We need to rebuild trust in the SAPS; we genuinely have the community’s best interests at heart,” he reassured.
As he prepares to bid farewell to the SAPS, Warrant Officer Fourie encourages the community to support the determined efforts of the police force in combating crime.
Moreover, Colonel Vusumuzi Radebe, the Acting Station Commander for Newcastle SAPS, expressed gratitude to Warrant Officer Fourie for his unwavering dedication throughout the years. Additionally, Colonel Radebe emphasised how Warrant Officer Fourie’s commitment aligns with the significance of Africa Public Service Day.
“Africa Public Service Day was initiated in Tangier, Morocco in 1994. The leaders who established this day designated June 23 to acknowledge the value and virtue of public servants’ service to the community,” explained Colonel Radebe.
Highlighting the significance of the annual observance, he acknowledged its special nature in recognising the efforts of all public servants across various sectors.
The celebration aims to motivate public servants, promote innovation, enhance professionalism in public service, foster trust in government, and share best practices for possible replication within the country and throughout the African continent.
With the festivities boosting morale and paying tribute to 41 years of dedicated service by a local police officer, we invite you to share your thoughts and messeages in the comment section below.