For the past 18 years, Nyanga police station commander, Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata, has never taken sick leave.
He has made many sacrifices, even losing out on family time, to dedicate himself to the fight against crime.
The brigadier was named the provincial station commander of the year when SAPS held their awards at Century City last Saturday.
He came out tops out of 151 station commanders across the province.
The 47-year-old father of five has been at the helm of Nyanga police station for five years, serving an area dubbed as the murder capital of the country.
This is the biggest award which he has received in his career as a station commander.
Speaking at his office on Monday November 25, Brigadier Ncata told Vukani that he was extremely excited and proud. In fact, he said that was an understatement.
More than anything, he said the award was motivating and recognises good leadership and their endless efforts to eradicate crime in their community.
Brigadier Ncata said when he was appointed at the station five years ago, murder cases were above 300 a year.
They have managed to bring this below 300 and were trying to reduce it even further.
He has been in the police force for 26 years and constantly strives to ensure that police officers perform their duties with diligence.
He said being at the helm of an area dubbed a murder capital does not sit well with him, which is why he has devoted his time to bring change to the area.
He boldly states that if they were instructed to release their statistics from January to December for 2019 they would definently not be leading in this crime.
He said even when he is sick. he still reports to work because he has taken a pledge to serve the community in the good and bad days of his life.
“Last year we managed to drop murder cases. I do get sick just like everyone else but I don’t see the need to stay at home if I’m still breathing. I have given up my entire life to be the servant of the community wherever I’m deployed. On Sunday, I was here at work and left after 8pm when I was suppose to be at home. The SAPS have made me the person that I’m today and it’s my duty, in return, to work tirelessly in delivering their mandate without fail. When I joined the force years ago my life changed. The force assisted me in bettering my life and providing a better life for my family hence I don’t have any reason to skip work. I want to see Nyanga change. This award is because of the collective effort in reducing crime in Nyanga,” he said.
Talking about his journey, he said he started his career in 1994 at KwaNobuhle police station in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
He said he never wanted to be a police officer but life took him in that direction and he enrolled at the police academy.
While he was still young he wanted to be a manager even though he did not know what he would manager. But he then decided to enrol for a police management course at UNISA and acquired a diploma.
He recently earned a degree and next year he intends to enrol at Tshwane University for a Master’s degree in police management.
Reminiscing about his career, he said in 1998 he was appointed as a sergeant and in 2000 he become a warrant officer.
In 2005 he was appointed as a captain, in 2011 a colonel and in 2014 he become a brigadier. He said he had been deployed at Milnerton police station and Wynberg police and was once a station commander at Langa police station before coming to Nyanga.
Talking about challenges, he said police officers work in dangerous areas and their lives were at risk.
He said it has crossed his mind many times that he might die in the line of duty because that was the nature of their job.
But he said managing more than 300 people was a massive task and policing areas which are difficult to reach was a massive challenge.
He urged the community to work hand in hand with police officers while holding police officers accountable to perform their duties with pride and dignity.