Community comes first, says Gugs’top cop

Woodstock police station commander Duma Ntsezo lighting one of the candles in honour of Warrant Officer Malila while Brigadier Potelwa looks on.

Gugulethu police station should offer hope to the hopeless and put the interests and safety of those it serves, before anything else.

These are the words of the newly-appointed station commander, Colonel Duma Ntsezo, who has been with the police service for more than 30 years.

He is not new to Gugulethu, however, having been at the helm of the very same station between 2008 and 2010 before being deployed to Cape Town Central police station.

He therefore understands the complex challenges which his station and staff might battle with in executing their policing mission and goals.

His mandate, he told Vukani, is to maintain and continue the work done by his predecessors to reduce crime, in particular, murders and other serious offences.

However, he said, most important is to ensure that the station responds with compassion and care to people’s complaints so that they feel protected.

Each and every officer at
the station, he said, should go beyond the call of duty when executing their duties, adding that he wanted to create a culture of the community having a strong bond between the station and community so that they make it extremely difficult for criminals to move around.

But more importantly, he wanted to see the community of Gugulethu feeling safer in their streets and police officers feeling safer in the community as well.

He said he wanted his officers to always have the willingness to assist residents even if some matters are not police work.

One of his key strategies, he said, was to always have an open- door policy and to welcome input from his staff and the community.

“I want to strengthen the relationship between station and community. I’m here to serve the community.

“I have been given one mandate to protect and serve the community of Gugulethu. My heart and mind is Gugulethu. I’m a part of the community and people should feel free to criticise us when we do wrong but applaud us where we do right.

“This is my community and my aim is simply that we should unite and put our community’s interest first and above our own.

“I urge residents to work with us, not against us. We (have) taken an oath to safeguard our communities. We need you more than before,” he said.

Colonel Ntsezo was first appointed as station commander in 2005 at Port Johns and since then he has led many stations, including Woodstock, Nyanga and Gugulethu and other units within the police service.

He has accumulated various awards in his career, including being voted as the best station commander.

The father of two said as a station commander it was important to create a strong relationship between community leaders.

He understands that some police officers might not share his vision but it was his duty to point them in the right direction and to constantly motivate those who serve under him.

Talking about challenges, he said leading people who come from different backgrounds was not child’s play and often required one to apply different styles of leadership when dealing with them.