Making a difference on Mandela Day

Lingelethu police station officers donated groceries to Nontuthuzelo Gwenxane 89, at J Section in Khayelitsha as part of Mandela Day.

Thousands of people across the country donated their time last Thursday to help change the lives of those less fortunate and make a difference in their communities as part of marking International Mandela Day.

Among those who did their bit were police officers from Lingelethu and Harare police stations.

Lingelethu police station bought groceries for Nomawethu Ngqwelo, 89, from J Section in Khayelitsha amounting to R2 000.

Lingelethu police station spokesperson, Sergeant Xoliswa Nyalambisa, said they heeded the global call to do their bit to put a smile on someone else’s face. 

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on July 18, Madiba’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on July 18 2010.

Sergeant Nyalambisa said giving and making a difference in someone else’s life helps to alleviate the crisis that person might be faced with. She said feelings of humanity, compassion and a sense of appreciation awakens when people give to those less fortunate.

She said while their role was to police and ensure that people obey the laws of the country, they were human beings first and do want to change how police officers were viewed and make people understand that they care about society too. “W are not doing this because we want to be glorified but we want to see the lives of others prosper because of our actions and efforts. We know that this might sound like a drop in the ocean but at least we have done something.”

Ms Gwenxane, who is also a cancer survivor, said she did not expect anything and she was beyond grateful for what the police officers had done

Ms Gwenxane said police officers were human beings who have chosen to protect their communities and should not be killed.

She said she uses her old age pension to support herself and her grandson. She said because of the kind-hearted donation, she won’t have to worry about groceries for the next two months and she can at least save her money for rainy days. “I can’t express my joy over what these children had done for me. This is the spirit of Ubuntu. I want them to do this for others too.”

Harare police station visited an Educare Centre in SST Section and handed over food and partypacks.

Harare police station spokesperson, Captain Siyabulela Vukubi, said they collected money among themselves to buy the party packs and also cooked for the children just to make them happy and feel valued.

He said as much as their duty was to police, they also felt that they needed to do something good for others.

Captain Vukubi said everyone has the duty of uplifting and changing the lives of others for the better.

Harare police station officers also cautioned children at the educare centre against crime and informed them of how to go about reporting crime.

Educare principal, Lindelwa Masizana said she was overwhelmed by the gesture shown by the police and urged them to continue doing good. She believes that it is gestures like these that make a difference in the lives of others.