A Port Elizabeth-based South African Police Service (SAPS) flying squad member has been rewarded with a National Excellence Award by Police Minister Bheki Cele for his crime-fighting efforts.
Warrant Officer Severiano Blundin’s commitment was recognised on Sunday night during the 7th National Excellence Awards in Port Elizabeth. He received a trophy and keys to a brand new vehicle.
The annual event was held to recognise and acknowledge the men and women in blue, including support staff, reservists and Community Policing Forums, who displayed extraordinary excellence and commitment in the execution of their daily duties and beyond.
“These awards are also meant to encourage and re-enforce a culture of excellence, exceptional conduct, and professionalism within the department towards a safe and secure South Africa as envisioned in the National Development Plan,” said police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe.
This year’s awards ceremony boasted 45 categories including special awards nominated by Cele and the National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole.
|“Many South Africans are applauding the demonstration of hard work of the SAPS for ensuring the safety of all,”|
The 33-year-old Blundin, said Mathe, was rewarded for his commitment, relentless and consistent efforts in the fight against crime. He was voted by the audience as the overall winner of the night. Earlier in the night he was voted winner in the Visible Policing Member of the Year category.
During the 2018/2019 financial year, the member effected 102 arrests, recovered 39 firearms, 24 magazines and 105 rounds of ammunition. He went on to recover 56 vehicles that were either hijacked, stolen or used in the commission of crime. He also recovered various items of stolen property to the value of R1.8 million and cash of R210 000 as well as drugs worth a street value of R620 000.
“But it was his story of courage and fearlessness that won the hearts and minds of the audience. On 16 January 2019 the Warrant Officer who was off-duty at the time spotted a suspicious looking vehicle and pursued it. It was discovered that the said vehicle had been involved in a shooting earlier on in the day.
“A high-speed chase ensued that led to a shoot-out between him and a well-known gang leader in the area. The well-known gang leader was fatally wounded and this led to the recovery of 18 firearms on that specific day,” said Mathe.
An elated Blundin said: “I feel very excited and at the same time I’m very grateful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity to win such an award and a brand new vehicle. I would like to encourage my fellow colleagues in the SAPS not to give up on their goals but instead to push through until they reach the top. Let us all continue to strive to make South Africa a safer place”.
This annual awards ceremony is one of the very few moments where the police service allows the men and women in blue to temporarily hang up their blue uniform and take time off from their often strenuous and challenging duties to relax, unwind and enjoy their time off.
“You all have made an invaluable contribution, not only to the SAPS as an organisation, but also to our country and the communities you serve, you have not done this in expectation of any award, but because service and loyalty are deeply embedded in your characters. For this we say thank you.
“We must, however, remain on a steadfast course on our journey to a safer South Africa. All this in essence, to realise the objectives of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 and the Turnaround Vision of the SAPS,” said Sitole.
Minister Cele thanked the officers for ensuring that South Africa was safer during the festive season period.
“Many South Africans are applauding the demonstration of hard work of the SAPS for ensuring the safety of all,” he said.