The South African Police Service (SAPS), on Thursday 14 May, announced that 370 members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak. Management said that most of the cases were found in the Western Cape.
SAPS management also expressed sadness that two members had lost their lives to COVID-19.
“While our aim as an organisation is to ensure that we prevent, combat and investigate crime, the good health, safety and wellbeing of our members remains a responsibility that the management of the service does not take lightly,” it said in a statement.
As of 13 May, there are currently 12 074 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa, 6 713 of them in the Western Cape. There have been a total of 219 deaths.
In response to the surge in numbers in the Western Cape, a delegation from the National Steering Committee visited the province to provide the necessary support in ensuring that the protocols to contain and manage COVID-19 virus are being implemented accordingly.
On the bright side, if there is one, 55 SAPS members have recovered from the virus providing hope that the disease can be beaten.
Through the Service’s Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) Component, the Service is continuously providing the necessary psychological support to infected and affected members and their families through a number of interventions such as counselling, daily devotions and visits to SAPS premises and roadblocks.
SAPS management is saddened by the loss of two of its own after both members tragically lost their lives after contracting the COVID-19 virus.
At the time of their passing, both members were admitted to two separate hospitals. In KwaZulu-Natal, a 55-year-old warrant officer succumbed to the virus on Sunday 26 April.
“The Warrant Officer served our country for 27 years having joined the Organisation as a student constable in 1993,” the statement said.
In the Eastern Cape, a captain succumbed to the virus on Monday 11 May. The Captain had 29 years of Service having joined the organisation in 1991 also as a student constable.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS General Khehla John Sitole has described the two members as brave and exemplary as well as members who have served and protected the South African people with utmost diligence.
“On behalf of the entire SAPS family, I would like to personally pay tribute to the two members who placed their lives on the line to ensure that the people of South Africa are protected against crime as well as against this virus,” said Sitole.
“I have also conveyed my sincere condolences to the families of our fallen colleagues and thanked them for the decades the members have served in the SAPS as well as for allowing them to serve during these trying times,” added Sitole.